"Your clock is set to a date before 1 Jan 2008..."

cujimmy

macrumors member
Original poster
Jul 21, 2010
72
0
Every couple of months or so, when I start up my Mac I get an error saying the clock is set to a date before 1 Jan 2008 and some applications may behave erratically.

1. Why does it do this?

2. How can I stop it doing this?

3. If it doesn't know the correct date as a reference, how does my computer know that the date it's set to is incorrect?

4. If it knows it's incorrect, why can't it therefore correct itself?
 

chown33

Moderator
Staff member
Aug 9, 2009
8,717
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3. If it doesn't know the correct date as a reference, how does my computer know that the date it's set to is incorrect?
It knows it was manufactured after Jan 1, 2008. So if it sees a date before then, it can deduce the date must be incorrect, otherwise the computer itself would not exist. Anthropomorphically speaking.


4. If it knows it's incorrect, why can't it therefore correct itself?
It would need an internet connection, and it probably doesn't have one at the time. Or you haven't turned on "Set data & time automatically", in the Date & Time panel of System Preferences, so it doesn't have permission to use an internet connection.


And you might have a dead or weak battery in your computer, so every time the power goes down (or possibly when restarted), the builtin clock loses power completely.

If you have a switched outlet to your Mac, and you typically turn that switch off, then the clock chip runs only from the battery, depleting it faster. When the computer is plugged in to a live socket (not switched, or left on), it has a low-power source from the powerline, that keeps the battery in reserve, so the battery lasts longer.
 
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Theclamshell

macrumors 68030
Mar 2, 2009
2,741
1
This happens on all computers if you don't turn them on for a while while they are not connected to a power source, it happened to my imac G3 but i kept it plugged in for a couple of days and the problem stopped.
 
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