Having fun replacing a backup battery in a laptop

Yesterday I had some good old fun trying to replace the backup battery of an Acer Travelmate 803 laptop.

I thought that since this is a part that should be replaceable by the user, it should be reachable (like the memory, harddisk, you know). Guess again !

After flipping through the service manual (which I had luckily found), it seemed that there were no disassembly instructions for this battery. Looking on the blueprints of the motherboard, it showed the battery as being on the underside of the motherboard – ergo, requiring full disassembly of the laptop… wtf?!?

I’m damn glad that I had the manual, because otherwise I think getting this thing apart is not quite so easy.

Here are some after-disassembly-pics:
Disassembled mess
Disassembled mess, part two

And here, the battery…
The elusive battery

which ofcourse had to be of another type than the five we have in the house, so now I have to wait with the reassembly until tomorrow after I get the friggin’ battery! -damnit! Couldn’t they stick to the standard CR2032!?


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  1. Well, I was wondering why you couldn’t get the battery out as my travelmate has it easily accessible… upon reading further I saw you meant the CMOS battery… well.. I’ve seen quite a few laptops and have never seen one with an easily accessible battery… :)

  2. Thanks for the info just about to change the cmos in my old Acer 803. One question can you remember the battery code/number ?

  3. The battery is an ML1220, you could also use a CR1220.

  4. Amazing after all these years that your Blog on your old Acer Travelmate 803 is still very helpful :-)
    I looked everywhere for info on the cmos battery location and type and found it finally here.
    Many thanks Jan and I wish you luck with your christmas concert in the OLV Sint Pieterschurch.

  5. Did you actually try a CR battery here? I’m afraid to use a CR1220 as they are not rechargeable. However, I can easily purchase a CR1220 at the drugstore.

    Can’t find ML1220 (rechargeable) anywhere but on-line. They’re not expensive but wanted to get the laptop put back together right away. I’m afraid of the unit attempting to re-charge the non-rechargeable battery and having a disaster.

    Having the same problem with an Acer 4630Z laptop. Same complete disassembly required. Total pain.

  6. I believe I got an ML1220 at a local photography store. Not sure about the CR1220 anymore, though. It’s been too long.

  7. Did anyone here ever try the CR1220 battery? I’m having the same dilemma..

  8. here, they say to never use CR1220 as it is not rechargeable:

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