Saving a Coolpix 100 from Intermittent Misbehavior

If your Nikon Coolpix 100 has begun to act up, it might not need to go in for service just yet.  The following symptoms appeared in mine after carrying it with me everywhere for over a year:

Lost time and date settings
Wouldn't turn on, even with new batteries
Wouldn't stay turned on for more than a couple of seconds
Lost settings for flash or timer mode
Corrupted image files

Even the complete camera reset (holding all buttons down while sliding power switch on) didn't overcome these nuisances.  Worst of all -- sometimes it behaved itself just fine!

Then one day, as my frustration was mounting, I decided to re-test the batteries in the camera.  They were almost completely new Eveready Energizer alkalines -- the type with the built-in test strip.  As I turned each cell one by one so the tester was facing me, without removing them, I noticed that the second one from the bottom spun freely in place.

Its spring clip wasn't pushing on the bottom of the AA cell!  With this intermittent contact, the camera was only  getting current sometimes.  Right then, I brought out my little Swiss Army knife and used the small screwdriver blade to carefully bend the clip back out.  It has behaved itself nearly perfectly since then.

I decided that it must be due to my always having the camera in its case on my belt at my right, that the weight of the batteries caused the spring clips to sag.  It's not likely to ever be a problem with the bottom cell or the third one up, but the second one from the bottom and the top one are always standing on their clips when the camera rests on its side.

Taking it everywhere is one of the reasons I love this camera.  It's always ready on my belt.  And now it's behavior makes it more trustworthy again.