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reason why clock keeps losing time?


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#1
struggling artist

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Hi all.

the clock on my custom built (not by me!) pc keeps losing time and on one occasion the date came up completely wrong too. It doesn't happen every day, just sometimes. I have contacted the manufacturers (PC Specialist) and they sent me a new battery. This has been installed, but the clock is still losing time. They now want me to send the pc back to them which means I won't have one for a week to 10 days! Does anyone know any other reason, apart from the battery, why this problem would occur and what could be done about it. If it's a minor thing then I will try and get someone local to come round rather than sending it away! By the way, I know nothing about computers myself! But I can tell you the blurb says:

Motherboard - Asus P5K SE: DDR2, SATAII, PCI-e x16, 2 PCI, 3 x PCI e xI
Processor- Intel Core 2 Duo E6550 (2 x 2.33GHz) 1333MHz FSB/4MB L2
Hard Disk - 500GB serial ATA II hard drive with 16MB Cache (7200rpm)

I can't tell you what kind of battery it was as they just sent it in some bubble wrap. (Flat, circular, silver is all I can tell you!)

Thanks!!
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#2
Digerati

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Well the first thing to look at when this happens is the battery as it's job is to keep the CMOS memory alive (which includes the date, time, drive information and boot order). So, assuming you install that properly (hard to do other wise), then, sadly, it does point to the motherboard after that, although it could be a bad power supply too.

Does there seem to be any pattern to this. That is, if the system is turned off for an hour, does it lose time? Or only after it has been turned off over night, or for a couple days?

If this computer is still under warranty, then send it in.
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#3
struggling artist

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Thanks for your reply, I haven't noticed a definite pattern, but it does happen after the computer has been off - ie. doesn't lose time whilst it's on. Sometimes it's a couple of hours, sometimes several hours out. I'm pretty sure the battery was installed properly (by my brother in law who knows about computers). So, does that mean the motherboard will have to be replaced?
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#4
123Runner

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As Digerati stated, the most common solution is the CMOS battery being bad.
There is a + on the battery and that needs to be out, or visable. I would try another battery in case what they sent you was bad, or too low of voltage already. Who knows how long they had it on the shelf.
I just purchased 2 of the battery for about $5 at Walmart. The number is CR2032.

After that, then the next most common problem is an issue is with the main board.
It will have to be replaced.

Is it under warranty?

make sure that you have backups of all your data, "my documents", emails, etc before you replace the board. You should have backups anyways.
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#5
struggling artist

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Thanks, that's a good idea, it could be an old or faulty battery they sent. I'll try and find out which one I need and try a new one. It is still under warranty (phew!) so at least it won't cost me anything! Also, thanks for the reminder to back everything up beforehand, I do back up, but not absolutely everything, which will of course go! Thanks for your help.
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#6
123Runner

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The battery is an easy change and easy verification.

If the computer does need to go back, there is no telling what they will do. If a new board goes in, they will most likely reinstall the OS and you will lose your data. Very seldom will they back up what you have. If they do, it will cost even tho the rest is under warranty.

Good luck, and please let us know how you make out.
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#7
Major Payne

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Probably not the cause, but make sure the Date and Time is synced with one of the Internet Time URLs. Usually syncs clock at boot up I believe.

How to replace the CMOS battery
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#8
struggling artist

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Hi, thanks, can you tell me how to sync with one of the Internet Time URLs please, I have no idea! :)
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#9
123Runner

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Double click on your time in the lower right to bring up the time/date. There is a tab called "internet time". Click on that.
You can also install a little program called Atomic Clock Sync.
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#10
Digerati

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It should be automatic by default. Unfortunately, you did not tell us anything about your computer, or the operating system. With XP go to Control Panel > Data and Time, then click on the Internet Time tab. If the box is ticked, yours is syncing - but the Windows default is to sync once every 604800 seconds (1 week). This can be changed in the Registry to 86400 (1 day) or 7200 for every 2 hours. I would not go more often than that to keep the time server from banning you for hitting them too much.

Still, this will not fix your problem but it may correct for it.

BTW, there are many time sync programs out there - Atomic Clock Sync is one - my favorite for XP is Dimension4 (D4).
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#11
struggling artist

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thanks guys, I've found the internet time tab and it is ticked so it looks like my problem is more serious, sadly... Digerati, I tried to give as much info as I could about the computer in my first post - and my operating system is XP home as it says under my member name. I will have to phone tomorrow and find out which battery to get and try that first and if that doesn't work I'll send the whole thing back. :)
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#12
Digerati

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:) Sorry!!! - You did list the hardware, my mistake. :)

I was more concerned with the OS. The XP under your username is worthless information and I wish boards would stop using that feature. Yes, you have XP there, but we have no idea how many computers you have, if all have XP, or if that computer is the computer you are talking about.

About the battery, it is likely to be a CR2032 as mentioned but it is always best to check first. Some battery makers use different numbers for the same battery, such as BR2032, DJ2032, SB-T15, DL2032, KL2032, L2032, ECR2032, 5004LC, KCR2032, E-CR2032, or. KECR2032.

Before pulling the old, make sure the computer is turned off AND unplugged from the wall. Touch bare metal of the case before reaching in, and frequently there after to keep static from discharging and destroying ESD sensitive components. Do NOT touch the new battery with bare fingers as skin oils attract dust and promote corrosion - I put a clean sock over my hand. While in there, make sure the interior is not covered in a blanket of heat trapping dust, and give each fan a little flick to make sure it turns easily.

This may not be your problem, but the cost of a new battery makes it a small financial risk to make sure.

And as noted, the Windows default is to sync once a week. If yours is failing after a few hours, changing the interval may help.
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#13
struggling artist

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Thanks! Lots of useful information there and I will take it all into account. I only have one pc and it uses XP Home. And sorry to be ignorant - but in order to change the time interval for syncing you say to do it in the registry - I don't know what that is or how to get to it! Can you help? Many thanks
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#14
Digerati

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It is wrong to apologize for ignorance before the fact - asking first is wise, not ignorant.

First and always, backup your Registry before dinking with it. The problem with editing the Registry is there is no undo and changes are made in real-time. So if you accidently change the wrong value, Windows might break.

  • Download, install, and run ERUNT,
  • When prompted to add ERUNT to the Start-up folder, click No,
  • Start ERUNT, select Ok to continue,
  • In the box that opens, select the save location for the backup (the default is recommended),
  • Ensure the "System registry" and "Current user registry" options are checked,
  • Click OK,
  • When prompted, click Yes to create a new folder,
  • When Registry backup is complete notice appears, note restore instructions, then click OK.
Then change your time sync value following the Adjust Interval section of these instructions - Adjust Internet Time Synchronization. I would recommend using 7200 seconds to start - that's every 2 hours. Of course, if you keep your computer turned off for more than that, synchronization will not occur.
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#15
struggling artist

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Thanks for the reminder that asking first is wise, you're right! Before I go ahead and do all that you've said, can I just check - is there any point in me doing it if i always have my computer off overnight and often for more than a couple of hours during the day too?
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