Why is laptop clock slow?

  Pineman100 08:18 23 Apr 2008

My wife's Vista Home Premium laptop is about 8 months old. I've been using it regularly over the past couple of weeks, and I notice that the clock in the System Tray is running very slow.

I put it right about a week ago, and this morning I had to put it forward again by about 15 minutes.

The laptop has been plugged into the mains (battery not fitted) for this entire time.

Any idea why this could be happening, please?

  [email protected] 09:04 23 Apr 2008

More than likely the CMOS battery is on the way out. It's this which provides the clock energy even though you are connected to the mains. As the PC is only 8 months old you should take it up with the supplier.

  DieSse 09:30 23 Apr 2008

It's not a battery - a battery is not used to keep the clock running whilst the system is on, that's done by Vista itself.

It's a piece of software - it's usually very difficult to identify which program - needs a trial and error approach.

You should activate the automatic time synchronisation facility (see in the time/date window, that's what it's there for.

  Pineman100 10:53 23 Apr 2008

DieSse - the automatic synchronisation function is already activated. But at the moment I'm using the computer in France and I haven't bothered to put the clock forward by the appropriate 1 hour. Do you think this could be why the problem is occurring?

  birdface 11:22 23 Apr 2008

On a desktop if the time keeps changing it is normally down to the CMOS battery.Have you got it set to the proper time zone.If in the Uk it should be set to Greenwich mean time.Dublin Edinburgh London.Internet time.Little square should be ticked and be set to automatically synchronize with an Internet time server.Or maybe untick last one.

  DieSse 11:45 23 Apr 2008

"the automatic synchronisation function is already activated."

Check to see if it's actually working, by doing a manual synchronise - unfortunately, failed automatic syncs are not notified.

To re-iterate. The CMOS battery only keeps the clock running when the system is off. When the system is on, it's done by the OS. A write up here for those who don't realise click here

  Pineman100 12:02 23 Apr 2008

Thank you again.

I did as you suggested and tried a manual synchronisation. It behaved a bit oddly - the clock (which was already 2 minutes slow after my resetting this morning) jumped forward 2 minutes to the correct time. But The Internet Time Settings window gave me the following report:

"An error occurred while Windows was sychronizing with time.windows.com. This operation returned because the timeout period expired.

The clock was most recently synchronized on 23/04/2008 at 11.54."

(This was the exact time that I had clicked the Update Now button.)

Do you know what's going on, please? Could my point (above) about being in France be relevant?

  [email protected] 12:52 23 Apr 2008

Thanks for clearing that up DieSse, but I still think the CMOS battery should be renewed to eliminate that possibility as it's the most likely cause.
Lineman100 - nothing at all to do with being in France.
Sometimes the default time check location doesn't connect, just choose another server.

  birdface 12:58 23 Apr 2008

You could try putting the clock forward by 1 hour and see if it works Ok .Or try unticking Automatic synchronization and see if that helps.As this is a leap year make sure that you have the correct date.April 23rd.

  Stuartli 13:23 23 Apr 2008

A CMOS battery shouldn't fail in so short a time, especially the lithium type.

I've never, in fact, had to replace such a battery in many years of using computer systmes...:-)

  DieSse 13:31 23 Apr 2008

"Could my point (above) about being in France be relevant?"

I don't see how really. You could try a different clock to synchronise to. However I would change you time zone anyway, to avoid confusion (I'm easily confused!).

Weird that it synchronises AND gives an error message - but then Windows is weird quite often.

The default time sync setting is for every 7 days. Here's how to change it click here

As for finding what's doing it, that's more complicated.

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