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I installed Windows 8 RTM a few weeks ago. It's not my first time installing it, but it's the first time having these annoying problems:

  1. Randomly, the system clock changes time all by itself - to fix it I have to open the time window and sync it with the internet.

  2. Randomly, my internet connection stops working - to fix I have to run troubleshooting. Windows will find a problem with the IP on my Ethernet connection and fix it.

  3. In rare occasions, my PC freezes, requiring a restart. (I once got a BSOD, but only freezes have happened since.)

How can I permanently solve these problems?

This is what I've already tried:

  • Resets
  • Virus scans
  • Stopping/resetting the Windows Time service
  • Disabling and re-enabling Windows Time automatic internet sync
  • Changing the BIOS time
  • Changing the motherboard (CMOS) battery

My hardware configuration:

  • Operating System
    MS Windows 8 Enterprise Edition 64-bit
  • CPU
    Intel Core i7 2700K @ 3.50GHz with average temperature of 45 °C
    Sandy Bridge 32nm Technology
  • RAM
    8 GB Dual-Channel DDR3 @ 800MHz (8-8-8-24)
  • Motherboard
    ASRock Z77 Extreme4-M (CPUSocket) with average temperature of 40 °C
  • Monitors
    SMXL2270HD (1920x1080@60Hz)
    M2094D-PZ (1680x1050@60Hz)
  • Graphics Card
    896MB GeForce GTX 275 (CardExpert Technology) with average temperature of 57 °C
  • Hard Drive
    466GB FUJITSU MAXTOR STM3500320AS (SATA) with average temperature of 39 °C
  • Optical Drive
    ASUS DRW-2014L1T
  • Audio
    "High Definition Audio Device" (Generic)
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This sounds like there is a problem with the motherboard. Outside of simply reinstall Windows to confirm, there is no way to way to solve this within Windows, without more information. – Ramhound Sep 14 '12 at 11:45
@Ramhound: how can I gather more information? (is there anything else that would be useful to post in the OP?) I'm scared about it being a defect of the mobo, it would need a replacement I presume. – Vittorio Romeo Sep 14 '12 at 12:01
@Ramhound, seconded. That looks like a hardware problem to me. – Green Sep 14 '12 at 12:14
Damn. I've ordered my PC parts online and the SSD was already defective. What are the chances? - I will write to the ASRock support team. If anyone has another idea, don't hesitate to post – Vittorio Romeo Sep 14 '12 at 12:16

Sounds like it could be a CMOS battery problem (it's dying, dead, etc). It causes some issues with the motherboard's (and therefore windows') clock. It can also affect internet in some cases, because your time is not synced which confuses your router / ISP / internet servers / certificate authorities.

If, when you start up the computer, you get any of the following messages:

  • CMOS Settings Wrong
  • CMOS Read Error
  • CMOS Checksum Error
  • CMOS Battery Failure

You can be pretty sure this is the problem. With newer mobos, this shouldn't happen, so talk to your manufacturer because it's probably considered a defect.

Some motherboards you can access and switch this battery yourself. I'd go to your manufacturer's website to check.

Be careful though.

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His comments on the OP says he's already changed the battery (assuming motherboard battery = CMOS battery). – Dave Sep 14 '12 at 12:28
Yes, I've changed the battery. There is only one battery on my mobo so I assume that's the right battery – Vittorio Romeo Sep 14 '12 at 12:42

I see an unlocked processor, the Intel Core i7-2700K @ 3.50 GHz.

                               [Screenshot of Intel Core i7-2700K package]

Are you overclocking it? If so, it is plausible that your overclock is unstable.

I got myself an unlocked processor (though not the same one) and was able to create instability in the computer's performance.

Looking at your list of problems...

  1. Hmm... you didn't specify what incorrect times were being set nor when. But since you replaced your CMOS battery, time information shouldn't be lost.
  2. This is separate from your issues with time. You can describe dropped Internet connection as "unstable", and an unstable processor might just fail operating system commands to work with the LAN chip.
  3. An unstable processor definitely causes this. I get kernel panics when I set the CPU frequency too high.

The remedy in this case is simple: In BIOS, reduce the CPU frequency.

Other Less Likely Possibilities

  • Bad RAM chip(s): causes computer crashes, but I don't see why specialized problems such as changing time and dropped Ethernet connections would occur
  • Bad hard drive: can also crash computers, but like the RAM chips, those other problems should not happen
  • Other: Check out the other answers to your question, as this is the extent of my knowledge.
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My processor is not overclocked. Time randomly changes (hours and minutes). It can go from 11 AM to 5 PM, from 4 PM to 3 AM, and so on. – Vittorio Romeo Sep 14 '12 at 12:58

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