Computer Repair and PC Support across the UK

As Featured in the Guardian

Free Computer Support Forum

Slow Computer General Check Up

Topic:

Real Time Clock not working

Posted by: Philip G.      4 Feb 2011 @ 13:21
Real Time Clock not working

I need to change the CMOS battery in my old advent pc as the real time clock has stopped working. The problem is is that when I try to bring up the BIOS information to record it when I turn the computer on nothing is happening. The computer is soooooo slooooowwwwww at booting up, it is taking about 8 minutes to bring the home screen up.
I had a new asrock motherboard fitted in November 2006 and after reading the manual last night I decided to run the support cd and try and find out something that way. The disc began spinning and my Kaspersky anti virus system immediately alerted/advised me to stop the installation of the support disc as it saw it as a malicious download.
I have pressed the F2 key, F5 key, and Ctrl +Alt +Del keys and nothing is happening.
Anyone got any thoughts on any other way of finding out the BIOS information any other way? For the sake of a battery that will cost around £2-£3 I don't want to have to take it to a computer shop and have to pay about £10-£15 labour for a relatively simple job.
Thanks for any help supplied.

Reply by: Alan D. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Oakham, LE15      4 Feb 2011 @ 13:45
RE: Real Time Clock not working

The slowness of bootup could be caused by the flat battery. Everytime it boots up, it is having to enumerate all the devices as it has lost its settings. If the battery is flat, getting into the CMOS to write down the settings may not help, they will probably be at default values. I would just change the battery, and then boot the PC up. Auto detection will normally set everything ( except date/time) for you, and most BIOSes have a "Load defaults" option anyway.

28 of 78 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      4 Feb 2011 @ 14:10
RE: Real Time Clock not working

I'd be inclined to think the motherboard is dying
An Asrock board from 2006 will really be an ECS board rebranded - and none of those last
However no harm in trying a new battery
What you need is a CR2032
The last ones I got cost me £1.50 for a strip of five Maxells from the local "pound shop". Buy them from PC World and they'll be around five quid each...

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Richard B. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Edinburgh, EH1      4 Feb 2011 @ 16:01
RE: Real Time Clock not working

Philip - How do you know the RTC has stopped working?

If it is the battery as you think then why are you trying to get into the BIOS to record its information?

I suspect that you don't actually know what your doing so why not pay up and get someone professional to fix it for you.

20 of 41 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: philip G.      4 Feb 2011 @ 20:42
RE: Real Time Clock not working

Richard,
The RTC is not working because the date and time is stuck on Dec 24 2010. I checked with a local repair shop and they suspected it was a dying battery. Not that it is any of your business but they did some work on the pc about 2 years ago and installed a windows xp service pack that had corrupt data on it so cost me another £20 to put it right that's why I am doing it myself as I don't trust them.
As for getting the BIOS info I have had a look through some notes i have (yes, I did a brief pc maintenance and repair course about 10 years ago)and not only in those notes but a book on pc maintenance I have also recommended recording the BIOS info just to be on the 'safe side'
Thanks for the unhelpful reply.

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      4 Feb 2011 @ 21:00
RE: Real Time Clock not working

I;m more inclined to think your PC has taken a voltage spike and simply disrupted the BIOS
Reset the BIOS through the jumper, fit a new battery and see what happens

THE RTC has not failed - if it did you would see total gibberish for time / date. The RTC is a chip containing an oscillating crystal and is damned hard to kill - short of using a hammer. The BIOS battery MAY be flat, but that usually causes a clock to run overfast, or very slow - or get stuck at some early date when the BIOS was first complied (usually something like 1996...)

The other possibility - though remote - is that you have some kind of malware on the machine which is resetting the time/date parameters whenever you boot into windows. Its rare, but some malware is known to do this in an attempt to stop scheduled virus updates.

So the solution? Fit a new CR2032 battery, reset the BIOS and then see what happens. If it still wont work, reload the software. If it still wont work, then new motherboard (if you can find one to replace a 2006 Asrock....unlikely)

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      4 Feb 2011 @ 21:05
RE: Real Time Clock not working

sorry couple of points I missed
1) a failed RTC won't cause a date to lock at Dec 2004. A screwed BIOS may
2) trying to get into the BIOS will tell you nothing except what you already know - the date / time are wrong. And you can find and change that from within windows

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      4 Feb 2011 @ 21:06
RE: Real Time Clock not working

of course , as I said earlier - its a 2006 Asrock board and really life expired

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Philip  G.      4 Feb 2011 @ 21:07
RE: Real Time Clock not working

All my anti malware is up to date. I had a full service on the pc about 8 months ago (windows reinstall, all the dat saved and the latest version of Kaspersky added too. It is only since then that the RTC has began to play up, at first it wasn't too bad but it is stuck on the same time and date now, so as you say malware seems to be remote.
The technician that fitted the Asrock board swore by them, said he had never had one fail on hm. If it is the M/board then it has lasted 12 months longer than the original M/board.
Thanks Jon, I will try those.

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      4 Feb 2011 @ 21:17
RE: Real Time Clock not working

when that board was fitted Asrock had only been in business around five months so how the engineer could make a comment like that...

as I said earlier, most of the Asrock boards, espeically of that generation were actually ECS/ELite boards made with a different coloured silicon wafer. The giveway is the south bridge heat sink: if its orange/gold, its an ECS board

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Philip G.      4 Feb 2011 @ 21:47
RE: Real Time Clock not working

Cheers Jon,
Someone recommended that engineer as I had only moved to this area a few months previous and to be honest for a Microsoft certified he didn't come across as being all that knowledgeable or confident. As for the Asrock board he fitted, the model is a K7S41/K7S41GX

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Jon S. PCIQ IT ProfessionalIT Professional in Morecambe, LA3      4 Feb 2011 @ 22:26
RE: Real Time Clock not working

aaah - actually thats a pretty stable board - usually only goes wrong if you blow it by incorrectly setting the FSB jumpers
you can still get the GX version if you look hard, - which has a max 333 FSB, but the not KS741 which could run at 400FSB. If you try to clock the GX up, it blows, so don't try it!

whatever, the guy who repaired it did a decent job as the machine has lasted for five years or more.
Reset the BIOS and put a new battery in. I have a feeling that some of those didn't have a BIOS reset jumper - instead you had to short a pair of solder points with a screwdriver. Best to read the manual (its online on their website) before you try it

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post
Reply by: Philip G.      4 Feb 2011 @ 22:33
RE: Real Time Clock not working

Thanks for all the info Jon.

20 of 38 people found the above post helpful
Was this post helpful?  I thought this post was helpful  I thought this post was not helpful
Report this post

Do you need computer support?