The Business Of Y2K Testing For Small Business

According to many industry watchers most large enterprises in the United States willhave their mission-critical systems Y2K-compliant by December 31, 1999. But what aboutsmaller businesses? Everyone who owns a computer, for personal use or for business, shouldbe aware of the problem and should take action to try to prevent any interruptions totheir business.

What problems do small- and medium-sized businessesface when it comes to Y2K?

As in large enterprises, examples of applications that may be affected by the Y2Kproblem include: Accounts Payable, Receivables, Labeling and Bar-coding, Interest andDiscount Calculations, Order Processing and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI).

How do I test my systems in a small business environment?

Depending on the size of your business, you may need to create a special time-basedtesting environment with time-sensitive scenarios to prevent the possibility of the lossof data. There are several methods to create a closed environment for time-sensitivetesting. A logical partition can be created in which the system date is changed or toolsare used to provide time simulation. A dedicated environment is recommended for testingbecause it provides more time and capacity and won't interfere with operational systems.HP offers its customers leasing options for testing systems.

Is it too late for me to solve my Year 2000 concerns,especially if I'm running a small business that relies on a network?

If you do have any Y2K concerns, it's not too late to fix your problem, but it isimperative that you act soon because Y2K is a real issue, with a real deadline. Waitinguntil the last few months of the year to assess your environment may not give you enoughtime to enlist the right assistance if you have a major issue. Although most HP PCs,servers, printers and scanners from the last few years have been compliant with NSTLCertification requirements, we still recommend that you at least test your systems.

How do I test my PC for Y2K compatibility?

To test the time and date in Windows 95 or Windows 98, complete the following steps:

  1. From the Windows desktop, choose Start, Settings, then Control Panel.
  2. Click Date and Time to view the date/time properties screen.
  3. Change the date to December 31, 1999 and the time to 11:59:00 PM.
  4. Click Apply, then OK.
  5. Shut down your PC, wait several minutes, then turn it back on.
  6. Once again, select Start, Settings, then Control Panel.
  7. Click Date and Time, the date should be January 1, 2000; the time should be past mid- night.
  8. Follow steps 1 through 5 again to change the date and time back.

My computer is Y2K-compliant, but what about my HPprinter and scanner?

All DeskJet and LaserJet printers, products and solutions including software, hardware,firmware and accessories are either Y2K-compliant or do not use date-related processing.Some early units of the HP LaserJet all-in-one printer, fax, copier, scanners may need asoftware upgrade to be Y2K-compliant. To download the upgrade free of charge, visitwww.hp.com/year2000.

What about network cards?

Most HP LAN adapters, NetBeam IR products, Data Communications and Data TerminalControllers (DTC) do not involve date-related processing and hence do not have any Year2000 compliance issues.

What about HP Vectra and HP Brios? Are theyY2K-compliant?

All HP Vectra and Brio products from 1995 or later are Y2K-compliant. If you'vepurchased your HP products prior to 1995, visit the HP Web-site to learn if your productrequires any upgrade actions. If you do not have access to the Web, contact your local HPcall center and the response team member will assist you.

Are HP NetServers Y2K-compliant?

Most HP NetServer systems, including all CPU speeds and both uni- and multi-processorsystems, will automatically change the real-time clock date to reflect the Year 2000 thefirst time the system is rebooted after January 1, 2000.

Some NetServers, however, will reset the real-time clock to January 4, 1980 at midnighton December 31, 2000. To correct this situation, on or after January 1, 2000, manuallyreset the system clock to the correct date via either the EISA Configuration Utility (ECU)or the MS-DOS "date" command.

The system real-time clock will maintain the correct date from that point on. If thesesystems are operating when the date change occurs, the operating system will reflect thecorrect date, but the real-time clock will be incorrect because the operating systemsoftware clock is independent of the system real-time clock after the operating system isinitialized.

The next time the system is rebooted, the operating system will get the incorrect datefrom the real-time clock if it has not been manually reset. To find out if your NetServerneeds manual resetting, visit the HP Web-site or call your local call center.

What if I don't have access to the Internet? How canI get Y2K information about my HP products?

If you do not have access to the Internet, you can contact HP through one of themethods it has put in place for Y2K questions, including fax and e-mail centers. Thesemethods may take a few days to get a response because of the volume. Please be sure yourproduct name, number and release version is included in your inquiry. You can also callone of HP's customer response centers.

HP also has dedicated Y2K experts available to handle your calls. As you can tell bythe graphic below, Y2K calls receive special attention from call center team members.Contact your local sales office for information on the response center in your geographicarea.

With more then 4,000 computing products, the best source of Y2K information availablefor HP users will be on the HP Y2K Web site located at www.hp.com/year2000.

The Web site's primary goal is to deliver all customers with up-to-date information onHP and the Year 2000, so HP customers should check this site regularly.

Depending on your products, HP makes it easy to reset, update, upgrade or replace yourproducts. This information is provided in the Product Compliance Search area of the website in the Comments section. You should do the same with products from other vendors.

Most large enterprises are well into their Y2K efforts. Isn't it about time for smallcompanies to know their Y2K score?