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My Wii Runs On A Battery?

About a month ago, my Wii stopped working.  Wouldn’t power on, no light, nothing.  D-E-D, dead.  I tried all of the usual tricks, plugging and unplugging it, plugging it straight into the wall instead of through a surge guard, nothing.  Being kind of a technologically minded person, and no being willing to go out the dough for a new Wii if I didn’t have to, I decided to look into it and see if I could figure out what the problem was.  As I examined it, I turned it upside down and discovered something that I’d never noticed before: a small door on the bottom of the unit with a tiny screw in it. 

I unscrewed the door, and out popped the last thing that I expected to see: a button battery.

This is what’s known in computer jargon as a “CMOS” battery.  This stands for complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor.  They are also known as “clock” batteries.  The CMOS in a computer holds the computer’s bios, or operating settings.  Although they typically last as long as your motherboard under normal wear and tear, they do sometimes die.You’ll usually notice them failing when the clock on your battery either stops keeping time or starts slowing down.  This may have happened with my Wii, and I simply didn’t notice since I rarely pay attention to the time on my Wii. 

The good news is that you can replace a CMOS battery with little effort and for little money.  It is a CR2032 type 3 volt battery, and you can find them about anywhere that sells batteries.  A two-pack will cost you about five dollars.  Replacing it is as simple as unscrewing the little door, pulling the old battery and replacing it with a new one.  The only caution is that you have to make sure that the polarity is right on the battery.  If you have to force the battery into the slot or force the door back into your Wii, you probably have the polarity wrong.  As a general rule, it is a bad idea to ever force anything into a computer.  If you have to force it, it’s probably the wrong part or the wrong size.

I hope that this helps revive some dead Wiis and save our readers a little money.

~ Randal Schaffer