Repair of real time clock in my machine : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Real time clock needs fixing for three machines and one is not on internet, need advice. Thank you

-- Donna Pendergraft (OLENP@IPA.NET), December 06, 1999


McGyver, where are you?! Lady in distress here.....

-- Jay Urban (, December 06, 1999.

Donna, are you basing this on a report by a Y2K problem software tool (e.g., If your BIOS is Y2K compliant, and your applications get their date/time from the BIOS (rather than the RTC), you may not need to monkey with your real-time clock at all.

Of course, then there is the question of your applications and how they will handle Y2K. And the data that they use. And whatever network they might be on. Etc., etc. Quite frankly, it's probably hopeless, regardless of your RTC.

By the way, do you mudwrestle?

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 06, 1999.

I have 2 new mother boards and equipment but the clocks tested as failed. Was told to unplug during turnover Dec.31. Is there a program to update that I can use. Anesthesia is my speciality not mud.

-- Donna pendergraft (OLENP@IPA.NET), December 06, 1999.

Having trouble with my clock now and my comp--things not wanting to work--my date has changed over to 2099 and I have a 1yr. old gateway. Can't get it straightened out.

-- Curly~Q (, December 06, 1999.


It's not hopeless at all!

A quick and permanent hardware fix for all the ills of booting up in 1900 or 1980, is to install a $40 to $50 board with it's own real time clock. It has the further advantage of copying the bios from the mother board to itself as further protection.

Why do this? Because it beats the method of using a xxxxxxxx.sys or file in either the config.sys or autoexec.bat file. If the little Y2K fixer file gets corrupted you're back to the old dates. We've used the boards in some older machines where the original PC bios must be retained and it works just great.

You can buy the board from Computer Discount Warehouse or JDR Microdevices, among many. CDW sells the one made by Evergreen Technologies (the folks that sell processor upgrades) and the other is JDR's private brand name, MCT. We use the MCT card.

Computer Discount Warehouse: 1-800-595-4239 JDR Microdevices: 1-800-538-5000; Part #MCT-Y2K

Hope this helps!

-- TruthSeeker (truthseeker@ seektruth.always), December 06, 1999.

Donna, Before jumping in and "fixing" your RTCs, I do believe that KOS is correct, and it is most likely that your computers will get the century from the BIOS rather than from the RTC.

I believe I read somewhere in this forum that ALMOST ALL RTCs will fail a Y2K test because they all use only 2 digits in the year field. It is the BIOS that holds the century. Therefore it may be best to get some advice from someone closer at hand who knows a bit more about your particular computers before rushing in and "fixing" your RTCs.


-- Malcolm Taylor (, December 06, 1999.

Analyse, fix and test the first one, apply the same fix to the second machine (regardless of whether it's the same BIOS) but don't analyse or test it, and declare the third machine to be "Non Mission Critical" when you run out of time.

Bingo, the government approved solution!

Or, if you are a seditious type, you could go he re for a clear and easy to follow PC/Y2K guide. Good luck.

-- Colin MacDonald (, December 06, 1999.

The clock showing on my computer has been doing weird things. Yesterday it lost about 40 minutes, but recovered them upon reboot. Not the first time this has happened.

-- marsh (, December 06, 1999.


I assumed in my remarks above that you have tested the bios, etc. and were at the point of knowing which fix to use, software or hardware.

The hardware/board fix costs a couple of bucks, but it is permanent. Further, and I guess not recognized by some of the posters above, the Y2K RTC hardware fix obviously includes the BIOS fix - it has to. The RTC is nothing but a chip/module with its own battery backup and support circuitry for retaining the CMOS settings,, etc.

The hardware fix does one more thing for you. This involves an old debate about whether older BIOS also contains a time clock probem. We have observed this to be true on SOME older machines. The time will in fact jump around after the rollover.

Of course, run all the tests first to determine if you really need any fixes at all. Some BIOS will work just fine after the rollover if reset just one time.

-- TruthSeeker (truthseeker@ seektruth.always), December 06, 1999.

Truth Seeker,

Tell me more...are these ISA or can you get PCI based date cards. I find that I must reload the original software suite two or three times a year, and don't want to go back to the old dates. However, my Gateway came with only one ISA slot, now occupied by a modem. I guess I could buy a PCI modem if push comes to shove.

It sure seems like a bunch of work and expense for a machine less than a year old.

-- K. Stevens (kstevens@ It's ALL going away in, December 06, 1999.

K. Stevens,

The aformentioned cards are ISA. I suppose the designers thought, in all likelihood, they would be used on older ISA Bus PCs.

Perhaps some of the other forum contributors are aware of a PCI card out there.

-- TruthSeeker (truthseeker@ seektruth.always), December 06, 1999.

Donna, ensuring that your PC will actually be Y2K compliant involves many steps, with only a few discussed above. Think of your PC as a sort of multi-layer cake: the lowest level is the hardware and firmware, which includes the real-time clock and the BIOS; the next level up is the operating system; the next are your applications; the next is your data; and, for good measure, the "icing" might be whatever networking, data sharing, etc., that you do. Generally, the cake's levels of layers get thicker as they move upwards -- i.e., the cake is very "top heavy".

The point is: Do not delude yourself into believing that your PC will be Y2K compliant merely because you have spent money replacing your real-time clock with a Y2K compliant one (possibly needlessly, if your applications fetch from the BIOS and/or operating system), or even if it passes a diagnostic checkout with flying colors, since so much depends on your applications, data and network interfaces, which are not able to be checked by a diagnostic Y2K problem detection utility.

25 days.


-- Jack (jsprat@eld.~net), December 06, 1999.

Sweetie, don't let these characters worry you. I have patched, fixed and remediated a couple of hundred PC's, and if yours are at all typical, you don't have much of anything to worry about from RTC's.

I am going to presume you are using WIN95 or WIN98, not a dual boot or LILO, and know something about computers besides the crap on this board.

Get a dos boot disk. Boot the machine into dos. Set the date to 12/31/99, time to 11:55. Wait ten minutes and test the time. DON"T boot into WINDOWS - some programs check time on the boot up. If they are reading 5 minutes into the next year, you are fine with the clocks. IF they are reading some other date, MAKE SURE the boot disk is in the A: drive, set the datetime to 1/1/2000 : 12:00, and reboot. Test the time. If it is OK, then SHUT OFF the machine, wait 5 minutes, and start it up again, MAKING SURE the dos boot disk is in the A: drive. If the date is still 1/1/2000, time is whatever, then you don't have a real problem, as the system will hold the date once it is set the first time. FINALLY, SET THE DATE TIME TO THE CORRECT DATE AND TIME, AND TAKE OUT THE FLOPPY. Boot back into windows.

Staying out of windows will keep you out of trouble with programs that read time on startup, and the dos floppy keeps you from starting something from the machines autoexec.

RTC's have two digits for the date, the BIOS windows the date for century data.

I have USED the above procedure and had NOT ONE PROBLEM testing machines thus far, IF USED CORRECTLY. OTOH, you could go to gateway and follow their link to the NTSL test. That one is written to perform an actual REAL WORLD test, not some JUNK version like so many vendors want you to run.

As for the OS, go to the vendor's site, and get the Y2K patches for the OS. NOTE: if you are using NT4, DON'T USE SP6. Use the Y2K patches for SP6, but the full SP6 causes trouble with some hardware.

If you are using programs or an office suite from a major vendor such as Corel, IBM or Microsoft then patches are available for the programs. Be sure to check any program or databases YOU have written for problems YOU caused with the way you wrote YOUR programs - not common for most people but it is YOUR responsibility to check.

Y2K problems CAN be fixed. Jack has a bad case of 'wanna prove I was right and all those egghead geeks were WRONG'.

We ought to start a pool on how long he will last when the power and the Net stay up on 1/1/2000. I bet he won't make the end of the month.

-- ANONYMOUS TODAY THANK YOU (, December 06, 1999.


Inquiring minds want to know: What the hell does it take to get your PC to be Y2K compliant? The answers range from "You probably can't", to a long-winded spiel that gives all kinds of detail but ignores 90% of the Y2K problems that are out there, with an actual PRICE QUOTE for replacement RTC boards sandwiched in between.

Oh, well. I mean, it's ONLY December 7, 1999. It's not like there is any great rush or anything.

And pollies wonder why doomers are so nervous....

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 07, 1999.

"What the hell does it take to get your PC to be Y2K compliant?"

Isn't it a little late in the game to be asking a question like that, Spain? Perhaps it would have been a good idea to start your personal Y2K remediation at an earlier date. You know, the same thing you criticize the Pollies of doing!!

-- TruthSeeker (truthseeker@ seektruth.always), December 07, 1999.

FYI, TruthSeeker, I don't use a PC -- I have WEB-TV. Which I expect to be able to confidently use for another ... homina, homina ... 24 days.

-- King of Spain (madrid@aol.cum), December 07, 1999.

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