Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Taking apart a laptop

I took apart another laptop today. I do this for a hobby. I've owned many laptops and I believe I've taken just about every single one of them apart. This one had been having some problems that appeared to be related to faulty hardware. It was made by HP and I was very comfortable disassembling (thanks to the service manuals that can easily be found online). So what did I find? Well, for one thing, the connection for the RTC (real time clock) battery was faulty. As a result, when you unplug the laptop and remove the battery, the calendar resets to 2004. I wasn't going to pull out my soldering iron, so I simply placed a small piece of foam to wedge the battery connector against the circuit. Did it work? Yes!

What I don't know is whether that RTC battery plays a bigger role in this laptop. I believe it work like a CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) battery (also known as nonvolatile BIOS memory). For some reason, the HP service manual calls it an RTC battery and does not refer to it as a CMOS battery. For those of you wondering about BIOS, it stands for Basic Input/Output System.

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