Recently a friend’s laptop stopped working. The screen would go black and display only the message; “Time-of-day clock stopped”. The error occurred before the start-up sequence reached the boot options. After some research I discovered that it’s actually a common problem for the Dell Inspiron. I also learned that a little coin cell battery needs to be replaced on the system board in order to fix the problem.
It took me about an hour to take the laptop apart to get to the battery and another hour to put everything back together again. Fortunately, I didn’t mess anything up. Afterward, the laptop started up nicely and asked me to enter the BIOS setup to reset the system’s clock. After I did that, Windows started up normally and as far as I know, everything works perfectly.
Without the step-by-step service documentation provided by Dell, I probably wouldn’t have gotten it done.
Here are a bunch of pictures that I took, documenting the process;