PC Doctor June 24, 2019

Have your computer questions answered here! Search the PC Doctor archive or submit a question of your own at info@athollibrary.org

Dear PC Doctor:

The other day, my pc had trouble starting, and it gave me a message that said I have to reset the CMOS. I have no idea what this is. Is my computer toast? Can I do this myself?

Thank you,


Dear Mary:

I had to look this one up! According to Lifewire, CMOS has to do with your computer’s memory, and the settings that have to do with date and time, and a few other things. It’s part of the motherboard. CMOS stands for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor. Sometimes it is also called the Real Time Clock.

If your computer is asking that you reset (or clear) the CMOS, it probably has something to do with parts of the hardware not working together properly.

If you are very comfortable with the inner workings of your computer, you can take care of this yourself. It involves either accessing the BIOS setup utility or opening up the computer and re-seating the CMOS battery. If just thinking about this seems daunting to you, you may want to spend a little money and take it to your local computer repair shop.

Before you do that, though, give this a try: turn your computer off for a while – maybe a full minute. Let it rest. Turn it back on again. Honestly, sometimes this works!

I hope this helps!
Until next time,
Happy Computing!

PC Doctor

Editor's Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, info@athollibrary.org or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library.