Fix: Real Time Clock Error

Sometimes, when you turn on your computer, you might hear a beep (or multiple beeps after an interval) and see an error message saying something like “Real Time Clock Error – Check Date and Time setting”. This error comes with a few variations, for example, you might see an error code “0271” or a message saying press F1 to enter BIOS setup etc. This error will also prevent you from accessing Windows and presents itself only when you power on your computer. Even if you follow the instructions, go into the BIOS and change the time settings, it will still change the time back to something else either when you enter into the Windows or when you turn on your computer again. Every time you log in to Windows, you will notice that your time is wrong and it will randomly change on every log in. The wrong time will also prevent you from using the internet and various websites like Gmail etc. You will usually get an error message saying “your time is behind” or something related to time when accessing internet or some specific websites.

This error is almost always caused by a problematic CMOS battery. This error usually means that your CMOS battery is dead and has no charge left. Since this CMOS battery is used to keep your system clock running when your system is turned off, you will get this error on every startup of your computer. The CMOS battery is a small battery that you will easily recognize on the motherboard. The battery can die because of old age, if your computer is really old, or because of a power surge.

Check and Replace CMOS Battery

Since we know that the problem is mostly caused by the CMOS battery, your first solution should be to check the battery or replace it with a new one. But, before you buy a new battery to replace the old one, it’s worth fixing your time from the BIOS.

Sometimes, the problem gets solved if you fix the time from the BIOS and select the settings that says “Restore BIOS to Default”. These are the steps to fix your time from the BIOS

  1. Turn on your computer
  2. Once the error is shown, press F1 or Del or F10. You will also see the button mentioned on the screen as well. The button you press to open BIOS depends on your manufacturer so it varies from manufacturer to manufacturer.
  3. Once you are in the BIOS, locate the Time and Date settings. Again, depending on your manufacturer, these settings can be anywhere. So, use the arrow keys to navigate through the menus and look for the Time Settings.
  4. Once you are done, Save the settings and locate an option named “Set BIOS to Default” or some variation of that. This option will generally be on the main tab/screen of your BIOS. Select this option and save the settings.

Now, restart your computer and check whether the error is still there or not. If the problem is still there then it’s time to replace your CMOS battery.

  1. You can get a CMOS battery from any computer shop (they are not that expensive).
  2. Open the casing of your computer and you will be able to see a small CMOS battery on the motherboard. It should look like a round wrist watch cell fitted into a round walls around it.
  3. Take out the old CMOS battery out and Replace that with the new one and then turn on your computer. The problem should be solved now.

If you aren’t confident enough to do this on your own, you can simply take your computer to a technician and he/she will be able to replace the CMOS battery.

Note: If you don’t know where the CMOs battery is, refer to the manual of your model. You can find a manual of your specific model from your manufacturer’s website.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.