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Salmon Unlimited Member
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Post Posted: 03:50pm - Nov 4,11 
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I set the display clock on my desk computer to the same time as my cell phone time. A couple days later the computer is about 5 minutes fast. Why would a computer gain time?

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Joined: 04:10pm - Aug 8,11
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Post Posted: 04:19pm - Nov 4,11 
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Usually computer clocks lose time, because the CMOS Battery is failing and it needs to be replaced.
If the CMOS Battery is failing it can also cause the computer to Gain time which might be your problem.

It's pretty simple to change out the battery on a Desktop

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Joined: 06:59pm - Jul 14,11
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Post Posted: 05:46pm - Nov 4,11 
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What did you feed the hamsters that power the generator? Maybe you should adjust their diet.

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Post Posted: 05:49pm - Nov 4,11 
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What else would Popey feed them. . . . SPINACH!!

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Post Posted: 08:46pm - Nov 4,11 
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Popeye, you have XP right? Check your timezone to ensure that it's set right. I know it sounds wierd but it does matter. Also, is your computer automatically updating from a time server? It could be your battery but I'd try the simpler things first. Let me know if you have any questions. You know where I'm at. :D

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Post Posted: 09:14pm - Nov 4,11 
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Fishing maniac wrote:
What else would Popey feed them. . . . SPINACH!!

I think we may have figured it out. Other than a possible spinach diet to speed things up, I'm actually at a loss for explanation. Maybe your cellphone was off, which does not seem likely. However, try this for a double check.

Set it to here today: http://www.time.gov/timezone.cgi?Central/d/-6/java

Then check it again in a couple days to see if your computer runs as fast as the government.

While you're at it, check your cell phone time to the government time to see if your cell phone is as accurate as the government.

If there are still discrepancies, I guess you may have to figure out how to slow that thing down so we can all keep up with you.

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Joined: 05:59pm - Jun 3,03
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Post Posted: 10:54am - Nov 5,11 
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Computers are lousy clocks and need to be synchronized with a known time source periodically. If you double click the time in XP there is a tab, I think the third tab called Internet time where you can synch the time with a time source. Mine is set to time.nist.gov. You have to have administrative privileges to set the time.

As far as cell phones, mywork supplied Blackberry (AT&T) is up to 6 minutes off my personal (T-Mobile) time. The T-Mo time is correct as per time sources.

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Chitown-Angler
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Post Posted: 05:16pm - Nov 5,11 
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I'm unsure what platform your running, but if youre using Windows, right click your clock and you should have some options in there to synchronize your time to a Windows time server.

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Post Posted: 10:10pm - Nov 5,11 
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Computer was set to auto sync with time.windows.com. Changed it to time.nist.gov to see if that makes a difference. The computer is a 2004 Dell with Windows XP. Time zone is Central with DST set to autodetect. Never had a noticeable issue with Sprint time on my cell phone. The battery is the large watch looking battery under a little clip on the big circuit board right? Had it open to vacuum it this morning and saw one there.

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Post Posted: 07:02am - Nov 6,11 
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Popeye wrote:
Computer was set to auto sync with time.windows.com. Changed it to time.nist.gov to see if that makes a difference. The computer is a 2004 Dell with Windows XP. Time zone is Central with DST set to autodetect. Never had a noticeable issue with Sprint time on my cell phone. The battery is the large watch looking battery under a little clip on the big circuit board right? Had it open to vacuum it this morning and saw one there.


Yep that's it. Be sure you replace with the correct one and also know that some settings (ie time) will be reset.
Have you checked the event log to see if there are any errors?

I believe the default synch time is once a week.

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Joined: 06:59pm - Jul 14,11
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Post Posted: 07:46am - Nov 6,11 
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Popeye wrote:
Computer was set to auto sync with time.windows.com. Changed it to time.nist.gov to see if that makes a difference. The computer is a 2004 Dell with Windows XP. Time zone is Central with DST set to autodetect. Never had a noticeable issue with Sprint time on my cell phone. The battery is the large watch looking battery under a little clip on the big circuit board right? Had it open to vacuum it this morning and saw one there.

You are correct, that is the CMOS battery mentioned to be replaced. I'm not convinced that it's an issue with the battery, but who knows, maybe it is and it's easy and inexpensive to change. You can pick up a new one at Radio Shack. I think it is just the computers internal clock runs a little fast, which is not necessarily a bad thing. Changing the time server like you did may be your best solution. Now that I think about it the Windows time server has failed me in the past and I just changed mine also.

Although you already vacuumed it this morning and are obviously up and running without issue, compressed air in a can is safer and this is worth mentioning for others thinking about doing the same thing. House vacuums can generate enough static electricity to fry components. I know from personal experience - years ago I fried a main board that way. It take a lot less static electricity than people think to cause damage. In fact the the amount that would cause damage will not create a spark and you may not even know the static electricity exists.

It's important to occasionally get the dust out to keep from accumulating so much that it starts over heating. If you did not blow out the power supply you should do that also. For anyone thinking about using an air compressor and, it becomes a bad idea to use if the air compressor creates condensation with water spitting out of the hose. Another warning about using a compressor. Don't get caught up in using the compressed air to whirl up the fans inside the computer because it sounds cool as the bearings could get damaged from spinning at to high RPMs and you will end up having to replace fans down the road also.

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Last edited by Patient Pursuit on 10:09am - Nov 6,11, edited 1 time in total.
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Post Posted: 09:38am - Nov 6,11 
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So I'm guessing the 125 psi from my air compressor with the vacuum on the other side of the fan wasn't such a good idea?

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Post Posted: 10:06am - Nov 6,11 
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On the contrary, sounds perfect as long as condensation was not spitting out from the compressor, and of course the computer was turned off. I think you are referring to putting the vacuum on the outside of the power supply or case fan and blowing from the inside out. What you have to not get carried away with is spinning up the smaller fans on the main board to thousands of RPMs with 125 psi. I have done that in the past without thinking about it. But now that I know better, I'm careful with not getting a high pitched whirling sound for any duration of time when blowing out fans. I would still recommend to use compressed air on the fans though, and I use an air compressor all the time for it. Just needs to be done in moderation.

Since your computer is still running, it's irrelevant anyway. You effectively increased the life of your computer by eliminating the dust bunnies and did not fry your system, so your good to go for another couple years of dust accumulation.

The way I fried a main board with a household vacuum was using it with a brush attachment directly on electronics without proper grounding, which I now know is a definite no-no.

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