Every computer that runs Microsoft Windows, except those running Windows Vista (the newest version of Windows) must be updated. However, in their infinite wisdom, Microsoft have elected to offer updates only to users of the most recent versions of Microsoft Windows. They have grudgingly given users of Windows 2000 some help.
Microsoft urges all users to apply these DST updates, and I agree, especially for portable computers.
Unfortunately, unless you use the latest versions of Microsoft Windows, you are on your own.
Updates for All Users
Since I opened my doors in 1985, I have worked to see that no user gets left behind, regardless of the age of his computers and system software. In that spirit, I have worked tirelessly since I learned about this change last November to make the update available to every person who uses Microsoft Windows, whether or not Microsoft still supports your version.
Fortunately, the information necessary to update all versions of Microsoft Windows, regardless of service pack status, is readily available, and I can find no technical argument against doing so. I've just completed a program that updates any version of Windows shipped since 24 August 1995, which means Windows 95 and later.
The program documentation and a download link are on my Web site, at http://www.wizardwrx.com/FREEBIES/2007TZFIX.html.
The program is free to individual and small business users. I have asked for $75.00 from large organizations, but, as is always the case with shareware, you are on your honor to pay up.
Why Is This Important?
Modern computers keep time in Coordinated Universal Time, which is usually abbreviated to UTC. When you install Windows (or any other operating system, for that matter), one of the adjustments you are required to make is to identify the time zone in which your computer is located, and whether your locale observes Daylight Saving Time. Thereafter, the computer clock adjusts the time that it shows to you accordingly. This adjustment happens many times, including the following.
- When you create or modify a file or a folder.
- When you send or receive an email message.
- When you create or update a calendar entry, in, for example, Microsoft Outlook or Novell GroupWise.
- When you add or update an item in the Scheduled Tasks (or CRON table for Unix users).
For these reasons, and others, it is important that your computer observes the correct time adjustment.
What happens if you don't correct the DST settings in the time zone tables?
¨ You could be an hour late for a meeting in March, or an hour early in November.
¨ An email message could show the wrong time. If the message is legally or otherwise significant, this could have serious consequences for you.
¨ The date stamp on a file, such as a Microsoft Word document, could be off by an hour, with consequences similar to an email message time stamp being off by an hour.
¨ Applications that report times in local time, which is most of them, could report events an hour off.
In addition to your computer, other time displays, some of which are critical, may also be affected. Examples include time stamps on security video recordings, gas pump registers, and other machines that generate and use time stamps rendered in local time.
Is This Another Y2K?
Some pundits are saying that this is a "mini Y2K." Although this change is important, its impact is somewhat more limited, for two reasons.
1. The change affects primarily people who live and work in the United States of America.
2. Most important data exchange and related time keeping is done in UTC, which is immune to changes in DST rules.
Now, you know more than you probably wanted to know about the DST change.
¨ http://support.microsoft.com/gp/cp_dst is the Microsoft Daylight Saving Time Help and Support Center.
¨ http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931667/, “How to address the daylight saving time changes in 2007 by using the Time Zone Data Update Tool for Microsoft Office Outlook,”
¨ http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=e343a233-b9c8-4652-9dd8-ae0f1af62568&DisplayLang=en, “Microsoft Office Outlook Tool: Time Zone Data Update Tool for Microsoft Office Outlook,” is the download page for the time zone data update tool, which supports Microsoft Outlook 2000 and later, running on Windows 2000 Service Pack 4 or later.
¨ http://support.microsoft.com/kb/933146/, “Description of the hotfix package for the Time Zone Data Update tool for Microsoft Office Outlook,” discusses a separately packaged update to the Outlook calendar fix up tool.
¨ http://support.microsoft.com/kb/931836/, “February 2007 cumulative time zone update for Microsoft Windows operating systems,” supersedes the frequently cited original Microsoft Knowledge Base article, KB928388. Although it appears that KB928388 has been updated to reflect the additions made in KB931836, this is the definitive article.
¨ http://support.microsoft.com/kb/926666/, “Update for daylight saving time changes in 2007 for Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2,” discusses important updates for the Microsoft Exchange corporate mail server. Although the title refers only to Exchange 2003 Service Pack 2, the article contains links to additional articles that cover older versions of Exchange.
¨ http://support.microsoft.com/kb/928388, “2007 time zone update for Microsoft Windows operating systems,” is the original source for time zone updates for Windows XP and 2003. Although it appears that Microsoft has updated this article, other references suggest that KB931836 should be considered the definitive update. I included this article for completeness.
¨ http://articles.techrepublic.com.com/2100-1009-6159840-1.html, “Wake up to the 'daylight-saving' bug,” is one of many recent articles on the subject, (and more balanced than many) which I first raised on 12/16/2006 in my VirusWarn newsletter, “2007 Time Zone Update for Microsoft Windows Operating Systems,” which is posted at http://www.viruswarn.com/Forums/tabid/53/forumid/5/tpage/1/view/topic/postid/216/Default.aspx#216.
Please use my program if you have an older version of Windows, or if your copy of Windows is behind a couple of patches, and feel free to share this information, and my program, with others. If you use your computer for anything important, this issue requires your urgent attention. To ensure that your systems keep and display the correct time, you must update before Midnight, this Sunday, 11 March 2007.
Please get professional help if you are confused, and be aware that the patch landscape is changing daily, so we may not have a ready answer at our finger tips.
As always, on my honor, I shall do my best to help you.
David Gray, MBA, Chief Wizard
WizardWrx, formerly P6 Consulting
V: +1 (817) 812-3041
TZ: USA Central, GMT -6
5006 Cloyce Court
North Richland Hills, TX 76180-6944
Tell me what you need, and I’ll conjure it.