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Old 12-12-2003, 09:54 PM   #1
vortical
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Registered: Sep 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 10.0
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trouble setting system time on dell laptop



I am new to Linux and need a little help. Everytime I try to boot, no matter what distro (slackware, redhat, mandrake, knoppix, college linux, yellowdog) it hangs on the command to set the system time from the hardware clock. I was given the advice to escape out of the command with "Ctrl-C", and I was able to boot Linux (I am currently running slackware 9.1, as it was the only distro to actually boot fully). When I give the command to reboot or halt the system, it also hangs on setting the hardware clock from the system time and never fully shuts down.

The box I am having troubles with is a Dell Inspiron 4000 laptop with the following:

- 256MB RAM
- Intel Pentium III 850MHz processor
- 8MB ATI 128 Mobility video card
- 10GB HD
- CD-RW drive
- ESS Maestro sound card
- some kind of network/modem card (also inoperable at this point)
- touchpad (works great!)
- 1024x768 XVGA LCD screen

When I bypass the time setting command on boot, everything else loads and seems to work fine except for when I attempt to set the time from within KDE (I'm new, so many other things could still be wrong that I just don't know about yet ).

Please help!

 
Old 12-13-2003, 01:51 AM   #2
Technoslave
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You might be having problems with ntpd, don't know why, I've never liked ntpd myself, never been able to get it to work right.

You could just remove it from your /etc/init.d or move it to a new name, get rid of it however you like.

I have a script that I run once an hour to get time ... It can be found here: http://www.technoslave.net/other/setclock.txt

Basically, when I first started setting clocks via the net, I liked clock.psu.edu for some reason...so I've stuck with it. Basically, I check to see if you're root, if not, break out. If you are, use ntpdate from the server to set the regular clock, then I issue hwclock --systohc which syncs the hardware clock with the system clock...because I had a really annoying computer once that when I rebooted it, it would reset the date/time ... etc.

Anyway, hope it helps...I'm rambling now at 3 in the morning.
 
Old 12-13-2003, 01:54 AM   #3
Guru3
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What you can try and do is upgrade the BIOS, and set the time in the bios. Dells have always been a little funny... and the BIOS upgrade may fix your problem, for some wierd un-explainable reason.
 
Old 12-13-2003, 05:36 AM   #4
pablob
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agree with the BIOS stuff.

Also, I had a very similar problem which got solved by using new 2.6 test kernel
 
Old 12-13-2003, 07:17 PM   #5
vortical
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Question

I can't find the /etc/init.d file on my system to remove ntpd from. Could it be called something different because I'm using slackware 9.1 instead of something else?

I did a little digging and found the hwclock command. When I try to run this command it hangs just it does at boot time. When I run it with the --debug option I get this output:

[COLOR=blue]
hwclock from util-linux-2.12
Using /dev/rtc interface to clock.
Assuming hardware clock is kept in local time.
Waiting for clock tick...
<blinking cursor>

[COLOR=black]
I tried updating the BIOS, but I already have the most up to date version from Dell and it still doesn't work.

 
Old 12-13-2003, 07:18 PM   #6
vortical
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lol my html tags didn't work
 
Old 12-13-2003, 07:22 PM   #7
vortical
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i cant set the system clock from the net right now, i cant get my network card to work either...
 
Old 12-13-2003, 07:56 PM   #8
DrOzz
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i also agree with flashing your BIOS...i actually had to do this the other day on one of my machines cause of a very very similiar clock problem, and that was my solution..
 
Old 12-13-2003, 08:02 PM   #9
vortical
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i already flashed the BIOS to the most recent BIOS... it didn't help any...
 
Old 12-14-2003, 02:52 AM   #10
Guru3
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Does setting the clock work in any other os? Is this a linux problem or a hardware problem?
 
Old 12-15-2003, 06:34 PM   #11
vortical
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i think its a hardware problem... every distro that i tried hung on the command to access the clock. any ideas on how i would go about troubleshooting further and fixing the problem.
 
Old 12-15-2003, 11:16 PM   #12
Guru3
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How old's you Dell? Maybe you can still call tech suport? You said "every distro" does it freeze in Windows too?
 
Old 12-17-2003, 07:39 AM   #13
vortical
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I never had a problem with Windows concerning the system time, and my dell's more than 3 years old so no calling tech support... maybe i'll just get a new laptop after Christmas. Any suggestions?
 
Old 12-17-2003, 09:50 AM   #14
Guru3
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In the meantime, I'm sure you can just set the system time in the BIOS, and fudge resyncing the clock on shutdown.
 
  


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