Everything needs a battery and they all need to be in good shape.

Your office is filled with devices that have batteries in them. For example, every desktop computer has what is called a CMOS battery. This battery… Helps your motherboard remember all of its settings, so that when you boot up, it doesn’t have to automatically detect memory. Storage devices, things like that. Also, if you have a password set at the BIOS level, the battery causes your motherboard to remember that.

And as a side note, if you ever set a BIOS password and forget it, you can get around that issue by pulling your CMOS battery out and letting your motherboard sit for a half an hour or so, so that it completely loses every trace of electrical charge. Put your battery back in, and your motherboard will then have to reorient itself as far as your storage memory and all that, but there won’t be a password.

So, what does this mean for business owners in Northwest Arkansas? What does this mean for business owners in Bentonville, Rogers, Centerton, Pea Ridge, Gravette, Gateway, Garfield, Decatur, Gentry, Siloam Springs, Fayetteville, Rogers, Lincoln? Well, it means you need to keep an eye on your batteries. Computers aren’t the only devices in the office to use batteries. Ahem.

Your smoke detectors will let you know very rudely if their batteries are low. And if your smoke detector batteries get low, then it’s time to replace all of them. Just because one unit is chirping doesn’t mean you need one back. You need to go ahead and replace every smoke detector battery in your office or home.

Another device that uses batteries is the backup system that your servers and network equipment are probably plugged into. In fact, you may have desktop UPSs as well so that if you have a brownout, you can keep working in your computer. These batteries last about three or four years and when they’re done, they’re done.

And once again, if a battery goes bad, your UPS will let you know very rudely with loud alarms. And it’s important to stay on top of these as well. Because if you have a power outage, you don’t want that UPS to die along with everything else. You want your server to have what is called a graceful shutdown. And a UPS allows that.

A UPS isn’t designed to let you run your server indefinitely during powering. Instead, it’s designed to give you perhaps 15 minutes up to an hour of uptime while the power is down, in the hope that the power will quickly come back on. If it’s obvious that’s not going to happen, then you need to take advantage of that limited uptime to get into your server and manually shut it down gracefully. You usually don’t have to worry about network equipment. It will usually bounce back very nicely.

However, if you have large managed routers, like Cisco units, for example, Who have their own operating system, it’s best to shut these routers down gracefully as well. So, what is maintenance on these batteries? Well, the most important thing is knowing how old they are. If you haven’t had any problems with a battery and it crosses four years of age, it’s time to replace it.

And it may well be that UPSs have dropped in price enough that replacing the battery in your old UPS costs you more than simply buying another one of the same capacity. So be smart with your money. Look into that.

And once again, if you’re a busy business owner and you don’t have time to deal with things like that, then give me a call. Because that’s exactly what I do. And I would be delighted to serve you, help you out in checking out the health of your UPS battery. 🎵🎵🎵 Laptops are also prone to battery failure.

A laptop battery is good for four or possibly five years. So if you’re running an older laptop, then consider upgrading your battery to a new one. If your laptop is five years old and your battery’s never given you problems, it just means that it’s about to.

And when laptop batteries go bad, they go very bad. As in, if you charge a laptop battery that’s dying, it may heat up. It may heat up so much that it can cause a fire. So be very careful with your laptops.

And laptop batteries have gotten surprisingly cheap to replace. I have a 2008 model Dell laptop, and I can get new batteries for it, either standard or high capacity, for less than $50. That’s a bargain.

Of course, the fact that I’m running a laptop that old is unusual, but it has the Linux operating system on it, and Linux runs well on old hardware. So on another note, if you have an old laptop and you feel like it’s a shame to throw it away, let me have a look at it. A new battery, maxed out RAM, and a new CMOS battery, plus replacing the spinning drive with an SSD, just might give you a very hot little machine that runs Linux that can be used for internet work.

But I digress. The subject of this conversation is batteries. So whether it’s a computer, a smoke detector, a UPS, or a portable computer, keep an eye on your batteries. Make sure they’re in good health. Your equipment will thank you for it.

CMOS batteries are cheap, maybe 5 bucks. You have to tear into your computer to replace them, call me if I can help.

Smoke detector batteries are cheap too, simple nine volt models. Maybe ten bucks for a four-pack.

Laptop batteries range from 15-100 bucks.

UPS batteries aren’t cheap. They run from 50-250 bucks. And look into replacing your entire UPS unit with new hardware should the battery go bad, it may work out cheaper.

Have a great day, everyone!