PC Date switching back to 2001

  silverous 16:55 10 Apr 2006

A colleague has a problem with their PC whereby the date keeps switching back to a date in 2001. They had had some issues with zonealarm and root certificates that co-incided with this issue occuring.

My intial thoughts are:

i) Cmos battery (PC only 2-3 years old though which I've never heard of happening to a PC that young before)


ii) Internet time update settings have become an issue - maybe zonealarm is blocking the time updates.

He notices that he can set the date and time when the PC is on and it keeps it until he shuts down, then when he boots back up again it is incorrect.

Any ideas?



  SB23 17:08 10 Apr 2006

Same happened to me last year. Pc is only just over 3 years old, but on the off chance of being able to rectify problem myself, I changed the battery. It worked. So it can happen in a youngish pc.

  pj123 17:12 10 Apr 2006

I have never had to change a MOBO battery yet. But from what you have said it certainly looks like that is what needs to be done.

I remember an old Amstrad that I had. The monitor fitted in to a preset square on the computer. You had to lift the monitor off and replace the 4 AA batteries quite regularly.

  sharpe 17:21 10 Apr 2006

When I changed the cmos battery on my old comp I had to copy all the bios settings by hand (to paper) before removing it so that if any changes occrred (and they did) on re-boot I would know what settings needed changing back.

Is it possible to print the information from somewhere or to print the screen when the various bios pages are screened and if so how?

Thanks guys

  Graham ® 19:35 10 Apr 2006

Press 'prt scr' key. Open Paint, Edit, Paste.

  woodchip 20:06 10 Apr 2006

The BIOS may be corrupt this can only be overcome with a flash update. Not one to recomended if you do not know how to do it

  silverous 09:25 11 Apr 2006

Very helpful. Graham> I don't think you can do a prt scr from the BIOS as the clipboard (which print screen uses) is only available once booted into windows?

As this is a colleague I'm a bit nervous about him having to change BIOS settings but as he bought the PC from a store i'm thinking it might be safe to assume they are all at defaults, or at least, the defaults should be ok.

Maybe he should go to pcworld and get it done! (He lives hundreds of miles away so me popping round to do it isn't an option!)

  ed-0 09:49 11 Apr 2006

If, when he switches the PC off, he disconnects the power supply. i.e. pulls the electric plug or presses the wall switch to the off position. Then it will be the battery.

If the power is still fed to the computers PSU and just the computer is switched off, then the computer should still keep the time.

You must also consider, if the battery is at fault and looses the time in the bios. Then all the settings in the bios ( cpu and memory speed ) will be set to default.

After all that doom and gloom. It is very easy to change a battery. It takes a few seconds to just pop it out and pop one in. They cost just a couple of pounds and resetting the bios is a piece of cake.

If you know your friends motherboard then all can be easily explained.

  silverous 17:55 03 May 2006

Many thanks from me and my colleague... he took it into PC World (he lives quite far away and wasn't confident doing it himself) they replaced the battery and he was fine again!



  961 18:59 03 May 2006

...you're fired!!!!!!!!!!!

  Stuartli 19:20 03 May 2006

Like pj123 I've never had to replace a CMOS battery (I speaking about the CR2032 which is the most common).

Its anticipated lifespan is five years and I have owned at least one motherboard for that period of time.

The motherboard, now housed in a basic system created for a friend, is still firing on all cylinders with this battery.

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