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old XT clone, pre 1990. DOS 3.3, running Microsoft Word.
Method A. write a small file, save it as message.doc, noting the exact time. Make sure autoexec.bat doesn't start Word.
Ctrl-Alt-Del to reboot.
Examine the time stamp for the .TMP file created when Word was started (How is that done? I don't know). Learn that the time stamp says 12:00:30
on Jan 1 1980. indicating that the hardware clock is not working, or, more likely, does not exist. Examine the time stamp for message.doc.
Subtract the difference in times from the time of saving. Assert that this was the time the computer was turned on.
Problem. For other reasons, this time is implausible, suggesting that the time had been altered.
Method B. Close Word. At the C:\ prompt, type TIME, subtract the reading from now. Then use DEBUG and D 40:006c L4 to display the "tick" count since start up. Affirm that it gives the same as the TIME figures, otherwise, work out the real start up time. Too late now. Method A has already been done. But...
Which is best?
"A" erases the tick count, but preserves the .TMP file and its time stamp.
"B" preserves the tick count, but closing Word, apparrently deletes the .TMP file. (Yes, I know that debug can edit the tick count too)
"A" seems conclusive, unless.... might it be possible to alter the time setting from within Word?
My recollection of working with WordPerfect at that time, is that one could do some command-line actions from the File menu. Could one do that in Word?
Some other way?
 

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Wow; gotta admit I'm intrigued why you have such an old machine and why you wannasee when it was turned on! Trying for a guinness world record or something?!

Erm, I don't know. I use a tool called 'uptime.exe'

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/232243

It says it "works in a limited fashion" on OS's prior to NT4 SP4 but no guarantees with something so old!
 
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