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Old 09-19-2010, 09:05 AM
 
Location: Reston, VA
915 posts, read 4,012,227 times
Reputation: 480

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Good morning!

I have a 2004 Dell PC (3.2 GHz, 1 GB RAM) that is giving me a message I have never seen before when I boot up:

"Alert! System battery voltage is low."

I Googled the above message to see if this is a common problem. From what I can gather, I need to replace the battery. Would there even be a retailer who still sells the proper battery for my system with it being so old?

Many thanks.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,668,491 times
Reputation: 1538
Desktop? Chances are it's the button cell CMOS battery. It's a very standard part ... probably a 2032 cell.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Pa
42,677 posts, read 45,108,783 times
Reputation: 25031
Plug in your lap top let it charge.
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Old 09-19-2010, 02:55 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,668,491 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raena77 View Post
Plug in your lap top let it charge.
... but what if it's not a laptop?

Besides the battery itself, have you updated the system BIOS itself? Check the Dell Support page for your model to see if a newer BIOS version has been released.
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:30 PM
 
Location: Reston, VA
915 posts, read 4,012,227 times
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Raena77: Ooops! I forgot to mention that it is a desktop model.

Narfcake: I will look into the battery model that you mentioned and look into Dell's support page with regard to the BIOS.

Many thanks! I just don't want the system to lock up on me unexpectedly as this is my work computer (privately owned computer, not a company computer).
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Old 09-19-2010, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Pa
42,677 posts, read 45,108,783 times
Reputation: 25031
Quote:
Originally Posted by virgo View Post
Raena77: Ooops! I forgot to mention that it is a desktop model.

Narfcake: I will look into the battery model that you mentioned and look into Dell's support page with regard to the BIOS.

Many thanks! I just don't want the system to lock up on me unexpectedly as this is my work computer (privately owned computer, not a company computer).
Call the geeksquad. They are pretty good.
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Old 09-19-2010, 11:41 PM
 
Location: Pomona
1,955 posts, read 9,668,491 times
Reputation: 1538
Quote:
Originally Posted by Raena77 View Post
Call the geeksquad. They are pretty good.
Pretty good ... at gouging the customer. Or stealing their data (Google it.)

Replacing a CMOS battery is not rocket science, and Dell's documentation on servicing is readily available. So why suggest someone pay $50+ for a $3 (or less) battery that they could readily do themselves?
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Old 09-20-2010, 01:51 AM
 
Location: Silicon Valley
3,685 posts, read 8,501,502 times
Reputation: 2978
It's a little watch battery on your motherboard that is dying. It supplies power to the real-time clock and NVRAM while the power is turned off. I've had old Dell PCs tell me that too. Narfcake gave you the right answer.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:40 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,918,309 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Raena77 View Post
Call the geeksquad. They are pretty good.
Never ever use the Geeksquad unless you like giving your money away.
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Old 09-20-2010, 12:45 PM
 
Location: Central Texas
13,720 posts, read 25,918,309 times
Reputation: 9219
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediocreButArrogant View Post
It's a little watch battery on your motherboard that is dying. It supplies power to the real-time clock and NVRAM while the power is turned off. I've had old Dell PCs tell me that too. Narfcake gave you the right answer.
Very correct, but do you think the OP knows what NVRAM is?

NVRAM = non-volatile random access memory

The battery allows the computer to retain a variety of hardware oriented settings even when the computer is not plugged in.

If the battery is dead - I suggest replacing it when the computer is still plugged in (but turned off). If you unplug the computer and the battery is dead, it may revert to complete defaults - which may require you to go into the SETUP program and update at minimum the time and date.
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