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RPGWatch Forums » General Forums » Tech Help » Who keeps fooling with my PC's CLOCK???

Default Who keeps fooling with my PC's CLOCK???

May 31st, 2007, 23:33
Okay, I bought a new computer a few months ago, and it never has been able to keep accurate time. What started as a minor annoyance is now really getting me aggrivated.
Used to I only noticed that when I put the PC into sleep mode for the night, the next day the clock would still be sitting on the time when I turned it off. But the thing is, once awakened again (from sleep, not reboot, mind you) it keeps counting, it just isn't on the RIGHT time.
Now, however, I'm noticing that it doesn't just stop progressing while the PC is slumbering, but it actually 'resets' itself to a different time all together. EXAMPLE: Last night I put the computer to bed, and then this morning when I turned it back on the clock read something like 3:10 am. So I tried to synchronize the date/time with the windows time server, but it wouldn't work, so I just reset the clock manually to the correct time, which was around 8:00 am. At lunch time I put the computer on sleep and just came back to it a few minutes ago. It should read 4:16 pm, but instead it reads 4:16 AM. So it would appear that my computer is saying "screw his idea of timekeeping, if he puts me to sleep then I'm off the clock." (pun intended )

So I think I'm seeing two problems here that are related. 1) I cannot synchronize my computer with any internet time servers, and 2) My computer doesn't just keep counting from whatever point I set it at, but randomly decides to change the time on its own.

Okay so let me already pre-empt some suggestions and say that I've already gone down the list of background programs and services, eliminating them one by one to see if one of them is not letting me synchronize the clock from any time servers. No background services seem to be affecting this problem.

So there you have it. Any ideas?

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May 31st, 2007, 23:46
What's disturbing here is that you can not synchronize with Internet time servers . Did you try via the clock ("Adjust time and date") from the system tray and did you try to sync with time.windows.com? Do you get an error message? Have you enabled the service that is responsible for time syncs? It's called "Windows Time" and it should be set to "Automatic".
Another thing you might want to consider is that some anti-spyware tools prevent time syncs from happening. So if you have stuff like XP-AntiSpy installed, you might want to check if the option to allow time syncs is turned on. Don't worry. Syncing with an Internet time server is totally safe and secure .

Otherwise (disregarding the sync probs), I'd recommend to switch your mainboard battery. Maybe you have a faulty one. Or check if your current one is firmly in place. Does your BIOS clock report wrong times, too?
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June 1st, 2007, 00:15
Hi Mo, thanks for the quick reply. In answer, yes, I accessed the synchronization panel via the system tray, and yes, I have it set up to automatically update. And yes, I get an error message every time. It simply says "An error occured while Windows was synchronizing with time.windows.com. I can also try the alternate update server - time.nist,gov, but I get the same message.

I have Webroot Spysweeper installed, but I've already tried disabling it and updating afterward - doesn't work. Plus I also have a notebook computer with Spysweeper installed and it doesn't have this problem.

As far as the mainboard battery goes, that sounds like a good possibility, but going beyond installing a new video or sound card, I'm completely ignorant when it comes to hardware and its relation to motherboards….

Last point: How do I check times on the BIOS? I don't know about stuff like that, I'm just a humble Windows XP typical user…

And thanks!!

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June 1st, 2007, 00:16
I use Atomic Clock with auto sync. Never had a problem!!

If God said it, then that settles it!!

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June 1st, 2007, 00:43
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
Last point: How do I check times on the BIOS? I don't know about stuff like that, I'm just a humble Windows XP typical user…
You just hit "del" or "F2" or whatever the key for your BIOS/board is to enter the BIOS setup program (you need to pay attention to a "Hit [key] to enter setup" message when your system boots up) . The time is usually displayed on the first entry page so you do not need to flip through the pages upon pages of settings.
As far as the battery is concerned, you can't miss it. It's one of those big, flat silver disc-like batteries like those that you find in watches (just bigger). It's usually in the lower center or lower right part of the board (doesn't have to be but usually is). You can remove it by hand or by (very carefully) using a screwdriver.
Incorrect time settings are very often a problem of an old or faulty BIOS battery that needs to be replaced.

But what's disturbing in your case is that you are saying that your system isn't that old yet and the syncing problems in Windows that should have absolutely nothing to do with the BIOS or the battery. Strange stuff… .

Well, other than swapping the battery for a new one, I'm out of ideas as long as you can really 100% rule out any issues with the 'Windows Time' service or spyware/firewall settings.
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June 1st, 2007, 05:37
Okay, I'll check out the Bios and the battery, and then I'll go back to software trouble-shooting. That's the problem, I was all out of ideas too. Thanks for giving me something else to look at. I'll post the results when I have the chance.

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June 1st, 2007, 18:08
leave it in bios overnight and see if the clock is correct. If it is the problem is in windows. If it isn't then you need to return that board to the manufacturer.

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June 6th, 2007, 01:08
Imo you have a rootkit installed.
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June 6th, 2007, 01:21
What exactly is a rootkit?

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June 8th, 2007, 05:06
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rootkit
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June 8th, 2007, 10:35
Maybe you could check your motherboard manufacturer's website and see if there are any motherboard BIOS updates. You could check the changelog to see if there specific changes relating to your problem.

Flashing your BIOS to the latest one might help but you have to be VERY VERY careful doing so - if you do it wrongly, your motherboard will be "bricked".
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June 8th, 2007, 10:40
Hey there Jabb's,
The non functioning world time clock is well known and documented, i have access to ten pc's and they all give the same message that you are getting. but the task bar holds true set time on them all. Various clock sync programs are available for free.

If the bios will not 'hold' the set data (time/data etc') then obviously the battery has lost it's power and needs a replacement as suggested.

If, with a new battery the bios still doesn't hold then the motherboard is suspect. Some times the bios chip is defective and in some rare cases may be re-flashed or hot-swapped depending on make/model/version (check manufactures site for bios upgrade info) as mentioned.

To quickly check for any rootkits install the free offer from AVG
http://www.softpedia.com/get/Antivir…-Rootkit.shtml

"Spybot search and destroy" will also seek-out and remove similar instances.
http://www.safer-networking.org/en/index.html

good luck.
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June 8th, 2007, 15:29
Okay, thanks everyone for the help. Strangely enough after I started this thread my PC starting keeping time. It's been good for about the last 3 days so finger crossed maybe it fixed itself. I will defintitely check on the rootkit stuff though - already have Spybot loaded but haven't used it in a while. If it acts up again I'll explore the other options - just hate the thought of messing with the motherboard if I don't have to…

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June 13th, 2007, 15:50
Well it would seem that I did have a rootkit installed. I don't know if it was something malicious or something good. "Wild Tangent" is what it was called. I seem to remember installing something by that name, but can't remember what it was. Oh well, now that I removed it I'll probably try to access some program 6 months from now, and shake my fist because it won't work.

On the plus side, my pc has been keeping accurate time ever since, so maybe that was it! Thanks to everyone

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June 13th, 2007, 16:31
Originally Posted by Jabberwocky View Post
Well it would seem that I did have a rootkit installed. I don't know if it was something malicious or something good. "Wild Tangent" is what it was called. I seem to remember installing something by that name, but can't remember what it was.
Did you ever play 'Fate'? WildTangent is the developer of that - it is *not* a rootkit, but gets erroneously called out as malicious by spysweepers and other cleaner utilities. Regardless of how you feel about WildTangent, their component would not cause issues with the clock.

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June 15th, 2007, 00:58
Hmm… Never played Fate, but probably installed a demo of something else they did. Well, that sucks… now the reason my clock started working is just as puzzling as to why it quit!

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June 16th, 2007, 09:49
Personally I'd (carefully) pull out the battery, take it to a radio shack, and let them check the charge (they have equipment on hand for this). If the battery is ok, then at least you have eliminated that as the problem (and it won't cost you anything). Also one thing I've noticed is if you don't manually set the day and month on a computer, the time synch feature in Windows doesn't always work properly.

I'm sure you've probably done these things, I'm just throwing out ideas that might be helpful.
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Default symptoms look familiar

June 28th, 2007, 16:21
My Fujitsu-Siemens D1527 has displayed similar symptoms (clock stops on sleep, is incorrect after restart, sometimes jumps while running) ever since I ran DeskUpdate to update the drivers and firmware ready for Vista. It could be coincidence of course. The BIOS and the SystemGuard utility report that the battery is OK. The Internet Time workaround is tiresome because the clock has to be at least approximately right otherwise the update fails. My plan is to try reseating or replacing the battery next. Was that something you already tried?
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Default reseating battery helped

June 28th, 2007, 21:55
my clock has worked properly again since removing and reinserting the battery, which resulted in a CMOS reset.
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July 1st, 2007, 15:31
The symptoms you described on your PC are identical. The thing is, right after I complained on this thread about it, my clock started working fine, and it's been working perfect for at least two weeks straight! I haven't done anything to it, so the only thing I can guess is that I got an auto- update or my computer fixed some software glitch on it's own that solved the clock problem.

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