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Windows Time Changes Itself

Posted on 2004-03-30
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Last Modified: 2006-11-17
Hi,

I'm running Windows 2000 + SP4 + NTFS which I have just freshly installed AGAIN and now, the time will change itself intermittently by however much it feels it wants to! It's never 1hr or 2hrs, its usually 1hr 36mins, or 2hrs 12mins etc and it will go backwards or forwards.

I've never seen this problem all the time i've been doing IT and I hope someone else has! I've tried using a time sync program but even after setting it to check every 10mins, it still changes.

Hope someone can help!

Lee
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Question by:fishcake999
6 Comments
 
LVL 57

Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10715793
Windows is losing time

The usuall reason this happens is, the BIOS back up battery (on the motherboard) needs replacing.

This is not a technical job dont panic, remove the case from your PC and look on the motherboard for a battery, its a big round flat lithium battery (like a large watch battery)

usually its a CR2025 battery, (but check yours to be sure) This is what it looks like
http://shopping.netsuite.com/app/site/site.nl/c.ACCT84789/sc.2/category.155/it.A/id.1314/.f

After the battery has been replaced there will be a LOT of error messages when you first boot the PC, you will need to enter the BIOS (at first boot by pressing F1, F2 Del or Esc, watch the screen for instructions) and reset the time, - look for "load system defaults if you get stuck"

**********

Sometimes the time is incorrect because the power settings are incorrect.

If you upgrade your motherboard and do not reinstall fresh Windows, the motherboard resources from the old one are inherited into the new system. Many of these components work because they might be backwards compatible; furthermore, components like APM (Advanced Power Management) do not work properly and cause mysterious effects. In my case, every time the computer went into sleep mode, when it woke up it kept the same time when it went to sleep.

Edit the registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Detect
and add the following STRING VALUE:   ACPIOption=1
Reboot the machine and this should do it.
I do not know if this would be a factor but I got rid first of APM from my devices.

http://thetechnozone.com/pcbuyersguide/hardware/motherboards/clock-losing-time.html



*****Links*****

Does anybody really know what time it is?
http://zdnet.com.com/2100-1107-941411.html

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;189706
Windows Clock on Taskbar and in Date/Time Tool Loses Time

CLOCK LOSING TIME
http://home.earthlink.net/~leetutor/FixWin/Hardware/clock.htm (From our own LeeTutor - I Think)
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Accepted Solution

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RichTech earned 50 total points
ID: 10716415
If this is a workstation connected to a domain it will automatically try and synch it's clock to the domain controller. Are you on a domain? If so are there multiple domain controllers?

When a Computer Running Windows 2000 is a Member of a Domain:
In this scenario, the Windows Time service configures itself automatically, using the Windows Time service that is available on the domain controllers.

The Windows Time service on a domain controller can be configured as either a reliable or an unreliable time source. The Windows Time service running on a client will attempt to synchronize its time source with servers that are indicated as reliable. The Windows Time service can configure a domain controller within its domain as a reliable time source, and it synchronizes itself periodically with this source. These settings can be modified or overwritten, depending on specific needs.

When a Computer Running Windows 2000 is Not a Member of a Domain:
The Windows Time service must be manually started for computers running Windows 2000 that are not members of a domain. Computers running Windows 2000 use the Simple Network Time Protocol (SNTP).

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Expert Comment

by:Pete Long
ID: 10716436
Setting the Correct Time


Your clients can get there time from a central server by using the following command

net time /setsntp:<IP address of server>

This can be run either from a login script OR a batchfile set to run at boot

*****To set the time on a central server*****

You can set your server to get its time from a public network time server using the same command you used above.

net time /setsntp:<IP address of server>

To get the address of a public time server either contact your ISP of here is a list of public access time servers

http://www.eecis.udel.edu/~mills/ntp/clock1a.html


********If all thats too much Hassle*********

Set your server to atomic time using third party software

Freeware

http://www.philex.net/clock/
http://www.rocketsoftware.com/rockettime/screenshot.asp
http://www.lmhsoft.com/timesync/
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Expert Comment

by:RichTech
ID: 10716992
In a domain environment the machine will always revert to using the domain controller as the time source regardless of using the net time command. In addition, an outside ntp server can only be used if the firewall (if one is used) has the port open (123).
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Expert Comment

by:Gareth Gudger
ID: 10720195
Check your system for Gator and/or Precision time spyware using Spybot @ safer-networking.org (be sure to upodate)
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Author Comment

by:fishcake999
ID: 10835091
Thanks RichTech,

Although you didn't actually find me the 100% correct solution, your comment was what prompted me the most. The machine is not running on a DC so no time sync from that was available. But it was the Windows Time service that you mentioned that made me look on the machine, and funny enough, it was set to Manual and not running!

Even though that problem has been solved and the time will stay the same now whilst Windows is running, each time I reboot, it has changed again. I can put up with that for the time being though, so thanks for the hint!

Lee
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