The BIOS (Basic Input Output System) program in your PC very likely has a mistake in it which means that, at midnight on 31st December 1999, the date on your machine will be set back to an incorrect date. For the majority of afflicted PCs, this will be 1st January 1900. When the computer is next switched on, the Operating System (DOS, Windows 95, 98 or NT) will object, and set it forward to 4th January 1980, the earliest date which it can cope with. The following day, if the date hasn't been corrected, the BIOS will think that it's 2nd January 1900 but DOS (or Windows) will once more object and set the date forward to 4th January 1980 again. This cycle will potentially repeat, unless the problem is addressed, for the next 80 years or so. Some BIOSes, however, compound the problem still further by setting the year back to that in which their program was written, typically 1994 or 1996, and refusing to ever properly increment thereafter. Several versions of the Award BIOS (around v4.50) are an example of this.
Hardly anyone was aware of the impending problem prior to 1996, so any PC bought earlier than that is very likely to be affected. There are a lot of PCs around whose BIOS will fail, as even machines bought since then may have been built with motherboards that had been sitting in a warehouse for anything up to a year, therefore no machine is definitely safe unless certified by the manufacturer. There are lots of utilities available, some for which you'll pay a small fortune, which will tell you if your system has a modern BIOS chip that eliminates the problem. If it doesn't, the popular recommendation is to replace the BIOS chips or upgrade your motherboard. However this can be expensive and far more complicated than it sounds.
Well, it's called Y2K - that's jargon for Year 2000 - and it won't break the bank. Y2K can test the BIOS of your PC to see if it's compliant and, if you decide to purchase a license, will automatically install itself as a patch program to overcome the problem if necessary. The testing process also checks to see if your BIOS recognises that 2000 is actually a leap year. Once installed, it checks the date whenever your computer is switched on, and if it finds that suddenly it's 1980 then it corrects the date to 2000 and carries on. Of course, not many people will actually be using their PC on 1/1/2000 - most of us will probably still be hung over from the night before - so it will correct the date for any day in 2000, as appropriate. If you happen to install Y2K on a computer that is millennium-compliant, the date will never reach January 1980 and so the program will never have to do anything, but at least this way you haven't got to worry about finding out one way or another.
Cynics might believe that a utility like Y2K would report all PCs as non-compliant in an effort to encourage license registrations, but this is not the case. We get more business through recommendations from satisfied customers than falsifying compliance reports could ever achieve. As Y2K takes less than a minute to download, why not give it a try? You may be pleasantly surprised.
Harlend Computer Services offers a money-back guarantee that Y2K will help your PC maintain the correct date until at least 2070. We have yet to find a BIOS that Y2K does not cope with, but there are too many variations in the range of possible system configurations for us to unequivocably guarantee that it will work with 100.0% of PCs, so if you are in any doubt we will be happy to provide complete instructions on how to test a machine once you have registered and installed Y2K on it.
Y2K can be downloaded and used to test your PC for free. If it finds that your BIOS is compliant, then it will have cost you nothing. If Y2K happens to notice that your Windows date settings need adjusting, it will optionally do this for you, again free of charge. If there is a problem with your BIOS, you can purchase a license through this web site which enables you to install Y2K as a patch to correct the problem. A license to use Y2K on a single PC costs just £10 (Pounds Sterling), or just under $17 (US Dollars) depending on exchange rates. You will need to purchase a separate license for each PC on which you need to install it. A multi-station corporate license is also available for £100 (around $165), which entitles you to install and use Y2K on an unlimited number of PCs within your company/corporation.
Sounds too easy, huh? Well, it really is. The catch is that, if your PC is not compliant, Y2K will encourage you to purchase a license so that you can fix the problem, but you are under no obligation to do so. I must emphasize that this doesn't help with old applications that don't recognise the 21st century or can't cope with dates containing 4 year digits, that's a different can of worms altogether, but this will at least get around the BIOS century rollover and leapyear-recognition bugs.
to download the free trial version of Y2K. On a typical 28.8k connection the download will take around 15 seconds. You will not be required to provide any details about yourself in order to try it out.
If you've already downloaded Y2K and would like to register your copy by purchasing a license,
When you register Y2K online through our secure server, your credit card details are processed interactively and a serial number is generated immediately so that you can start using it in less than a minute. Alternatively, you can fill out the registration form, print it out & fax it across to us for a 24 hour turn-around. We can also accept cheques from U.S. and U.K. residents - see the registration form for details of where to send them. Payment can be made directly through the web site by Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Switch, or if you prefer by wire transfer directly from your bank.
When you run Y2K it performs a test and reports whether your BIOS is compliant or not - if not, it will recommend that you install Y2K fully. Some so-called "experts" in this field suggest that there are two or even three clocks in a PC that should be tested, but in fact only the BIOS clock is afflicted by this bug, and anyone who tells you otherwise does not have a complete technical understanding of the problem. For a more detailed explanation of why this is true, and answers to other common queries, click here to visit our "Frequently Asked Questions" page.
Any other questions ?
If you have any further questions, please take a look at our "Frequently Asked Questions" page before you resort to sending an email. It's not that we don't want to here from you, but the FAQ deals with:
Which Operating Systems does Y2K work under ?
I've downloaded Y2K, now how do I run it ?
How do I install it ?
I've installed Y2K, but it still reports that my machine is non-compliant
I've installed Y2K, but another program reports that my machine is still non-compliant
What are the command-line options, and how can I use them ?
How will Y2K affect my Novell Netware workstation ?
Which clocks does Y2K test - a technical explanation
The BIOS clock passed, but the O/S did not. What do I do?