Paging PC remediators---does this sound right?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Just spoke with a friend who has a small (4 PC's) healthcare practice. My friend has already received patches from his vendors for the clinic's application software, with the exception of Microsoft Office. Yesterday he had a local company come in and check his PC's for Y2K compliance. I'm not a techie, but some of what the remediator said didn't sound right to me, so I pass it along to you for comment.
One PC, a brand new clone, is running Windows95B. The remediator said that Windows95 is made compliant by installing Internet Explorer 4.01. I've never heard this before. He also said that Office97 is made compliant by installing SR-2 for Microsoft Word. What about MS Excel and Access? I thought they had Y2K issues? After making the above installations he declared the PC Y2K-compliant. Two PC's, also very new (Micron), running Windows98 were said to be compliant after installing Microsoft Word SR-2. The fourth PC (Pentium 166 clone), 3 years old, was said to have a non-compliant RTC that cannot be remediated. The remediator said this PC has to be replaced with a new one...which he offered to provide.
Any PC remediators who can comment on these findings?
-- (RUOK@yesiam.com), October 16, 1999
I don't make my money remediating P.C.'s (as you may know), but I see some discrepancies as well here, as I'm running similar software.
First off, Windows 95 is NOT made compliant by running I.E. 4.1. I've been using I.E. 4.1 for over a year now, but haven't yet downloaded the patches for Windows 95.
Office 97 is indeed made compliant (through CURRENT updates) by downloading the fixes to Office 97 in SR-2. This INCLUDES Word, Excel, Access, and Powerpoint. I just downloaded those updates last weekend.
I'm unqualified to address the remaining questions.
-- Anita (email@example.com), October 16, 1999.
The "remediator" is a liar. Alot of firmware compliant PC's fail the RTC test, but that test is based on leaving the PC up and running at the exact moment of rollover (Lovingly called the "CDC" by Alan Greenspan). Rebooting this kind of computer will properly fix the time. The biggest scam going is to scare people with the RTC rollover test, they tell you that your MB is f-cked and you need new hardware.
As to the software, get the MS Year 2000 analyzer which is free and it will check your MS software to see if its ok. For the most part anything below Win 98 second edition is not compliant out of the box, but patches can do it.
Programs like Norton 2000 BiosFix will take care of BIOS/RTC problems as they run as TSR programs.
I do y2k fixes and always upgrade them to IE 5.0 with the latest patches and then the y2k upgrades and alot more.
-- hamster (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 16, 1999.
hamster is correct. The vast majority of "noncompliant" BIOSs cannot handle rollover either when running, when turned off, or both. The solution for all but a tiny minority is to set the date correctly as soon as possible after rollover (NOTE that if you set the date in Windows, it won't be written to the RTC until Windows is properly shut down).
There are a few BIOSs out there that will INSIST on setting the century back to 19 no matter what, every time you boot. For those, the Norton TSR is a good buy. Replacing the PC is a ripoff.
-- Flint (email@example.com), October 16, 1999.
Thank you all. What a goldmine of knowledge you have! I called my friend after reading your responses, and asked him about how the test for the PC with the timeclock problem was done. He said that first the remediator set the time to do the rollover. The PC came up with 01/01/1900. Then the date was set to 01/01/2000, and the guy rebooted the PC, after which it came up with 01/01/2076 (have you ever heard of that?)
So, it sounds like a consensus, then? PC #1 running Windows95B has NOT had Windows made compliant, though MS Office is now Y2K okay. PC #2 and #3 are Windows compliant if they are running the second edition of Windows98. PC #4 would appear to have a legitimate BIOS problem, but it can be fixed with Norton 2000 BiosFix.
It would appear that this remediation company is in the business of ripping people off. Trying to sell their customers new PC's is bad enough, but declaring PC #1 as Y2K compliant makes them a menace! And, they get paid for this "remediation"! Sheesh. Thank you for saving my friend +/- $1,000 he would have spent on a new PC.
-- (RUOK@yesiam.com), October 16, 1999.
For the PCs that are non-compliant, a flash bios may be available free from the manufacturer. For older PCs that without an upgradable bios, it is still possible that manually setting the date in 2000 will work and hold after reboot. For those that don't hold the date and default to the usual Jan1, 1980 or Jan 4, 1980, check with the manufacturer, a free patch file may be available that will fix this problem. DELL has such a patch available free from it's website, I've used it on a few DELLs and it works fine.
Regarding Win 3.1, 95, 98, etc., the basic date displays and functions do work properly in y2k, but minor issues exists and patches are available. One problem is that the Win 3.1 File manager (and if I remember corectly windows explorer for 95) has a problem with the disply of file dates -;0 for 00, etc, and these can be upgraded as well.
The best authority is the Microsoft site, which will not only give you a rundown of the problems for each of the operating systems, but links to the free fixes as well.
Haven't seen a PC reboot to 2076, that's kinda interesting...
-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), October 16, 1999.
Two points. First the original question. What does it take to get compliant?
1) HARDWARE. Flint (I can't believe that I agree with Flint) and hamster are right. Most BIOSes are OK, after a reset. I recommend that you make a boot floppy, run BIOS SETUP and set the date to 2000. Reboot (power off and let it reboot) a couple of times. If DOS DATE is OK, you're OK (remember to set the date back when you're done). If not, check for a BIOS update (web is a good start). Most "new" machines do have one, maybe even a P/166. Almost guaranteed for a flash BIOS, otherwise a new BIOS chip may be available. A few maybes, but most machines are, or can be, OK.
2) OS. Check the current status. IE/4 does install DLLs, some of which do fix Y2K problems. But it doesn't fix them all. Check the web site often for updates. New problems are still being found. Look at NT/4 for example. SP/5 is still fixing problems, that were "done" in SP/3. Check right up 'til "the end"! Hope for the best, I don't expect many problems from the OS level, no matter the platform (God, I hope I'm right on this one).....
3) APPLICATIONS. The big if. SR-2 does fix all "known" office problems, Word, Access, Excell, etc.
But what else do you run? Check them all! How many times should I say this? Well, as many applications as you have!
Now point two. Does this "consultant" know what he is doing? Better yet, does the "average Joe" know what they are doing? It takes alot to make a machine "compliant," more than just the $29 "Y2K fix" program that you buy at your local computer store. I wonder how the average administrator, for a 20, or 50 or 100 user LAN is doing with Y2K?
Now, before Flint and co. jump on me, one does have to ask, how important are the missed fixes? What if I don't install SR-2? Well, that's the one that I don't yet have the answer for. An "office" machine is easy. What about the rest of the world? what about the "custom" applications, be it on a PC, maniframe, embedded, what do we do about this code, that doesn't have a web site for updates? The stuff that all those old-timer programmers wrote for all those decades? The dreaded "in house" application?
Now Hoff will come back and say that they've been replaced with SAP, or some other client-server tool, or a browser based, Java environment. Not from what I see. We run a tiny 4341 mainframe. But we do supply a service to some pretty big boys, that still have a "football field" size mainframe room. And you wouldn't believe how much "old code" runs there, code that I wrote on a 360 (about 1970) is still, and will be, in production at a rather large "data center"...
But, once again, back to the original question. Does this guy sound like he knows what he's talking about?
Man, I hope that trillion dollars was well spent...
Tick... Tock... <:00=
-- Sysman (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 16, 1999.
Howdy FactFinder, seems that we posted at the same time. Happy almost Sunday, you polly... <:)))=
-- Sysman (email@example.com), October 16, 1999.
I provide a freeware program that can be
put on a bootable floppy which checks both
the rollover and if that doesn't work, it
checks to see if the date will hold after
reboot. When done it resets the clock plus
the time it took to do the test. Check it
out and tell me what you think.
-- spider (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 17, 1999.
Hi yourself Sysman, If I coulda seen you typing I would have saved myself a post, your expertise in the PC arena is pretty well established in my experience. I like the way you end your posts by the way, maybe I should come up with a trailing quote to symbolize my take on Y2K....how does the one below sound? Think Lane will like it? lol...
"On Jan.1, 2000, the sun will rise, the birds will sing, and that electric alarm clock will go "beep....beep....beep".
-- FactFinder (FactFinder@bzn.com), October 17, 1999.
As long as my generator isn't running, to make the clock beep, I'll consider it a good start!
I hope you're right man... <:)=
-- Sysman (email@example.com), October 17, 1999.