Please.....some straight answers from those who know computers : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

First off, let me establish the fact that I am not only computer illiterate, I am downright computer stupid. I still haven't figured out how you do a hot link, even with the directions. But I am digressing. I want to know what I need to do with my computer re y2k. Its my understanding (doesn't make it so) that my 1997 Compaq 4770 is compliant. Its also my understanding that its the software that I have to worry about. I have Windows 95 and while there have been several patches made, I understand none of there are really compliant. In addition to Win 95 , I have all kinds of programs on this thing. Some that I have installed and some that came installed with the computer. How do I clean this mess up? I was figuring that toward the roll over, I would put my "restore" CD in and wipe everything out. But, the restore disk will reload the Win 95 plus a bunch of other programs and I will be back to square one. So my thinking is to use the restore disk and get rid of 99% of the stuff in this computer and then buy a program that will sweep it back to nothing. Then install a compliant program. Is it this simple or am I in "for another day down the rabbit hole'? Sure could use some down to earth instruction here. I will barter my recipe for making maple syrup from potatos and sugar. And defy you to tell the difference from the real thing.


-- Taz (Tassie, April 21, 1999


Taz, I can't help you with your computer questions because I am in the same boat. However, I do have a formula for a hot link that is very easy to understand. I keep it taped beside my computer and use it frequently. Of course, sometimes I do not do it right and we don't get a link but that is due to error on my part. Every time I try and make a link and get it wrong I am reminded that there are thousands of people out there working on Y2k and all it takes is one (1) missed period or typing error and the data will be wrong and, I assume, will not function.

How to create a hot link for this forum

-- Linda A. (, April 21, 1999.

You don't have very much to worry about. Apply the current patches, check the websites for the mfrs of the software you use, and forget it. Y2K compliance is a much bandied and very ill defined term. I have seen people panic over a test date that printed out 1/1/0 instead of 1/1/00. This is pretty typical of the Y2K errors that you are going to find in software dated 1995 and later, that is made for a home PC. Trying to get 100% total unremitting compliance is an expensive and self defeating game. Your software is not perfect and never will be. Simple test - set the date up on your PC to 1/1/2000. Then try everything out. Don't take anyone elses advice as to what you need, test it out for yourself. One caveat about setting the date up - if you are using trial or test software that will expire after a certain date, you need to remove it before the test and then reinstall afterwards. The expiration is most certainly DATE sensitive, just not necessarily Y2K sensitive.

-- Paul Davis (, April 21, 1999.


Paul left out the MOST IMPORTANT part of any rollover test. DO A COMPLETE BACKUP of the system before anything else.


-- chuck, a Night Driver (, April 21, 1999.

Amen chuck -

I have a Compaq 4550. When I followed some early instructions on how to set the date and let it roll over, I did not make a back up of my husbands Guard stuff. I set the date (incidently, I was told that if your date was already a 4 digit field, it was compliant - NOT SO) and let it roll over. The first thing I lost was the mouse and when I tried rebooting, the whole thing went down. Nada. Wouldn't even boot to the safety boot so you couldn't even run the reinstall disc. Lucky it was still under warranty so sent it in. They reinstalled everything for free but still lost all that wasn't backed up. What a time consuming mess that was and still missing stuff that wasn't backed up (as in had forgotten to back up my address book - gees!) and was 2 weeks without a computer to boot. So do your backup excercizes for sure...

-- Valkyrie (, April 21, 1999.

Dead right about the backups - I automated all that so long ago around here that I completely forgot to mention it. (BLUSH)

-- Paul Davis (, April 21, 1999.

Ah'm real pleased to see that multiples of you folks beat me to it with the backup advice.

-- No Spam Please (, April 21, 1999.

Okay - so you've backed the gadget up. and have a reboot (emergency disk) created.

Set the date ahead - some prefer to go "near" the Jan 01, 1999 date and let it rollover naturally, some prefer to set "after" the Jan 01 date. My recommendation - set it a little early - 2-3 minutes, and let it run through at its own rate.

then check evreything in a normal manner. Pay particular attention to your checkbook account, any spreadsheets you have, any email, and any backup or automated routines you may have. Run all the software installed - try to save one or two "new" files, open one or two old (existing) files like homesheets or old letters - we hope all open as expected and all directory commands (DIR, DEL, COPY,..., etc.) are properly reflected in the explorer and directory lists.

okay - if good, or after writing down errors noted - if any - now shut it down - while still in the new century date. (Be sure you do a complete Power Off - Power On shutdown - you want to reload everything, not just logoff, logon.)

Wait - 15-20 seonds, then restart. From the DOS prompt, or from the Windows Settings - Environment (depending on what you prefer) check the "DATE" - if it's back to 1980 - get the BIOS upgraded. Then repeat. If the system date after startup is Jan 01, 2000 - you are in better shape.

If the fundemental system date is correct, repeat all the above checks with the files you used before. Your previous changes should be in the files - whatever new sentence or phrase or game score or whatever should be recorded properly.

If you wish to be picky, try resetting the date to Feb 28, 2000 at 2358. Then see if it rolls over to Feb 29 correctly. If it does, check your spreadsheet program, then reset the date to today's date as below.

After all above: go to the DOS prompt (or Windows environment Date dialog box), and reset the date to this year, today's date, today's time. Shutdown and startup again. Check the programs again to be sure none "reset" themselves and will never run again - this has happened before, most often to programs that "shutdown" if the system date is reset backwards because their designers are worried about people faking dates to get around a "test" installation time limit. !

-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (, April 21, 1999.

BTW - Linda, in most cases, leaving out a period will give you a program that will make the compiler scream like a scalded cat. Very hard on grammer the compilers are, make the worst English teacher you ever had look like a wuss.

-- Paul Davis (, April 22, 1999.

Yup Paul, with COBOL being the most strict I think. A missing period after a bunch of nested IF statements could drive one to suicide. <:)=

-- Sysman (, April 22, 1999.

This is the author of the new Y2K website Read Infomagic's contributions to C. Hamasaki's Weather Reports; it nicely complements the "Programmer's Views" on MinnesotaSmith

-- MinnesotaSmith (, April 22, 1999.

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