My machine cannot keep time!?!
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Thread: My machine cannot keep time!?!

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Angry My machine cannot keep time!?!

    I have to sync my time with internet time nearly ever day lately (I always seem to notice it in 7 for some reason). I have never remembered to check the time in BIOS, but I will try to next time. But this is not a small inconsistency, this is sometimes a 12 hour error! The date is rarely effected much but a few times I have had problems with certificates and dates. There is no way the board batter should be dead, but I do run Win 7 ultimate, OSX86, XP, Vista and Ubuntu, as multi-boot options.

    I googled this briefly but got no answer of even anyone complaining of a similar inconsistency.

  2. #2
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    There is no way the board battery should be dead
    What steps did you take to come to this conclusion?

    How long was the mobo in a box on a shelf before you bought it?

    Is the battery firmly seated? Wouldn't spending $2.50 be worth it

  3. #3
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    Well the battery dying theory doesn't make sense to me only because when it goes wrong it never goes wrong on the minutes just the hours. like this last time it was exactly 4 hours slow and I can remember exactly but every other time it has been wrong it is just the same, a set amount of hours wrong.

    The motherboard's battery could be bad, but it is my experience that on machines that are almost never actually turned off and only rebooted that the problems don't show until it get's powered down for a while.

  4. #4
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    OK, having paid more attention this problem is ALWAYS resulting in the time becoming exactly 4 hours slow! What the heck could it be? The one thing that makes me wonder is that I run Ubuntu 8.04 x64, Windows 7 Ultimate x64, Mac OS X 10.5.7, Windows Vista Home Premium, and Windows XP Media Center, all on this machine. The only two that are sharing one hard drive via partitioning are XP and Vista. I don't see how any of this should matter though as they all are set to use west coast time.

    P.S. I run all those OS's for three reasons, 1. Because I can. 2. For learning purposes and for being able to deal with OS specific software. 3. Because when I help someone on the phone with their computer I can be looking at what they are looking at so as to make it easier to explain over the phone.
    Last edited by markjs; December 28th, 2009 at 06:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    Are all of the OS's set to the correct Time Zone?

    I'm in -6 Central USA....If I do -10 Hawaii, my system would be off 4 hours too.

  6. #6
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    So here's what I found out; the problem is between Ubuntu and 7 at least because when I set the time right in 7 (time zone and all) then boot to Ubuntu it is still right. Ubuntu also has the right time, but if I reboot back to 7 then it jumps 8 hours ahead in time! It has to be a problem with 7, or at least I see no other explanation. I will try this with the other OSs to see what happens. but when you run five of them it can be difficult to be "scientific" in my methodology.

  7. #7
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    OK now I am more baffled than ever! For some unrelated reason I can't seem to boot XP but I did a bunch of booting and found this:

    From win 7 to Ubuntu no change

    From Ubuntu to win 7, 8 hours jump ahead

    From 7 to OS X, 8 hours back but when I go to fix it it is automatically fixed

    From Ubuntu to Vista, 8 hour jump ahead

    From OS X to 7 or Vista, 8 hour jump ahead

    From 7 to Vista and back again, no changes

    So It seems to me to be that the problem is with Windows but I have no idea why or what to do about it! They all have me in the right time zone.

  8. #8
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    OK, now here is another oddity....

    When I boot from Ubuntu to 7 and it jumps 8 hours, whether I corrct it or even if I don back in Ubuntu it is right again?!?\

    Windows time is supposed to sync itself isn it? Every time I have EVER, dating back to XP, tried to manually tell it to sync the time it almost invariably says there is an error the first time but then it works the second time....

    I feel certain the issue is a Windows thing, but what?

  9. #9
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    It's to do with each OS's assumption wrt what the BIOS clock is set to. Windows assumes that the BIOS clock is set to local time, while *nix distros generally assume by default that the BIOS clock is set to UTC (basically equivalent to GMT). Each sets the hardware clock to the "correct" time when it shuts down, and so when you boot in the other it's hours off. You need to make sure they're all working on the same assumption.

    I don't know if there's a way to re-educate Windows; I've always re-educated *nix instead. The Ubuntu version is here, and hopefully OS X has something similar.
    Safe computing is a habit, not a toolkit.

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