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Worth fixing? or should I go shopping????

 
 
sandy
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      03-26-2008
I've got a VPR Matrix computer probably purchased in mid 2002 (Intel
(R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 1.80 GHz 1.79 GHz, 256 MB of Ram Microsoft
Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 2) that has started
having trouble starting in the morning. It gets stuck on the first
page of the start-up and tells me that the CMOS bat is low (and
something else is bad....I can't find my notes on it and don't feel
like restarting it to get the info). The screen says to hit F1 for
setup or F12 to start from the network and I've tried both (but don't
seem to have any mouse power yet). So far I've managed to get it
going by hitting (and rehitting Control/Alt/Delete).... But I'm
wondering if this is something that I (a complete novice) can fix, if
I should take it in for repair and maybe replacing the battery or if
it would be better to go shopping for a new computer. Another thing I
think I've noticed is that even though I turn off the computer in the
evening, and then turn off the power to the surge protector....when I
turn the power back on to the surge protector....the computer starts
right up (I used to have to hit the on button to start it). I have no
clue what that means!

I HAVE saved everything important on CDs (computer has a CD burner) in
case it up and dies on me.

I only use my computer for playing on the web, writing, saving digital
pictures, etc. If you think it's time to buy a new one, would
appreciate hearing recommendations. Thanks!

Sandy


 
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Jeff Strickland
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      03-26-2008
There is no reason you couldn't put in the battery. It's easy, and a battery
costs about 3 bucks (USD)

Open the case and look at the mother board. The battery is typically mounted
in a corner, but could be anywhere. It is flat and thin, about the same
physical size and shape as a quarter. The CMOS battery in my machine is a
2032, which also fits my stop watch. It is a common battery that you will
find anywhere they well watch batteries, I got mine at Rite-Aid (the drug
store on the corner).




"sandy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> I've got a VPR Matrix computer probably purchased in mid 2002 (Intel
> (R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 1.80 GHz 1.79 GHz, 256 MB of Ram Microsoft
> Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 2) that has started
> having trouble starting in the morning. It gets stuck on the first
> page of the start-up and tells me that the CMOS bat is low (and
> something else is bad....I can't find my notes on it and don't feel
> like restarting it to get the info). The screen says to hit F1 for
> setup or F12 to start from the network and I've tried both (but don't
> seem to have any mouse power yet). So far I've managed to get it
> going by hitting (and rehitting Control/Alt/Delete).... But I'm
> wondering if this is something that I (a complete novice) can fix, if
> I should take it in for repair and maybe replacing the battery or if
> it would be better to go shopping for a new computer. Another thing I
> think I've noticed is that even though I turn off the computer in the
> evening, and then turn off the power to the surge protector....when I
> turn the power back on to the surge protector....the computer starts
> right up (I used to have to hit the on button to start it). I have no
> clue what that means!
>
> I HAVE saved everything important on CDs (computer has a CD burner) in
> case it up and dies on me.
>
> I only use my computer for playing on the web, writing, saving digital
> pictures, etc. If you think it's time to buy a new one, would
> appreciate hearing recommendations. Thanks!
>
> Sandy
>
>


 
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Paul
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      03-26-2008
sandy wrote:
> I've got a VPR Matrix computer probably purchased in mid 2002 (Intel
> (R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 1.80 GHz 1.79 GHz, 256 MB of Ram Microsoft
> Windows XP Home Edition Version 2002 Service Pack 2) that has started
> having trouble starting in the morning. It gets stuck on the first
> page of the start-up and tells me that the CMOS bat is low (and
> something else is bad....I can't find my notes on it and don't feel
> like restarting it to get the info). The screen says to hit F1 for
> setup or F12 to start from the network and I've tried both (but don't
> seem to have any mouse power yet). So far I've managed to get it
> going by hitting (and rehitting Control/Alt/Delete).... But I'm
> wondering if this is something that I (a complete novice) can fix, if
> I should take it in for repair and maybe replacing the battery or if
> it would be better to go shopping for a new computer. Another thing I
> think I've noticed is that even though I turn off the computer in the
> evening, and then turn off the power to the surge protector....when I
> turn the power back on to the surge protector....the computer starts
> right up (I used to have to hit the on button to start it). I have no
> clue what that means!
>
> I HAVE saved everything important on CDs (computer has a CD burner) in
> case it up and dies on me.
>
> I only use my computer for playing on the web, writing, saving digital
> pictures, etc. If you think it's time to buy a new one, would
> appreciate hearing recommendations. Thanks!
>
> Sandy
>


In the picture here, the shiny circle just above the short yellow connector,
is an example of a CMOS battery. That would be a CR2032. If you
turn off the computer, unplug, and replace the battery relatively
quickly, then it might keep any custom BIOS settings for you.
If you pulled the battery out, and waited a while, then you'd
later have to enter the BIOS and check the boot order or other
custom setting etc. Entering the BIOS and verifying the clock is
set correctly, will also help prevent problems with activation.
You can get a CR2032 just about anywhere, even Radio Shack has them.

http://c1.neweggimages.com/NeweggIma...153-074-02.jpg

The reason the battery ran down, is because you're removing all
power from the computer at the end of the day. For me, a CR2032
lasts about three years, if you do that. If you leave the standby
power running inside the computer (like when the computer is in
sleep mode), then the battery will last longer. The battery
powers the RTC (real time clock) and CMOS RAM that holds the
BIOS settings, and there is only a tiny power draw from the
battery, if the computer loses all power.

There could still be some other problem with the computer, but
it is worth it to try a new battery. It is cheaper than a new computer.

Paul
 
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w_tom
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-27-2008
On Mar 26, 9:56*am, sandy <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> ... I'm
> wondering if this is something that I (a complete novice) can fix, if
> I should take it in for repair and maybe replacing the battery or if
> it would be better to go shopping for a newcomputer. *Another thing I
> think I've noticed is that even though I turn off thecomputerin the
> evening, and then turn off the power to thesurgeprotector....when I
> turn the power back on to thesurgeprotector....thecomputerstarts
> right up (I used to have to hit the on button to start it). *I have no
> clue what that means!


Any reply would be mostly speculation because numbers do not say
what you have. A 3.5 digit multimeter can measure that battery
without removing the battery. At 3.0 volts, then voltages as low as
2.8 volts means battery did not create a problem. 2.8 volts: plan on
replacing the battery sometime in the next 6 months. Lower voltages
could explain your failure.

Same meter can demonstrate why a computer would respond when powered
by the power strip switch. Measure voltage on purple wire from power
supply to motherboard. Note voltages when computer is turned off by
power strip, when computer is off but powered by power strip, and when
computer is powered on. Purple wire provides power for a power supply
controller - what determines when computer starts working. Do this
paragraph to get numbers; to learn how a computer works in a reply.

Measure that battery voltage to learn if that battery created the
problem.
 
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Hp
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-27-2008
you need to test any of the 20xx series batteries while in the socket,
a dry test, out of the socket and with no load will not tell you much
about the batteries real usability unless it is totally dead.
these things need some form of load to really show condition.
Been there, done that!

w_tom wrote:
>
> On Mar 26, 9:56 am, sandy <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> > ... I'm
> > wondering if this is something that I (a complete novice) can fix, if
> > I should take it in for repair and maybe replacing the battery or if
> > it would be better to go shopping for a newcomputer. Another thing I
> > think I've noticed is that even though I turn off thecomputerin the
> > evening, and then turn off the power to thesurgeprotector....when I
> > turn the power back on to thesurgeprotector....thecomputerstarts
> > right up (I used to have to hit the on button to start it). I have no
> > clue what that means!

>
> Any reply would be mostly speculation because numbers do not say
> what you have. A 3.5 digit multimeter can measure that battery
> without removing the battery. At 3.0 volts, then voltages as low as
> 2.8 volts means battery did not create a problem. 2.8 volts: plan on
> replacing the battery sometime in the next 6 months. Lower voltages
> could explain your failure.
>
> Same meter can demonstrate why a computer would respond when powered
> by the power strip switch. Measure voltage on purple wire from power
> supply to motherboard. Note voltages when computer is turned off by
> power strip, when computer is off but powered by power strip, and when
> computer is powered on. Purple wire provides power for a power supply
> controller - what determines when computer starts working. Do this
> paragraph to get numbers; to learn how a computer works in a reply.
>
> Measure that battery voltage to learn if that battery created the
> problem.

 
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sandy
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-27-2008
THANKS everyone for all your help. I'm gonna give it a try once I
find a new battery. I live in a tiny town but we actually do have a
Radio Shack (even if it also is a fishing tackle/hunting store AND the
place to buy ice cream cones).

And I'm also thinking of finally putting the doors on my computer
armoire to maybe keep the dust out when not in use. It gets pretty
dusty here during the Summer months and I can't imagine that it is
good for the computer.

One more question.....Is it better to NOT turn the computer off but
put it in "Stand by" mode????

Thanks again.

Sandy
 
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Jeff Strickland
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-27-2008

"sandy" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed)...
> THANKS everyone for all your help. I'm gonna give it a try once I
> find a new battery. I live in a tiny town but we actually do have a
> Radio Shack (even if it also is a fishing tackle/hunting store AND the
> place to buy ice cream cones).
>
> And I'm also thinking of finally putting the doors on my computer
> armoire to maybe keep the dust out when not in use. It gets pretty
> dusty here during the Summer months and I can't imagine that it is
> good for the computer.
>
> One more question.....Is it better to NOT turn the computer off but
> put it in "Stand by" mode????
>
> Thanks again.
>
> Sandy



Leave the doors open. It will get hot in there. While you have the 'puter
open for battery work, you should clean it out. I blow mine with an air
hose, but I'm not sure that is really the approved method. I have a
compressor, so I use it. A strong consideration in cleaning the machine is
static electricity. I have used a paint brush and vacuum cleaner, and that
seemed to work pretty well.

The battery is available from any store where they carry watch batteries. It
should be a 2032, and a family member could mail one ...

I leave my computers running all of the time. I have never replaced a CMOS
battery in any of them.



 
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w_tom
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-27-2008
On Mar 27, 9:59 am, sandy <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
> And I'm also thinking of finally putting the doors on my computer
> armoire to maybe keep the dust out when not in use. It gets pretty
> dusty here during the Summer months and I can't imagine that it is
> good for the computer.
>
> One more question.....Is it better to NOT turn the computer off but
> put it in "Stand by" mode????


If moving too much air through a computer (ie two chassis fans),
then dust problems get worse. Fans blowing too much air into a
computer creates larger dust balls. Computers are (should be)
designed to work in a 100 degree F room with dust.

Better is to turn off computer or put it into hiberate mode. If the
power cord is connected to an AC wall socket, some parts of the
computer are still powered.

Average life expectancy of a lithium battery is five years. Makes
little difference if battery connects to an RTC or is on a shelf. It
is called shelf life. A lithium battery discharges typically in five
years whether connected to the CMOS/RTC or just sitting on the shelf.

BTW you want to know if that battery was defective before replacing
it. Important is to know if the problem existed before fixing it.
Others here will also need that information if to provide better
assistance.
 
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Paul
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Posts: n/a
 
      03-27-2008
sandy wrote:
> THANKS everyone for all your help. I'm gonna give it a try once I
> find a new battery. I live in a tiny town but we actually do have a
> Radio Shack (even if it also is a fishing tackle/hunting store AND the
> place to buy ice cream cones).
>
> And I'm also thinking of finally putting the doors on my computer
> armoire to maybe keep the dust out when not in use. It gets pretty
> dusty here during the Summer months and I can't imagine that it is
> good for the computer.
>
> One more question.....Is it better to NOT turn the computer off but
> put it in "Stand by" mode????
>
> Thanks again.
>
> Sandy


To not draw power from the battery, all that is required, is to leave
the switch on the back of the computer in the "ON" position. That
causes +5VSB to be present. You can either select "Shutdown" in Windows,
or you can use "Standby", and either choice would be fine. The important
thing, is the availability of +5VSB power. And for that, leaving the
power supply plugged in, and the back switch in the ON position, is
what makes that possible.

The ATX supply is split into two pieces -

A.C.----------- switch ----+----------> +5VSB for standby
|
| soft
| power
|
| /
+---+ +--> +3.3/+5/+12/-12 main supply

As long as the cord is plugged in, and "switch" is ON, there is
+5VSB flowing. And then, the CR2032 is not being used, because
the +5VSB does the job instead.

The "soft power", is the thing the computer uses when you select
shutdown or standby. Soft power disconnects the main supply, the
fans stop spinning etc. In "Standby" Suspend To RAM, the +5VSB
also keeps the DRAM memory cells powered, and that is how your
session is stored until the next time you take the computer out
of Standby. Standby might draw 10-20W or so, depending on the
efficiency of the supply and the load inside the computer. You
know you're in Standby Suspend to RAM, if the fans stop spinning.
If the fans are still spinning, then the main supply is still
on.

But even if you select "Shutdown" in Windows, as long as the
cord is in, and back switch is on, you'll have +5VSB.

This is too much detail, but I like this web page, because of the
effort the author went to. He traced the insides of a power supply,
so we'd know how it was put together. It shows the main and
+5VSB "second" supply. This supply is an older one, but the
principles are the same as a modern one. "PS-ON" on the left
of the diagram, is what the motherboard uses to control the
soft power switch.

http://www.pavouk.org/hw/en_atxps.html

Paul
 
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