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Clocks running fast on some eMacs

Clocks running fast on some eMacs

We are beginning to investigate an apparent bug that causes clocks on some eMacs to "run fast" after the installation of Mac OS X 10.3.3.

Based on a number of posts to Apple's Discussion boards, the clock ticks an extra 1 second every 400 seconds, so that if left uncorrected the clock is ahead of the correct time by about three and one-half minutes after a day.

MacFixIt reader Randy Miller writes "The ntpd daemon loads at startup, when the system designates /var/run/ntp.drift as its clock frequency correction file. But the frequency correction written hourly to the file remains at 0.00, even though the time offset [error] value output from the 'ntpq -p' command steadily builds. Right now the only known workaround for the bug is to prevent the ntpd daemon from launching at boot and instead use the cron daemon to periodically synchronize the system clock with an external NTP server by executing the older ntpdate command.

"Misconfiguration of the ipfw firewall has been ruled out as the cause of the problem. Re-setting the eMac's PMU is no solution. The bug has been reported to Apple, who is not known to have responded.

"Recently an eMac owner reported on one of the discussion boards that when he views AV content that he has compressed with discreet Cleaner he discovers that the audio tracks drift ahead of and separate from the video content at about the same rate? 9 seconds per hour? as the machine's system clock runs ahead of the true time."

"A user who configures his eMac to synchronize with an NTP server through the Date & Time system preference pane discovers that synchronization is suddenly and discontinuously effected only when he afterwards opens the same preference pane."

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please let us know.

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