Windows 98 Year 2000 Update

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December 1998

Microsoft has identified and fixed minor year 2000 issues in the Microsoft Windows 98 operating system. The issues identified pose no risk of data loss or PC damage, and customers would be unlikely to encounter the issues during normal daily use of their computer.

Important Notice to Internet Explorer 5 Beta Users The Windows 98 Year 2000 Update should not be installed over any BETA version of Internet Explorer 5, or other BETA software. If you are a BETA User of IE5, uninstall the beta before installation of this update. If you are applying this update after the public release of IE5, please uninstall the beta version, go to and install the final version of Internet Explorer 5, then apply this update.

Microsoft understands the critical nature of the year 2000 issue and is committed to diligently testing its products and promptly providing information and solutions to its customers if issues do arise.

Click here to access y2kinfo.txt

Year 2000 Issues Pose No Threat of Lost Data or PC Damage

While the year 2000 issues discovered in Windows 98 result in the incorrect display of dates in 2000 in certain rare scenarios, they pose no risk of data loss. Most customers would have an extremely small chance of ever running into these issues in their normal, daily computer use.

Below is a complete list of the issues that the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update addresses:

  • Date Rollover: If a system is booting at the precise fraction of a second when the date rolls, the system clock may display an inaccurate time or date. The occurrence of this would be extremely rare because the exact time frame varies from machine to machine and lasts typically less than 1 second.

  • Date/Time Control Applet: If a user opens the Date/Time applet in the control panel and sets the date to February 29 of a leap year and then uses the up and down buttons to change years, February 29 might be displayed even for non leap years. This is simply a display problem, however. The user cannot apply this incorrect date.

  • Dialer.Exe Log: When a user makes a phone call using the Phone Dialer applet, the log file created after completion of the telephone call displays the year portion of the call date incorrectly.

  • DOS XCOPY: When using XCOPY in real mode with the optional parameter /D:date, xcopy does not accept years entered as two digits, except for the years 80 through 99. The message "Invalid date" is displayed. When using xcopy in protected mode (from within Windows), two-digit dates are accepted but are recognized as being within the 20th century (for example, 02/05/01 is seen as 02/05/1901).

  • Java Virtual Machine: Some year 2000 issues have been reported in connection with Java virtual machines based on the Sun Microsystems Java Development Kit (versions 1.1.1 to 1.1.5). For example if a Web site uses Java and makes use of the java.txt.SimpleDateFormat class library, and the user enters four digits for the year, the date functions may truncate the year and use only the first two digits. Copy the updated version of the Java Virtual Machine from the article titled, MS Virtual Machine Update for MS Windows 95, 98 and NT 4.0 .

  • Lagging IP Lease Dates: If a user logs onto a LAN on or after March 1, 2000, and runs Winipcfg from the Run command or Ipconfig from the DOS VM, the DHCP client reports the IP lease date as having been obtained on the previous day.

  • Microsoft Foundation Class Library: After the year 2000, programs that use the COleDateTime function may improperly parse a date. For example, 02/05/2000 may display as 2/05/100. To view an example of this after the year 2000, from Programs\Accessories\System Tools users can run System Information (msinfo32.exe) and save the file. Users should then open this info extension file and from the File menu select Properties. The date stamp may display the improper date.

  • Microsoft Wallet: When entering credit card information in versions of Microsoft Wallet that precede 2.1.1383, users must enter the month, day, and year for expiration dates beyond 2000. Otherwise, information may be parsed incorrectly. For example, entering an expiration date of 5/01 could be parsed as May 1, rather than May, 2001. Users can correct this by installing Microsoft Wallet version 2.1.1383 or later or by downloading the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update.

  • Programming to Data Access Components: If a programmer codes to ADO or OLE DB, and uses data access components such as adDate, adDBDate, Dbtype_Filetime, chooses to use an international date format with periods as separators, and specifies a year by two digits earlier than 60, then the date may be translated as a time.

  • Regional Settings Date/Time Picker: If Regional Settings in the control panel is set to use two-digit years, then the date/time picker function may not return the proper date. Only two digits are accepted at a time. To ensure proper handling of dates, the user can either set Regional Settings to four-digit date handling or download the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update.

  • WordPad Custom Properties: If a user selects properties, custom on a WordPad or Word document, the custom date setting will not accept 2000 as a valid entry when entered as "00". All two-digit dates are assumed to be in the 20th century and if the time zone is set to Far East, the date properties will lose a day when the year is entered as 2000.

Update Widely Available

Microsoft is making the Windows 98 Year 2000 Update available through several channels to make it as easy as possible for customers to update Windows 98. To assure that all Windows 98 customers are aware of the update, Microsoft is sending e-mail to all registered Windows 98 users beginning December 7. The Windows 98 Year 2000 Update is available now on the Microsoft Windows Update site. In addition, Windows 98 users who have downloaded the Critical Update Notification from Microsoft Update will be automatically notified of the year 2000 update when they next log onto the Internet.

In addition, Microsoft is making the update available to OEMs and will include the update on the Microsoft Select CD for corporate customers. Some Microsoft vendors will offer the CD-ROM at select retail locations as well.

Comprehensive Y2K Web Site Available

Earlier this year, Microsoft unveiled its Year 2000 Resource Center at, a comprehensive Web site for customers facing year 2000 computer problems. The site includes a product guide that outlines compliance and the testing status of specific Microsoft products. Microsoft recommends that customers frequently check the Microsoft Year 2000 Web site or call 1-888-MSFT-Y2K (673-8925) to keep up to date with the latest compliance information.

International Releases

Though the year 2000 issues found in Windows 98 English are common to the international versions of Windows 98, this update only works for English versions. Complete testing of international versions of Windows 98 is targeted to be completed by Q1 of 1999, and international versions of the Year 2000 Update will be posted as soon as they are available.