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 AwardMJK - Y2K fix for AWARD BIOS

This is a software utility which addresses a Y2K problem.

Some versions of AWARD BIOSes cannot operate successfully after the year changes to 2000. On Boot, these BIOSes will treat the low 2 digits of the year (00, 01, 02, etc) as invalid, and change them to 95, typically. This results in a year of "2095" (or similar), with perhaps no effect on the PC operation, or with disasterous consequences.

Some releases of AWARD BIOS 4.50G and 4.51G have this Y2K problem. Furthermore, it seems that some of these BIOSes destroy the Day and Month settings at boot (as well as the year), though we have not observed that behaviour. This utility should be used where ONLY the YEAR is destroyed at boot. If the Day and/or Month are also destroyed at Boot, this utility must not be used, and in that instance, a BIOS upgrade, or the use of a special "Y2K" add-in card (or manually setting the date on every boot) may be necessary.

If you have a suspect AWARD BIOS, check if you have this "209x" problem:
    - Warning: take any necessary precautions before changing the date to xx/xx/2000, in case any software is date-sensitive (eg, trial software).
    - change the date to something in 2000/2001/etc. (Do not use a day of 01, nor a month of 01),
    - switch off the PC,
    - wait for a few moments,
    - switch back on, and
    - check if the date has been retained correctly.
    - Warning: ensure the date is reset back to the correct value, immediately after this test.

If the Day and Month are still ok, but the year is destroyed, then this utility may help.

If the year is intact, you don't need the utility. If the day and month are destroyed (as well as the year), this utility cannot help anyway.

Our utility must be included at the start of AUTOEXEC.BAT, and merely corrects the "Year" on boot-up.

A demo version is available, but will operate only for a restricted date range at the start of 2000. Provided that you do some tests with a system date initially set to early 2000, you can check out the algorithm used. And ensure that you do not run any date-sensitive application software while the system date is inaccurate !!. Download AwardMJK.ZIP. This file-size is about 30k. (See Download Instructions).

The full utility is not free. The cost is $30 for the first PC (per site), and $5 per additional PC.

You may order the full program, or, if you have any queries or comments on this product, use the feedback option, or e-mail us.

For some additional details, and a rumoured solution from Phoenix/Award, check their web site. You may also find some related comments at Tom Beckers' excellent site.

Test/Fix from AWARD:
It's free, so it should be checked out !!.

At the time of writing this note, there are two versions; DOS/Win3.x (770kB download), and Win9x (890kB download). The procedure is to:
  - run this EXE file, which creates a bootable floppy disk,
  - boot from that floppy, run the tests, and, if relevant, the "fixes" are applied.
No documentation is available, apart from some help screens, but some FAQ data, etc, is available at the web site.

I observed one run of this sequence by a competent PC operator, on a PC that loses the year but retains the month and day, and therefore needs the fix:
  - Boot floppy created OK.
  - When the PC was booted from it, a message was presented indicating the Drive Translation was required for the HD !!. None (OnTrack, EZ-D, Disk-Mangler, etc...) was installed !.
  - A visit the the web site suggested a partial boot from the HD, and then switch to the floppy.
  - When this was attempted, the boot process did go to the floppy, but hung.
  - "I" suggested  minimal boot from the HD, and issue the AutoExec commands manually as per the floppy file.
  - Worked, and the final fix was installed, and, with some brief tests, worked correctly. It keeps a small date-stamp file on the root directory, just like the fix here.

User's reaction: frightening; not for the faint hearted; experienced PC tech support essential.

Another difference between the Award fix, and the one at this site: the comments on the Award fix indicate that it also addresses the rollover from 19xx to 20xx, if this feature is not already in the BIOS. This feature was not checked in the above tests.

In summary:
  - the fix here is not free,
  - the user must determine if the 2094/2095 problem exists,
  - the fix is small; the installation is trivial (we hope !),
  - the fix does not address Rollover - though this is a trivial update - if required,
  - when active, the fix informs the user of any action it takes...

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