Broken CMOS battery clip

March 14, 2013 at 22:13:55
Specs: Windows 7, 2.80 Ghz / 2048 Mb


I have a motherboard that requires a CR2032 battery both for the internal clock and to preserve CMOS settings when unplugged. The slot resembles this model:

I have accidentally broken the clip that holds the battery down while trying to change it. I'm wondering what are my options. I'm thinking I can safely keep the battery in place with a small quantity of hot glue (it's a well vented ATX case) but does that clip not serve as the cathode? What is the simplest way for me to fix this? I should add that I'm not very at ease with soldering, but I'm ready to give it a try if necessary and, I know I'm betraying my carelessness here, but I think I've lost the broken clip part.

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March 14, 2013 at 22:57:01

I've seen the broken clips before. What I do is get you a CMOS battery from a laptop with the leads on it

Then solder the wires to the broken socket. Problems solved.

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March 14, 2013 at 23:53:43

Well the battery slot and its nodes are soldered in. How am I supposed to connect this battery to my motherboard?

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March 15, 2013 at 00:35:19

You cut connector off the laptop battery, strip back the wires and solder the wires to the broken CMOS battery holder leads.

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March 15, 2013 at 06:12:18

Well that sounds like it would work just fine. Thanks a lot Gretti! Still, I want to say I'm listening in for any solution that doesn't require soldering or buying something I'm not sure where to find.

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March 15, 2013 at 07:36:25

The clip you broke off serves a dual purpose, it holds the battery in place plus acts as the positive (+) lead. You might be able to secure the battery in place with hot melt glue, but you'll still need to come up with a way to connect the positive lead. If you're not comfortable soldering, hot melt might work to hold the broken clip or a small wire in place, you won't know til you try.

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March 15, 2013 at 19:58:50

Once the battery is glued down you probably can fashion a connector from a length of paper clip and touch-solder it on.

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March 16, 2013 at 06:08:57

Without soldering, you probably need to replace the motherboard. In other words, to really work, you need to solder it.
The safest way to solder it without creating too much heat (causing damage) is to 'tin' the area you are going to solder the wire to with a small amount of solder and do the same for the wire. Then you only have to remelt the solder on the two parts to make a good bond. Trying to do it all in one step requires too much heating time and will damage something or cause you to melt on a big blob of solder, which will be much worse. This method can actually be used on the battery as well since it will not heat the battery enough to damage it.
I recommend passing on trying to keep the battery in the socket, but attach it with short wires and then use electrical tape to insulate it, and finally, tie it down somewhere nearby.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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March 16, 2013 at 07:27:17

Thanks to everyone. I guess the only solution is becoming evident.

I've been looking for a proper battery holder / connector. I haven't found one that took a CR2032 battery, but I found one that took two AA batteries. I figured it could work since together they give the same voltage (3 volts). What do you guys think?

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March 16, 2013 at 09:25:23

I think you should try the hot melt, you have nothing to lose. Put a dab of glue on each side of the battery where the tabs stick up (see your pic). That will hold the battery in place. Then come up with a way of connecting the + . If you lost the clip, paul1149's idea of using a paperclip might work. Bend it, cut it, twist it, whatever you have to do. If you can wedge it in place & bend it so that it keeps pressure on the top of the battery, it should work. The only other alternative is to de-solder the old battery holder & solder a new one in place. There's only 2 solder points. Of course, it means you will have to completely disassemble everything & remove the motherboard to be able to work on it.

Also, do you understand that the battery isn't absolutely necessary? All it does is retain the BIOS settings in memory when power is disrupted to the tower. Obviously it would be inconvenient not to have a battery, but as long as you never unplug the tower or switch off the power strip, the BIOS settings will be retained.

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March 16, 2013 at 10:34:49

Yeah I know it is not necessary. It's just I've been tinkering a lot in my computer these days and also there's been rolling brownouts. Soon I felt the battery was becoming more and more of a necessity. My system does a full memory test, gives me noisy error beeps and sometimes runs the wrong graphic driver when the CMOS is reset so it's starting to become a pain.

I tried hot glue to no avail. The battery holder became lose so I removed it. It kinda seems like it's been "snapped" into the motherboard rather than built in. Is that normal?

I tried gluing the connectors of my battery pack to what seemed like the motherboard connectors, which also failed. It seems like I would have to solder them, but it kinda looks like there are circuits around these connectors and now I'm growing more hesitant to the idea.

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March 16, 2013 at 16:17:51

If you are getting brown outs, you should consider getting a UPS (ofter called a battery back up) which will eliminate problems and potential damage to your system when the power in uncertain like yours is. I always use one and power in NYC is fairly consistant.

If you are uncomfortable soldering it, you may want to get someone with more experience to do it for you. If you do not have a friend that can do this, consider a professional, but understand that if your motherboard is not one of the more expensive ones, it may be easier and almost the same price to just replace the motherboard with a new one (or possibly a good used one if an older model). You should try to get the same or nearly the same model motherboard, or you may be reinstalling or even purchasing a new Windows disk with key.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.

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March 17, 2013 at 04:21:00

I didn't think hot glue would work, just didn't want to say anything. Call around to your friends, I bet one of them know how to solder. Also the BIOS battery is lithium battery, so I don't think you should use alkaline batteries even if they could give you 3v. And don't try to solder to the lithium battery as they explode when you do. That's why I suggested the one with the wires already affixed to the battery.

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