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print this documentDocument ID:199686104623
Last Modified:02/26/2002

Problems with an incorrect system date in Windows

When you open an application, it displays various errors indicating invalid files or invalid file dates. When you run Norton Disk Doctor, it may indicate many invalid files. After you exit from Norton Disk Doctor, there may be no apparent change, or an application no longer works. Your system date is no longer the current date, or was temporarily set to a past or future date.

These problems are due to an incorrect system date. When a computer's date is set to something other than the current date, many files end up with a Last Accessed Date that is in the future, or before the Modify Date or Create Date. These incorrect dates cause a variety of problems, depending on which files were changed.

Generally, Norton Disk Doctor will display affected files as "invalid file entries" and will fix the problems by changing the Last Accessed Date when prompted to do so. This will not cause problems for programs that follow the Windows 95/98 standards. However, some programs use file dates as a means of keeping track of processes they use; changing the Last Accessed Date may cause problems for such programs. Here are some programs that could experience such problems:

Do not change the date on any file unless there is a specific reason to do so. If you choose invalid dates, programs may not run correctly.

How to check the system date
To check the system date, move the mouse cursor over the clock on the taskbar. Within a few seconds, the system date will appear in a small box above the cursor. A correctly configured computer uses the current date as the system date.

How to correct the system date
To correct the system date, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start, point to Settings, and choose Control Panel.
  2. Double-click the Date/Time icon.
  3. Select the appropriate year, month, and day.
  4. Click Apply, and click OK. If you find later that the date does not update correctly or reverts to an older or newer date, you may need to correct the date in the computer's BIOS. For instructions about how to do this, refer to the computer's documentation.

How to find file dates
Windows Explorer lists the Modified date of files but not the Create date or the Accessed date. To see both the Modified date and Accessed date, go to a DOS prompt and list the selected files using the DIR command with the /A/V/P switches. For example, type: dir /a/v/p

This command works in Windows 95. It will not work in DOS 6.22 and before.

How to correct individual file dates
If programs are not working due to invalid file dates, the best solution is to copy the original file from the installation disks, or reinstall the program.

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Product(s): Norton Utilities 2000 v4.5 - Win95/98, Norton Utilities 2001 v5.0 - Win9x/Me, Norton Utilities 2002 v6.0 - Win98/Me
Operating System(s): Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows Me
Date Created: 08/06/1996