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Laptop problem:Clock won't keep time.

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Nocontact, May 28, 2005.

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  1. Nocontact

    Nocontact Thread Starter

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    My friend is having an issue with a new Compaq laptop that he has. I don't know all the specs but it's running WinXP and it's relatively new.
    The issue is that the system tray clock doesn't keep time. It resets or it just loses time or acts crazy. There don't seem to be any other performance issues or problems, just this clock. Any ideas what it could be?
    I know how to sync it but I'd rather know what the problem was.
    Thanks.
     
  2. qldit

    qldit

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    G'day Nocontact, I am not familiar with that particular machine but as a general rule anytime the clock loses time or acts oddly it is generally the CMOS battery voltage being low, this is usually the first symptom and it progresses over a month or so before it loses all it's other BIOS settings.
    I would be inclined to enquire about a replacement battery, these are generally a button type and from memory one needs to be very careful in the compaq machine replacing the damned thing because the carrier can easily disintegrate if forced.
    Have a look at your destructions it will elaborate on the procedure and problem possibilities.
    Cheers, qldit.
     
  3. Nocontact

    Nocontact Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the reply. Seeing how it's almost brand new though does it make sense for the battery to be dying already?
     
  4. justfoo

    justfoo

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    If it's almost new maybe your friend should look into some support from Compaq in case it's a warranty issue.
    Sometimes things slip through quality control in all companies, and maybe this battery snuck past Compaqs.
    Good luck
     
  5. Nocontact

    Nocontact Thread Starter

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    I wish I could figure out if it was something I could fix but this seems to be the only thing that makes sense.
     
  6. justfoo

    justfoo

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    I dont know, but is there some utility out there that would let you check the cmos battery voltage? I googled "cmos battery voltage" but mostly it looked to me like specs for mbo's and comment on what occurs on low voltage. There might be something in there to help you.
    Maybe someone else knows of a way.
     
  7. qldit

    qldit

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    G'day Gentlemen, yes I believe there are some test utilities but I always pull the battery out and use a meter, from memory Compaq battery is a three volt type, but have a look to make sure.
    If the thing is out of warranty I would just go and fit a new correct type battery on spec.
    If you do the changeover reasonably quickly (say in a minute or so) the settings usually are not lost. (this depends on your religion!)
    You can measure the old battery later, this is not usually an expensive exercise overall and gives considerable confidence that if any problem remains as evident it will be something else.
    Cheers, qldit.
     
  8. debunkcia

    debunkcia

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    I'll have to agree with everyone else. the cmos battery is put in by hand on evey bord, all someone hs to do is put it in upside down for half a second and the polarity of the battery will be somewhat reversed degrading the life drastically. i say go into the bios and write down all of the settings that you need and pull the battery out and go to radio shack and pick up a battery just like it. slap that baby in you motherboard and see what happens. fyi when you remove the battery you have to enter the bios and review, make changes as nessesary, and save settings before booting into dos
     
  9. Nocontact

    Nocontact Thread Starter

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    I wish it was my laptop so I could try this but I'm not going to convince my buddy to open his brand new laptop. I as hoping it just may be a software issue or something.
     
  10. qldit

    qldit

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    G'day Nocontact, anything is possible, the CMOS battery was just the easiest guess, the interesting thing with this profession is that nothing is ever what it seems, by applied logic, the battery is a possibility logically most probable.
    But of course there are other possibilities of a counting and division chip losing count, or some software that has penetrated the system somehow, or even a solder joint on a motherboard, or even some esoteric entity playing tricks.
    If it is a new item it would be pertinent to act rapidly with the warranty stuff.
    The most interesting thing is that the problem is usually determined by the last thing you try.
    Notice the word "usually" as against "always".
    Cheers, qldit.
     
  11. Nocontact

    Nocontact Thread Starter

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    Well, after some testing it seems the clock does keep proper time when the laptop is plugged in. Now if the battery is what is responsible for window's system tray clock then I guess we can conclude that the battery is at fault. Correct?
     
  12. qldit

    qldit

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    G'day nocontact, that would seem a logical well reasoned consideration, you have determined that the AC power being applied (which coincidently makes an apparent float voltage in the battery circuit) has maintained clock operation integrity.
    Well done and correct reasoning, however nothing is ever as it seems and many illogical things happen with these marvels of science, so you might suggest trying another battery as a low key kind of suggestion and never ever say "it is", the correct term is "it possibly may well be under certain circumstances in a worst case kind of situation" the battery. (this often stops a squeaky voice ensuing from incorrect bets made with certain items!!)
    Well done, cheers, qldit.
     
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