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Clock very slow in Windows Home Server; Not in BIOS RRS feed

  • Question

  • I am having an issue in that my system clock on my system with Windows Home Server is falling constantly well behind actual time.  Visibly it is even noticeable just by opening the clock panel and seeing the seconds about once every 5 seconds sit at a number for a second or two longer than "normal".  Thus, the time is off by almost 10 seconds every minute.  This obviously adds up even in the span of 10 minutes you can already see a noticeable difference in the clock.

    The issue is multiplied by the fact that this is a brand new Intel motherboard I installed and my first thought was it is the CMOS battery, but it doesn't appear to be because the BIOS time is spot on.  I have let the system run in the BIOS and it stays exactly right overnight.  When I initially boot the server, it does set itself to the BIOS time but within a few minutes we are already off again.  Another reboot and the time is again correct according to the BIOS and WHS sets itself accordingly but again in a few minutes it is off.

    Anyone have any suggestions of things to try or if it still could be the CMOS battery for some reason?  If the BIOS is keeping perfect time then it leads me to believe it is something with Windows, possibly a hardware/software conflict?  I am also not running any anti-virus on it at the moment as that was the first suggestion I found.  I have also tried reinstalling WHS and have the same issue still.

    Any help in advance would be greatly appreciated!
    Sunday, May 17, 2009 10:43 PM

All replies

  • I am having an issue in that my system clock on my system with Windows Home Server is falling constantly well behind actual time.  Visibly it is even noticeable just by opening the clock panel and seeing the seconds about once every 5 seconds sit at a number for a second or two longer than "normal".  Thus, the time is off by almost 10 seconds every minute.  This obviously adds up even in the span of 10 minutes you can already see a noticeable difference in the clock.

    The issue is multiplied by the fact that this is a brand new Intel motherboard I installed and my first thought was it is the CMOS battery, but it doesn't appear to be because the BIOS time is spot on.  I have let the system run in the BIOS and it stays exactly right overnight.  When I initially boot the server, it does set itself to the BIOS time but within a few minutes we are already off again.  Another reboot and the time is again correct according to the BIOS and WHS sets itself accordingly but again in a few minutes it is off.

    Anyone have any suggestions of things to try or if it still could be the CMOS battery for some reason?  If the BIOS is keeping perfect time then it leads me to believe it is something with Windows, possibly a hardware/software conflict?  I am also not running any anti-virus on it at the moment as that was the first suggestion I found.  I have also tried reinstalling WHS and have the same issue still.

    Any help in advance would be greatly appreciated!

    (Just when you thought you've seen it all... ;)  )

    Is this a pre-built server (i.e. HP MSS) or did you build your own?  If your own, is this new hardware or used?  Did you check to make sure you have the latest drivers for your hardware?
    Sunday, May 17, 2009 10:56 PM
    Moderator
  • This is a server I have built myself.  Most of the hardware is new (I reused things like my hard drives).  I was running a Dell PowerEdge SC430 (very low end "server", more of a desktop) and then I wanted to add more drives for space and didn't have the room in the case, so I bought a new ATX case with more room, and a new Intel motherboard, lower-end Core 2 Duo processor, 2gb of ram.  So most of it is new except really the hard drives which are 4 1TB WD Green Power drives. And then a 250GB Western Digital drive I use as the base system drive.

    Everything is the latest, freshest updated driver downloads from the respective manufacturer sites.  I have even tried beta drivers (previous install of WHS) to see if that might help the issue.

    Like you said, typically the BIOS is where the problem really is, but just not the case here (as much as I wish it was).

    I also had already gotten rid of the motherboard box so no one will take it back although Intel said they would replace the board but it seems to be a Windows issue since the BIOS is right and that in that case they can't take it back.  I am really at a loss!
    Sunday, May 17, 2009 11:03 PM
  • This is a server I have built myself.  Most of the hardware is new (I reused things like my hard drives).  I was running a Dell PowerEdge SC430 (very low end "server", more of a desktop) and then I wanted to add more drives for space and didn't have the room in the case, so I bought a new ATX case with more room, and a new Intel motherboard, lower-end Core 2 Duo processor, 2gb of ram.  So most of it is new except really the hard drives which are 4 1TB WD Green Power drives. And then a 250GB Western Digital drive I use as the base system drive.

    Everything is the latest, freshest updated driver downloads from the respective manufacturer sites.  I have even tried beta drivers (previous install of WHS) to see if that might help the issue.

    Like you said, typically the BIOS is where the problem really is, but just not the case here (as much as I wish it was).

    I also had already gotten rid of the motherboard box so no one will take it back although Intel said they would replace the board but it seems to be a Windows issue since the BIOS is right and that in that case they can't take it back.  I am really at a loss!
    The only suggestion I have at this point is to install WHS again (preferably a New Installation if you didn't put any data on your server yet).  Once the install is complete, instead of trying drivers from the various manufacturer websites, logon to the server desktop (which is unsupported), then use the Windows Update and install only whatever updates show up under Hardware, Optional.  (Do not install any Software, Optional updates as those have been known to cause issues on WHS.)

    Speaking of which, any chance you installed any Software, Optional updates? :)
    • Marked as answer by Joshabts Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:48 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Joshabts Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:17 PM
    Sunday, May 17, 2009 11:13 PM
    Moderator
  • I did just complete all of the updates since I figured typically that is best.....I will have to try a new installation.  I do have about 2TB worth of data on there, so a new installation means a long bunch of hours moving stuff off and back on.

    I will try the reinstallation first, without doing software, optional updates.  Just an odd issue, but hey, something new.
    Sunday, May 17, 2009 11:16 PM
  • I did just complete all of the updates since I figured typically that is best.....I will have to try a new installation.  I do have about 2TB worth of data on there, so a new installation means a long bunch of hours moving stuff off and back on.

    I will try the reinstallation first, without doing software, optional updates.  Just an odd issue, but hey, something new.

    As I said before, logging into the server desktop is unsupported.  You should always use the Console to check for updates.  (That will get you the same High Priority updates that you will get from Windows Update.)
    • Marked as answer by Joshabts Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:48 PM
    • Unmarked as answer by Joshabts Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:17 PM
    Sunday, May 17, 2009 11:19 PM
    Moderator
  • So I finally got around to reinstalling, and yeah, the reinstallation method worked and so far for two days now the clock hasn't fallen behind.  I only did updates through the home server console rather than through the website.

    Thanks for the help!
    Wednesday, May 27, 2009 2:48 PM
  • So I finally got around to reinstalling, and yeah, the reinstallation method worked and so far for two days now the clock hasn't fallen behind.  I only did updates through the home server console rather than through the website.

    Thanks for the help!
    Would appear I spoke to soon.  Just took a couple days but we have fallen way behind in time again, as of right now it thought it was 9am on the 28th when in reality it is 7pm.  I did only the updates via the console this time, and haven't used the desktop at all.  It has been approximately three days the server has been up without a reboot.  I must just not have noticed the time falling behind the first two.

    My next thing I can think of trying is replacing the CMOS battery anyways, but I still don't think that will help given the fact the BIOS time is perfectly fine still...
    Thursday, May 28, 2009 11:17 PM
  • Can you check the BIOS on your server to see if APM is enabled there? If it is, try disabling it and letting Windows manage power.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, May 29, 2009 3:33 PM
    Moderator
  • Can you check the BIOS on your server to see if APM is enabled there? If it is, try disabling it and letting Windows manage power.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    I looked in the bios but saw nothing about APM.  I did go ahead and disable Intel Speed Step Technology, considering this is a server it should never be on battery power ;-)  I will monitor over the next few days to see if that changes anything, but I would be surprised if that made the clock run slow.
    Monday, June 1, 2009 8:46 PM
  • I could swear I responded to this already...

    Turn off APM in your system's BIOS and let the operating system handle power management.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Monday, June 1, 2009 9:25 PM
    Moderator
  • I could swear  I responded to this already...

    Turn off APM in your system's BIOS and let the operating system handle power management.

    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)

    You did, hence why I just quoted your idea and responded that I saw nothing about APM in the Intel BIOS.
    Monday, June 1, 2009 9:33 PM
  • After checking just disabling speedstep technology hasn't fixed it as it is already 10 minutes off of actual time.  Just rebooted and the BIOS is still spot on with actual time.
    Monday, June 1, 2009 9:50 PM
  • After a little more settings playing around in the BIOS I think I have figured out the issue.  I disabled the high precision event timer (HPET) in the BIOS on my intel motherboard and instantly not only does WHS seem to run faster and be more responsive, but the clock *seems* to be staying in sync!

    Will update in a few days if this is still true or otherwise, but seems to be the fix!  Found it by going through Intel's glossary of motherboard settings and reading online that HPET isn't supported in Windows Server 03 which I assumed means it isn't supported in WHS either...
    Monday, June 1, 2009 10:20 PM
  • Wierd. That first post wasn't visible when I made the second one. APM = A dvanced P ower M anagement, BTW. It's not SpeedStep.

    But not every BIOS has the ability to turn power management off (or on)...
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Tuesday, June 2, 2009 3:01 AM
    Moderator
  • After a little more settings playing around in the BIOS I think I have figured out the issue.  I disabled the high precision event timer (HPET) in the BIOS on my intel motherboard and instantly not only does WHS seem to run faster and be more responsive, but the clock *seems* to be staying in sync!

    Will update in a few days if this is still true or otherwise, but seems to be the fix!  Found it by going through Intel's glossary of motherboard settings and reading online that HPET isn't supported in Windows Server 03 which I assumed means it isn't supported in WHS either...

    Well that wasn't the issue, the clock has fallen off again over the past few days....I am stumped.

    Wouldn't be such an issue if I wasn't streaming tv with SageTV across it.  Will have to likely just get a new motherboard.  Any suggestions for a good motherboard socket 775 with a bunch of SATA ports onboard for drive space?
    Saturday, June 6, 2009 1:46 PM
  • Could it be the external Time Server that the system is syncing to?   At times it woud seem the time.windows.com is not always correct.  

    Tuesday, June 9, 2009 4:42 PM
  • I know it isn't any time server sync issue, because as I watch the clock every few seconds the time stops for a second or two and seems to hang, then continues on again.  This happens almost consistently every 5 seconds all the time.  Although at times it is 6 seconds but that is likely just the one second hang causing the seeming delay.

    Any Windows gurus/developers know if there is any event or some sort of system event that happens every 5 seconds that relates to the time or some sort of counter?
    Thursday, July 9, 2009 2:08 AM