My computer's clock is losing time quite rapidly and I believe it the CMOS battery at fault. Does anyone know of any free-ware sites that have a CMOS saving program? Also, am I off-base on my thinking? Thanks in advance for your replies.
I had what sounds like a similar problem several months ago where I found I was losing maybe 45 min a day (don't remember exactly) but it actually turned out to be a software problem (with McAfee Viruscan). I upgraded to a different version and everything was fine.
I've had Batteries go bad in the past and they would always revert to some date and time when powered down. As far as I remember they would keep time correctly while they were on, I suspect your problem isn't the battery.
Clock times can be slow to either a CMOS Battery, software running, or even just low quaility components slowly failing.
If your clock is loosing time when the machine is off, then it is either the battery or components. The battery is very easy to replace, as are the CMOS settings. 95% of Bioses are just left at the defaults, and should work fine. The key screen to pay attention to is usually the first one that has all of your drives listed.
If the clock is loosing power when the machine is turned on, then this is most likely software or just cheap components. As Bill mentioned, some anti-virus software will do this, as will any software that takes priority over the system processes. The clock just slowly gets pushed aside and cant keep up.
The best fix for the software solution (and the hardware if the time isnt 100% critical) is to install some NTP Software. NTP = Network Time Protocol. This is built into Windows XP / Newer Macs and most Linux. This software in XP can be reached by double clicking on the clock in the task bar.
The NTP Software will at certain intervals contact a central server to see what the current time is, then based on how long the response took figure out the current exact time, and set the system clock to that.
Some designs will run fast or slow when the battery is nearly worn out, not that the clocks in many systems are that good at accurate timekeeping to begin with.
Most of your other CMOS settings can be fine-tuned after installing a new battery, even if you don't remember to note their settings first.
The main one to watch is your hard disk type number, otherwise you may not be able to reboot after fitting the new battery. Most new systems will auto-detect, however, so you may not even have to worry about that.