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The Computer Clock Loses Time (Windows XP, Me, and 98)

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This document applies to Windows XP, Me, 98 and 95.
The time displayed in Windows does not match the current time and must be reset often. Use the steps in this document to troubleshoot time-related issues.

Step 1: Disabling or enabling Internet time

If Internet time is on and you are connected to the Internet, the computer connects to an Internet time server and synchronizes the time on the computer to the time on the server. Internet time usually provides the most accurate method of keeping time and is normally recommended. Internet time can actually fix slow clocks. However, sometimes, Internet time might actually cause problems if selected. Use the following steps to change the Internet time setting.
  1. Double-click the time in the notification area in the lower right corner of the desktop.
  2. If an Internet Time tab exists, click it. If an Internet Time tab is not shown, skip to Step 2 .
  3. To change the Internet time setting, select Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server . If it is already selected, remove the checkmark from Automatically synchronize with an Internet time server .
  4. Click the time zone tab and make sure the correct time zone is selected. Select Automatically adjust clock for daylight saving changes .
  5. Click OK and restart the computer.
    Wait to see if the computer keeps time correctly. If it does not, continue to the next step.
    If the computer continues to have problems keeping time, use these steps again to set the Internet time setting back to its original condition before continuing to the next step.

Step 2: Updating the BIOS

If your computer has a BIOS update available, the update might fix this problem. To find out if a BIOS update is available for your computer, refer to the HP support document Updating the BIOS .

Step 3: Removing and reinstalling Realtime clock

Remove and reinstall Realtime clock by starting the system in Safe mode. Follow the steps below to perform this task:
  1. Turn on the computer.
  2. When the HP logo screen displays, press the F8 key repeatedly.
    A Windows startup menu displays.
  3. Select Safe Mode and then press Enter .
  4. For Windows XP, click Start , and then click Control Panel .
    For Windows 98 and Me, click Start , click Settings , and then click Control Panel .
  5. For Windows XP, click Performance and Maintenance , and then click System .
    For Windows 98 and Me, double-click the System icon.
  6. Click the Device Manager tab.
    For Windows XP, click the Hardware tab, and then click Device Manager .
    For Windows 98 and Me, click the Device Manager tab.
  7. Click the Plus Sign (+ ) next to System Devices.
  8. Click System CMOS/Realtime Clock to highlight it, and then click Remove/Uninstall .
  9. Restart the computer and the Realtime clock reinstalls automatically.

Step 4: Replacing the CMOS battery

Desktop computers contains a battery to keep time when they are turned off, similar to a watch. Like a watch, the battery must be replaced when it runs low on power. Replace the battery using the steps below.
WARNING:The edges of metal panels can cut skin. Be careful not to slide skin along any interior metal edge of the computer.
CAUTION:This product contains components that can be damaged by electrostatic discharge (ESD). To reduce the chance of ESD damage, work over a noncarpeted floor, use a static dissipative work surface (such as a conductive foam pad), and wear an ESD wrist strap connected to a grounded surface.
  1. Unplug all cables except the power cable. Write down each cable location if you do not already know where it connects.
  2. Unplug the power cable and with the power cable removed, press the Power button on the front of the computer.
  3. Remove the screws on the back of the computer.
  4. Slide the side panel off from the back of the computer.
  5. Find the battery. It is a small shiny round metal wafer, similar to a watch battery, but larger.
  6. Remember which direction the battery is installed. Usually the engraved side, the positive side, is face up. Remove the battery from the main board.
    Example 1Example 2
  7. Call a local computer supply store to see if a replacement is available. Use the inscriptions on the battery to answer any questions.
  8. Buy a new battery and replace it in the same socket. Make sure to install the new battery exactly the same as the previous battery.
  9. Replace a side panel by matching the side panel tabs with the tab openings in the case.
  10. Insert the side panel and slide it forward.
  11. Fasten the screws to secure the side panel.
  12. Connect all cables and turn on the computer to set the time.

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