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DennisD

System time problem?

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I've obviously done a wee bit googling, but you more technical guys, how significant is a system time which wanders quite a way from keeping accurate time?

 

I gather it's not good, but computers are finicky, and it may not mean anything.

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Sounds like you need to replace the CMOS battery.

 

Any errors about time not being able to sync in the event viewer? Also how fast is the time loss here, minutes or hours Dennis?

 

Some av's may not update if the system time is too far out.

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It's inconsistent, and may wander from a few seconds fast up to 20 to 30 seconds.

 

I always synchronize it with an atomic time keeper each time I boot up, so it's never out for long.

 

I'm asking in case this is one of those issues which don't cause any problems as long as you keep adjusting it, or is there a real danger of a hardware failure?

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I'm with hazelnut on this I think the inconsistency of your CMOS clock could mean your battery needs replacing soon.

Most motherboard batteries are fairly standard CR2032 but check your manual just to be sure.

 

- is there a real danger of a hardware failure?

 

Bering in mind the battery keeps the clock ticking away it's also required to keep your BIOS settings alive.

A low battery could cause the setting to be lost or corrupted and in some cases this make your PC appear dead.

This happen to a friend of mine a few years ago his PC was working fine and then the next day it wouldn't boot up or even show the BIOS setup menu for that matter.

To cut a long story short I fixed it using the "Clear CMOS" jumper on the motherboard this forces the BIOS to load the default settings.

After that I changed his battery and never had a problem with it since. :)

 

Richard S.

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If you jump into BIOS and the Time is incorrect (as it is in windows it sounds like) then as HazelSaid you need to change the Battery (it looks like a watch battery) on the Motherboard.

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There's a battery in desktop motherboards? :mellow:

I remember back in DOS days a lightening strike half a mile away caused distress to a 286 P.C. that was monitoring security alarms on a customer's large site.

 

The P.C. came back and the technician had to replace RAM to get the display working.

It booted from a Floppy but not the HDD.

The technician failed to seek advice from those more competent and dived straight in with Norton's Tools to fix the problems.

 

Unfortunately in Bill Gates wisdom the CMOS RAM held the information in the HDD geometry,

i.e. how many sectors per track and how many tracks per platter etc.,

and the CMOS RAM had also suffered so Norton believed the total nonsense it held and never found the sectors and tracks it was looking for.

Technician without advice chose the options that led to format the whole HDD and lose all customer specific site data.

 

It is astounding how much can go wrong when you depend upon a CMOS battery ! !

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Just bought one, and you were spot on with the model number Richard, which was actually the most popular purchase on the site I used.

:)

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Dennis,

 

How long have you had your computer? I am curious about typical lifetime of the CMOS battery.

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Hi larry.

 

I've had it since about November 2006, and a CMOS battery is expected to last anything between 5 - 7 years, apparently. And I believe if it gets to a critical state, there should be a warning pop up from Windows, which I haven't had. The inconsistent time keeping was enough to send me googling, and the guys on here confirm everything I've read.

 

The one I've ordered is only ?2.99, (UK pounds), so it's worth changing it just in case.

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If you replace the CMOS battery and the time still wanders.. check if your Windows Time service has been disabled. I didn't see you mention whether or not you had checked the BIOS time or not.

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The BIOS time display reflects the time displayed in Windows, and I ran the Dial-A-Fix (XP and below only) Time Reset routine to make sure it wasn't a glitch of some sort ...

 

 

 

If the time still wanders after fitting the new battery, then it's plan B.

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I had to replace the CMOS battery on my mother's Compaq laptop, the error screen it would popup was hidden which would lock the desktop with absolutely no obvious reason as to why until clicking CTRL+ALT to reveal the hidden window.

 

Although it could be a CMOS battery causing the problem some buggy software can also cause it, such was the case a long time ago when Norton Antivirus would mess with the system time at every reboot.

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If the time still wanders after fitting the new battery, then it's plan B.

 

Remember when you do plan B to make sure next door's cat is not in the garden when the desktop sails out the window :)

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Remember when you do plan B to make sure next door's cat is not in the garden when the desktop sails out the window :)

 

Unless you don't like your neighbor's cat....then it's time to play the waiting game :ph34r:

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Remember when you do plan B to make sure next door's cat is not in the garden when the desktop sails out the window :)

 

:lol: I haven't got a plan B yet hazel, but that sounds like the makings of a good one.

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I almost forgot to let you guys know that the change of CMOS battery did the the trick. Windows keeps good time now.

 

After changing the battery and then booting up, I was presented with a Windows message stating that it was loading the default BIOS settings, so there was nothing to do.

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