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It is possible there is an intermittent contact, but I don't believe there is anything to worry about.
The HOLD slider does not turn off the recorder. It only turns the keyboard off and the display off as well. The clock keeps running.
A simple test? Start a RECORDing operation and slide the switch to HOLD. (In my VN-1800 the keyboard goes dead, but the display stays on.) (In my DS-330, the keyboard goes dead and the display goes off.)
If I slide the switch to HOLD during a PLAYBACK operation, it keeps going until the file has finished playing. Then it goes blank.
maybe I can offer an explanation why some people have the RTC problem and others have not. After leaving my M10 on the shelf for about two months without switching it on (batteries were still fully charged!), I had to set the clock. So I wondered what is going on. I pulled out the schematic of the M10s big brother, the D50. The power supply section is rather complicated with lots of MOSFET switches and regulators, even one for the RTC battery. Checking the component values, I guesstimate that it takes about 30 to 40 hours to recharge an empty RTC battery - the state of the battery is in when you are asked to set time and date. If fully charged, you can expect 2000-3000 hours of RTC operation. It seems to me that the D50 (and probably the M10) switch off completely when battery powered - not even the RTC battery is recharged!
So it depends on your use profile whether you have the dreaded "set date and time" problem or not. Regular use (best every day) keeps the RTC battery charged. in the future, I will let it go into sleep mode, and not switch it off. Another solution is to plug in the power supply before storage and let the M10 run for two days to top off the RTC battery, this should be sufficient for two months.
BTW if someone could send me a schematic of the M10, I could replace my educated guess with fact.
Most locks are released by just holding the stop button for ten seconds. if not, try every button, one at a time for ten seconds. Menu or set buttons may work. You need to refer to your owner's manual.
You should always remove the batteries if the unit will not be used for the next 24 hrs.Placing the unit in the hold position merely prevents the unit from doing anything except for keeping it in the mode its in while in the hold position.this is handy to keep it from being accidently turned off or stopped.the recorder maintains data such as time and date through an internal clock.this clock must be powered or you would loose your time and date and other settings.
Turn on = Play + Menu (at the same time) Turn off = Stop (will revert to just clock) Selecting folders or changing options = Turn on then press menu to move through options and use the forward and backward buttons to change within options Deleting a file within a folder = Select the folder through menu options (A or B) then exit menu (cycle through all options or press stop once while in menu) then press the forward key to cycle through files within folders (1 or 2) then press delete once to display "Del" next to file then press delete a second time to delete file. Take batteries out to quickly reset recorder (will not lose saved files)
1.In the stop mode, press and hold down the MENU/STOP button for at least 2 seconds The menu setting display appears. 2. Press the SKIP/SEARCH button repeatedly to select dAtE 3. Press the POWER/PLAY button. The year display blinks 4. Press the SKIP/SEARCH button repeatedly to select the year. Then press the POWER/PLAY button. The month display blinks. 5. Repeat the same step 4 to set the month, day, hour display ("24 H or "12H") hour and minute. Note: "second" cannot be selected. When the minute setting is completed, "dAtE" returns. 6. Press the MENU/STOP button.
here is the link for the user manual for your model;
Best I can come up with is that you cannot turn the unit off without removing the batteries - obviously means you need to set the clock again each time.
I would also try press and hold the display button, then try press and hold with all other buttons in turn, one of them may do it - the manual does not suggest this will work but it possibly could.
If no luck with this then try contacting Sony;
They may be helpful - we get mixed reports.
Hope this helps :)