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[ The PC Guide | Troubleshooting and Repair Guide | The Troubleshooting Expert | Troubleshooting Specific Components | Troubleshooting the Motherboard and System Devices | CMOS Memory or Real-Time Clock ]
I need to clear the CMOS memory (due to a corrupted BIOS, lost password or other problem) but do not know how to do this
Explanation: You need to clear the CMOS memory but aren't sure how to do this. It is sometimes necessary to clear the CMOS due to a lost BIOS password, corruption of the CMOS memory, or because you set the BIOS settings to values incompatible with your hardware and now you cannot boot the PC far enough to get into the settings and reset them (this rarely happens, fortunately).
Diagnosis: How easily you can clear the memory depends on the design of your motherboard. In some cases it can be easy to do but in other cases very difficult.
Warning: Erasing the CMOS
memory will cause you to lose all settings in the BIOS. Make sure that you only do this if
it is absolutely necessary. Basically, you should only do this if you can't get into the
BIOS setup program due to hardware problems or a lost password.
Warning: Some people will
recommend shorting the leads of the battery to clear the CMOS memory. I do not recommend
this procedure, because shorting things on the motherboard is just generally a dangerous
thing to do. Even removing the CMOS chip has the potential for problems. It really is best
to contact the manufacturer of the motherboard or PC you are using in this situation.