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Troubleshooting ClockWatch
Tips on how to troubleshoot ClockWatch

Applies to: ClockWatch Pro, Sentry, Server, Client

Troubleshooting Table of Contents

1.  Time Setting Problems
2.  Connection Problems
      3.1  Timeserver Connection Problems
      3.2  Internet Connection Problems
      3.3  Direct Modem Connection Problems
3.  Testing a Timeserver Connection
4.  Problems with Graph or Log Options
5.  Installation Problems

6.  Running the Trace Diagnostic Routine

7.  Key Code and Registration Problems

1. Time Setting Problems

ClockWatch is not making a time setting

  • Your computer may not have an active Internet connection.  Verify that the computer has an active Internet connection.  This is most easily done by opening a web browser, then hit the F5 key on your keyboard to reload the page.  If the page does not reload, you do not have a connection.

  • Your computer is behind a personal or corporate firewall. ClockWatch must make contact with the Atomic clock using different ports than web browsing. See  configuring ClockWatch behind firewalls  for more information.

  • The system clock may be already synchronized to the Atomic Clock.  Setting attempts made too quickly together do not show a discernable difference and no adjustment is needed.  You will see a message:  “Time difference too small.  No setting made.”

  • The time setting function is in the Manual mode and no settings have been made.   Click the “Set Time” button to attempt a time sync.  Results will be displayed in the main window.

  • ClockWatch isn't running. Be sure ClockWatch is running when you expect the setting to be made. ClockWatch must be running in either the desktop, in the taskbar, the system tray or as a Service.

  • The default timeserver selected may be busy.  Select Options>Timeserver; select the Directory button, then select another timeserver.  Some of the NIST servers get busy at times.  If you are using on Port 80 and cannot make a connection, contact Beagle Software support for assistance.

  • There may be too many requests made to the NIST over a short period of time. Change the NIST server used under the Options menu or wait 15 minutes before retrying. 

  • Your computer has an Internet connection, but there is no connection to the selected timeserver. Verify the connection to the timeserver by using TelnetLook for errors in the NIST log window that indicate a setting can’t be made due to the NIST server being down or other causes.  You may be able to resolve the problem by choosing another timeserver.

 ClockWatch makes the wrong time setting

  • Time zone is set wrong in Windows. ClockWatch uses the Windows internal time zone setting to determine if daylight savings time is both used and is currently in effect.   Check the time zone setting under the Date/Time icon in the Windows Control panel to verify that the setting is set to your local time zone.  This applies for timeservers utilizing NIST, NTP or TIME protocol.

  • If a Daytime type timeserver is used, then check that the hours difference field is set correctly.

 There is no time difference shown after a setting

  • The difference in time with the measurements have been too small (1 second or less) to make a clock setting.

 ClockWatch is installed behind a firewall

  • ClockWatch needs to be properly configured to work behind a firewall or proxy server.  As a test, check to see if your Web browser is configured to work with a proxy server. If so, visit configuring ClockWatch behind firewalls  about configuring ClockWatch to work behind firewalls.

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2.  Connection Problems

Options>Timeserver will allow you to customize the type of connection the computer will make to the timeserver, as well as specify the timeserver used.   Some connection problems may be resolved by customizing the settings on this option.

2.1  Timeserver Connection Problems
he timeserver list contains a list of timeservers to be used by ClockWatch.  While they have all been verified, not all timeservers are available to all users at all times.  The timeserver may not be currently operational, requiring you to choose another timeserver.

A timeserver or no timeservers reply

  • Use the timeserver test (see Section 9.6) to determine if communication is available over the Internet at all. If you find only certain protocols reply (such as ping) then you may be behind a firewall that prevents communication of the ports that timeservers commonly use. See section on using ClockWatch behind Firewalls.

 The timeserver I want to use isn’t on the list

  • You can add a new timeserver using the “Add” button at the top of the timeserver list.

2.2  Internet Connection Problems

ClockWatch doesn’t dial my ISP

  • Choose the Setup option next to the “Internet Dial-up” button.  In the window that opens, verify that the Windows Dial-up Networking account is currently active and works when you select it from Windows.

ClockWatch dials my ISP but doesn’t connect to a timerserver

  • It’s possible that, even though you are connected to your ISP, you’re either not logged into your account or Internet access is unavailable.  Establish the connection manually from Windows, verify that connection to the Internet is active, and then press the “Set Time” button from the ClockWatch main screen.

2.3  Direct Modem Connection Problems
The direct-modem connection requires that the communication between the communications port and the modem work smoothly.  Given the wide variety of modems and computers installed, getting the settings correct may at times require some extra attention. This section includes points to look at if the Direct Modem connection fails to dial and synchronize with the NIST timeserver.

Modem Fails to Dial

  • The phone line is not configured for outbound dialing.  Check to see that:

  • No prefix or account code is required to dial an outside line.

  • The phone line or extension in use is restricted from dialing a long distance number.   Tip:  Test the line by taking the phone line from the modem, plug it into a regular telephone and dial the NIST at 1-303-494-4774. The NIST modem should answer the call.

  • Turn handshaking on or off on the Direct Modem Connection screen. Some modems require that handshaking be set to allow the modem to dial. Settings can be tested by using the Modem Test Screen.  Try turning the RTS and DTR enable on or off, adjust both the Type Handshake to None or RTS.

  • Try a different Attention string. If the Attention string is invalid for the modem in use, then the modem will not be able to continue. Try the different Attention strings available in the Templates on the Direct Modem Connection form.

Modem Dials NIST but Doesn’t Synchronize

  • Try turning RTS handshaking off (if it is on). The modem might be waiting for a change in state from the communication port that never comes.

  • Try turning off Flow Control and/or MNP data compression in the modem. An Attention string of AT&K0%C0 will often do both on many modems. Try the different Attention strings available in the Templates on the Direct Modem Connection form.

  • Force the modem to transmit with a maximum link speed of 2400 baud.  Some modems accept a command that limits the maximum speed the modem will converse in (V.34 modems sometimes use AT&N3). Some V.90 modems allow you to force the modem into the Bell V.22, 2400 baud mode (try AT+MS=V22B,0,2400).

Modem ‘Hangs’ after Call

  • If the call is successful but the modem is ‘stuck’ after calling the NIST, try turning off DTR. Sometimes DTR will cause the modem to hang-up prematurely not allowing the port to reset.

Test>Terminal results in “Unable to open port” message

  • The com port selected is not the one used by the modem. To find the com port used by modems installed on your computer, open the Modem applet in the Windows Control Panel. Press the “Diagnostics” tab to see a listing of the com port/modem assignments.

Modem Won’t Reply to String

  • Try changing the string you are sending or modify the handshaking used with the modem.

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3.  Testing a Timeserver Connection
You can verify a specific computer's connection to a timeserver over the Internet using Telnet. Telnet, included as a utility with Windows, allows a user to specify both the address and port to test an Internet connection.  Verify the connection to the timeserver by using Telnet

To test a connection:

  1. Open an MS-DOS Window.

  2. Type both the address followed by the port to connect to. Most timeservers use port 13 (the daytime port) for time queries.

  3. The result of the time string should be visible in the telnet window.  Check the format of the string with the supported Daytime time format to verify the type of timeserver.

  4. Telnet will report the connection to the host is lost even though the time string has arrived. This is normal.

  5. If the server does not respond, it is possible that either:

  • The timeserver is not currently in operation. Try another address.

  • The server does not accept time requests from unregistered IP addresses. Some servers require that you register your IP address before servicing your time request.

  • The server does not use port 13.

  • You are sitting behind a proxy server that restricts communication over the Internet. You must talk to the proxy server, which can then relay the request to the timeserver. See the User Guide section on firewalls and proxy servers.

  • Your connection to the Internet is not working.

A typical Telnet session: 

Command Prompt:
C:\WINDOWS>telnet 13

Telnet responds:
49010 93-01-23 22:01:22  00  0  0  50.0 UTC(NIST) *

(Telnet will then report connection to host is lost)

Interpreting Timeserver Test
To interpret the meaning of failing individual tests, check the failed test below:

Resolve name

  • Unable to resolve name into IP address.  Check spelling of address.

  • Check if Internet connection is active.  Name lookup is active by checking a known public site (i.e.,

  • Domain name server is down or otherwise unavailable.

Note: Generally if you cannot resolve the address, all the subsequent tests will fail.


  • Timeserver does not echo back a ping.  Many timeservers do not support ping. Verify by pinging a known public site (i.e.,

NIST or Daytime

  • Timeserver does not reply to the test utility with the protocol and port specified—Timeserver down or not available. Try another NIST timeserver (i.e.,

  • Timeserver does not support connection with the NIST or Daytime protocol. Test with other protocols.

  • A proxy server is blocking communication over port 13. Try another NIST timeserver (i.e.,


  • Timeserver does not reply to the test utility with the SNTP protocol and port specified. Timeserver down or not available. Try another SNTP timeserver

  • Timeserver does not support connection with the SNTP protocol. Test with other protocols.

  • A proxy server is blocking communication over port 123. Try a timeserver that uses a different protocol.

Time-TCP or Time-UDP 

  • Timeserver does not reply to the test utility with the Time protocol and port specified. 

  • Timeserver down or not available. Try another Time timeserver

  • Timeserver does not support connection with the time protocol. Test with other protocols.

  • A proxy server is blocking communication over port 37. Try a timeserver that uses a different protocol.

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4.  Problems with Graph or Log Options

   Graphs don’t show anything

  • No clock settings were needed: difference and accuracy are both “0”.

  • No reading has been made since startup.

  • The log file has not been specified or is turned off (Previous Settings Graph only).

   Clock drift numbers vary widely

  • There is a process or hardware that is causing the clock to lose or gain (generally lose) time at a faster rate than at other times.

  • The system is very busy and the clock is losing time at a faster rate than normal.

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5. Installation Problems

The registration window appears at software startup and shows the message, “This software must be registered”.

  • Be sure to type the keycode EXACTLY as shown on your confirmation email and/or CD envelope.  All letters are capitalized.

  • Check that you have installed the ClockWatch Edition (i.e., Server, Client) that you purchased.   The Software Registration window shows installed edition (just beneath “Beagle Software).  If you have installed the wrong edition, simply reinstall ClockWatch (no need to uninstall the existing edition).

  • Check that the software version (i.e., 2.4, 2.5) matches the version you purchased.   If you have redownloaded the application from our website the version may be more recent than your purchased software.  Contact Beagle Software, [email protected] or call 612-370-1091 for assistance.

  • The Windows System Registry has been altered or corrupted: Re-enter the keycode to re-register the software.

After installing ClockWatch you get a runtime error when starting ClockWatch such as:

Run time error “372” - failed to load control CommonDialog from COMDLG32.OCX - your version of COMDLG32.OCX may be outdated.


Run-time error “372” Failed to load control "MS Comm" from MSCOMM32.OCX. Your version of MSCOMM32.OCX may be outdated. Make sure you are using the version of the control that was provided with your application.


OLEAUT32.dll is out of date. A newer version is required for this program.

This indicates that the common control that ClockWatch uses was not installed during installation and needs to be updated. To update the file, follow these steps.

  • Identify the name of the control by reading the error message.   Controls have file names that end in “OCX” or “DLL”. Write down the name of the control.

  • Open an MS-DOS window by clicking "Start," drag to "Programs," then click on "MS-DOS Prompt." This will open the "MS-DOS Prompt" window. You should see a C:\WINDOWS> prompt.

  • Type "cd system" (do not type the quotation marks) and press <Enter.> This will change the prompt to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM>.

  • Rename the older version of the control identified in step 1 by typing  “ren control control.old”  for example  "ren comdlg32.ocx  comdlg32.old" and press <Enter> (again, do not type the quotation marks.)

  • If your Run Time Error message specifies a different file, replace "comdlg32" with your specified file.] This will rename the file and return the prompt to C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM>.

  • Close the "MS-DOS Prompt" window by clicking the X button in the top right corner.

  • Reinstall ClockWatch over the existing installation, updating the control.

If you are still experiencing problems, please Beagle Software support or call 612-370-1091 with the exact text of error message you are seeing.

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6.  Running the Trace Diagnostic Routine
ClockWatch includes a detailed trace mode that gives detailed information about connection and communication information useful in debugging communication problems. You can run ClockWatch in the trace mode which provides a detailed log to pinpoint problems by simply adding the debug option to the command line when starting ClockWatch.

The following steps will run ClockWatch in the trace mode and allow you to view the trace log file, DebugFile.txt.

  1. Run ClockWatch in diagnostic mode by running ClockWatch with the debug option. Usually:  "C:\Program Files\Beagle Software\ClockWatch\ClockWatch.exe" debug

  2. Run the problem till the connection fails or problem occurs. Exit ClockWatch.

  3. View the diagnostic trace, DebugFile.txt, usually in the main ClockWatch directory:  C:\Program Files\Beagle Software\ClockWatch\DebugFile.txt

  4. Check for “ERRORS” or connection problems in the trace. You can the DebugFile.txt file to Beagle Software for assistance.  Please include some background information on the situation.

Sample Trace Log:

02-19 08:31:54 ID: 1 Number: 1 Local Time: 2/18/98 8:31:54 AM Status: 0
02-19 08:31:54 Time Difference: 1 sec, Accuracy: 60.0 sec/day,
02-19 08:31:54 Connecting...
02-19 08:32:00 Connection open
02-19 08:32:01 DataArrived: 50863 98-02-19 14:32:02 00 0 0 50.0 UTC(NIST) *
02-19 08:32:01 Daylight savings time is currently 1 (1 is OFF, 2 is ON)
02-19 08:32:01 Time zone Bias: 360
02-19 08:32:01 DATA ARRIVED Event
02-19 08:32:01 DateTime OK
02-19 08:32:01 System SAYS DST is OFF
02-19 08:32:01 Corrected NIST Time: 02/19/98 08:32:02
02-19 08:32:01 Internal System settings: Local Date: 98-02-19 Time: 08:32:01
02-19 08:32:01 3: Dates OK
02-19 08:32:01 Difference is < 2 seconds, ignore accuracy
02-19 08:32:01 Time Difference: 0.000012 days (1.0 seconds)
02-19 08:32:01 5: Timediff < minimum
02-19 08:32:01 Time difference is 1 sec - setting to 0
02-19 08:32:01 ...No Time difference No time set
02-19 08:32:01 DATA ARRIVED DONE
02-19 08:32:01 NIST SETTING DONE at 2/19/98
8:32:01 AM.

7. Troubleshooting Key Code & Registration Problems

  • Check that the key code you have has not expired
    Download key codes normally expire within one week of purchase date.
    Contact Beagle Software if your key code has expired.

  • Check the edition (i.e. Pro, Sentry Server etc.) of the software you have installed. (see Help->About)
    Check to see that it is the same edition that you purchased.

  • Check the version (i.e. 4.0.0) of the software you have installed. (see Help->About)
    Contact Beagle Software if you are trying to reinstall and earlier version

  • Check to see that the date on the computer is correct
    Date on the computer must be correct for the registration to work.



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Copyright © 2007 Beagle Software. All rights reserved
Last reviewed March 19, 2008