From: Daddy on 29 Jul 2010 13:27
On 7/29/2010 12:53 PM, Timothy Daniels wrote:
> Assuming that you're talking about the lithium "coin" battery that powers
> the ROM while the PC is shut down, the capacitors *should* keep enough
> voltage on the ROM to give you enough time to remove the old battery
> and insert the new one. But if the capacitor(s) is(are) leaky, you'll lose the
> BIOS settings when the old battery is removed, so you should write those
> down just in case. If you're curious or energetic enough to perform an
> experiment, try removing the old battery and wiping its metal surface and
> the metal contact surface of the holding clip with an abrasive paper towel -
> enough to make the metal shiny again - and then pop it back in the holding
> clip. (If you have a can of spray-on contact cleaner, that will help, too. Just
> spray it on and wipe the metal surface clean.) The warning message may not
> appear, indicating that you'll probably get another few months or couple years
> out of the old battery.
> "Joe" wrote:
>> Gee, my 8 year old Dell is finally losing its battery. I now get a warning when booting up- (forgot to write it down
>> exactly) warning about battery failure. So, I bought a new battery- but I just noticed that the manual says I need to
>> write down everything in Setup. Is that really necessary? One friend suggested that if I make a restore point before
>> the replacement- it should contain that info, but I'm not so sure of that.
>> So, should I bother to write down everything in Setup? I should think that a PC should be able to do this itself!
That was a great post. Thanks, Tim.
I think I'll resurrect my ancient Dell XPS M200s (which has been
sleeping in my closet for about 9 years.)
From: Ben Myers on 29 Jul 2010 14:21
On 7/29/2010 10:53 AM, Joe wrote:
> Gee, my 8 year old Dell is finally losing its battery. I now get a
> warning when booting up- (forgot to write it down exactly) warning about
> battery failure. So, I bought a new battery- but I just noticed that the
> manual says I need to write down everything in Setup. Is that really
> necessary? One friend suggested that if I make a restore point before
> the replacement- it should contain that info, but I'm not so sure of that.
> So, should I bother to write down everything in Setup? I should think
> that a PC should be able to do this itself!
If you replace the CR2032 coin-sized battery on a motherboard, and it
happens to lose all of the settings, do not worry. The first time you
boot the system, it will recognize that the CMOS settings are kaput,
poll all drive channels on the system, then halt, telling you to press
the F2 key to enter the system setup. You have to enter the correct
date and time, and you can probably live with the default settings the
BIOS ends up using.
Here are some BIOS settings you might want to change, depending on the
motherboard and the overall hardware configuration:
1. For many Dell systems, the default for a hyperthreaded processor is
disabled. Surely, you would want to enable hyperthreading, if possible.
2. Display and clear the event log, after viewing it. The event log
shows the abnormal events during system Power On Self Test (POST). But
it becomes old news, so clear it.
3. If you have an audio card, like the Sound Blasters shipped with many
Dells, disable the on-board audio.
4. You may want to modify the boot order, allowing the system to try to
boot from floppy, then CD-ROM, then hard drive for example. Or leave it
as is, and press the F12 key during POST to boot from a device different
5. For a laptop, you may want to change screen brighness settings.
Perhaps someone else can add to this list, which I've fantasized from
memory, rather than looking at one of many Dell BIOS setups... Ben Myers
From: Ben Myers on 30 Jul 2010 00:41
On 7/29/2010 10:47 PM, Tom Lake wrote:
>>> So, should I bother to write down everything in Setup? I should think
>>> that a
>>> PC should be able to do this itself!
>> There's no need to write anything down.
>> Switch on your printer.
>> Press the [F2] key during reboot to bring up page 1 the BIOS screen
>> Press the [Print Screen] key.
>> The machine will eventually print out page 1 of the BIOS settings
> It doesn't work on a Studio XPS 9000 with no parallel port.
> Are you using a parallel printer or a USB printer?
> Tom Lake
Not only does the printer have to be a parallel printer, it has to be
able to properly handle text with carriage return-line feed. So a
parallel port PostScript printer would be unable to print the
Furthermore, the BIOS setup screen of nearly all recent Dell computers
is not organized as Page 1, Page 2, etc. The Dell BIOS "look-and-feel"
is entirely different, except for some of the cheap Dells with an
obvious Phoenix or Award BIOS... Ben Myers
From: herger on 1 Aug 2010 22:14
On 8/1/2010 3:02 PM, Boris wrote:
> Boris<nospam(a)nospam.invalid> wrote in
>> "William R. Walsh"<newsgroups1(a)idontwantjunqueemail.walshcomptech.com>
>> wrote in news:QPKdncr0OIJWBsnRnZ2dnUVZ_sqdnZ2d(a)mchsi.com:
>>>> That's news to me. I never thought you could print while in BIOS
>>>> screens because print drivers haven't loaded up yet. I'll have to
>>>> try it. I've always written down every BIOS setting when necessary,
>>>> esp. when resurecting someone else's machine.
>>> You can only do this if there is a "real" printer attached to the
>>> *parallel port*. USB printers and printers that don't have enough
>>> intelligence onboard to print without hand-holding from a print driver
>>> won't work at all for this trick.
>>> But if you have an older inkjet or almost any laser printer that
>>> understands PCL input without a special driver, and it's connected to
>>> the printer port, this does usually work.
>>> You may have to issue a "form feed" command to your printer if it
>>> seems to do something but the page with the results doesn't actually
>>> come out.
>> Ah, I see. I have a LaserJet 6L (still going strong), connected via
>> parallel port to my Dell 4550. I'll try it. It does read PCL.
> Cool. Worked like a charm. I F2'd into Setup, simply pressed the "Print
> Screen" key, the receiving data light on the 6L blinked, then solid, and
> I pressed the "form feed" button on the 6L, and out came a beautiful
> print screen.
You could also photograph your screen with a digital camera/cell phone.
A bit quicker and no need to use paper.
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