Recently, we discovered (in the hard way) a new/old issue that happens with some ChromeOS devices. We have tested most of the Chrome OS devices and came to some conclusions. Well, the good news are: most of the Chrome devices do not have this issue, as they do have a battery; while the bad news are: 2 types do have the issue.

ChromeOS internal clock problemIt seems to be happening only with the Asus Chromebit (currently, Chromebit is manufactured only by Asus) and the new AOpen Chromebox mini (a smaller version of the AOpen commercial grade Chromebox).

So what is that issue?
Seems that either there is no internal clock to the device or there is one but with no battery (in Windows PC we used to refer the CMOS and BIOS as a place where all the settings in the level below the OS, such as date/time are stored; while here it’s a little bit different). Our observations showed us that if you have a running Chromebit connected to the network WiFi, then you unplug it from power, turn off the WiFi network, wait for awhile (say, one day), then plug it back to power, while there is no WiFi network, you’ll see the previous date and time (in our example: yesterday’s datetime). The conclusion is that probably there is no clock or battery and the date time updates are being taken from the network. To strengthen this conclusion: after several minutes, we restored the WiFi network and the date time in the Chromebit was updated to the current one. That may hint us that the Chromebit takes the date/time from the network and stores it maybe in a file as timestamp, so next time, after power failure, when there is no network, it is taken from that latest timestamp.

And what would be the implications?
I suppose that using Chromebit will require you to make sure that your network is always up and running: it doesn’t mean that you need constant internet, but you do need constant WiFi, in case of Chromebit or constant network, either LAN or WiFi, in case of that Chromebox mini.