Viability of an ML 1220 rechargable battery for RTC | CMOS (11th gen)

I suppose you could bodge in a simple 3V linear regulator from main battery voltage but don’t forget to add the necessary protection. I would assume an overvoltage there blows the CPU/SoC up.

I wonder why this is not done in the first place? Like, was there some design objective to not have this circuitry powered by the main battery and only a backup lithium cell for when that battery runs out or is disconnected? You could argue cost but… The cell that is in there now gets charged from the power input, which I imagine does not cost anything less than just powering it off the main battery.

Yes a worrying use and clearly a prominent warning would have been usefull

Yeap! but here we are supporting some crazy people. :slight_smile:

They still could but so unlikely :cry:

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Yes as it stands the current 11th Gen setup is unworkable for me.

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Well if you are USA with a 1 year warranty that has expired you could try a small dc to dc converter and wire the ML1220 to the main battery

No. If Framework can’t sort this out with a solution that works then its Ebay. Done.

I’ll see what they recommend first. UK here.

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Yeap! I’m waiting for ‘news of the mod’ but doing it will break the warranty so I’m fine for another year before I mod.

Really? Sounds like a common and reasonable use case to me. :man_shrugging:

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I’m in the US and interested to see what the recommended modification is. I have managed to work around the issue but would prefer to have the RTC battery charge from the main battery as well.

I am unlikely to try to pull it off myself, more likely to see if I can ship the board to someone such as Louis Rossman to handle the work. It would be a bonus if Framework suggested shops that could handle the mod, but I think that that may be asking too much, as it (from my non-attorney perspective) might expose them to liability if the third party shop’s work were problematic.

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I pulled out my 10 year old Dell from under the bed end of last week. Not used it since May of last year. It powered straight up. I too cannot see what the issue is, using a device you use for remote work, just on the occasions you work remotely and use a desktop machine when at home.

I’ve always been a Desktop at home and laptop on the go guy. Never rely on just one device! it might not fire up when you go to use it!

I’ll throw in my experience. After @BraneGenius said replacing the battery seemed to work I figured I try that.

The original battery was FDK so I bought one off Amazon (probably same listing as Brane mentioned). It arrived last Saturday so I swapped it in and did a full charge until Sunday. Took it off AC and packed it away until I had time to mess with it again. Was expecting I wouldn’t have time again until Friday.

Fast forward to today, a week later and later than I anticipated, it boots off AC and all the BIOS settings were retained. Prior to swap even with a full 24hr charge (amusingly I see now they are suggesting 48-72 hours on AC for a full reset) it wouldn’t last 2-3 days before failing.

This was literally the bare minimum I expected out of a portable tool and had been my only complaint. Now it could be usable in my case: as a non-work laptop (NOT workstation/desktop) that I primarily use weekend to weekend while on the go. Why it took so long to officially suggest swapping out the stock battery baffles me.

I’ll keep watching it and how it behaves but for those out there experiencing this because you too use this as a secondary AND portable machine, try a swap. It’ll cost some money but saves time over dealing with support and can’t be any worse than the stock battery


Yes poor battery or poor connection, but the battery lack of capacity could be down to your use, too long off charge on a number of ocassions.

I meant for me. I don’t know about other people or what is common :slight_smile:

Sorry if I’ve misunderstood! It’s just that, in my adventures through the forums researching this issue, I’ve seen a common attitude among some posters that those experiencing this issue are somehow using their laptops irresponsibly. I’ve never known it to be an expectation that you need to charge a laptop literally every day, so these responses have seemed strange and not particularly constructive to me.

Sorry if this wasn’t how you meant it! :sweat_smile:

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Speaking only for myself, I would absolutely not say that people are using their machines irresponsibly. Not at all. I do have two things to note, however.

First, I have non-Framework machines that will fire right up after sitting for a long time unused and off power. I also have non-Framework machines that will not boot up after sitting a long time off of power, until they are connected to a power source. So in my mind the issue, while I would prefer it not exist at all, is not Framework specific.

Second, the issue is entirely avoidable by setting a charge limit and leaving a rarely used machine connected to power. I know this because I have a second family machine that sits unused for long periods of time, and following that process has allowed it repeatedly to fire up with no problems.

So if anyone is experiencing the issue, no, they are not being irresponsible. They can however avoid the issue in the future by following the steps in my second point above. Finally, I am very much looking forward to being able to make the modification that will allow the RTC battery to charge from the main battery as well as from the power adapter.

Just my two cents. Enjoy the rest of the day.


Not a fix! That’s a work around. Devices do not like being hooked up to mains all the time even with a charge limit.

So no it is in no way avoiding the issue.

@Jason_Dagless - you are simply wrong.

First, I did not call it a fix.

Next, you are incorrect in your assertion that it does not avoid the issue. Leaving the device on mains unquestionably does avoid the issue of the RTC battery running down over time.

On the other hand, your comment about being connected to mains all the time is a reasonable one. Each individual must decide for himself or herself regarding that.

Whether you like it or not, leaving the device connected to mains avoids the issue of the RTC running down. It does NOT, however, address the root issue of the RTC running down. Even the modification for which we are waiting, allowing the RTC to be charged by the main battery as well as mains, just increases the time to run down. If one’s use case is such that the potential of the RTC running down over some period of time is a real one, then one must decide if the means by which to avoid encountering the issue is or is not reasonable.

Have a good day.

It’s a poor workaround that does not work for me. It’s an excuse for a mobile device with a battery…a whopping main one that just sits doing nothing while a piddly cell wears out in a few days.

No other laptop I have had in the past 20 years has had this issue. I would also point out that this is the most expensive laptop I’ve ever paid for with my own money.

I find it sadly ironic that this 11th generation of Framework “The Repairable Laptop” has a major fault that isn’t repairable.

Sad too.

@Jason_Dagless - sounds like it is not fit for your purpose, which is too bad, but understandable.

The RTC should not wear out in a few days, as has been pointed out to you upthread, so now one wonders if you are being disingenous to try to strengthen your case. To me, you weaken it. Support was clear that if the RTC battery is running down in a matter of days, that a ticket should be opened so that the battery can be replaced or the board replaced if the RTC holder is not allowing it to charge properly. So if yours is discharging in days that’s the path that you should take.

You find the workaround to be poor. Others may or may not.

I wish that it didn’t have the flaw, but it does work for my use case, even for the machine that I rarely use. As I noted, I have many laptops that don’t start after sitting off of power for a long time. That’s anecdotal, but so is your comment. It’s not a Framework-specific issue.

Be well.

@alowndar I’m really glad the swap has (so far) made a difference! Just a couple thoughts:

IMO it still might be worth contacting support. They were quickly willing to ship out a replacement ML1220 to me after the recent updates from the Framework team in this topic. I think, had I known about how the battery works all along, that the stock cell would have stayed healthy longer, and will probably be the best choice moving forward. Just my two cents.

I’m frustrated with this too. Having spent a lot of time reading, posting, and thinking about it, the conclusion I’ve come to is that it’s mostly a matter of Framework being a small company trying to do many things at once. The support staff seems pretty overwhelmed, so getting too mad will be like squeezing blood from a stone. It’s not an excuse, just a reality.

My hope in posting about it so much is just that Framework will do what they reasonably can for their early adopters. I still like the idea of the repairable laptop, find the device itself appealing in many ways, and want Framework to succeed. Even though it’s been slow, they seem to be listening and trying.

It’s something that happened first for me six or 8 months months ago (I hadnt used the laptop for a month) and just now happens more and more. The 11th Gen Framework laptop is just not physically/electrically suitable for my usage case. That is the issue.

Back then we were told by a few, it wasn’t an issue and to go away, then a few months later as more had the issue, Framework fessed up it was a problem. Oh and I did raise a ticket last June. It got a stock, you need to charge it answer.

*Thank you for your patience. Per a Community post by our Founder regarding RTC Battery functionality:

"The RTC battery (CMOS battery) powers the very low power subsystem that preserves the real time clock (responsible for providing the calendar clock to the system) and some processor state. This battery exists to allow system time to be preserved while the main battery is in ship mode, disconnected, or drained. The RTC battery recharges when the laptop is plugged into power.

Normally, when the RTC battery drains below the voltage threshold needed to power the RTC subsystem (if the laptop was left unplugged for months on the high end or weeks on the low end), the impact would be that the system clock resets. With most operating systems, this wouldn’t be noticeable, since the OS will automatically grab the current time off of a network time protocol server and update the system clock again. However, with 11th Gen Intel Core processors, Intel shared that there is a silicon bug where low voltage on the subsystem that the RTC battery powers can put the processor into a stuck state that needs to be manually reset (we wrote this guide to share the reset process: Fully Resetting the Mainboard State - Framework Guides 6 Note that allowing the RTC battery to fully recharge by keeping the system plugged in for >24 hours after a reset or after leaving the system unplugged for more than a few weeks is important). This happens randomly, in that only some instances of the RTC battery reaching low voltage will result in the CPU going into a bad state, which is both how Intel didn’t find this during development of the processor and neither we nor our manufacturing partner saw it occur during design of the laptop.

For folks on 11th Gen Mainboards, our guidance continues to be that if you plan to leave the laptop unplugged for weeks/months, to do so with power plugged in. If not, there is a some percent chance that the manual reset will be needed at the next time the laptop is used. We know that if this is a behavior you regularly need to follow, that it is annoying and decreases the enjoyment of using the product. Since this does occur randomly, it is possible there are processors or RTC batteries that it is more likely to occur on than others. If you are seeing this happen unusually often, reach out to Framework Support, and we will work with you to swap you out a replacement RTC battery or replacement 11th Gen Mainboard. There are possible mitigations we are investigating in firmware, like having the main battery “power up” to recharge the RTC battery when the system is unplugged for long periods of time, though over a long enough period, that would result in both the main and RTC battery being empty and still risking entry into the stuck state. This firmware mitigation is speculative though, so we don’t have a firm plan for it.

For the future, with 12th Gen Intel Core, there are a few changes that prevent this from occurring. We’ve reduced RTC battery power consumption to make the RTC rail stay powered for about twice as long with the system unplugged. We’ve also designed in a path that allows the main battery to keep the RTC battery charged. Finally, we’ve designed a reset circuit that prevents the manual reset process from being needed, doing an automatic process instead."

Swapping the mainboard would only be a valid option if the mainboard reset process is needed frequently even after trickle charging the RTC for 24 hours after non-use for weeks/months. If that’s happening, there’s a chance either the RTC battery is faulty or or the RTC battery holder might not have a solid connection to the mainboard. Outside of the above, a swap of the mainboard would not result in any meaningful change to observed functionality as it is expected.
Framework Support"

At the end of the day, the only thing I’ve done ‘wrong’ is leave my £1200 laptop in my laptop bag for more than a week or two on occasion. That’s how I use my laptops. I don’t think that is outrageous in 2023.

There will be more with the problem. Give it a few more months. I’m surprised they are still selling the 11th Gen boards to be honest.

What battery did you buy exactly? Personally I am a bit afraid putting the wrong one in, probably I heard to many stories about exploding batteries.