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FIC Technical Support:
The Year 2000 Page

FIC Motherboards and the Year 2000

The FIC Year 2000 Statement of Compliance (PDF, 10Kb) - Explanation of the Year 2000 compliance of FIC products. Detailed technical background information will be posted soon.

FIC Pentium Motherboards and the Year 2000 Compliance (zipped PDF, 15Kb)

FIC 486 Motherboards and the Year 2000 Support (PDF, ~10Kb)

Important Notice

On some older Socket 7 motherboard models (1998 and earlier) a single Y2K test (RTC rollover) may fail. This by may cause trouble if you leave the system on in the moment of rollover (Dec-31 23:59:59 -> Jan-01 00:00:00) but not in other situations. Those BIOSes are otherwise suitable for use.
1. Customers wishing to fix this problem can download updated BIOSes for all such boards by downloading an updated BIOS file from the /y2k subfolder in a folder with the RTC rollover BIOS updates for their model (e.g. PA-2005 Y2K fix is located under ftp://ftp.fic.com.tw/motherboard/bios/socket7/pa-2005/y2k).
2. Use the most recent flash utility for that particular PCB revision of your model. This information can be obtained from the BIOS download page for your motherboard. All BIOS flash utilities can be downloaded directly from the FTP server at ftp://ftp.fic.com.tw/motherboard/bios/flash)
3. A readme.txt file found in each /y2k folder gives the PCB information.

Award BIOS Year 2000 Compliance Notification

Personal computers based on BIOS from Award International Software with BIOS build dates between September 26, 1994 and April 19, 1995 may not be Y2K-compliant, for detailed information please access AWARD year2000 page to find the resource and Y2K test/fix Utility for Windows or DOS version

FIC Portable Computing Group's Year 2000 Information

For notebook products Y2K information, please visit FIC PCG's Web site at http://pcg.fic.com.tw

Year 2000 Sources

Microsoft Y2000 Home Page
Microsoft NT Server Y2000 Page
Intel LANDesk Client Manager 2.x, 3.x and other Intel products
Year 2000 Web site (Peter de Jager)
comp.software.year-2000 (UUNET newsgroup via DEJA News)
NSTL (freeware Year 2000 compliance-checking utility)
AMI BIOS (simple Y2K fix)
AWARD BIOS (Y2K test/fix)
Microsoft Y2K FAQs


Year 2000 FAQs

Q: What if my BIOS/software/hardware is not Y2K-compliant?

A: It depends on purpose of the system. You should be mostly concerned about finance/accounting, database software and systems used as servers, while consequences for stand-alone PCs should be less serious. An easy way to fix a stand-alone PC with an incompatible BIOS is to set the date manually in the year 2000 if it fails to make an automatic roll-over. (see AMI simple Y2K fix above)

Q: Why does my system with a Y2K-compliant FIC motherboard fail Y2K test? I use X utility.

A: Use the free NSTL utility (see the table above) to verify Y2K compliance of the board. The utility you are using now probably accesses RTC directly, which is inappropriate. The proper way for software to obtain system time is through BIOS.

Q: Is there any simple way to determine if my BIOS can handle post-2000 dates?

A: The best is to use one of shareware utilities widely available on then Net. In absence of those, you can set your date to Dec 31 1999, 12:58 p.m. Shut your machine down for five minutes, reboot and check the computer clock. (after checking, reset the date setting back to the present). You can repeat the procedure without shutting the system down, but in both cases beware that moving back in forth in time is much safer with a dedicated software utility (for AMI BIOS, get AMI2000.com).

Q: My BIOS fails Rollover Test (Direct I/O). So does this mean my system is the Y2000-incompatible?

A: Operating systems and software applications in great majority of cases obtain system time via BIOS and that is why the Rollover Test (Direct I/O) is not something you should be concerned about - only applications and operating systems that access Real Time Clock (RTC) directly are in danger. Check your OS documentation and applications. Hypothetically a problem would happen if during rollover your system is powered on and there is an application that obtains time from RTC.

Another test (Real Time Clock Rollover Test (BIOS)) will be completed successfully. Some demo utilities are designed to "aggressively" promote the Y2000 awareness and therefore detect incompatibility "problems" even when these are very unlikely to occur.

Q: Is X software Y2000-compliant?

A: Please check with the X software manufacturer. Here we can only mention that Windows 3.51, Windows 4.0 (with proper fixes) and Windows98 will be able to recognize the most common BIOS problem - BIOS failing to properly display century bits in system date (so 2000 becomes 1900). The three operating systems will recognize this failure and automatically correct the year value in system clock. This fix will work only during the year 2000. Check Microsoft's Web site for patches and updates for your applications.
Update (Aug 14, 1998): Microsoft confirmed bug existence in Windows98. Microsoft will release a patch to fix this issue; customers are advised to check Microsoft Web site for fixes and updates (links to MS Web site can be found in table above).

For other applications, you should be aware that they work with other applications who supply them with dates. For example, your Access database might have some OLE-links to incompatible software applications.  Or you might have written some macros that use incompatible date format.

Therefore make sure that all parts of your critical system environment can handle four digit year dates.

Q: What about 486 and old Socket 7 motherboards which aren't Y2K-compatible?

A: Like other vendors, FIC does not provide full support for outdated products. Customers are not advised no leave Y2K-sensitive applications running on non-compliant systems. However, FIC does provide BETA BIOS updates for most 486- and early Pentium-based motherboards. For more information, see 486 FAQs.

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