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Strange error on XP Pro desktop PC -- need advice

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by npatel, Dec 24, 2010.

  1. npatel


    Oct 13, 2008
    Marietta, GA
    Hey all,

    My dad's desktop just started displaying a really odd error -- it gives a battery warning that laptops usually give when the battery is low.

    It says:

    "CRITICAL BATTERY You should change your battery or switch to outlet power immediately to keep from losing your work"

    The machine was originally a HP Pavilion a1340n, but the motherboard was changed after a power surge, so it no longer has all factory hardware. I'm hoping this issue doesn't require a reformat, since this computer won't install Windows without detecting the original motherboard, so the last reformat took me a long time to figure out. It is currently running Windows XP Professional that is fully updated.

    Does anyone have any ideas why a desktop computer would be displaying a low battery error? The unit is connected to a APC UPS, but that unit is not showing any error lights. I tried searching google, but the first few pages of results only showed people with similar problems, but no resolutions.

    Any ideas? I was thinking of buying a new CMOS battery and then testing the old one to see if that could be bad. The only things I can think of are a failing power supply, bad CMOS battery, or faulty UPS unit. Is there a way to test the power supply or UPS (besides its own diagnostics)?

    Thanks for the help -- I'm hoping someone here has seen this before.
  2. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

    Jun 20, 2003
    Lovin Sparks Nv!
    Check the power management profile next...

    It may just be thinking it's on battery power and it is simply an erroneous error.

    On occasion, it is just this easy.

    That's my first thought... I will double check when I get in front of an XP box here in a lil bit.


    Merry Christmass!

  3. Goodspeed(TPF)


    Jul 30, 2009
    Shut down. Remove the battery. Make sure it's plugged in to the wall. Boot up. LMK if the error goes away. -Goodspeed :wavey:
  4. npatel


    Oct 13, 2008
    Marietta, GA
    Sorry, I haven't messed with anything yet. I've been down with a bad case of strep throat for a few days, so I'll figure it out when I'm feeling better.
  5. podwich


    Sep 7, 2000
    It's a desktop. Unless you're talking about the CMOS battery? Don't think that'd help.

    I'm guessing it's some error when setting up the power management.
  6. Try unplugging the UPS to check if its battery is any good. The computer will show the battery icon and the remaining charge just like a laptop would. See how long the UPS will last. If you get the "low battery" warning immediately, you have found the problem.
  7. Goodspeed(TPF)


    Jul 30, 2009
    You realize that your UPS is just a battery with an inverter. I guess I should have been more specific. My bad. Take the UPS out of the equation.
  8. RottnJP

    RottnJP Lifetime Member

    Feb 1, 2005
    I second (third?) the idea of taking the ups out of the loop. My first thought is that either it's failing, or is not rated for the power level you need, so the battery is looking weak when the pc pings it.

    Have you done the math on your pc to make sure the wattage is within the recommendations for the aps?