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  1. #1
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    Date/time reverting back to 12:13 AM 12/9/2008

    I have to admit that I do not know whether or not this is a hardware problem but disconnecting/reconnecting power seems to be a factor

    Computer: Dell OptiPlex 755 Win7 Enterprise SP1 Lunch Box
    NOTE: The office I volunteer at has 3 other computers the same make & model. They were donated to the organization last year by a bank when they had XP PRO on them and have been upgraded to Win7 Enterprise SP1. All computers have the same problems so itís something common between all of them. I do not know whether or not the problem was originally there when they were received but I do know it was there before the Win7 Enterprise SP1 upgrade.

    Last week I had started inquiring about BIOS issues in a prior post when I was requesting help to get started on cleaning out one of those computers that was seriously infected
    Subject: off line security scanner or use safe mode w/networking if possible
    http://windowssecrets.com/forums/sho...ng-if-possible
    At that time I wasnít aware of those issues when I picked up the computer and brought it home but after having noticed it, I brought it into the discussion hoping there could be a simple correction of some sort but it branched out to be more involved than I thought. As a result I closed out that thread as solved for the infected computer and am creating this post to focus on the subject at hand

    So on Date/time reverting back to 12:13 AM 12/9/2008
    I ended up noticing that the only time the correct Date/time doesnít hold is when the power cord is disconnected and then reconnected. In other words, when I picked up the computer at the office, I was told the Date/time was correct but when I plugged it back in at home to work on it thatís when I noticed the Date/time was 12:13 AM 12/9/2008. I corrected the date/time in the BIOS but it did not hold upon boot up. So I changed the CMOS battery, reset the BIOS from its original 12:13 AM 12/9/2008 to the correct date/time and moved on to clean out the computer. Whenever rebooting the date/time held the rest of the week including the times I would shut the computer down at night and boot back up in the morning.

    Yesterday Tue 12/30/14 I returned the computer to the office and the Date/time reverted back to 12:13 AM 12/9/2008 when I connected the computer; thatís when it dawned on me that having disconnected power at home and then reconnecting power in the office is a factor Ė that also could mean I didnít have to change the CMOS battery but it's still a good thing I did. Anyway it seems to me power disconnect/reconnect is the issue. Can that indicate a power supply problem, maybe the MB power feed or some issue with the MB? Iím not a hardware person but Iím willing to check out what I can

    So then I tested their third computer and the same thing did happen. The date/time was correct. I shut the computer down. Disconnected the power cord. Reconnected the power cord. Started back up. The date/time reverted back to 05/31/2011 as this was the computer with the A19 BIOS. Correcting the date/time in the BIOS resulted in the correct time being held

    I would like to mention also that upon boot up there has been an Alert! System battery voltage is low message, which is also common among all 4 computers. After changing the CMOS battery the message still shows up. There was some discussion in my prior post about updating the BIOS but I donít think that is applicable now. The BIOS information I have on the computer I cleaned up along with another one is Dell Inc. A12 12/09/2008, a third computer has Dell Inc. A19 05/31/2011, I donít know what it is on the fourth computer. However I noticed that the third computer has an A19 BIOS. Since it has the same issues as the two A12 computers, it appears to me that it isnít a BIOS version problem. I suspect itís a power, MB or connection problem; thatís why I believe itís best to tackle the Date/time reverting back to 12:13 AM 12/9/2008 section above.

    It wouldn't surprise me if we'll have to learn to live with the above problems, but if I figure out how to correct them, that would be pretty good

  2. #2
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    cmptrgy

    I was presented with a similar problem when I attempted to repair
    two identical old Dell computers. I replaced the CR2032 button
    battery in both and both worked properly for a while. Then one of
    the two returned to its former errant behavior, while the other
    continued to work properly (and still does after three years).

    Instead of tolerating the problematic computer I chose to remove
    the CR2032 and solder two wires to the battery holder. I bought
    a large battery holder from Radio Shack which accomodates two
    D-cell batteries (in series) and mounted it in a spare drive bay
    inside the desktop. I then connected the two wires to the appropriate
    terminals of the resulting 3 volt compound battery.

    That was three years ago and this year I replaced the two D-cells
    when the problem returned (because the D-cells had discharged).

    Obviously the two D-cells in series provide more than enough power
    to run the faulty circuit on the motherboard but I don't recommend
    my solution to anyone else. (Old D-cells will eventually leak and
    corrode producing a possibly dangerous situation! A failing CMOS
    circuit like that could also conceivably worsen and start a fire!)

    The best solution is to dispose of the faulty motherboard or replace it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by cmptrgy View Post
    Yesterday Tue 12/30/14 I returned the computer to the office and the Date/time reverted back to 12:13 AM 12/9/2008 when I connected the computer; that’s when it dawned on me that having disconnected power at home and then reconnecting power in the office is a factor – that also could mean I didn’t have to change the CMOS battery but it's still a good thing I did. Anyway it seems to me power disconnect/reconnect is the issue.
    ...
    I would like to mention also that upon boot up there has been an Alert! System battery voltage is low message, which is also common among all 4 computers. After changing the CMOS battery the message still shows up.
    To me, that indicates that new CMOS batteries were needed, but the new batteries are no good or not correctly inserted. They're often only used when power is disconnected.

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to BruceR For This Useful Post:

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  5. #4
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    To me, that indicates that new CMOS batteries were needed, but the new batteries are no good or not correctly inserted. They're often only used when power is disconnected.
    Correct. The CMOS battery (usually CR2032 lithium cell) is recharged when mains power is connected to the PC. Its purpose is to keep the BIOS settings when the mains power is not connected.

    If mains power is not connected for a lengthy period (e.g.: if the PC is put into storage for a month or more) the battery might become flat, so the BIOS settings, including the time/date settings, are lost.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
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  6. #5
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    The CMOS battery is not recharged - it's not a rechargeable battery as they cost too much and don't last long enough between charges. The real time clock has such low power requirements that battery life in use is equivalent to battery storage life.

    cheers, Paul

  7. #6
    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    Since the Optiplex probably works perfectly once the date and time have been manually set after each power-up, why not run (via Startup) a BATch file which uses a program to set the (Windows) clock automatically, using an NTP time server on the internet?

    Ages ago (7Ĺ years!) I wrote one to make use of CMDTime 3.0, which made use of the UK time server pool uk.pool.ntp.org. Your NTP time server preferences may vary!
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

  8. #7
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    I'm not sure of the download options you need with SP TimeSync but you could give it a try, but is there any way you can check the connection between the CMOS battery and the motherboard which seems to have been the problem with other Dell users.

    As all of the computers have this problem then it could be hardware related rather than software, but you could also go into services.msc and Start the Windows Time service.

    It's default set at Manual so changing it to Auto and Started could give some improvement ?

  9. #8
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    The CMOS battery is not recharged - it's not a rechargeable battery as they cost too much and don't last long enough between charges. The real time clock has such low power requirements that battery life in use is equivalent to battery storage life.

    cheers, Paul
    I had assumed they were rechargeable from the number of times I have had to replace them in customers' PCs that had been put in storage or otherwise disconnected from mains power for long periods of time. Usually these PCs were from about one to three years old. Yet generally these CR2032 seem to last about five years or more in normal use.
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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  10. #9
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    5 years is what you expect from batteries these days. Button cells have always seemed a little better than A, C & D cells, although I've no idea why.

    cheers, Paul

  11. #10
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    The CMOS doesn't require much power from the battery to maintain BIOS settings so the battery does have sufficient longevity in relation to the overall usefulness of the computer. Back in DOS days I would put entries in the boot files [autoexec.bat and/or config.sys] to prompt checking and setting the correct date and time but that was in the days of AT and early ATX motherboards and barrel-type batteries that were soldered onto the motherboard.

  12. #11
    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Earlier this week a customers' PC began failing to start into Windows. When I attended I found that the BIOS time/date settings had reverted to 2011. I replaced the CMOS battery with a new one, adjusted the time/date BIOS settings, booted into Windows and all seemed well.

    The next morning the customer phoned again to say the PC wouldn't turn on again. When I attended I found that it was "hanging" at the POST screen with an error that the BIOS settings had been reset to defaults, and again the BIOS time/date settings had reverted to 2011.

    I brought the PC to my homebase and checked for a BIOS update (ASUS motherboard); sure enough there were six or seven BIOS updates, the latest about a year newer than the version on the PC. I downloaded and installed the latest BIOS, left the PC disconnected from mains power overnight, turned it on next morning, and the PC booted into Windows w/ correct time/date. The problem seems fixed by the BIOS upgrade (hasn't happened again after two days).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
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  13. #12
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    BruceR "the new batteries are no good or not correctly inserted"
    Good point. It makes sense to me to try a known good working CR2032

  14. #13
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    I won't be getting back to the office until next Wed; but in the meantime I'm looking at the following game plan
    Replace the new CR2032 battery with the known good battery from my XP computer which runs great
    --- I'll definitely ensure it's installed correctly
    If that doesn't work, double check the power supply connector to the MB
    --- Disconnect/reconnect it

    Also I do not know whether or not this could be a factor: but upon boot up there are 2 beeps. I believe 1 beep is normal. I cannot find what 2 beeps indicate in the manual but could it be memory related? When I replaced the CMOS battery, I observed there are 2 memory chips and what struck me as odd is the "integrated chips" on the memory chips were facing each other; one of them is a 1GB chip, the other one is a 2GB chip. But I've never seen memory chips "facing" each other. Maybe they come from different manufacturers, I don't know yet. Anyway could memory chips "facing" each other be an issue. The BIOS, system properties & crucial.com do report 3GB memory in effect

  15. #14
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    A double beep on POST is usually an error during POST.

    I would check for a BIOS update as Coochin has suggested and I think I'd suggested in your other thread.

  16. #15
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    Beep codes vary by BIOS vendor. See: http://pcsupport.about.com/od/nonwor...eepcodestb.htm

    Jerry

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