For the past couple of days I’ve been playing one of my favorite games from my childhood. Burnout Revenge on the original Xbox will always hold a special place in my heart. I was feeling rather nostalgic and I decided to dig the game out and play it. Excited, I flipped the rocker switch to the “on” position on the power strip behind my TV. (some devices can take as much as 90% of their total power consumption in standby). Then I turned on the console, and everything kicked back to life just as I had remembered.
I soon realized that my Xbox had forgotten the system time. Which made sense given that the machine had been without power for the last 6 years. I set the time and relived my childhood for a blissful 5 hours. When I was done, I flipped the switch on the surge protector, removing standby power from the machine once again.
The next day, not quite getting my fill of Burnout Revenge I decided to play it again. After flipping on the rocker switch on the surge protector again and booting up the Xbox. I was once again greeted with the screen to set the system time. I found this quite odd since the machine was only unplugged for a few hours. The CMOS battery should keep the correct time. I quickly concluded that the CMOS battery must be dead. But I decided not to do anything about it as I didn’t want to open my Xbox.
I was fine with just letting it sit there (I don’t mind having to reset the time). However I was curious if the original Xbox ever had a CMOS battery to begin with. I didn’t remember if I had to set the time when I unplugged it when I was a child. So I did some Googling and I came to find that the original Xbox doesn’t have a CMOS battery per-say but a CMOS capacitor. And it turns out that in some models of the original Xbox this capacitor can leak causing damage to your Xbox! As shown in this video: