Computer Clock Off by an Hour

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 16 total)
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  • #47173
    semoochie
    Participant

    Yesterday morning, the clock on my computer was one hour ahead of the actual time. How is this possible? It isn’t tied to the internet. Does it have something to do with the power supply? Did anyone else experience this? I also noticed that the flywheel on the mouse was hard to control. I rebooted the computer and nothing changed. A few hours later, everything was back to normal. Any ideas?

    #47174
    Broadway
    Participant

    Was it ever connected to the internet?

    #47175
    Andy Brown
    Participant

    “Does it have something to do with the power supply?”

    Unlikely.

    “Did anyone else experience this?”

    Not on any machines here.

    “I rebooted the computer and nothing changed. A few hours later, everything was back to normal. Any ideas?”

    Too numerous to mention. You say it’s not hooked up to the internet. So you’re saying it is a standalone with no connection to your home net via wifi or CAT-5/6?

    Is the date set correctly?

    My first guess is that the lithium battery on the motherboard might be running out of steam. It would cause it to momentarily forget what day/time it is.

    Or it has malware, or a virus . . . (from once being hooked up to the internet or from some infected file(s) you loaded onto it). Those are subjects I have limited expertise on in the Windoze domain. Let’s see what nosignal has to say.

    #47176
    Dan Packard
    Keymaster

    The little cmos battery on the motherboard could be getting old and can throw off time settings and lead to other weird anamolies. It’s a flat pancake style battery.

    Most computers sync up to a time server to keep the clock ticking correctly. I think in windows you can double click the clock and in advanced properties see what time server your computer is syncing with. If it’s Microsoft, try switching it to Nist. That stands for the National Institute of Standards & Technology, the same folks that give us the WWV time broadcasts.

    Otherwise, somehow your device thought it was on Mountain daylight time probably for a spell.

    #47177
    Alfredo_T
    Participant

    The one-hour discrepancy made me think that somehow the computer’s clock is advancing the time by one hour to handle daylight savings time. Possibly, as has previously been suggested, the CMOS backup battery is weak, and the computer’s BIOS is acting erratically.

    #47178
    lastday
    Participant

    I would bet on the motherboard CMOS battery. Probably a CR-2032 (but confirm it first).

    #47179
    Andrew
    Participant

    While dead CMOS batteries can cause bad problems, I can’t imagine one would cause the time to be off by an hour, especially if the computer is plugged into power. More likely, the time zone got flipped somehow to the wrong one, maybe after an automatic update. Check the time/date settings; set the time zone manually to the correct one.

    #47181
    semoochie
    Participant

    Thank you for your responses. The computer IS connected to the internet. What I meant was that I didn’t think the clock was controlled by it and would run whether it was connected or not. Whatever was wrong, doesn’t seem to be now. If I have any more trouble, I’ll probably try Dan’s suggestion.

    #47183
    Andrew
    Participant

    You don’t need the internet for the computer clock to work. The internet is used to sync the clock occasionally, that’s all, because electronic clocks are not that accurate on their own – they will either run a tad too fast or a tad too slow. When connected to the internet, the operating system can occasionally sync your clock so it’s always accurate. Otherwise, it will begin to drift – become a little too fast or too slow.

    #47184
    nosignalallnoise
    Participant

    Those are subjects I have limited expertise on in the Windoze domain. Let’s see what nosignal has to say.

    +1 for the dead-battery theory (which also affects Apple computers, by the way), and Andrew’s hypothesis of an update setting things haywire. But depending on the design and age of the motherboard and BIOS, once that battery goes, all kinds of weird shit can happen. (Then, of course, there’s the infamous and very obsolete Dallas RTC…..)

    This particular machine uses an ASROCK mobo (forget which model, but it’s from the early 2010s) and it tends to lose time so I have to manually resync it periodically either by listening to WWV or using the WWVB clock in the computer lab. If I have it unplugged for any significant length (i.e. more than an hour) it’ll completely whack out even with a strong battery.

    Doesn’t explain the mouse-related problems, sounds like the infrared LED or pickup must be dirty. A scrollwheel mechanism is just an optical shutter wheel like was once used in ball mice, and can collect all kinds of dust and crap which can make it sluggish or cause it to mistrack. It’s a very common failure mode. Pop the mouse open, grab a TFE can or fire up the air compressor and give ‘er a blowjob.

    #47185
    Andrew
    Participant

    Twice I’ve fixed computers with this problem: power won’t come on. Once the PC took some kind of power surge (as far as I knew) and wouldn’t come on after that. A fried motherboard wouldn’t be a bad guess. But it was fine. All I had to do was remove the CMOS battery (which was not dead) and re-insert it. As soon as I did that, the PC booted up and worked just fine.

    Similar thing happened on a laptop: the guy let the battery completely die (old laptop) and after that, no more power-on. Removed the CMOS battery and replaced it, all is well. I’m guessing in both cases the CMOS battery charge was holding the computer in some sort of invalid state that would not allow it to power on and POST.

    #47187
    Jeffrey Kopp
    Participant

    I have two Dell Optiplex 7010s which I bought refurbished last August. Since they are seven years old I decided to replace the 2032 batteries. One went fine, but the other one needed a new power supply, cost me $175.

    #47196
    semoochie
    Participant

    If the mouse problem isn’t related, that’s puzzling since they both showed up at the same time and then, went back to normal. The flywheel wasn’t sluggish, just the opposite.

    #47211
    nosignalallnoise
    Participant

    but the other one needed a new power supply, cost me $175.

    O U C H ! ! !

    I’m guessing at that price it was a proprietary power supply unit? If it were a standard xyzTX form factor PSU you could have gotten one for much cheaper off Amazon.

    But then, until maybe 15 years ago, Dell were playing this game of using standard-shape PSUs and motherboards but with nonstandard pinouts. So if you were to put say an off-the-shelf Corsair PSU on your Dell Intel mobbo you could end up dropping +12 volts onto a +3.3 volt rail and letting the magic smoke out. I don’t know if they are still doing those shenanigans. I kind of vaguely remember hearing or reading about a class-action lawsuit years ago that forced them to quit but I can’t be bothered to look it up. Gateway were doing the same crap around the turn of the century. It did make for a good supply of decent upright and desktop toolless ATX chassis, though.

    Dell definitely are still using proprietary form factor components today in their low-profile machines, alongside standard (compliant!) form-factor components in their full-size machines but they are more blatantly obvious about the proprietary stuff than they used to be.

    Could be worse, I guess. They could still be using LPX. “What’s that burning smell?”

    #47212
    Jeffrey Kopp
    Participant

    The power supply was $70.

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