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Apart of getting a new computer... what would you do in that case?
Get a new computer ANYWAY!
Anything that is unrelated to elephants is irrelephant Anonymous - The problem with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they're genuine Winston Churchill, 1944 - Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. Mark Twain
That article states that "Sometimes leaving the computer can re-charge the battery". I never thought those batteries where meant to be recharged, or that mainboards are equipped with the circuitry required for recharging. Am I wrong about that?
The picture shows a lithium cell. Modern rechargable batteries are based on lithium. That doesn't imply that all lithium cells are made for recharging, and charging a lithium cell takes more than applying 3V to it (at least to do it safely). Before lithium became the standard, most or all button cells couldn't be recharged at all. Still, they lasted for at least a couple of years before needing replacement.
Does the system lose the time? (may have to catch in bios w/systems that fetch on startup) If so, it's likely the battery or connections. If the system is more than 7 y/o I wouldn't waste time on it.
Funny story from many years ago...my brother-in-law calls me all freaked out thinking his computer has been hacked. Why? Any visit to a secure site was throwing up error warnings about certificates being invalid! A quick remote revealed that the system time was set to about 15 years in the past. He managed to replace the battery, but ended up replacing the system anyway...couldn't get over the idea that he'd been hacked. (he's the kind that brags about running 3 different A/V, scanning multiple times a day, and defragging his HDD at least once a week )...extreme OCD!
Long shot, but I wouldn't rule out trying a new firmware version. Or re-applying the version he's got. Maybe something got corrupted to the point where re-saving even the defaults saves a corrupted version.
Like I said - long shot. But if the battery's already been replaced and it's been re-seated properly...I'm quickly running out of ideas.
I had this problem with my 3 yo Lenovo -- each time I booted it got past the BIOS screen then hung. If I went into the BIOS setting, didn't change anything and exited, it would boot fine. Drove me nuts for a couple of months. I replaced the SSD, messed with everything I could think of -- no change. Then I flashed the BIOS.
Depending on the age of the unit, battery sounds likely, but flashing the BIOS is an easy try.
Recommand your customer to change the flat, round battery which is mounted on the MB itself. Actual one is not providing enough current for the BIOS parameters to be retained while shutdown, causing the symptom you are describing.
I was laughing at that message for years... Until I bought new tires for my car: In that dusty, oily workshop where the guy was balancing the tires, this balancing machine was contolled by a PC. I was the first customer that morning, watching him boot up the machine. In that environment, a keyboard would be clogged up with dust within a few days, so there was no keybaord! Besides, the guy was wearing protecting leather working gloves, which would make typing impossible.
This famous error message appeared right above a huge green square, with an equally huge "F1" label, filling half of the screen, over which was stretched an elastic, clear plastic cover. The guy hit the F1 square with his fist, to make the PC complete the booting. All furhter operations was done by knocking on fairly large selection rectangles on the touch sensitive screen - typically 6 to 8 selections.
In that dusty, oily environment (which car workshops are, almost by definition), it made perfect sense not to have a keyboard.
If it is old enough for a battery change then it is possible that the older components on mother boards are flaky in more ways than 1.
I have seen soldered in capacitors and transistors and resistors which have lost part of their physical being (in fact if you rubbed your fingers over a transistor it actually dusted down to nothing) and have thus changed their characteristics affecting such things as the real-time clock (slowing down / speeding up/ unreliable).
Since the boot process does a timer check routine, if it fails then by even a couple nanosecs it says nogo (obviously because timers are heavily used for interrupt control along with the real time clock).
In other words, hi ho, hi ho, its off to the shops we go.
It's probably been said but, clean the battery contacts with fine sand paper (or nail file!) and a cue tip dipped in IPA. Also mutter about a new PC if that is possible might be awkward due to drivers and ports...