A student came into my office today and wondered if I could assist him with replacing the BIOS battery on his HP Compaq Presario CQ56 laptop. Sure, I said, not knowing what a daunting task I soon would be facing.

First, you must remove each and every screw on the backside of the laptop, then remove the hard drive and the optic drive. Even next to the hard drive bay you’ll find a couple of screws to be removed. The heap of small, black screws just grows endlessly on the table …

Once you can gently lift the top lid off, you must also remove the keyboard, and all ribbon cables and other cables from their connectors, remove the screw neatly located below the keyboard, and remove the two screws holding the motherboard to the base. Flip the motherboard over, and there it is, the BIOS battery of CR2032 fame.

That’s some engineering disaster! Why couldn’t the circuit designers at HP/Compaq think of us, the poor technicians, when deciding where to place replaceable components? Honestly, a BIOS battery is something even “Joe Average” should be able to replace without too much effort.

Why not place the BIOS battery in some compartment easy to reach, or maybe even close to the main battery? Keep this in mind, you lousy hardware designers. :p