Any laptop computer has a CMOS battery also known as RTC battery. The CMOS battery connects directly to the laptop system board and helps to retain important BIOS settings such as system time, date, BIOS configuration while the laptop is turned off or even when the main battery is removed.
The CMOS battery is rechargeable and it’s getting charged when the laptop is plugged into the mains.
CMOS batteries come in different shapes ans sizes.
On the picture below you see a basic coin cell CMOS battery. This type of batteries usually found in older laptops. This battery is removable and replaceable.
Here’s another type of CMOS battery. Basically, it’s two coin cell batteries but they are bundled together and have a cable which plugs into the system board. This battery is removable and replaceable.
On the next picture you see a CMOS battery which is soldered to the system board. In order to replace this type of battery, you’ll have to unsolder it from the system board.
CMOS BATTERY LOCATION IN A LAPTOP.
In some laptops the CMOS battery could be easily accessed from the bottom, as it shown on the picture below. As an example I took a Dell Inspiron 1720.
In some laptops the CMOS battery is hidden under the keyboard. As an example I took a HP Compaq nc6400 laptop.
Here’s the worst case scenario. The CMOS battery is hidden under the laptop cover. In order to access and replace the battery you’ll have to disassemble the whole laptop. As an example I took a Toshiba Satellite A305 laptop.
CMOS BATTERY RELATED PROBLEMS.
Here’s the most common problem related to the CMOS battery.
Each time you turn off the laptop it resets date and time back to factory defaults. When you turn the laptop back on it asks you to set date and time. If that’s the case, most likely your CMOS battery is old and has to be replaced.
By the way, removing the CMOS battery on most newer laptops will not clear the BIOS password.