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Ask Max: Boot Camp clock time switch

Asked on 04/21/2008:

If you installed windows via Boot Camp on any PowerBook, the time changes as you switch from Windows to Mac OS the time changes.We installed one software upgrade for time & date preference, it fixed Mac timing but not Windows timing.
Any help about it is welcomed.


This is a common problem between switching from one OS to another. The problem stems from how Windows XP uses the computer's internal clock. OS X always stores the time as the Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) in the Mac's internal clock. Adjustments to the time displayed in the Mac OS are made based on location and Daylight Savings Time settings. With the Windows OS, time is stored as local time. People who live in the GMT zone are the only ones unaffected by this difference in time storage.

Really the best way to compensate for the time difference, is for each OS to manage its time over internet. Both the Mac OS and the Windows OS can manage time based on network time servers. There will be occasional delays between clock updates, because the OS only checks the time server a few times a day. If you can stand to have the Windows OS displaying GMT, then I would disable network time synchronization in Windows and let the Mac OS have the correct time.

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