Symptoms of Real-time Clock Failure


A computer's real-time clock is an integrated circuit that maintains the system's date and time. Real-time clocks are present in any computerized or electronic device that keeps accurate time information. The circuit is powered by a battery and sends a signal to the computer's microprocessor informing it of any issues, such as losing time or not working at all.

Error Message

  • One symptom of a real-time clock failure is an error message when you first turn on the computer or electronic device. The message may read "A failure has been detected in the real-time clock module on the motherboard" or similar wording. You may or may not be prompted with an option to cancel or bypass the error message and continue with the start-up process.

Start-up Beep With Message

  • A series of beeps then a message stating a "real-time clock malfunction" are another start-up symptom of a real-time clock failure. The beeps are an audible warning that will come before the error message. You may or may not be able to cancel or bypass the error message and start your computer or electronic device.

Inaccurate Date and Time

  • If your computer or electronic device continues the start-up process, an inaccurate clock is the next symptom of a real-time clock failure that will require you to reset the time and date manually. The component may be able to advance the time and date correctly as long as you don't turn off the computer or device.


  • Contact your computer's or electronic device's manufacturer for a replacement battery for your computer's real-time clock circuit. Note that you may not be able to access your computer or electronic device's real-time clock battery to replace it yourself. Contact an authorized repair service to replace your computer's real-time clock battery if you can't access the component.

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