How do the little, pinhole-access Battery Reset buttons work on laptop?


How do the little, pinhole-access Battery Reset buttons work on laptop?

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For electricity to move through a circuit, there has to be a connection from one side of the power source (the “negative”) to the other (the “positive”). If there’s not a complete, unbroken path, electricity can’t move.

Buttons are made of two bits of wire that aren’t quite connected and a piece of wire that, if moved, connects the other two. So when you push the button, all of the wires are connected and electricity can flow. That causes something to happen.

Pinhole resets simply reset the system (either by making it forget stored data, or reset its state for things like controllers) by connecting a piece of circuitry that discharges whatever electronics are being used to store said data/state. More often than not, capacitors.

The pinhole itself is incredibly simple: It is a tiny hole over a button. The tiny hole acts as a barrier so that you won’t accidentally press the button. There really isn’t much to explain about that mechanism.

What the button does though is force the smart battery management system to reconnect with the laptop. Computers are very complex systems with many different “states” they can be in. Think like a massive machine of gears and levers that can be in an enormous number of unique positions overall.

Sometimes there can be an unanticipated arrangement of those things which causes it to jam up or other problems. Being able to reset everything to a position it is known to work from can solve a lot of problems and is helpful. A button to do that is designed in, but you don’t want to press it all the time or by accident so you make it only accessible through a pinhole.