PC Compliance! Didn't get very many helpful answers on this one-TRYING AGAIN!

greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

I will say it again....DOES ANYONE KNOW - Maybe not!

All you experts out there - clear this up for me please - if you have an old PC (or new non-compliant one) and the bios date is wrong what will happen. Can you go in and change the bios like you can the time clock? If not, what will happen if you aren't running accounting type software, just word processing, pagemaker etc.

Also what will happen if Windows is ultimately not compliant even after patches - what will happen.

I basically understand the rest of the complicated stuff very well, but this simple stuff is very muddy to me. P.S....... Ok, so you can update old BIOS always? I have been transferring everything to my new computer as fast as I can all year, but if the computer isn't going to totally go down without updating BIOS I will not push so hard. Or do I really need to update BIOS. That is what I am asking. What will happen if you DON'T.

Also wondering, again, what will happen if your WINDOWS is not compliant. Does it just stop - you can't get your desktop - or what?

-- Perplexed (clearthis@up.com), December 23, 1999


Look, perplexed, if you won't make the effort to deterime and post details of your system, what makes you think anyone here will make an effort to take your hand and walk you through it.

The answer depends on what you've got, who made it, how old it is, what's been done to it, and what you want to do with it in the future. There's no magic bullet. Deal with it.

The information that you need can be found easily in many, many different places on the net. You need to give a little before you can receive.

-- Servant (public_service@yahoo.com), December 23, 1999.

Look, everybody's PC is different -- different BIOS, different version of Windows (or, none of that os at all), different drivers, etc. NOBODY can say what will happen on your computer.

Set the clock ahead yourself and see. Set it at 11:59 pm, 12/31/99 and let it roll over. Does the system work? Answer your own questions.

Bonus check: Reset the clock as above and power down the machine and see how it handles things with the power off. Start 'er up and recheck.

No matter what happens, it's easy to get it working again.

-- Gary S. (garys_2k@yahoo.com), December 23, 1999.

In addition to Servant's answer I offer mine...

There is no one answer, no one solution, no one type and severity of problem that could come form noncompliant BIOS or Windows or whatever. There's only one way to find out for sure and the whole world is eight days away from it.

My advice, FWIW, is to make super-thorough backups of all your data as per my post the other day on backups (anyone care to drop a link for that thread?) as a precaution, patch the hell out of your OS, flash your BIOS if you need to, and finally test your system and everything you run on it. You have eight days; make them count.

O d d O n e, who is finalizing Y2K preps (another backup set, etc.) on his otherwise ready-to-go machine...

-- OddOne (mocklamer_1999@yahoo.com), December 23, 1999.

Try this web site for BIOS help and a free audit of your system..



-- BLUE (BLUEFISH@THEPOND.COM), December 23, 1999.

It is December 23, 1999. You are asking basic questions you should have been asking months ago. If you treated your car the same as how you have treated your computer, it would be off the road.

Un plug it, go back to pen and paper, and stop thinking you are mature enough to even have a computer.

I hope I have made myself clear. There are people like "perplexed" all over the world. THeir inability to have some respect for their tools is about to seriously impact my life. I am angry with you, Perplexed.

-- gary elliott (gelliott@real.on.ca), December 23, 1999.

In most cases, setting the date properly after rollover will be sufficient. If the date reverts to some other date after powering down and back up, then the easiest expedient is to treat your computer like an old XT, and set the date every time you boot.

As for the *applications* running on your computer, who knows?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), December 23, 1999.

I wished I could help, but I'm merely a court stenographer sitting in a computer integrated courtroom with the internet at my fingertips as cases fly by. Even so, I managed to read the Rotterdam Report. Even so, it kind of leaves you thinking after 2 or 3 weeks will our PC's even be functioning... check out: www.greenspun.com/bboard/q-and-a-fetch- msg.tcl?msg_id=001tGA

-- Marsha (MSykes@court.co.macon.il.us), December 23, 1999.

Boy, no one can read! I have been paying major attention. I have checked both of my computers. One passes all the tests and one doesn't. I know where to find the information to test and to fix. I thought there were two clocks - the regular one you can easily set and see if rolls over and the BIOS. I already know one does not pass the bios tests.

I am asking WHAT HAPPENS - not for a lecture to fix it, not be lazy, you should have done it months ago, blah, blah, blah>

I am asking WHAT HAPPENS - your computer stops and is dead from here on out; you can just reset the BIOS; you have to go into a computer store and have them do something; all gets erased.

I also have people who are DGI saying all you do is reboot it, blah, blah, blah.

If no one can answer this damn simple question, how can anyone know anything about embedded systems, SCADA, and on and on.

-- Perplexed (clearthis@up.com), December 23, 1999.

Apparently you can't read either, Perplexed...

We told you already... NOBODY KNOWS how a machine will react, with any certainty, unless they have tested it and had it fail. And even then those results are specific to that machine only. There are too many possible combinations of hardware, OS files, applications, etc. etc. etc. to give one answer to the "what happens if it's not compliant" question.

The possibilities range from minor glitches to apps crashing to data corruption to total inability to even boot the machine, but nobody can tell you what exactly will happen.

All you can do is take any and all prudent actions to minimize the likelihood of ANYthing happening and minimize the damage if something bad -does-. Like I said, you have eight days' make them count.

O d d O n e

-- OddOne (mocklamer_1999@yahoo.com), December 23, 1999.

Look Perplexed,

if you had paid attention for a long time, you would by now have understood that a PC is a rather complex glob of different parts and programs which cannot be fixed by a common procedure.

So if you throw out a question like yours, just hoping that everybody would give you a definite answer to an ill defined question - unknown variables- by asking for *Experts*, you have not understood what's going on, and what's required by *you* to get a grip on it. If you ask for a solution, while stating the problem is *simple*, you will continue to shout into the dark.

-- W (me@home.now), December 23, 1999.

"Perplexed" is a troll, people. haven't you noticed the sudden increase in trollish behavior here?

It's probably Ladylogic, or a copycat. Either way, don't feed it.

-- (sickof@stupid.trolls), December 23, 1999.

Every BIOS is different. I have a couple of old 386 machines. One has no problem at al, it does the rollover just fine. I have another that, even though it accepts 2000 during setup, always sticks 19 in the century field.

As for Windows, again every version is different. This is from the read-me for the 95 Y2K update:

The issues listed below are resolved by installing this Update.

1. Find "File or Folders" Dialog (shell32.dll) The Date tab in Find "File or Folders" dialog displays the year in YY format. This format results in incorrect displays for years greater than 2000. For example, entering 03/20/2003 will incorrectly display 03/20/C3. However this does not effect the search. When searching for files changed within a certain date range, enter a 2-digit or 4-digit date and the search will be performed based on the dates entered. This file will be updated only if you are running Windows 95 version 950 or 950a. This issue does not exist in later Windows 95 versions.

2. Windows File Manager (winfile.exe) Windows File Manager does not display or sort dates beyond the year 2000 correctly. When using Windows File Manager to view the contents of folders, and you have selected to view "all file details", the dates of files created in the year 2000 and beyond may appear as follows:

January 1st, 2000 would appear as 1/1/;1

February 3rd, 2023 would appear as 2/3/>3

March 5th, 2036 would appear as 3/5/=6

3. Command Interpreter (command.com) The DATE command (internal to COMMAND.COM) does not correctly handle 2-digit dates from 00-79. Entering 2-digit dates within this range returns the error "Invalid Date".

4. Date/Time Picker (comctl32.dll). Previously, when you set your Regional Settings in the Control Panel to handle years as two digits, the Date/Time Picker function did not correctly reflect the date. This patch addresses that issue.

5. Phone Dialer applet (dialer.exe) The Show View Call Log option doesn't display the date properly after successful completion of a telephone call. If the system date is adjusted to the year 2000, the date is displayed as 100, 101,102, and so on.

For example, in the year 2000, you make a call using the Dialer applet. The log file created or appended to after the completion of the phone connection displays the year portion of the call date incorrectly, such as 101, 102, 103, and so on.

6. Time and Date Control Panel applet (timedate.cpl) When you select the date February 29 and change the year using the up and down arrows in the Date/Time Properties dialog box, the calendar displays February 29 every year, whether it's a leap year or not. This is a display issue in the applet.

7. DHCP Virtual Driver (vdhcp.386) Winipcfg /all - IP Leases obtained on or after 3/01/2000 are reported as being obtained the previous day. The system date is displayed properly but the DHCP client reports a date one day prior.

For example, if you log on to a LAN after March 1, 2000, and you run Winipcfg /all from Start\Run or Ipconfig /all from a DOS VM, the lease obtained date is one day behind. After 2/28/2000, the lease obtained date is one day behind the expected date.

8. Microsoft Foundation Class Library file (mfc40.dll) After the year 2000, programs that use the built in operators of the COleDateTime class may incorrectly parse a date . For example, 02/05/2000 may display as 2/05/100. Microsoft has modified the COleDateTime class so that it is less sensitive to program assumptions.

9. DOS Xcopy (xcopy.exe, xcopy32.exe) When using xcopy in real mode with the optional parameter /D:date, xcopy does not accept years entered as two digits, except for the years 80 through 99. The message "Invalid date" is displayed. When using xcopy in protected mode (from within Windows) two-digit dates are accepted but are recognized as being within the 20th century (02/05/01 is seen as 02/05/1901).

10. Microsoft Run Time Library file (msvcrt40.dll) Some applications that utilize this runtime library may behave as if the current time is one hour earlier than the correct time shown on the Windows clock. The problem will continue for one week from April 1 through April 8, 2001, after which these applications will shift to daylight savings time and again be in sync with the operating system. The problem results from the fact that April 1, 2001, falls on a Sunday, which confused a small algorithm in the run time library file that checks for the start of daylight savings time.This is not a year 2000 issue but rather a daylight savings time issue. It could occur in the years 1973, 1979, 1984, 1990, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2018, 2029, and 2035. What is common about these years is that April 1st falls on a Sunday.

11. OLE AUTOMATION (oleaut32.dll, olepro32.dll, stdole2.tlb, asycfilt.dll) The Microsoft Automation library contains routines for interpreting two digit years and provides a convenient way for applications to create unambiguous (serial) dates. In Windows 95 the current two digit year cutoff is 1999. This means that two digit years beginning with 00 will be interpreted as being in the 20th century, i.e. 1/1/00 is converted to 1/1/1900

Tick... Tock... <:00= ...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 23, 1999.

At least one person knows what they are talking about, sure isn't much Aloha here:(

"What would LOVE do?" Do it then:)


-- Lokelo (lokelo@hotmail.com), December 23, 1999.


Quicksand and we are all in it together!!! Lovely technology we have here. No standards, No definites, Nobody knows nuttin.

Kind a comical if ya thinks about it. As Mr. Microsoft sails away on the yacht with billions. all of his customers are about to sink!!

What a Laugh. What A genius. What a big house, the richest man in the world. Yea bill gates will fix it if its a problem.

-- d----- (dciinc@aol.com), December 23, 1999.

Perplexed- FWIW, I understand your frustration. Sysman tried to help me (thanks, my friend!) and I have downloaded stuff from the sites he gave me.

I, too, wonder though, what WOULD happen if Windows stopped working. Indeed, does the computer just not function at all?

We who are not techs are not trying to pin you guys down the way you seem to think we are. We are just totally clueless about the whole thing and don't have any ideas (at least me) WHAT the whole Windows thing is all about. Is that what makes the computer go? to put it very simply?

I am not afraid to look stupid in front of you guys, but it does take a certain amount of bravery to post this kind of stuff here.

Thanks for all your efforts and continued help. You guys are super.

Perplexed, hang in there, buddy. Wish I could help.

-- Mary (DivinMercy@aol.com), December 23, 1999.

Didn't use my real name for this very reason. I post on this board and usually get respect but knew where this one would go.

I should have made it a hypothetical case.... What happens if you don't remediate your PC (answer seems to be that it could be anything...) What happens if Windows 98 fails (answer seems to be that it could be anything). Just trying to nail it down not be harrassed, condescended to, ridiculed, told I'm a troll (that's a laugh). No one ANYWHERE that I can find can tell you what will happen so maybe nothing will????

-- Perplexed (clearthis@up.com), December 23, 1999.

Hi Mary,

I was wondering if you had any luck trying to get that stuff from Microsoft. Which site worked for you, The Windows Update site, or the Download site?

I'm going to go out on a limb here, and say that I don't expect Y2K to "kill" many PCs, even if you haven't done the OS Y2K updates. I don't expect Windows to stop cold in it's tracks. Most of this fix is for "minor" issues, display problems and such, but things like the Library updates could impact applications. And that, applications, is where the real problems are. But even here, the OS impact is minor, compared to the applications OWN code.

If all you do is surf the web, and don't mind looking at some "bad" dates, I don't expect that you'll have much problem next year. Oh, there may be some, expired certificates, caching algorithm problems, web sites having date processing problems, that sort of stuff, assuming little things like power and the telcos are still working. But if you do any "serious" work, well, I expect more that a few application problems...

Tick... Tock... <:00= ...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 23, 1999.


The Download site worked for me. I don't understand most of your post but you seem to be saying that I'll probably be OK. I can live with that. And I won't hold you to it :) As I mentioned in email, I don't do anything wondrous on here....visit a few forums, look stuff up, email, etc. Am just trying to do whatever I, with limited (!) tech knowledge, can do.

I know you tech guys muct be impossibly busy right now, and sure appreciate any and all help you have given.

Thanks and Blessings in this holiday season.


-- Mary (DivinMercy@aol.com), December 23, 1999.


what the heck is "OS"?


-- Mary (DivinMercy@aol.com), December 23, 1999.

Operating System.

-- (oper@ating.system), December 23, 1999.

Thank you :)

-- Mary (DivinMercy@aol.com), December 23, 1999.

If you are not using the PC for business purposes, don't worry about it. You can set the date forward now and see what happens. If there is a problem, you can set the date back a few years or set it daily as you start the computer.

-- Dave (dannco@hotmail.com), December 23, 1999.

Thanks to those of you who looked at this seriously and especially Sysman & Mary.

-- perplexed (clearthis@up.com), December 23, 1999.

You're welcome Perplexed, and Mary,

The internet is a whole Y2K problem on it's own. There are all sorts of "embedded systems" out there, in switches, and routers, plus the "standard PC" type stuff for servers. So don't get me wrong, I do expect problems with the net. Some service providers, and content providers, may be down, or having operational problems, like I mentioned above. Some small ones almost for sure, and maybe some big ones. I don't expect everything to be "normal."

But if enough of the infrastructure survives, the net in general will be OK. The original net was designed to survive a nuclear attack. I just hope that all of the "hi-tech" companies have spent enough for today's net to survive Y2K.

Keeping my fingers crossed... Tick... Tock... <:00= ...

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), December 24, 1999.

The BIOS date vs. the "computer date": same.

Perplexed, I may be wrong but I believe this is what you were looking for.

Don't worry about the BIOS date being "wrong." It's whatever it has been set to be. You can change the BIOS date at the computer's command prompt by entering "date" or by entering the CMOS setup during the boot sequence of the computer. [For the former, from Windows, go to MS-Dos prompt or restart in MS-Dos mode. At the command prompt type the word date and press Enter. When prompted, type the older date that you want to roll back to and press Enter].

If the computer is old enough that it asks you for the date each time you power up, don't worry, just never type in a different date.

By rolling the date back, word processing programs, etc. will "think" the date is the older one you changed it to be. This means that auto coded dates in the word processor will return the wrong date. But the programs should work as they did back when that date really occurred. In otherwords it will behave as if it is the older date.

If you plan to connect the older computer to any other, or if you plan to access the Internet via the older computer, rolling back the date may not be a good choice.

P.S. - If both computers have Win95,98, why not use direct cable connection to quickly transfer all of your data from one to the other. :-)

-- Bob (SecondGuesser@home.here), December 25, 1999.

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