Real time clock losing time

A couple years ago, the clock on my computer was losing time. Maybe a few minutes a month, nothing big.

Well, about 4 months ago, a friend put in a new motherboard (and therefore new clock). Then the new clock starts losing time! At first it was just a little slower than before, up to maybe a few minutes a week. But now I’m losing 15 minutes a DAY on this damn thing!! What gives? Anyone else have a computer with a faulty clock? Is there any way I can fix it without buying a new motherboard? (The friend who put it the new motherboard has since gone insane, I mean totally off his rocker, so I can’t ask him. Even if I did, I’d probably get a 30 minute lecture about Jesus and then be accused of conspiring against him.)

So I turn to the wise folks of the SDMB. Any ideas guys?

I’ve had my computer for over two years now, and the clock never went properly. At first it was just a few minutes a day like yours, but for the last 18 months it only ticks onwards when the computer is switched on, otherwise it’s frozen.

So I can be using it on a Tuesday, while in fact my calendar (because I wasn’t vigilant) says it’s still Saturday.

I have heard conflicting reasons for it - one says it’s just the battery and it should be replaced. Others say it’s the chip itself so don’t waste my time, just get a new Motherboard. Yeah, right. I still can’t afford a new Motherboard, after all this time.


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I just got my computer a few months ago, and just recently it’s started losing about a half hour a week.

I think the damn thing’s just afraid of hitting Y2K, when all his precious little circuits will melt and disintegrate, and he meets a slow, painful death.

Ah, well…time to smack the thing and teach him to behave!

There’s a nifty little shareware program called atom time download at It connects to an Atomic Clock server and synchronizes your system clock with the server. You can configure it to check every 3, 6, or 12 hours. You have to be on the internet of course.

My clock’s been off the last couple of weeks. How odd! I’ve re-set it a dozen times. It’s still under warranty so I guess I’ll call HP and complain. I fear getting a new motherboard, though, cause the last computer I did that too turned schizofrenic after that.

They just don’t make 'em like they used to!

I just know someone will contradict me here, but my experiences (as a technician) with computers losing time taught me that changing the cmos battery normally fixed the problem. Last time I did it (several years ago) it was a very inexpensive item, and very easy to fix.

I have never heard of replacing the motherboard for a clock that’s losing time. That is just my experience, but for the price of a cmos battery, it seems worth a shot :slight_smile:

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Not enough and you’re gonna die…
Click here for some GOOD news for a change Zettecity

Zette is right. If your computer clock is losing time, your battery needs replacing. A computer can last for several years with a dying battery, but sooner or later, one day it won’t boot.

Get a new battery.

“East is east and west is west and if you take cranberries and stew them like applesauce they taste much more like prunes than rhubarb does.” – Marx

Read “Sundials” in the new issue of Aboriginal Science Fiction.

Is this battery installation something a novice can do?

The last time I did it, it was very simple. I remember having a challange finding it, but once I did I popped it out and popped the new one in. The new one came with instructions for installation. Always remember to wear a static strap when working inside your machine. You only need to fry one componant to wish you’d spent the five bucks on one.
Zette :slight_smile:

Love is like popsicles…you get too much you get too high.

Not enough and you’re gonna die…
Click here for some GOOD news for a change Zettecity

Alas, I have more experience with computers than Zette…

The answer is that you changed the board but you did not reload the operating system, plus you didn’t say which one it is, but I bet its Windows 95. What happened is that W95 doesn’t have the files it needs to keep time with the new board chips, so you have to reload W95…

Believe me that is right. I know cause Im using my old W95 HD right now and its about 12 hours behind. lol. Sorry Zette :-)…

…try nearly six years behind!

If you turn it off and then on again and the time is then right, then its the operating system or a whole bunch of other things, usb items, applications, virus checkers, etc etc…screen savers, etc…

Jeez, Handy…I guess I have no clue. Thanks for playing.

Love is like popsicles…you get too much you get too high.

Not enough and you’re gonna die…
Click here for some GOOD news for a change Zettecity

Actually handy, both Win 98 and Win 95 (and W2k for that matter) have the ability to detect plug and play hardware as well as on-board hardware.

Win95 would have detected the new board chipset and such on your system and installed the appropriate API’s to deal with it.

Also Win95 doesn’t directly control the RTC chip but rather references it. You can change the time/date from Win9x, but the program itself has no effect that would slow it down.

Now on the previous question of replacing a board, that SOMETIMES is necessary, if changing the battery does not help. You may have a faulty chip, damaged by your system overheating or other such cercumstances.

Reloading the OS will do nothing for the clock issue.

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My computer clock is always on time. My alarm clock, on the other hand, gains forty minutes a week. . . I keep showing up earlier and earlier at work.
– Sylence

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(to himself)
Poor Windows users… heh heh heh

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If I were a baseball player, and I got beaned by a fastball, I wouldn’t want medical attention. I’d want my limp, lifeless body flung to 1st, cause, dammit, I earned it!

I remember reading years back that computer clocks aren’t held to the same standards as watches and other timepieces…they can lose something like 6 minutes a month and still be within spec.

If you’re losing more than that, however, first change the battery; if that doesn’t work, bitch to the motherboard seller. They should be willing to replace it.