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Bad motherboard vs. bad cMOS battery

This is a discussion on Bad motherboard vs. bad cMOS battery within the Motherboards, Bios & CPU forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a Dell 3541 Inspiron laptop. When I got it a few years ago, I plugged it in and


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Old 06-17-2019, 05:29 PM   #1
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I have a Dell 3541 Inspiron laptop. When I got it a few years ago, I plugged it in and it gave 4 loud beeps. This signified the batteries were dead, and I replaced them, which fixed the problem.

Last month, the same 4 beeps reappeared upon starting,while the main battery is charged and the date and time seem to show the cMOS battery is OK. I took it to the Microsoft store for free checkup, and they said the motherboard is bad.

My question: Is the motherboard function dependent on a fresh cMOS battery, i.e. should I try to replace the battery before I replace the more expensive motherboard or buy a new computer?
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Old 06-17-2019, 05:40 PM   #2
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Hi we would need little more information like does the computer boot up and run? have you tried with just the power adapter without the battery?
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:32 PM   #3
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Yes, it will start when plugged in, with or without the battery pack, but sometimes it takes several presses of the "On" button.
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Old 06-17-2019, 06:44 PM   #4
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sounds to me like the on switch might be faulty. so battery is charging when it drains down? I do not think it is the cmos battery at all.
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:01 PM   #5
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Could be the switch, but why would there be a series of 4 loud beeps, which are very annoying?
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Old 06-17-2019, 07:08 PM   #6
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well according to this site https://www.dell.com/support/article...5-3541?lang=en 4 beeps could be memory failure.


EDIT: I would take one of the ram out and see if it still beeps. if beeps then put ram back in then take other one out and see if it beeps. try each ram separately in each slot too.
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:19 PM   #7
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Tonight I opened the laptop, but there was only one 8GB RAM module, so I could not take out one. I did, however, take it out and put it back. Now when I boot the computer, I have 5 beeps instead of four. Is that worse?
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Old 06-18-2019, 05:36 PM   #8
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well did you try the ram in the other slot? but this is a table of the beep codes that I found 5 beeps could be the cmos battery.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:23 PM   #9
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Thanks, Oscer1. Although the time and date are OK, I'll replace the cMOS battery. It's not an easy job on this laptop though, so I may wait a couple of weeks.
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Old 06-18-2019, 06:26 PM   #10
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your welcome no rush take your time.
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:35 PM   #11
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I got around to replacing my cMOS battery, and the 5 beeps disappeared. I was able to update my Windows 10, although it took a long time. Other than this, the motherboard seems to be fine. The lesson is:
Whatever software the Microsoft store was using, it didn't distinguish between a battery or motherboard defect, so replacing the battery first may be worthwhile.

Thanks to Oscer1 for the help!
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Old 06-27-2019, 05:37 PM   #12
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Your welcome
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