Hoax claims 60 second Y2K fix

With all the paranoia about the Y2K bug, it's no surprise that hoaxes and snake oil fixes are starting to appear. The latest e-mail hoax is a quick fix that once applied, should make Windows 95, 98 or NT, Y2K-compliant -- all in about 60 seconds.

It's as simple as changing the date setting on your PC, claims the hoax.

First, select Start-Settings-Control Panel and then Regional Settings. Click on Date and go to the Short Date setting, which appears as dd/MM/yy. According to the hoax, this will cause the rollover date to appear as 00, instead of 2000. To prevent this, select the date short date format as dd/MM/yyyy (or type in the addition y's). The hoax claims dates will now magically rollover to 2000 instead of 00, and your operating system and software are now Y2K-compliant.

No such luck. Changing the setting will only affect the way the date is displayed on your screen -- it has nothing to do with the way Windows processes dates.

Microsoft advises that dates are stored and processed in a four digit format regardless of the short date format style selected in Regional Settings.

If you're not convinced, try an experiment: change the short date format to just "dd" (no month or year). Applying the logic of this hoax, your PC won't even be "month" compliant, but strangely your system clock in the bottom right of your screen still seems to know the month and year.

Microsoft, which normally ignores hoaxes, has taken the rare step of refuting the quick fix at http://www.microsoft.com/y2k/hoax/y2khoax.htm. To find out what you need to do to make Windows compliant, see http://www.microsoft.com/y2k.

Windows 95 and 98 Y2K fixes, and the latest service packs for Windows, are available on PC World's cover CD each month.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Scott Mendham

PC World
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?