Clock loses time and mouse slows before lockup. What's wrong?


Symptoms: at startup computer is okay, then after it has been on for awhile (1) the mouse pointer gets slow and choppy (2) the clock starts loosing time--several minutes every half hour, even more as time goes on (3) sometimes it will then get frequent lock-ups.....HOWEVER, if I reboot (at any time), the clock automatically resets to the 'correct' time--no matter how much it was off before it was rebooted--mouse is okay, all is fine...then......slooooow clock, choppppy mouse, crashes...reboot, problem is solved for another hour or two. PS-this happened once before about 6 months ago--for the life of me I can not remember what I did, but I cured it and it ran perfectly again, until a few weeks ago. Thanks!


This question was answered on June 22, 2002. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Your computer may be losing time due a screen saver or third party utility causing the time to decrease significantly, an issue with APM (Advanced Power Managemnet), or a dying CMOS battery You also may be experiencing system slowdown from application programs using up memory resources.

Screen savers or third party utilities can cause the time to stop or drastically slow down the clock To test, disable any screen savers Then, enter CTRL-ALT-DELETE and attempt to END TASK on all background programs or TSR (Terminate And Stay Resident) programs If this does resolve your issue, then reboot the computer and determine one-by-one exactly which program was causing the problem.

APM can interfere with the computer keeping time Test by entering CMOS and disabling APM or Power Management If this does resolve your issue, you may consider leaving it disabled or a BIOS update may help Consult with the motherboard manufacturer or computer manufacturer regarding a possible BIOS update.

Like all batteries, the CMOS battery can become bad If your battery is replacable, make sure to copy the CMOS settings before removing the old battery Take the old battery with you when purchasing the new one to ensure that you get the correct replacement Install the new battery using proper ESD (electrostatic discharge ) procedures Then, power on the computer, enter the BIOS setup, reset the date and time, and re-enter your other CMOS settings.

The System Resource Meter will show you if an application program is using up resources and can be loaded from Windows 98 Add/Remove Programs As you load each program, check the meter to see if that program significantly reduced resources The System Monitor is another tool that provides a graphic snapshot of system processes, including memory usage and CPU usage Use these tools to gain more information about what is happening to slow down your PC.

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Posted by Lois of Mesa Community College on June 22, 2002