Patent Number: 6,253,319

Title: Method and apparatus for restoring a computer to a clear CMOS configuration

Abstract: A computer system is provided with a multifunction power switch. In addition to the normal function of turning the computer on and off, the power switch has the additional function of clearing CMOS memory. In one embodiment, pressing the power switch while the computer is connected to a power source turns the computer on and off, and when the computer is disconnected from the power source, the CMOS memory may be cleared by pressing and holding the power switch for a predetermined time delay, e.g. 10 seconds. As a precaution against malicious clearing of CMOS memory, activation of this feature may be disabled as long as the computer cover is closed. In this case, the computer cover would have to be at least partially removed before the power button is pressed and held to clear CMOS. An LED may be provided which illuminates to indicate the success of the CMOS clearing operation. Adding this functionality to the power button advantageously simplifies an otherwise difficult process for restoring a computer with corrupted CMOS to a bootable configuration.

Inventors: Tran; Robin T. (Houston, TX), Wright; Michael A. (Houston, TX), Durham; Michael R. (Houston, TX)

Assignee: Compaq Computer Corporation

International Classification: G06F 11/14 (20060101); G06F 1/26 (20060101); G06F 009/445 ()

Expiration Date: 06/26/2018