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System Date keeps changing

Posted on 2003-02-24
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Last Modified: 2008-02-01
regularly, but inconsistatly the system time on my windows XP Pro machine keeps changing, usually back a day or two and  changing the time too.  This is also occuring on the win2K server.  There are 15 other PCs here and none of them are displaying this.

Ideas?
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Question by:belcalan
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23 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:tanjnt
ID: 8012974
Replace the batteries on the affected systems. They should only be a couple of dollars each. They are small round flat discs on the motherboard, usually under a spring clip.
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LVL 34

Expert Comment

by:sramesh2k
ID: 8013521
if a particular machine is displaying this behaviour, then it is the CMOS battery. You may need to replace it.
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Author Comment

by:belcalan
ID: 8013626
Even if it is doing it while the computer is still on?
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 8013643
If replacing the battery doesn't help, try disabling the automatic time synchronization in the Date & Time control panel under Internet Time.

And do the PC's to get their time synchronized with a network server?

You might also try scanning for viruses.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 8013649
If it looses time while the computer is still on (no restarts or anything) then it has nothing to do with the CMOS battery.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8013656
SR, please - can you try a bit harder to read others' comments first?
Comment from tanjnt  02/24/2003 04:53PM PST  
"Replace the batteries on the affected systems. They should only be a couple of dollars each. They are small round flat discs on the motherboard, usually under a spring clip."  
Comment from sramesh2k  02/24/2003 06:51PM PST  
"if a particular machine is displaying this behaviour, then it is the CMOS battery. You may need to replace it."
Note especially that T's comment came at least -2- hours before yours, so there is no excuse for repeating his/her comments without at least a reference to it.
Ted
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Author Comment

by:belcalan
ID: 8014238
Crash
I can't find Internet Time in the control panel & no they don't sync from a server.

Viruses are clean
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8014284
Greetings!
Just to expand on Crash's suggestion ...
<Start>
<Control Panel>
<Date & Time>
<Internet Time>
<Check> Automatically synch with an Internet Time Server

Hope this helps!
Ted
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Author Comment

by:belcalan
ID: 8014302
nope, don't have it.  This is XP we're talking about here isn't it?
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Expert Comment

by:lkicker78
ID: 8014356
XP Pro uses the exact path tedsky just gave.  I am still unclear as to whether this date/time change occurs while the system is on?  If it does I would do a virus scan AND scan with SpyBot.  I remember the Whale virus would do this.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8014811
Hello again!
I am pretty sure XP Home uses it as well as XP Pro.
Perhaps follow lkicker78's suggestion and check for viruses or spyware.
Won't waste your time with Av links, but maybe you can use one for SpyBot.

An EXCELLENT source for SpyBot Search & Destroy (SBSD) ...
http://www.lurkhere.com
<Nice Files>
<SBSD v1.1r4>

Install, then immediately ...
<Online>
<Update> then ...
<Check for Problems> then ...
<Fix Selected Problems>

Red-lettered items will be removed and backed up (you don't want these).
Blue-lettered items are merely usage tracks (you'll want to keep these).

One other link that will help explain the 5 categories of spyware ...
http://www.consumerwebwatch.org/news/articles/spyware_categories.htm

Hope all of this helps!
Ted, the Modem Mixer
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Crash2100
ID: 8017127
Have you tried running Windows Update?  Do you have Service Pack 1?
0
 

Author Comment

by:belcalan
ID: 8021265
Thanks all for your help so far.  Unfortunately so far I'm still stuck.  I've done full virus scans (we Norton’s corporate) and I have ad-aware on my computer.  I am also unto date with all windows updates.  

I still can't find that Internet Time option in date/time in windows.  I'm looking in the control panel date/time but it's just not there.  Is there perhaps any way to disable it that I may have done without noticing?
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LVL 6

Accepted Solution

by:
tedsky earned 200 total points
ID: 8021888
Sorry to have to jump back in here ...
Ad-Aware (even in its newest form, 6.0, released earlier this month) finds only a portion of the spyware that SBSD does.
Hence my recommendation of it over Ad-Aware.
Best of luck!
Ted
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8021938
Hello again!
This pasted from MS Help & Support Center ...

---------------------------------
Synchronizing your computer clock
If your computer is a member of a domain, your computer clock is probably synchronized automatically by a network time server. If your computer is not a member of a domain, you can synchronize your computer clock with an Internet time server.

If synchronization is enabled, your computer clock is synchronized with an Internet time server once a week. However, if you don't have a continuous Internet connection through a cable modem or DSL modem, the automatic synchronization might not always occur. In that case, you can force an immediate synchronization by clicking the Update Now button on the Internet Time tab in Date and Time in Control Panel. This tab is only available if your computer is not a member of a domain.

If time synchronization fails
When you click the Update Now button, your clock should be synchronized immediately. If it fails, it may be for one of the following reasons:

You are not connected to the Internet. Establish an Internet connection before you attempt to synchronize your clock.
Your personal or network firewall prevents clock synchronization. Most corporate and organizational firewalls will block time synchronization, as do some personal firewalls. Home users should read your firewall documentation for information about unblocking network time protocol (NTP). You should be able to synchronize your clock if you switch to the Microsoft Internet Connection Firewall.
The Internet time server is too busy or not available for some reason. If this is the case, try synchronizing your clock later, or update it manually by double-clicking the clock on the taskbar. You can also try using a different time server.
The date set on your computer is inaccurate. Internet time servers will not synchronize your clock if the date is incorrect. Ensure that the date is set correctly in Date and Time Properties in Control Panel.

Notes
To open Date and Time, click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Date and Time.
An Internet time server updates the date set by your computer as well as the time.
The Update Now button is not available unless the Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server check box is selected.
You can change the time on your computer clock manually on the Date & Time tab in Date and Time in Control Panel. You can also open Date and Time by double-clicking the clock on the taskbar.
---------------------

The feature is supposed to be there, as the MS docs themselves (above) state.
If it isn't, something's causing it not to show.
Ad-Aware doesn't catch all bots thrown at your system.
SpyBot S&D catches far more, annd (from what 50% of my clients and EE questioners report back to me) is far more thorough dealing with spybots/adbots, browser hijackers and OS "interferons".

Wish I could be more helpful, Belcalan.
Ted
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8021976
Just found something that might shed some light ...

Open Date and Time in Control Panel.
Click the Internet Time tab.
The Internet Time tab is not available if your computer is a member of a domain.

That might be it <sigh>.
Ted
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8021987
And i'm guessing that the reason why it's not available if you're on a domain is because of MS's (crazy?) assumption that your system will be getting the correct date and time from a domain time server.
How unfortunate.
Ted
0
 

Author Comment

by:belcalan
ID: 8022048
Thanks for that Ted, that explains why I can't see it.

I've run SBSD & it didn't seem to find much (It is much more extensive than the other, it even tells you what programs are recording the last documents you opened!) I suppose I'll wait a day or so & see if it has fixde the problem.

Thanks all, I'll keep you posted.
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8022828
Thanks Belcalan - there are countless reasons I support SBSD, and you've just identified yet another - the in-depth tracking that Patrick M Kolla provides (and reports) in his absolutely invaluable program.
Take Care!
Ted
0
 

Author Comment

by:belcalan
ID: 8037995
Thanks ted, it's been three days now and the time & date hasn't changed since I ran SBSD, & I've just ran it on the server and it has cleaned a few things there too.  Thanks for your help
0
 

Expert Comment

by:lkicker78
ID: 8039439
belcalan,
I'm glad you figured it out and tedsky is always right on the money, but I am just curious about something. Since I suggested SpyBot before anyone else, why not give me at least a mention?  Just curious?
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Author Comment

by:belcalan
ID: 8039454
sorry, I completely missed that, stuffup on my part.  Thankyou for that suggestion, it seems to have lead to the solution.

Once again sorry for the omition
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LVL 6

Expert Comment

by:tedsky
ID: 8039791
Belcalan, worry not - I will handle the "oversight" on your behalf.
Lkicker78, have a look here ...
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Operating_Systems/WinXP/Q_20533201.html
My privilege!
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