Setting HP EliteDesk BIOS Date and Time

HP EliteDesk image

Setting the HP EliteDesk BIOS Date and Time has been a bit of a dark art since the machines were first made. In HP’s traditional gotta-scam-a-buck way, they don’t include the option of setting BIOS date & time in the actual BIOS software. Yes, a feature computer users have had since at least the first AMI BIOS system I ever purchased in the 1980s has been removed. This was so they could make more money selling you Windows and support contracts. Remember, HP is the company famous for “starter cartridges.”

You’ve seen my various EliteDesk units before. Once the gen-4 machines got under $300 on eBay I picked a few up, jammed them full of RAM and let them run BOINC. If I ever need an “extra system” for a project they get pulled off the BOINC rack and pressed into service. This also allows me to experiment with various Linux distros without hosing one of my main machines or dealing with VirtualBox issues.

Most of you have been reading this blog long enough to know that I came up through computer operations. That means I’m a big fan of bare metal backups. (We couldn’t afford disk-to-disk backup when a 512MEG HDA was north of $5K!) The problem with bare metal backup is you end up using the BIOS date and time if your bare metal software cannot access the Internet. Eventually you look down and see the backup date and time are months off.

We Want to Sell You Windows

HP wants to sell you Windows. They want to sell you MS Office and all things Microsoft unless HP has competing commercial software. If you suggest things that could be downloaded and used for free in the HP Support Community well . . .

HP Deleted links to free word processors

I just saw that today. Shows how often I look at the forum. The links and all of the text were exactly the answer to the question but HP wanted to sell Office software.

When you search for information on setting the BIOS date & time you eventually come to this conversation. That’s right. HP let Microsoft put the feature in Windows and then HP took the feature out of the BIOS so you would have to purchase Windows.

You Don’t Need Windows

If you have your Debian based distro set up to use Internet time so it is always “right” for your timezone, you need to open a terminal and issue one command.

sudo hwclock -w --verbose

The –verbose option will show you a bit of interesting information. Afterwards, you can check your hardware clock.

After setting clock

It’s too bad more Linux distros don’t include a button on the Date & Time settings dialog to “Update hardware clock.”

Roland Hughes started his IT career in the early 1980s. He quickly became a consultant and president of Logikal Solutions, a software consulting firm specializing in OpenVMS application and C++/Qt touchscreen/embedded Linux development. Early in his career he became involved in what is now called cross platform development. Given the dearth of useful books on the subject he ventured into the world of professional author in 1995 writing the first of the "Zinc It!" book series for John Gordon Burke Publisher, Inc. A decade later he released a massive (nearly 800 pages) tome "The Minimum You Need to Know to Be an OpenVMS Application Developer" which tried to encapsulate the essential skills gained over what was nearly a 20 year career at that point. From there "The Minimum You Need to Know" book series was born. Three years later he wrote his first novel "Infinite Exposure" which got much notice from people involved in the banking and financial security worlds. Some of the attacks predicted in that book have since come to pass. While it was not originally intended to be a trilogy, it became the first book of "The Earth That Was" trilogy: Infinite Exposure Lesedi - The Greatest Lie Ever Told John Smith - Last Known Survivor of the Microsoft Wars When he is not consulting Roland Hughes posts about technology and sometimes politics on his blog. He also has regularly scheduled Sunday posts appearing on the Interesting Authors blog.