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OFF TOPIC: My laptop's internal clock

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debbie.jean.bro
Advanced Tutor

OFF TOPIC: My laptop's internal clock

I have an HP Pavilion series g7 laptop I bought in August 2011. Last year the internal clock stopped working correctly. It runs really, really slowly. I have to manually change the date and time whenever I log in and then update the time every hour or so while I'm on the Internet. Otherwise, I can't navigate anywhere because it confuses the websites. I should mention it's using Windows 10.

My daughter calls me "cheap." I prefer the term "frugal," haha! I've been living with this for a year and just haven't wanted to spend the $$ to get it fixed.

Any ideas on what may be causing this? At this point, being five years old, should I bite the bullet and buy a new laptop?
21 REPLIES 21
BirdDog
Assistant Professor

There is a battery on the motherboard. It is most likely bad.

That said, you need to set your system clock to check the internet for time and sync to it:

HughesNetCorpor
New Member

Have you verified that your settings are in the correct as far as Time Zone?
Your computer may very well think your in China somewhere..lol

I'm sure you have already tried this..but, if you right click on the clock,scroll up and click on Adjust Date/Time and then scroll down to Time Zone, you can verify which time zone your computer is set too and make any adjustments, if needed.
From this same page, you can also verify that your in the correct region United States.

LOL, I'm just throwing ideas out there. I, too, am frugal...I fix most all of my problems with duct tape. hahaha
debbie.jean.bro
Advanced Tutor

Thanks Gwalk! I'll do that and let you know the results. xoxo, thanks for the suggestion! But yeah, I'm on the correct time zone. If it were a time zone issue, the clock would still run on time, just not the local time. My clock runs several minutes slow each half hour. I bet it's what Gwalk said, because that makes sense.

I don't know what the cost would be to replace the battery or the whole motherboard, but I'm seriously considering a new laptop. I bought this computer in 2011 when I started my doctoral program and I told myself it had to last until I graduated. I'm now down to writing my dissertation and shooting to graduate spring 2018. But I'm seriously wondering if my laptop will hold out that much longer.

xoxo, haha on the duct tape! I use duct tape and velcro for everything, lol! My dad thought, given enough duct tape and chicken wire, anything can be fixed. I do love all the new colors and patterns duct tape comes in now, lol! 🙂
El Dorado Netwo
Advanced Tutor

Like Birddog wrote, your CMOS battery is dead. It's designed to trickle just a bit of charge to maintain your CMOS / BIOS settings (including time) when your computer is off/unplugged. It needs to be replaced. It's a little removable silver disk, about the size of a nickel. Similar to the batteries they use in garage door openers and auto key fobs. 

Also, if this is a laptop, you probably also need a new, rechargeable main battery pack.
El Dorado Networks |Diamond Springs, CA | eldoradonetworks.com
Gwalk900
Honorary Alumnus

I'll third the CMOS battery.
Be advised, laptops are a BEAST to take apart.
Look online for a video your brand an model.
Number the position of each screw you remove as they are know to have them of different sizes mixed in there.
El Dorado Netwo
Advanced Tutor

Be advised, laptops are a BEAST to take apart.
Amen to that. By the time you spend the money to buy new batteries and disassemble the laptop, it might be easier just to buy a new laptop.
El Dorado Networks |Diamond Springs, CA | eldoradonetworks.com
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Yep.  I'll fourth the CMOS battery.  Depending on your model, you may have a simple "door" to remove to access the battery, or you may end up having to take the entire case apart.  It varies from laptop to laptop.  The battery is just like what's used in a watch.  The following are a very common CMOS battery, though yours may be different....



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debbie.jean.bro
Advanced Tutor

THANKS all! I have a new main battery and it looks like it just pops in. My laptop can only run a couple of hours, at most, on just the battery, whereas it used to run 11-12 hours easily. Again, it's a five year old computer, so it doesn't surprise me that the battery is winding down.

I really appreciate your help! I didn't know about CMOS batteries, let alone that it is what powers the internal clock. I'm going to investigate what exact battery I need and how much it costs. And then try to figure out if it's worth the time and trouble. I'll let you know the results!

THANK YOU ALL!
donsjgm
Junior

Hi Chewagirl,

A CMOS battery is around $5.00 USD. The PITA is changing it. Look for a good uTube video or disassembly manual from the manufacturer. 
It's not fun but it's not rocket science either.

Don  🙂
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

CMOS batteries are no more expensive than watch batteries, as that's what they are.  They are the same thing.  Three or four bucks (or five, like don suggested above (was writing at the same time)).  You can get one at Walmart.  You just have to know which one to get, and will have to look up how to replace it.  Your computer manufacturer's website should have a tutorial on how to change the battery, and will probably tell you what battery you need, too.  Or, if you can get the old one out, just buy the same thing.   Hopefully replacing it won't be very hard.   

The main battery, on the other hand, probably just pops in, like you said, so it's an easy thing to do.  It most likely has some type of mechanism for holding it in place, but it should be easy to figure out.  This battery powers the whole computer, but the CMOS battery is the one that keeps the clock going, especially when the computer is off. 


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GW
Advanced Tutor

I buy 4-packs of CR2025 and 2032 at Harbor Freight for $3.49.
yorkytime1
New Poster

Gwalk.....I have the same laptop and I will atest to the fact it is a beast to take apart.  I found the service manual on the HP website with full instructions to take apart and reassemble my laptop.  I had a bad internal cooling fan.  Well after ending up with dozens and dozens of parts carefully placed on worktable!  I managed to replace the cooling fan.....reassemble the laptop....about two years ago.  I am typing on same laptop right now!  I feel like a computer guru.  ROFL 
yorkytime1
New Poster

Chewagirl,  My HP computer is about the same age as yours is.  Here are some photos to help you with the CMOS battery.  HP calls it the RTC battery.  It is just under the back cover for the computer.....no need to take the whole back of computer off.  Either it is just a slide of the battery compartment switch or maybe 4 screws holding the back cover on.  Just under there is the battery you need to replace.  Hope this helps you understand.  You will need to see the numbers on the battery before purchasing a new one.  


GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

Is the thing with the wires coming out of it the battery itself?  If so, talk about proprietary.  Again, if so, that's rotten, as it appears you may have to buy their specific battery, rather than the tried and true, easy, simple button cell batteries that most other computers use.  I mean, it's still a button cell battery, per se, but made in such a way that it has to be their configuration of it.  That's just rotten.

Then again, I hope that's just some type of cover, and you can take that off, replace the simple battery, and replace that cover.  If not...again...rotten of them.     


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yorkytime1
New Poster

Gabe,  that is true.  The wires plug into the motherboard right in that area.  No cannot use just a walmart brought button battery.  These are available on ebay for a reasonable fee.....but need the battery part or computer model to get correct one.  I buy most of my computer parts from ebay.  So far have had great luck with batteries, hard drives, replacement cooling fans, replacement laptop keyboards and some wiring harnesses for HP laptop computers.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_trksid=p2050601.m570.l1313.TR12.TRC2.A0.H0.Xhp+pavilio...
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

I'm glad the battery for the HP is easy to find and not particularly expensive, but it would still be nice if one could just pop into their Walmart or Rite Aid or something and get one. 

I'm glad my laptop, notebook and desktop all use the same battery.  Well, not the same battery, but the same kind.  LMAO.    


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
yorkytime1
New Poster

yes I agree it would really be nice.  Actually I've never had to replace the CMOS in any HP laptop.  I've used HP laptops for many years.  So I too was surprised when I really looked at the thing.  I've seen it before when I opened the back but never really paid much attention to it.  But one does need the exact replacement part number or the exact laptop model number to get the correct one.  And I advise stay away from the ebay chinese sellers. 
GabeU
Distinguished Professor IV

No doubt.  The Chinese batteries are junk, as are a lot of the other cheaper batteries.  I stick mostly with the name brand or product branded batteries.  They may cost a little more, but you know what you are getting.  I made the mistake of buying some batteries from Amazon that were very nicely priced for a laser bore sight, but they died within five minutes.  The money saved was certainly not worth it.  Now, when I read reviews for products on Amazon, I make sure they are from verified buyers.  I learned that lesson very quickly.  Not all cheaper batteries online are junk, but nine times out of ten, they are.         

I bought the four pack of button cell batteries only because my old 2007 Dell Dimension E521 desktop, which I was putting Linux Mint on to give away, was having clock problems.  I knew the other three computers that I do still use have the same battery, so I figured I would just have them on hand if they die, as well.  For eight bucks, it was worth it.   


Ryzen 5 3400G | MSI B450M Pro-M2 MAX | 16GB Corsair Vengeance DDR4 3000 | XPG SX8200 Pro 512GB NVMe | Windows 10 Pro
Amanda
Moderator

Hi Chewagirl,

Sounds like our community has some solid advice. As always, take care when working with electronics! 

Amanda
Liz
Moderator
Moderator

Good morning Chewagirl,

Looking forward to hearing how the battery replacement addresses your clock concern!

Kudos to everyone who helped in this thread!

-Liz
If you have a tech or billing question and need help, please start a new thread in the appropriate board. Unsolicited Private Messages may not get replies.

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