|Y2K tests and software|
|Y2K test URLs
MB BIOS updates
|Y2K is a major issue in the PC industry. A PC doesn't have a magic sticker saying that it will work in the year
2000. You can't look at the motherboard either. You need to directly query the hardware in the system.
One of the easiest tests for the MB and BIOS is from the National Software Testing Labs. If your MB or BIOS fail this test, you don't have a prayer of having a Y2K compliant system. This file is available on the AE Systems FTP site.Y2K test program. The WIN95 and WIN98 Y2K patches are listed on this page, since they are a bit hard to find. Some MB manufacturers have a posted Y2K approved BIOS list.
To use this program please make a barebones boot disk. Use DOS for the OS or run the SYS command from a DOS prompt on your WIN95 or '98 PC, for example SYS A:. Do not use a CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Then expand this file on the floppy. The main file is 2000.EXE.
If this test fails, the BIOS or other hardware will need to be upgraded. Some of the MB BIOS update sites are listed on this page. Be aware that if you have an older MB, the manufacturer may not be around anymore to provide updates. Or, they may be alive but not support your old MB. In that case you would have to go to the vendor of the BIOS. These vendors are AWARD, AMI, and Phoenix. These guys don't just give you a flash update file or a chip. They will charge you. The cost for a single user BIOS update for your old MB is $79. Ouch. You can almost buy a new MB for that. A lot of times you will get a cleaner and faster PC you upgrade your MB rather than pay the $79 for the BIOS update.
If it passes, then at least the MB and BIOS are Y2K compliant. This doesn't mean the PC is Y2K compliant just the MB and BIOS. Software issues can still exist.
WIN95 and '98 are not Y2K compliant without a patch. The latest version of WIN98, 2nd Edition, or SE as Microsoft calls it, is Y2K compliant. At least it is today. WIN98 SE upgarade packs are now in the stores. WIN NT 4.0 will not work properly without SP5 loaded.
A lot of the not so old, windows based applications aren't Y2K compliant either. Office 97 Pro is not Y2K compliant without the SR-2 update, for example. For the Microsoft Y2K issues look at their web site. You should also download IE 5.0.