Thursday, August 18, 2011

Changing a CMOS Battery in a Dell Inspiron 1526

Recently I was asked to change out a CMOS battery in a Dell Inspiron 1526. If you don’t know this battery powers the CMOS chip(Complementary Metal-Oxide Semiconductor) which powers your systems time,  date and basic hardware settings. Common symptoms are your time resetting to some arbitrary date and or receiving some type of CMOS error message.I’ve done quite a few on desktops which are easy to replace but with a laptop it’s usually more complex.


Dell thankfully does show us how to dissemble their laptops on their website. I commend Dell as I they are the only ones (I have yet to find another) that go to this length. Here is the link to this Dell Inspiron 1526. For most  other laptops  I’ve had to rely on some third party people publishing one. I could get by without them but these can be complex and have lots of tiny screws that easily get lost or forgotten. A guide helps insure that it goes back together correctly.

For this reason I’m just going over quickly with photo’s and some commentary. Dell’s instructions above are very good with only some minor glitch’s which are easy to figure out.


The battery here is a Duracell CR2025 and can be bought at your local drugstore for around $5 (give or take). Another common size is CR2032. It’s a good idea to check first before tearing your computer apart. That information can usually be found on the manufacturer’s website or in your computers documentation.They can last anywhere from  five to ten years.


Now the fun begins…..


Here is the processor and RAM(already removed where is says DIMM A & DIMM B). We also see where our WAN card is located.


The hard drive is removed next which is held in place by a couple of screws.


Be gentle when removing keyboard. They are generally attached by a very thin ribbon. The connectors can be a bit tricky so be patient or you’ll be replacing the keyboard also.


Disconnecting some more cables.


Removing the processor cooling fins.


The motherboard is finally out!


Here’s the culprit!



New battery in and put everything back together. It’s not too hard but you need some patience and good size work area. A small container to hold the small screws is a good idea too. Thanks for coming by.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Ten years on Ebay: Lessons Learned

While checking my profile on Ebay I realized that I’ve recently hit the 10 year mark. It doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. Even after all this time it’s still has a major online presence and a leader in their category. Personally we(as a family) have bought and sold a variety of items through Ebay through the the years. It has included items such as cars, computers, toys, cell phones, videos, books, car parts and many more items I can remember. Most of the time it’s a good experience but it’s had it’s share of potholes. It thought I’d share what I’ve learned over the years.


Nothing in life is free as the saying goes. The fees are mainly upon the seller and buyers only pay for the item and shipping. There are insertion fees, photo fees, schedule fees, final value fees and so on. The bottom line is that Ebay is a business and needs to a way to support itself so I don’t have a problem with that. Most of the time it’s only a small fraction of your sale but it’s good to be aware of them and to be able to pay for them. Ebay will shut you off if you don’t pay(trust me on this one) so don’t ignore them if you want to be active on Ebay.

One way to avoid fees is is not to list items that don’t sell well online. Before listing that collectible you swear is worth a lot of money search for it on Ebay first and see what they are going for. Is it a rare item or are there pages of the item? Another thing to look for is to see how much the selling for and if they are selling at all. Some items may be better off donating to a charity or selling at a yard sale.


Paypal is the service used to make transactions on Ebay. It is used on the vast majority (if not all) Ebay transactions. You can set it up with your credit or bank card(or account). I find it a safe and easy way to handle transactions on Ebay. I certainly wouldn’t want to give out my credit card or bank account information to complete strangers. Paypal also gives you more options should a transaction hit a problem. Once your setup with them they are the only ones who see your personal information(bank account, credit card and so on). It also makes for quicker transactions as I used to remember sending checks and money orders and waiting weeks for my items before discovering Paypal.


This is one of things that help keep buyers and sellers honest(Not always but it helps). Everyone is rated by feedback. You can give anyone a Positive, Negative or Neutral feedback with a quick sentence or two. I have my own personal philosophy of not giving Negative or Neutral feedback as it’s just as easy to get it in return in retaliation. As a buyer though you can give a more detailed rating for the seller should you have a problem.  The few times I’ve had some problems I follow the Ebay guidelines to solve them.

Buyer Beware

Before making any purchase be sure of what your getting into. I’ve seen ads that go from looking that a third grader wrote too literary masterpieces as long as a 1000 word essay. I prefer the ones somewhere in between. Look at pictures and read descriptions carefully. Don’t be afraid ask questions also. If your unsure of something and seller doesn’t respond to you in reasonable time steer away from it. If it’s an item like a car or real estate visit them in person or hire some who can. This can be a difficult if the item is across the country. Many scams have occurred this way. The one car I bought on Ebay was local so I was able to inspect in person. Before making a big ticket purchase be sure to check their feedback and go over the item description with a fine tooth comb.

Peanuts aren’t free

So you have some stuff hanging around you want to sell. So you sell it on Ebay and now it you have to ship it. For most items you’ll have to box up and ship. maybe at first you have an extra box lying around with some peanuts in it. If you don’t you’ll soon find out how expensive those little foam peanuts actually cost. Trust me you’ll be surprised. The same thing goes for cardboard boxes and other packing material. Let’s not forget actual shipping costs also. This may not be serious stuff if you only sell something once in awhile but should you try to make it a hobby or side business this will be an issue. Many times if I’m unsure what to charge for shipping I’ll do some research on Ebay to see what other people are charging for shipping and I try to match that the best I can.


Positive Experience

You may get the impression that it’s a headache to use Ebay. For the most part we’ve had a positive experience and if you do some research and know what your getting into it can be fun and rewarding. It may seem intimidating at first but after awhile it’s no big deal. You can make some extra cash selling items or locating hard to find stuff. Good luck!

If you’ve had a positive or negative experience on Ebay please leave a comment below!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Star Wars Episode 3 Review by Red Letter Media

This is the long awaited Star Wars Episode 3 review by Red Letter Media. I’ve actually found that these reviews are more entertaining than the movies themselves. I found out about Red Letter Media through their reviews of the first two Star Wars prequels(The Phantom Menace and The Clone Wars).

I’m a huge fan of the original Star Wars trilogy and so when I heard George was making the the prequels years ago I was thrilled. Though visually the prequels were well done their seemed to be something missing about them. I thought the next two movies would be better but they really weren’t. I never even bothered to go see the last one in the theatre as I just didn’t care that much.

It really wasn’t until I saw these reviews that I was really able to understand what went wrong with these films. In the original trilogy we actually cared about the characters and what happened to them. The story telling aspect was also a lot stronger. The special effects were used to enhance the story.  The film’s had drama, humor, adventure and some romance thrown in. The later films  lacked almost all these qualities. The characters were dry and we cared little about them. It had a forced romance , almost no humor and the actual story line seemed like it was made up on the go.

If your a Star Wars fan these reviews are a must see. Though the the way these are presented ma be a bit on the dark side of humor. The criticisms are well thought out and presented in a logical manner. Enjoy!