CMOS battery clip broken, boot issues after hibernate

Hi,

Got my framework laptop a month ago, and generally super happy. One issue I had was trying to get sleep/hibernate to work properly in Linux, as I don’t use it every day and it’s important that it wakes up with my session still active and battery still charged. I mostly got it working, but often the startup after hibernate takes a very long time (1-2 minutes - screen stays blank first, and after a minute or so it seems to reboot, show the framework logo, and then it actually does resume from hibernate into my running linux session).

Yesterday the laptop didn’t boot at all any more. Power button didn’t react at all, no lights. No charging light when plugging in charger. Pressing power for 10 seconds didn’t do anything.
So I followed the guide for mainboard reset (removing CMOS battery, etc.). This revived the laptop, and after booting I was surprised that the battery was actually still at 65%, not empty at all.
When inserting the CMOS battery again after the reset, I noticed that the little plastic clip was broken (the tiny retaining hooks that go over the edge of the battery holding it in). So the battery didn’t stay in properly. I then taped it down with some Kapton tape, which works for now. But I also then thought that the battery clip might have been damaged before already, as I noticed the battery being at an angle before already.

Questions:

  • Could it be that my reboot issues after hibernate were caused by a broken battery clip, i.e. that if the laptop is moved or carried, that it briefly disconnected and caused boot problems? It hasn’t happened since, but it’s only been 1 day so I don’t know yet.

  • Is there a way to replace/fix the batter holder? I’m very proficient in SMD soldering, have a hot air station, fine SMD soldering tips and stereo microscope, but is there a part code for this clip, is it available from Digikey/Mouser/etc.? As it’s a very dense area in the mainboard, is this advisable, has anyone done this successfully?

  • maybe a suggestion for future models, use a more sturdy clip? From reading the forums and instructions I assume it’s already a known concern that it’s very fragile.

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One of the reasons why I can’t consider the Framework laptop as my daily driver. Imagine this thing doesn’t boot when you’re meeting up with clients to discuss things over a document. There’s just too many reports of this with the 11th gen mainboard (subjectively counting…I don’t really keep actual count). Like, I don’t want to whip out a screwdriver at the start of a meeting just to boot a laptop…this shouldn’t be a use case.

Hope the 12th gen mainboad is more trustworthy. Going to be waiting for field reports and see.

(Aware that shxt happens in life…but this particular shxt shouldn’t happen like a freaking timebomb)

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Hope the framework laptop is very transparent for the issue report in the form. Maintain a blog with the summary for these issues reported in the forum and report their progress for fixing the issue and whether the issue is fixed in the next batch or generation. Otherwise, it is too risky for me to consider purchasing a framework laptop as my daily driver. I also really do not have more money to buy a laptop as a non-daily driver just for fixing it …

It is OK that for a new laptop, there are some issues that need to be improved gradually, but these kinds of issues are too risky and unpleasant …

Not only employee in the company needs to meet up with clients to discuss things. Students also need to catch up on many deadlines and need a reliable laptop.

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As an intermediate update: After taping down the coin battery, I have not had any issues any more until now - laptop wakes up quickly after sleep/hibernate. I’ll keep an eye on this, but this might have been the issue, and a piece of Kapton tape the solution.

Regarding your comments: I don’t know if this issue I have is common or not - I was hoping to hear from people here who maybe have the same problem, and possibly a solution (or can confirm my solution). I would appreciate to get some constructive feedback if possible.

For what it’s worth: I’ve paid $3000 for a 15" Macbook Pro 2011, and the graphics chip failed in less than 1 year. Warranty replacement motherboard, failed again within 1 year (just out of warranty…). Had a repair shop “fix” it. Failed again within 2 months - at a big conference where I needed to give a talk the next day. Went to buy a 13" second hand macbook on that day (happened to be in Hong Kong, great 2nd hand shops there), stupidly from the same generation, also failed with exactly the same problem 6 months later. Apple recalled the generation before mine due to the same issue, but never the 2011 series I had despite the problem being well known at the time. So, yes I can relate, it is super annoying if you rely on a laptop, but I’ve been burnt by Apple way too many times, and those were very expensive top of the line laptops. I’d rather have a laptop that can be repaired, instead of my pile of dead macbooks where the replacement mainboard costs more than the whole Framework laptop, and has the exact same flaw and just fails again (even Louis Rossmann refuses to repair 2011 Macbooks, as it will just fail again - Macbook Logic Board Repair - Rossmann Repair Group ).
Compared to this, a fragile battery clip is a pretty minor problem I think. I still hope Framework will find a better clip for future mainboards.

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Let’s hope. I do, however, wonder what can be done with the broken battery clip. Surely Kapton tape can’t be the permanent solution. (Or can it? :laughing:)

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I think the tape should hold pretty well. I would not recommend scotch tape or electrical tape, as with those the glue disintegrates after a few months, but kapton tape is commonly used in electronics to tape down ribbon cables or other things, and should last a long time. Anyway, if it ever comes off after a few years, it’s easy to replace :slight_smile:

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Does anyone know if the new mainboard has been designed in such a way that the CMOS battery is not part of the crital path to power up the system?

E.g. I should be able to power up the laptop with or without the CMOS battery, I’ll just lose the BIOS settings…

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Ideally CMOS batteries would not be an issue. They last 4-5 years and are easy to replace…

But many mainboards from various mfgs will NOT even power without a CMOS battery. This is not necessarily frameworks fault.

And in terms of 11th gen board issues

  1. it’s a first gen product. Even big manufacturers have issues with first gen products (even if the board design is literally copied from elsewhere)
  2. The issues are limited (you will only see issue reports when someone has found a defect. Doesn’t mean they are common necessarily).
  3. Framework has been exceptional with resolving issues including hardware damage and software bugs due to manufacturing issues!
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Room for improvement.

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Similar problem with my laptop. I suffered the ‘needs power supply plugged in to start’ problem and followed the excellent instructions to reset the mainboard, (Fully Resetting the Mainboard State - Framework Guides), but despite being extra careful removing the CMOS battery, still managed to break the battery holder. It’s much too stiff and brittle and needs redesign for the next iteration - Framework please note!!!

Thanks Felix for your suggestion to use Kapton tape, locating a source is my next task. Hopefully that will do until some kind soul comes up with a more permanent fix. I’m sure this is will be recurring problem…

Kapton tape should be fairly easy to get from Amazon, or also from webshops that sell 3D printers (it’s been often used as an interface layer on the print bed, to allow plastic to stick to it during printing). A roll should be $6-$10. Be aware that there’s also crazy expensive branded Kapton tape at >10x the price, but I don’t think it’s necessary here, the no-name stuff is fine. All that’s needed here is a high-quality, durable sticky tape. Just avoid the regular office/HW store stuff, pretty much all consumer sticky tapes (electrical tape, scotch tape, duct tape, …) have a terrible adhesive that turns to gunk within a year.
With a good quality tape, I think this fix will probably last longer than the rest of the laptop. And if it ever comes up again in a few years, putting a new piece of tape on won’t be a big deal, now that I know what the problem was.

To note, after taping down my battery, I have not had a single problem with hibernation or booting. It seems this was all caused by the mainboard briefly loosing backup power while carrying the laptop around, due to the loose battery. Indeed Framework could probably avoid a lot of customer support hassle by fixing this clip in future generations :slight_smile:

Hi Felix, Thanks for the update; I’ve just deployed the Kapton tape, courtesy Amazon, and so far, so good… I completely agree that the clip needs revising.