Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Asus X52F Laptop - Random changes in date

I was recently asked to look at an Asus X52F laptop that kept changing the date to a random date between sometime in 2010 and a couple of months in the future. The time didn't seem to change just the date. This was causing problems when on the internet with certificate errors as the system date did not match what was being expected. 

This laptop uses the Asus K52 motherboard so the following could well be useful for other K52 equipped laptops.

First thing to check is whether the date that Windows is displaying is the same as the system date in the BIOS. Pressing F2 when starting takes you into the BIOS and the date shown there was the same as was shown in Windows. Reset the date to the correct date, press F10 to save and exit and boot into Windows and check the date. If all is OK shut down the laptop and go and make a nice cup of tea.

Now you are suitably refreshed, restart the laptop and press F2 to boot into the BIOS and check the date. If the date is incorrect you have the same problem as I had.

My first reaction was that the BIOS battery needed changing. However I was a bit concerned that it only seemed to be the date that was changing and not the time. Doing a bit of Googling it does seem to be a common problem. So the easy fix is to just put in a new BIOS battery and see what happens. Flip the laptop over, take off the access panel and look for five minutes trying to find the BIOS battery. No Battery to be seen. Hmmm.

Well there is a battery but it is not that easy to get to.

If you are feeling brave check out the link at the end of the instructions

So what will we need to get to the battery.
Suitable sized crosshead screwdriver.
Small flat screwdriver.
Antistatic mat and wristband are always a good idea.
A new BIOS battery - A CR2032 in my case.
A plastic spodger or finger nail for opening the case without damaging it.
Suitable container for keeping the removed screws in - preferably sub divided for the different screws.
Digital voltmeter is nice but not essential.
You may also might want to take note of your BIOS settings before you start as the removal of the battery will reset the BIOS.

First remove the battery and power supply. This is a really good idea!

Next we need to remove the keyboard. This is held in with 5 clips at the top of the keyboard. The locations are shown in the photo. Using a small flat screwdriver or plastic spodger release each clip in turn and ease the keyboard up.

Before removing the keyboard completely the ribbon cable needs to be released from the motherboard.
To release the ribbon cable the small black bar that anchors the cable needs to be moved towards the cable.

Then remove the cable and put the keyboard somewhere safe.

We now have to remove 10 screws from under where the keyboard was. They are circled in the photo. These 10 screws are all the same size, make sure you store and note where they came from to make it easier to reassemble the laptop later. The red arrow in the photo is pointing to the location of the BIOS battery underneath the top aluminium panel.

If you look through one of the holes in the aluminium you can see the battery holder.

Next close the lid of the laptop and turn the laptop upside down. I have already removed the access panel, it is held on with 5 screws and needs to eased up as it is also clipped in. With the panel removed you will see the underside of the motherboard and the hard drive  at the bottom right. We need to remove the 4 screws that hold in the hard drive and the 2 screws that secure the DVD drive, They are circled in the photo. Remove the screws and then remove the hard drive and DVD drive and store safely.

With the hard drive and DVD out of the way remove the 15 circled screws in the photo. The different colours of the circles denote different sized screws.

Next flip the laptop over and open the lid. You can now ease the top and bottom apart. This is where I used the spodger to ease the clips apart. DO NOT COMPLETELY REMOVE just ease them apart.

With the top and bottom loose carefully lift the top up slightly. You should see that the touchpad ribbon cable needs releasing (right circle) and that there seems to be a cable attached to the aluminium (left circle).

Release the ribbon cable for the touchpad using a suitable tool. The White bar needs to be eased towards the cable.

Then if yours is the same the screen cable will be stuck to the underside of the aluminium. Carefully release the cable.

You should now be able to remove the top half of the lower casing. You should now be able to see the BIOS battery (circled in red). It is not actually on the motherboard but on a small daughter board attached to the motherboard.

Carefully remove the battery. You should be able to flick it up from the left hand side. These batteries are 3v. Therefore I was a little disappointed to see a reading of 3.17v when I tested the one that came out as I would have thought that that would have been enough to keep the BIOS.

However when I tested the new battery I saw a reading of 3.39v so I thought it might make a difference. 

Fit the new battery and begin the reassembly. Make sure that the screen cable that was stuck to the aluminium is poked down out of the way.

Carefully line up and reattach the top half to the bottom half. Reattach the touchpad ribbon cable and ensure the cable is fully in before moving the locking bar.

Close the lid and turn over the laptop. Now replace the 15 screws that you removed earlier.

Then replace the DVD drive and the hard drive and secure with the screws. Then replace the access panel and refit the screws that secure it and then turn the laptop over again.

Refit the 10 screws from under the keyboard.

Now carefully reattach the ribbon cable for the keyboard. With the cable inserted push home the locking bar.

Now carefully refit the keyboard. Bottom edge first and then along the top edge making sure that all 5 of the clips has secured the keyboard.

Replace the battery and the mains supply if required and turn on the laptop. Press F2 to go in to the BIOS. You will see that the date and time have reset. Change the date and time to the correct date and time. Press F10 to save and exit and then boot to Windows to check the date and time are correct there. Shut down the laptop and go and make a fresh cup of tea, leaving the laptop turned off for 20 mins.

Now you are fully refreshed, start the laptop and press F2 for the BIOS. Hopefully the date and time will be correct. If they are give yourself a pat on the back. If they aren't correct your problem was not caused by a dodgy BIOS battery.

Feeling Brave
If you think the "official" way of changing the CMOS battery is a bit long winded and you are feeling brave, check out the instructions posted by Ian (exepress) HERE. Don't blame us if it all goes horribly wrong though!


  1. Thanks for the guide. I have an asus k52f with the exact same issue.

    Could you tell me if this actually solved the problem long term?

    1. As far as I am aware this battery change fixed the problem. I am sure if the problem reoccurred that I would have been told by now.

  2. Amazingly detailed description. Thanks. I need to do the same. But I find it incredible that Asus should make it so difficult to change a CMOS battery. This must be a fairly common requirement and I guess no-one would expect to have to dismantle the whole laptop to do it. On an Acer I seem to remember that you just have to remove the keyboard!

    1. Being of a rather cynical nature I suspect that as long as the cmos battery lasts longer than the warranty period then some manufacturers don't really care how difficult it can be to change. The worrying point is how many perfectly good laptops are disposed of because people can't change the cmos battery themselves and the cost of getting someone to change it is prohibitive on a laptop that would be two or three years old. As long as you are methodical and take your time you should be fine.

  3. Yes, agree with you. It was very good of you to point out where the battery was located! Thanks for that. I decided to sleep on it and start this morning. But I couldn't get out of my head that the battery was just under the keyboard! In my dream it was actually chuckling and waving at me.

    I used to be very cautious and careful but, after decades of that, I'm now just very careful. So this is what I decided to do.

    After removing the keyboard, there for all to see is an aluminium sheet with lots of holes in it. Why didn't Asus put just one more hole, on top of the CMOS battery? We'll never know. So I thought, I know, I'll put one there myself. In other words, I thought let's be brutal but in a very careful way.

    I used a fine cutting disc attached to a 'Dremel' type handset, and cut between the two slots just over the battery, and a shallow groove on the opposite side to make a 'hinge'. Opened the 'door', changed the battery and folded the door closed again. (I was very careful to apply a vacuum cleaner nozzle while cutting. I also cleaned up the cut edges and taped over the .door. when closed. Job done. I think you can do that simply by removing the keyboard and nothing else.!

    I have photos but I can't see a way of posting them on this blog. if you think it'd be useful I can put them online as long as the blog will allow me to put a link!

    Again, thanks for your detailed information. I couldn't have done it without! Oh and I must add that the laptop's up and running as I type.
    (PS, I found very similar volts to you - old battery 3.1 and new battery 3.5 volts.)

  4. Just loaded a web page with photos. Here's the link:

  5. Hi Ian
    I like your method, very brave but very successful. Are you going to keep that web page there permanently? If so I will put a link to it in the body of the blog.

  6. Hi Malcolm,
    Thanks. Yes I'll keep it there. Might encourage more people to do it your way ! !

  7. Nice and very helpful information i have got from your post. Even your whole blog is full of interesting information which is the great sign of a great blogger.

    Asus - Refurbished - 10.1" Eee PC Netbook - 1 GB Memory - 320 GB Hard Drive - Matte White

    Asus - Refurbished - Eee Pad 16 GB Tablet - Refurbished - 10.1" - NVIDIA Tegra 2 1 GHz - Espresso

  8. Hello again. I've just redirected the link to a new website of mine which brings together that and a few other projects of mine. The link still works, but it now takes you to . Just thought I'd let you know.

  9. Thanks, this was a huge help! I followed your directions from start to finish and it seems to have worked.

  10. Thanks for the info. I have a laptop like this (X52F) and will no doubt have to do this at some point. Would probbaly try and go for the cut my own hole technique though not having a Dremmel would require some careful Hacksaw Blade work. Sill seems preferable to striping everything down though.

    Not to put easy access to this is simply built in obsolescence which I hate.

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