How do I Troubleshoot a Dell Laptop Clock That Does Not Keep Time?

by Angelique Sanders
monitor and clock image by Sergey Tokarev from <a href=''></a>

If the time display on your Dell laptop doesn't function correctly, it could be symptomatic of much larger system problems. A common cause is a failing CMOS battery. In some systems, this battery is responsible for saving all critical BIOS settings; without it, your system may not run properly. Also, any software with renewing licenses, as well as programs such as Outlook and Excel, sync with the clock frequently and may not function as expected if the date and time are incorrect.

Step 1

Go to the Dell site and Windows Updates and install all critical updates.

Step 2

Click Ctrl-Alt-Delete (Vista or Windows 7) and select "Start Task Manager." Go to the "Services" tab and scroll down to W32Time. Right-click and choose "Start Service."

Tap F2 several times while booting up to enter Dell's BIOS settings. Find the clock setting in the first screen and enter the correct time using the numeric keypad or the left- or right-arrow keys; save this setting.


  • If your clock continues to lose time, your BIOS may need to be upgraded or your CMOS battery may need to be replaced. Run the Dell clock troubleshooter (see Resources) which offers instructions specific to your system.


Photo Credits

  • monitor and clock image by Sergey Tokarev from

About the Author

Angelique Sanders has been a freelance writer since 1989, with hundreds of published pieces to her name. Her writing credits include a stint as a restaurant reviewer for "TravelHost" magazine, a weekly political column for a Portland newspaper, and a bevy of food and cooking-related articles as well as other topics. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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