View Full Version : [other] Fast BIOS clock? (Inspiron 1420)

September 5th, 2008, 02:15 AM
Ok, so this one is a little strange, and I don't THINK it's Ubuntu related, but still..

I own a Inspiron 1420 with Ubuntu. Recently, I was having problems with the disc check occasionally failing with a fsck exit status 3. Following the advice I found here, I was planning to change the date in the BIOS to fix this.

However, when I got to the BIOS to do this....I saw something else.

My BIOS clock thinks time moves....really fast. I go into the setup routine, and my guess is that my BIOS clock advances about a day every 5-10 (actual) seconds. I hadn't noticed it because I am automatically synchronizing my clock to the internet, so when I log in, the system looks up the time (via NTP, presumably) and it fixes itself in about 30 seconds.

So.... I dunno. I haven't updated the BIOS or anything.

Has anyone else run into this one?

I started to notice this after I upgraded to Hardy....there's no way that's related?

This has to be a hardware issue...right?

September 5th, 2008, 02:16 AM
Sounds like a BIOS issue. Have you checked to see if it's the latest version of the bios? If not take it up with dell, flashing the bios can ruin your pc!

September 5th, 2008, 02:21 AM
You may update your BIOS within Ubuntu if you do not have Windows using the following terminal commands as your normal user:

wget -q -O - http://linux.dell.com/repo/firmware/bootstrap.cgi > bootstrap.sh
sudo bash bootstrap.sh
sudo aptitude install firmware-addon-dell
sudo aptitude install $(sudo bootstrap_firmware -a)
sudo update_firmware

If the last command returns that new BIOS has been found and can be updated, prepare the update with:

sudo update_firmware --yes

When it completes, let the BIOS update by performing a soft reboot by going to System>Quit... and click "Restart". After Ubuntu shuts down, the screen will remain black for about 1-2 minutes. The computer will then reboot, reporting the updated BIOS version. This might fix the clock issue. Good Luck!

September 5th, 2008, 02:44 AM
I'll look into that. I have to admit, I'd prefer NOT to flash the BIOS unless I have to. It's my understanding that updating the BIOS is just about the only thing you can do with a computer that is potentially unrecoverable... if you screw it up, it could brick your laptop.

Yah, I know, it's very unlikely. However, it is a possibility, so I figured I'd try to see if there's some other way to go first.

September 7th, 2008, 08:43 PM
Just checking up, have you found out anything new yet?

September 8th, 2008, 05:57 PM
Just checking up, have you found out anything new yet?

No, I hadn't. But I've been on the road - won't be back at home until Saturday. Right now this is my only computer and my link to the outside world - I've learned the hard way not to install software or make changes to it unless I have time and restore discs at hand. :)

Was planning to probably flash the BIOS next week. I was just hoping there was a easy solution.... (never is!)

October 9th, 2008, 06:32 PM
Did you sort out the problem? One of my PCs (Dell Optiplex GX150) has a BIOS clock that races to the extent that I first thought that the seconds were milliseconds.

After running diagnostic tests the only thing I found wrong was that the "port base addresses 2f8h and 3f8h" were transmitting at 111999cps instead of an expected 5600cps. I have no idea what this means, but I guess it might be related...

October 9th, 2008, 06:38 PM
Odd. I'll be sure to check my Inspiron 1420n's BIOS when I get a chance. Keep us informed if/when you try flashing your BIOS and if it resolves your issue.