Computer clock error

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Tafkam
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:50 pm
Location: Northern Rivers NSW

Computer clock error

Post by Tafkam » Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:47 pm

Hi. Just in the last couple of days, when I turn on my computer, somtimes I'm getting nothing on the screen (except "no signal", so the monitor itself is working) and I have to reboot. I've fiddled with the connection, tried a different monitor etc but it still did it. Then today it did it again, so I carefully pulled out and reseated the video card, and it worked OK that time. But when the computer booted, the clock read January 1st 2002 !!!! My first thought was virus, but nothing is coming up in Avast, Spybot S&D, Malwarebytes or AdAware. My second thought was computer battery...but I once had a battery start to fail on me, and it manifested itself with just little errors in the computer clock, not a great big leap like this one! And does the monitor issue ring any bells for anyone?
Any ideas?

Computer is about 5 years old now.
Pentium4 3gH Prescott
1GB RAM
Video: Radeon 9600 AGP
XP Pro, SP3

Dazzled
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Location: Sydney

Re: Computer clock error

Post by Dazzled » Sun Apr 19, 2009 6:34 pm

Mmmm 5 years. It could be the CMOS storage for BIOS data - check in the BIOS if the date, monitor etc are wrong. If so, its a crook battery (cheap) or CMOS (not so).
http://www.andybrain.com/archive/mb/pc_ ... oblems.htm

Tafkam
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:50 pm
Location: Northern Rivers NSW

Re: Computer clock error

Post by Tafkam » Sun Apr 19, 2009 7:56 pm

According to the debug command, the BIOS date is 8/4/05....but I'm not sure if that's what you meant.....

Dazzled
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Re: Computer clock error

Post by Dazzled » Sun Apr 19, 2009 8:12 pm

No, it's interesting, but not what I meant. When the computer starts to boot, you hold down a key (it varies from motherboard to motherboard), DEL or a function key etc. Either check your manual or be very quick at boot because the key is briefly displayed. The computer will stop booting and display its BIOS settings - which are the basic things needed to get going, like clock, disk type, monitor, boot device, etc.

If these read wrongly, then the BIOS memory, called CMOS, is dead. Most likely reason is flat battery, else damaged CMOS on motherboard.

http://computer.howstuffworks.com/bios3.htm

Tafkam
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:50 pm
Location: Northern Rivers NSW

Re: Computer clock error

Post by Tafkam » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:15 pm

Thanks Dazzled...I'll check it out at next boot. Any ideas what could be causing the video problem? Does it sound like a failing video card or anything to you?

Dazzled
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Re: Computer clock error

Post by Dazzled » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:24 pm

Some BIOSs can switch off your graphic card, so check BIOS and CMOS first, particularly with a clock error. If that's ok, move on to other things.

Dazzled
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Re: Computer clock error

Post by Dazzled » Sun Apr 19, 2009 9:38 pm

If you know anyone who has Hiren's Boot CD, (for Windows) grab a copy. http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd You can't download one from the website, for obvious reasons, so don't try. It floats around in torrents and other anonymous ways. HTTP downloads can be found at times from odd proxy locations - guess.

austdata
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Location: Melbourne

Re: Computer clock error

Post by austdata » Mon May 04, 2009 1:31 am

G'day Tafkam,
Do you unplug the computer from the mains?

I think that PC's supply still supply power to the CMOS while plugged in but turned of at the PC. Switching the mains off or removing the plug usually flattens a PC battery.

Cheers,

Mike
The views I present here are not necessarily those from my brain.
Exetel's support number outside Sydney: 1300 788 141 NOTE: I do not work for Exetel.

Tafkam
Posts: 323
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2004 8:50 pm
Location: Northern Rivers NSW

Re: Computer clock error

Post by Tafkam » Mon May 04, 2009 8:17 am

Hi Mike,
The PC only gets turned off & unplugged during storms or prolonged periods on non-use, such as if we're away for a whole weekend. I would have thought the computer would have to be left unplugged for a very long times for the CMOS battery to go flat that way. As it turns out, the problem hasn't repeated itself since I last posted...no idea why. I do have a new monitor...maybe it just needed to get used to it or something.

Dazzled I checked the BIOS clock and it seems to be reporting correctly.......these intermittent problems are so annoying because it's hard to pin down what the problem is! Anyway, it's OK just now. I will keep a close eye out for any more signs of a failing CMOS battery. Now I just have to sort out this problem with slow appearing icons......but that's in another post!

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