Why does the system clock stop when the computer is in sleep mode?

Question

I recently 'downgraded' to Windows 98 from Windows 95 on one of my systems. I am NOT impressed! There are a few nifty features compared with Win95, but I don't appreciate the fact that it takes more disk space, more system resources, and more memory. The fact that all of today's software contributes to 'software bloat' is no excuse.

I power off the computers just once a week. The rest of the time I put them to 'sleep' by pressing a button on the cabinet. Now that I am using Win98, when I put the computer to sleep, the internal CMOS clock STOPS! Can you beleive it?! The clock is a hardware/CMOS function, I don't see how a new operating system, which is software, can affect it. After I wake up the system I have to reset the clock.

Have you encountered this problem before? Thank you.

Answer

This question was answered on July 14, 1999. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

When the system clock is not accurate; it loses a number of minutes each day, or stops incrementing the time when the system is turned off.

Diagnosis: The most common cause of this problem is the CMOS battery, which also backs up the date and time so it isn't lost when the machine is turned off A weak CMOS battery can lead to problems with the real-time clock even if the battery isn't weak enough to cause the loss of BIOS settings Some motherboards apparently disable the clock as a power-saving measure when the battery voltage gets low Of course, sometimes the problem with the clock is simply that it is inaccurate As motherboards get cheaper and cheaper in both price and construction, the quality of some of these components gets very questionable.

Recommendation:

Troubleshoot the battery to make sure that it is not causing the problem

Troubleshoot the motherboard to ensure that some other strange situation is not causing the problem

If the battery is not at fault, and you cannot find any problem with the motherboard, your remaining solutions are to replace the motherboard or to use software methods to compensate for the clock There are utilities that will resynchronize the system clock with Internet time servers, and others that allow you to program them to adjust the system clock forward or backward a number of minutes each day, to keep the clock roughly accurate

We hope this helps you to solve your problem.

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Author

Posted by Ken of Data Doctors on July 14, 1999