There's a small coin-cell battery on the motherboard; it holds your settings, date, and time when there's no power to the PC. Sounds like you need a new one. Quick look at the tech specs say it's a 3V CR2032 Lithium coin cell; shoud be able to find one at most places that sell watch or calculator batteres for <$5. Instructions are in your service manual below under "installing parts".
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Thanks, I looked at the page in the manual you indicated and it looks like something even a clutz like I could do. Is there a danger that I'll lose something important when I make the battery switch? Just wondering. Thanks again I appreciate your help.
bye for now the Math King 🐵
Shouldn't be a problem; it will just reset your system's hardware configuration to a default. The small memory chip where all that is stored has nothing to do with anything on your hard drive, if that's what you mean.
If for some reason your configuration doesn't match the defaults it just has to be changed back manually in the BIOS (system setup) and saved again. Just as an example, most new systems don't ship with a floppy drive, but for whatever reason sometimes the BIOS default still has it turned on and set first in the boot order, so it generates an error when it can't find a floppy disk. Just have to go back in and fix it. Most settings are pretty self-explanatory, but if you're really worried about it you could always write them all down ahead of time.
Main things are to avoid building up any static (touching your hand to the metallic case should be enough to keep you grounded), don't use anything metallic or sharp to pry the battery out, and make sure you install the new one the right way up.