Dead System Battery = No Boot?

Started 4 months ago | Questions thread
Sean Nelson
Sean Nelson Forum Pro • Posts: 14,865
Re: Dead System Battery = No Boot?

SantaFeBill wrote:

I read somewhere that if the system battery dies, the computer will no longer boot. (PC, Windows, desktop, connected to an UPS).

There once was a time when important information needed to boot the system (such as the number of cylinders, sectors per cylinder, etc. of pre-IDE hard disks) was stored in a volatile RAM chip whose contents were maintained by the system battery. If the battery died then the information was lost and had to be re-entered through the BIOS in order to boot the system. The system wasn't "unbootable", it was just no longer automatic because it would stop and ask for the time and BIOS configuration.

These days that information is all stored in nonvolatile flash memory and the only thing the system battery is really used for is to maintain the wall clock time. So it's hard for me to imagine why a modern motherboard wouldn't be able to boot. It might still stop to ask for the time, though.   But since the system will normally get the time from the network once it's up and running even the time is no longer all that essential.

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