Why does my computer keep losing time?

I just bought a brand new computer (Dell) a few months ago and I’ve just recently been noticing that the clock is slow. Yesterday the clock was slow almost a half hour, so I corrected it and I’ve noticed that since then it has already slowed down by six minutes. (I guess that would mean that it’s gaining time actually).
Also, when I play windows games (mostly spider solitaire, I love that game) it frequently freezes up on me for up to a few seconds at a time. I’m wondering if this is related to the clock.
Any ideas?

Probably one of two things. Either a bad battery or a bad real time clock on the mainboard.

Since the computer is new, I would suspect the latter. I’m not sure if a bad RTC would affect normal operation and make the computer freeze up, but it’s certainly possible.

A battery is easy to replace, but if it’s the RTC you will need to have the mainboard replaced to correct the problem.

Gatsby is exactly correct.

I used to have the exact problem, and every time I asked people about it, they gave me either of the above answer. Because I didn’t want to replace my MotherBoard, I just let it carry on being useless.

It got to the point where the clock only went forward if the machine was on, so I’d be days, weeks, or even months wrong on my computer calendar.

I recommend you replace the battery. If that doesn’t work, you just gotta tolerate it until you can get a new MotherBoard.

freezing out your computer will also stop the clock.

Is this really a General Question?

Although having said that I can’t help pointing out something previous posters seem to have missed.
There are (normally) two clocks in a computer. (note: this relies on how it used to work in PCs, and how it works in linux boxes; no guurantee for modern Windows, as nobody understands what happens in them anyway)
[li]There is one hardware clock (commonly called RTC - Real Time Clock, hardware clock, BIOS clock or CMOS clock) operating on battery, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, regardless of whether the computer is on or off, or stuck in an endless loop. This is normally not very convenient though, as it is cumbersome to read and/or has a low resolution.[/li][li]Then there is the other clock, more or less software based, which has a much higher resolution, and is easier (and quicker) to read. This clock is however synchronized with the RTC at boot time.[/li][/ul]
If anyone remembers the bad old days in the first half of the eighties, there was no RTC in PCs. (you could buy them as add-on extension cards, but they were not included as standard until the IBM AT). But there was still the software clock, so the OS could keep track of file dates etc.

GuanoLoads problem is probably that the battery of the RTC is dead, whereas Moes problem is more interesting. Both problems can however be solved by updating the software clock at boot time, from the 'net.
There are several programs out there to set the time correctly. For windows I always use Tardis2000, and for most unix dialects there is something called rdate/netdate/nettime etc. (and under linux there is the excellent utility called hwclock to manipulate the hardware timer)
Ooops, it turned out to be a longish answer, instead of a rant about the apparent missuse of the forum… I promise, it won’t happen again!

So far every one is full of beans.
Your computer is loosing time because you haven’t wound it tight enough. The main spring is still too loose. Try a shot of WD-40 and wind the sucker all the way. That’ll take care of it.

I have a similar problem. The only thing is, sometimes it gets too fast, sometimes it gets too slow. Every hour or so I run a program that resets the time. I got it from http://www.time.gov
It checks government servers, but it has been pretty reliable so far.

My Gateway computer is set for Pacific Time. But I’ve noticed that the clock is often one hour slow. I set it one hour ahead, check that it’s still on PT, click “apply” and “ok”. Then a day or two later I notice it’s an hour slow again.

When I read the thread title I thought maybe your computer was being abducted by aliens…but it’s probably what **Rue DeDay **said.

It depends on the operating system, which you didn’t mention, of course.

Instead of typing out a long reply for every possible operating system I would suggest you look at the time in DOS mode & seee if its right. Visit teh Dos prompt & type: time

Thanks all.
Damn, replacing the motherboard sounds like quite a job for a layman like myself. The computer is only 2 months old. Could I have bought it bad from the get go? It’s still under warranty I’m sure, but can this be indicative of more serious problems if I ignore it?

BTW Handy I’m running windows ME

I don’t see any reason you need a new board. Some programs just conflict with the system timer. Do what most people do, get a free program that corrects the clock for you when you connect to the net.

Of course, no answer to the DOS thing yet?