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CMOS Battery Removal Kills Monitor Signal

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posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 04:28 PM
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An elderly friend of mine could not remember his administrator password. I downloaded an app to reset the password and burnt it to a bootable USB thumb drive. I tried to access his Setup page in order to move the USB drive to first place in the boot order. When I got to setup I found that it was password protected. I looked online and found that this BIOS password might be removed by taking out the CMOS battery and letting the computer discharge its capacitors. I took the battery out and let the computer sit for 30 minutes.

When I had reseated the battery, plugged all the cables back in and tried to boot up the computer, it booted but the monitor screen was blank. A light on the monitor indicated that it was getting power. I double checked the "data" cord at both ends and made sure that it was properly seated. The cord is not the standard VGA style cord but something with a different configuration, but it was properly seated.

The computer is running a version of XP and was running fine until I pulled the CMOS battery.

Any assistance would be appreciated, especially since the computer is not mine and I would like to get it running ASAP if not sooner. Many thanks as always.




posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 04:34 PM
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Chances are that there is onboard graphics on the system. Resetting the bios will result in the video signal being sent there and not to the external graphics card. Check the video outputs



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 04:39 PM
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a reply to: Jubei42

I think you hit the bull's eye. I'll have to get a VGA cord and hook it up and get to the BIOS and reconfigure it for the graphics card, I assume. Thanks. I'll let people know what happened when I change cords.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:02 PM
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I changed out the cords, removing the special cord (at both ends) and replaced it with a VGA cord, but I still have no visual signal on the monitor.

I'm wondering if I am going to have to reset the CMOS setting for the motherboard using the jumper.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:04 PM
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take out the graphics card, and hook up the monitor to the onboard



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: Jiggly

OK. (I wish you could see where this computer is. I've already had to do some serious prospecting just to get access to the CMOS battery.) Here we go again.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:25 PM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

Speaking as a sys-admin (Windows and Linux), you do not provide enough info in your thread to help you with your problem.

Without providing enough info, no-one can help you. BIOS password resets are rarely accomplished by simply removing the battery. The usual procedure is remove CMOS battery, change a jumper (I hope you know what a computer jumper is and it's not something a PC uses to keep warm), replace CMOS battery and power up system for 5 seconds, turn off system, return jumper to original position, then restart. Model and make may differ slightly but the manual should help.

I tried to help you in your last thread but with all due respect, if you don't truly know what you are doing or rely on ATS to help you, you will lose hours or possibly even days and not solve the problem at hand.

Hope it helps.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:30 PM
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I have removed the computer from its picturesque setting into an area (the kitchen table) where I can see what I am doing. When I started plugging in the cables there I noticed that the graphics card actually had a VGA input on it as well as the special input. I plugged the monitor into that VGA input, (there are two) and the computer booted up as it should with the usual XP splash screen, etc.

I rebooted into the BIOS but my earlier removal of the CMOS battery had not cleared the password protection. (It's an Award BIOS vintage 1984-2010.)

So, I am back to square one, trying to bypass the BIOS password.
edit on 13-12-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:35 PM
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a reply to: LightSpeedDriver

Thank you. I have read your response carefully and will give it a try. I do appreciate the help.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:35 PM
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originally posted by: LightSpeedDriver
a reply to: ipsedixit

Speaking as a sys-admin (Windows and Linux), you do not provide enough info in your thread to help you with your problem.

Without providing enough info, no-one can help you. BIOS password resets are rarely accomplished by simply removing the battery. The usual procedure is remove CMOS battery, change a jumper (I hope you know what a computer jumper is and it's not something a PC uses to keep warm), replace CMOS battery and power up system for 5 seconds, turn off system, return jumper to original position, then restart. Model and make may differ slightly but the manual should help.

I tried to help you in your last thread but with all due respect, if you don't truly know what you are doing or rely on ATS to help you, you will lose hours or possibly even days and not solve the problem at hand.

Hope it helps.


What they said ^

I don't know where anybody came up with this external graphics card idea. How many elderly computer users are getting custom graphics cards on their computers?

I am still baffled why there was a bios password.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:40 PM
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originally posted by: ipsedixit
I changed out the cords, removing the special cord (at both ends) and replaced it with a VGA cord, but I still have no visual signal on the monitor.

I'm wondering if I am going to have to reset the CMOS setting for the motherboard using the jumper.


I had the same problems getting my ASUS motherboard set up with a GPU board. First problem was not getting any video output from the onboard VGA board. The monitor didn't do auto-detect with VGA cables. It had to be set manually.
There was also a jumper that enabled/disabled the onboard VGA card on the motherboard. This gets disabled when a GPU board is added.

Resetting the CMOS does involve removing the battery and switching a reset CMOS jumper for one power up cycle.
Otherwise there will be scrambled bits. Ensure that the BIOS is the latest version may also help.


edit on 13-12-2017 by stormcell because: (no reason given)

edit on 13-12-2017 by stormcell because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:43 PM
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a reply to: Ksihkehe

lol. The elderly person whose computer I am working on had a previous technical volunteer who was very, very, very security conscious, and no I am not working on George H. W. Bush's computer. It's a long story. I don't want to rant so I'll just leave it at that.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 05:46 PM
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a reply to: stormcell

Thanks. I'm going to do the jumper bit.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 06:33 PM
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Thank you very much to LightSpeedDriver!!! I'm booted into the setup page and no password prompt has appeared. A thousand thank yous, not just from me but from all of humanity. You are not interested in being President of the United States are you? Don't rule it out.
edit on 13-12-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 06:54 PM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

You need to restart in BIOS.

You should be able to access a minimal
video display in order to load WindowsXP in
proper order (start up).

Usually this means select C: drive for next re start.
Otherwise choose the drive that the operating system is
stored on.

Then Re Start. Be patient, you may have to
restart a few times as you get the Drivers in proper order.

Then... install all updates still available.
This could take hours (version 2).

When up and running,
have your friend upgrade to at least Windows7
for Gods Sakes! HooHaa


P.S. I remember being able to start in SafeMode
by holding down the F10 ? Key at times,
been a while.
edit on 13-12-2017 by Wildmanimal because: Add info



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 06:54 PM
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a reply to: ipsedixit

I'm glad you found it! There is only one thing I truly understand and that is PC's, servers, networks, and everything in between.


ETA I was not born in the USA so I would not legally be allowed to be the POTUS. Plus America (the country, not the people!) scares me. Thanks all the same.

edit on 13/12/17 by LightSpeedDriver because: ETA



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 07:04 PM
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a reply to: LightSpeedDriver

That was good of you.
I figured the OP already knew
to take the needle nose pliers
to the jumper.

You just saved the OP member
hours/days of frustration.

Supercool Seasons Greetings to You.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 07:19 PM
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a reply to: Ksihkehe

Well, it's actually common for systems to have onboard graphics. These older ones underperformed quite a bit and so to give the system a second breath of life they got a dedicated, not custom, graphics card. Often a simple AGP or PCI card.



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 08:57 PM
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a reply to: Jubei42

This one had a PCI card and I am so used to bare bones systems, in the confined area where the computer was I just used the on board jacks for the monitor, not noticing that there were two jacks on the graphics card.

I still have an issue though. Although I was able to finally get into the BIOS, thanks to LightSpeedDriver, I still cannot reset the Administrator password, which is controlled within Win 7 Ultimate, the OS on this computer. Apologies. In my haste at the beginning of what I thought would be a simple job, I failed to notice that the OS is Win 7 and not XP.

Things are complicated by the existence of an Avnisoft "rescue disk" on the hard drive. When I inserted the bootable USB thumb drive mentioned earlier, the system booted to the Avnisoft rescue disk, ignoring the USB drive completely, even though it was at the top of the boot order.

I'm pondering my next moves. I can't uninstall the Avnisoft program without administrator privileges, which I don't have without the Admin password. I want to do some research on the web on the problem. It occurred to me that I might be able to "slave" the drive on another computer and see what can be achieved that way. With File Assassin I should be able at the very least to get rid of the Avnisoft program.

Any suggestions, thoughts would be appreciated.
edit on 13-12-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 13 2017 @ 10:59 PM
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I did a little research and found a newspaper article from the UK that discussed this problem. The article recommended the following video as a clear explanation of how to use a "back door" to get into any Windows OS and reset the administrator password. I am going to see if I can do this tomorrow if I can get access to the computer.



In the video a user account password is reset, but in the comments below the video a commenter said that he used the method to get administrator access to a Win 8.1 computer.
edit on 13-12-2017 by ipsedixit because: (no reason given)



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