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FireTaz
Posts: 7
Accepted Solution

CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

I have a Satellite L45-S7423 laptop that is approximately 1.5 yrs old.  To give a bit of history on this baby..a week before the warranty ran out, the computer stopped working so we took it in to be repaired and it got a new motherboard and I believe power supply.  

 

Fast forward 6 months to now, and as of last night I have started getting a black screen on boot up that goes to American Megatrends.  There are a bunch of self checks (I assume thats what they are) check out as ok and then it beeps, and goes to a second page where at the bottom it says "CMOS battery low, and something about the date and time not being set.  I have options for F1 to load defaults and F2 to enter set up.  Pressing F1 loads Vista properly.   The computer now thinks it is permanently March 4 2008...but the time runs as you would expect.  It just is in accordance to either 11:00 or 12:00 when I reboot.  

 

I have noticed today after the reboot, that my antivirus vault settings have now been lost and I also started having issues with opening websites (security certificates not valid so it says or it completely blocks a regularly used site from opening).  Since the AV isnt working properly anymore I disconnected from the wireless network I use and turned off the wireless capability.

 

I run this computer almost non-stop, it has a chill pad after the October issue, and is updated regularly.  I do run down the main battery at least once or twice a week and recharge it completely.  Most of the time the laptop is on AC power though.  This issue came up after it was unplugged during house chores and my husband and I both forgot to plug it back in.  At most it was unplugged for a little over 2 hours.   I plugged it back in for 24 hours, and the most recent reboot still brings up the CMOS message.  There was an SD memory card in the card reader when I rebooted which I had forgotten about.  The only other oddity is that these problems started after a windows update ran on 3/13. 

 

What can I do for this?  Is it something I can fix by replacing the CMOS battery? It is NOT under the main battery where it was suggested to me that it might be....does this mean its on the motherboard?  If I press f2 for set up, what will happen? I also have a prompt to press f12 for BBS POPUP.  Thanks for your help and time.  

 

 

Regular Advisor
Defender
Posts: 3,300

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

first off: CMOS failure requires immediate attention., battery is on motherboard. Since you stated the repair facility did a board replacement the new battery should not have failed so early, unless they had the board sitting around for awhile. I would have been back to the repair facility, under their warranty, to have repair they did checked out.

 

Other precautions you have taken is super! Since your Antivirus needs to be consistently protecting up upon initial boot, you leave yourslf open to problems. Selection of F2 takes you into the BIOS screen for setup of hardware and such.

Member
FireTaz
Posts: 7

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

I wish I could take it back to that particular repair place but we have since moved to a different state...and, since I bought the computer at Circuit City I cant even take it back there for obvious reasons.  I am currently backing up anything vital that Ive added since the october issues and Im just gonna have to bite the bullet and get this fixed somehow.  I am going to be starting school in the Fall and a working laptop is going to be a must for me....

 

Regular Advisor
Defender
Posts: 3,300

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

What a situation:  Try this allow the unit to run on power overnight, unhook all devices and take the battery out, it may begin a recharge of the CMOS battery.  You can also go to www.toshiba.com and put in your zip code and learn where an autohirzed service provider is located within that area.  Take care.

Member
mikeple
Posts: 3

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

Might search the manual for RTC and read how that battery charges.

Mine says while in hibernate the RTC will completely discharge & only charges while the computer is in the on state.  Yours may be different.  I've seen what I would call different odd procedures for charging cmos/bios batteries.  Maybe your habits have changed and something you do or not do is causing it to not charge.

Member
FireTaz
Posts: 7

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

OK, I attempted to disassemble the laptop following the "destructions" that were provided in an earlier post.   This portion of the project went extremely well...the directions were really easy to follow.  

 

The bad news is as follows....  I found the CMOS battery.  Either Toshiba, or the manufacturer of the mother board, american megatrends, soldered the stupid thing to the friggin motherboard.  I realized that this is above and beyond my level of skill, so I ran down the street to a small computer repair shop nearby and swallowed what little pride I have left.   I asked them if in fact my suspicions were correct in that the CMOS battery is soldered to the motherboard and they looked at it and went....EWWWW.  

 

I truly appreciate their honesty b/c they wont even touch this because they do not want to fry the motherboard.  They reccommend that I contact Toshiba at this point.  I will keep these folks in mind if I need computer repair work done in the next few years...

 

The experience was not a total loss to me though, because I now have a very good working knowledge of what different things look like in the laptop.  Even better, I put it back together and everything that did work, still works...haha.   One thing I did notice is that the repair place failed to replace all the screws...

 

I appreciate all the advice.  I did try taking the laptop battery out and running the computer for several days on just AC power...in 5 days it went from March 4, 2008 to March 6, 2008.   I will post an update when I hear from Toshiba...

Regular Advisor
Defender
Posts: 3,300

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

An experience for sure, let the Authorized Service provider fix the unit, dates can be changed via the BIOS upon initial setup or thru the taskbar lower right side where clock is displayed-right click and enter display clock/adjust menu.
Member
FireTaz
Posts: 7

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

Where it gets fun is that its going to cost me about 200.00 with shipping, labor and parts to put a 20.00 battery into a computer that cost 600 to start with.  I called a ARC and even they didnt have nice things to say about Toshiba and their customer service.  Personally I dont feel I should have to pay full ride for a part that was replaced less than 6 months ago and is no good.  Customer service was less than helpful if you wish for any kind of response than a canned scripted response while they talk over you.  Im going to make a little noise about this issue with corporate and see where it gets me....the ARC even said I should do that.  And...she also said to really think about putting 200.00 into this computer b/c if its already having this many problems what else could go wrong.  I agree with her line of thinking....

 

Im really going to have to think hard about putting another 200.00 into this computer.  Its alot of money for me to come up with and if something else goes wrong, then what??

 

 

Occasional Advisor
Techman
Posts: 1,169

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

As I understand warranties, if a part is replaced, it doesn't extend the warranty.  The part usually carries something like 15-30 days itself, and I think Toshiba does 30 days.

 

If repairs did extend the warranty, I know I would be taking my Toyota car into the shop today... they won't budge either.

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Member
FireTaz
Posts: 7

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

I do have a problem with the fact that the repair was made that does not last 6 months when a CMOS battery should have a much much longer shelf life than that.  This was supposedly a new motherboard...so why is it already failing me?  Am I supposed to just accept that my repair was made with substandard equipment and dump another extremely hard earned 200.00 that I dont have right now,  into it?  I dont think so.  I wouldnt be so ticked about this if the repair had lasted somewhat longer than barely 5 months.

 

If I had done more homework, I mightve come across the fact that Toshibas customer service is less than desirable, and it really speaks volumes when even the authorized repair centers cringe when they are informed that the computer in question is a toshiba brand.  Im really sorry I bought this computer at this point.   I bought this computer because we THOUGHT Toshiba was a reliable brand name, apparently its not as reliable as it sounded.  This computer is less than 2 yrs old and its already had 2 major components fail.  Toshibas customer relations people came straight out and said that if the computer was under warranty they would stand behind their product, but since its not under warranty they could care less about what happens.  Bottom line is they replaced a motherboard with something substandard and now Im the one left to deal with their mess at a major inconvenience to me.

 

Member
FireTaz
Posts: 7

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

I just want to update and say that after calling corporate, I had a nice discussion with someone who sees my point in the fact that this should not be happening.  They have authorized a one time repair that will cover either replacement of the motherboard itself or just the CMOS battery.   I tried to fix this myself, but the issue is that the particular battery used is not one that is intended for the end user to be able to replace and I have had almost no luck finding one...the places I found that did sell them all say OUT OF STOCK.   I pay the shipping to and from the repair center.

 

This is a totally acceptable agreement to me and it does show that there is at least some concern about customer satisfaction at the corporate level.  Even a 50/50 split on the cost would have been acceptable to me...as it was something, which is better than nothing.  I still probably wont buy Toshiba again for a laptop, but at least there appears to be a light at the end of this tunnel.  

Regular Advisor
Defender
Posts: 3,300

Re: CMOS Errors/ battery failure in a Satellite L45

Major manufacturers stand behind their product I have observed when you express the concern and details of what is not occurring so that a product can be fully utilized.  You escalated, which is good, and found that supervisory review can achieve many great things. Seems you are being treaded more than fair. As always, to be noted, taking to an Authorized Service provider is generally the best for repairs.

 

Appears we can mark this one SOLVED!