Y3K Windows Bug?

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With a Bug ridden 2019, windows expected 2020 to have a great start, trying to take caution over the prior defects and cyber attacks. Microsoft started moving its Windows 10 version 1809 to 1909, in November 2019 with a slow start to the phased process, supposed to end by May 2020 successfully. An update to Windows 1909 has brought many Windows OS issues to light including Windows 10 Y3K bug, which could affect some Windows 10 users who try to install the latest Windows release on computers where the BIOS date was set to January 19, 3001, or later on either AMD or Intel motherboards. Although most of us won’t be around to see the date turn to 3001, the bug can potentially affect us.

The Y3K bug is considered as a successor to the Y2K bug of windows that caused mass panic as the millennium approached two decades ago.

What is the Windows 10 Y3K Issue?

If a User mistakenly sets the date manually 980 years ahead, i.e. past 18th January 3001, It could move the operating system of a User to Limbo. The Bug results in a lockup at first boot.

“It seems if your motherboard BIOS (AMD or Intel) allows you to set a date of 1-19-3001 or beyond, Windows 10 1909 will not finish installing, but locks up during the second reboot of the installation process,” as Carey Holzman, an IT professional, and YouTuber focusing on computer enthusiasts, told BleepingComputer.

The severity of the Bug is such that Windows 10 freezes when the user restarts the system. On checking the BIOS date, Windows 10 automatically puts the incorrect BIOS date back in the BIOS.  If the motherboard is changed, then on attempting to restart from the failed installation, the installation process will once again freeze and set the incorrect installation date back into the new motherboards BIOS. The issue here is not that the install fails but if you reset the date in the bios and boot up the system to allow it to finish the install the installer will change the date in the bios to the bad date and the install will fail again at the same spot.

This issue affects at least the users of Gigabyte H370 HD3 (for Intel CPUs) and Gigabyte x570 Aorus Elite (for AMD CPUs) motherboards as stated by Bleeping computers.

Is there a Solution?

As the issue occurred, few Users suggested deleting the existing partitions and letting the installer recreate them is the easiest. Or “Reset BIOS, wipe partitions, start the installation again”. On the Contrary, a format only formats the active partition. The hidden partitions are left alone.

The Real solution to this Issue will hold below steps:

  1. Reset the BIOS date to the Current date.
  2. Restart the PC from the Windows 10 installation media (USB flash drive or DVD).
  3. Clear ALL drive partitions on the SSD/HDD on which Windows 10 has to be installed and ONLY then initiate the installation process again.

With an Optimistic approach, this issue is not system generated. The User Needs to set the date manually and will invite the Bug with their will. It’s easy to make typos while entering dates, and nobody should have to deal with boot problems because they accidentally skipped a few centuries. Ideally, people would be able to enter any date they please without problems.

Although Gigabyte says that the maximum date is 2099, for this Bug to occur, the motherboard vendor has to fail to enforce date rules.


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