Windows optimize

Patch Microsoft Windows and Windows Servers for Daylight Savings Time now

Don't get blindsided by the early implementation of Daylight Savings Time in 2007. Josh Hoskins provides you with all the links you need to get all of your Windows systems and Windows Servers in synch with Daylight Savings Time before it takes effect on March 11, 2007.

This article is also available as a TechRepublic download.

With the federally mandated changes to Daylight Saving Time fast approaching, many companies are scrambling to get all of their systems patched. Only the absolute newest of Microsoft products (Exchange 2007, Windows Vista, and Windows Mobile 6) have these changes built in. Many workstations, servers, and handheld devices need to be updated to reflect this change. In this article we will look at several of the major patches available and how to find them and get them onto your servers.

Windows

One of the fist patches that should be applied is the Microsoft patches for Windows XP, and for Windows Server 2003. The patch for Windows XP can be downloaded here (the version for 64bit XP is here), and the Windows Server 2003 patch can be downloaded here (the version for X64bit server is here and the version for Itanium 2003 systems is here).

These are standard Microsoft patches that can fully fit in with your standard patching methodology. It can be deployed via WSUS, or many other patch distribution packages. It can also be installed by an administrator without the need for a reboot, which is very useful in shops where patches are applied manually. You will want to check to make sure this patch (KB931836) is set for distribution, as it is not listed as a critical update. If you only typically push or install critical updates then you may need to manually add this patch to your systems. It should also be noted that the patch for Windows XP requires XP SP2 to be installed, if you have not already done so.

If you are still running Windows 2000 you will have to do a bit more work for the time change. Microsoft has released KB article 914387 which outlines the process you must go to for the change. There are two methods by which you can change the time zone for Windows 2000 (Professional and Server). The first is to download the TZEdit tool from Microsoft. Once installed, you can run this tool (it installs by default to c:\Program Files\TZEdit\) to manually create and change your time zones. This method will require you to manually change every computer. While this is not a major task if you only have a few Windows 2000, it can be quite daunting if you have a large number of systems to update.

The second method provided by Microsoft for updating Windows 2000 is a combination of a registry edit and a VBS script. These are both available here, though you must copy the text for each of them and save them locally with the proper file extensions (.reg and .vbs respectively). You must then import the registry settings change (by double clicking the .reg file you created), then run the vbs script to perform the update. This process can easily be automated.

Microsoft provides steps to automate the process through group policy (by making a simple command file), but it can also be done using a batch file or another VB script. The only requirement again is that administrator privileges are used to run the files or the script created. This can be mitigated by using group policy to assign it as a startup or shutdown script for a computer not a user.

There is also a separate patch for Microsoft Exchange 2003 that can be downloaded here. This patch requires Exchange SP1 to be installed. Like the standard Windows patch the installation of this patch does not require a reboot of your system, but it does require your Exchange Information Store to be restarted.

If servers in your Exchange environment are clustered, you will need to follow the steps for a standard cluster installation. These steps involve moving all of your cluster resources off of one node at a time, then stopping the cluster service on that node before applying the patch. This patch may cause the Send As issue described in this article, if you have not applied any of the other patches that add this behavior to Exchange. If you are unsure whether you have previously applied patches that cause the Send As issue, you can check the version of your store.exe file in Exchange. If you version is lower than 7650.23, then you will be affected.

If you are running Exchange 2000 or Exchange 5.5 there are currently no patches available. Microsoft asks that you contact your Microsoft account manager, or a technical account manager for assistance with these products.

One last thing you will need to do in your Exchange environment is the running of the Outlook Time Zone Data Update Tool available here. This will update the appointments scheduled during the new DST period. This tool does not require administrator privileges to run, just a defined MAPI (Outlook) profile to that users mailbox.

Because it will be very difficult to verify that all of your users run this, Microsoft has released the Exchange Calendar Update Tool. Technically this tool is simply a wrapper for the Outlook Tool that allows you to run it against all your users or a group of users in one batch. This tool contains a command line executable named MSEXTMZ.exe that is used to run the updates. There is also included MSEXTMZCFG.exe which is a GUI tool to provide the configuration necessary to run MSEXTMZ. This tool does require a good deal of configuration to run, and goes well beyond the scope of this article.

Mobile

Your portable Windows devices will also require updates. If you are using Windows Mobile 5, Windows Mobile 2003, or Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition you will need to apply the update available here. If you synchronize your device with a PC, you simply install the update on your PC when your device is connected. You will then need to manually change your setting under Clock & Alarms | Time to reflect the new time zone.

These steps are slightly different for smart phones versus Pocket PC's. You will want to check the article from Microsoft to verify the steps for changing the time zone if you are unsure. If you are using an older Windows CD device, you will need to manually change the time. This is done under Date | Time Properties. While there you will also need to uncheck the option to automatically update for Daylight Saving Time. Unfortunately, you will need to make this change twice a year when DST rolls around.

Many other vendors have patches available too. You can the patch for most Blackberry devices here. Palm has promised for their Treo devices by the end of February. You can also find a list of several patches here. If you have a product that you cannot find, be sure to contact your vendor to ask about their update strategy. While not receiving the hype of Y2K this is still a significant change that you need to have worked out before the change rolls around.

Table A - A single location for links to patches

Windows XP (32-bit)

Windows XP (64-bit)

Windows Server 2003

Windows Server 2003 (64-bit)

Windows Server 2003 (Itanium)

Windows 2000 and TZEdit tool

Exchange 2003

Outlook Time Zone Data Update Tool

Windows Mobile 5, Windows Mobile 2003, or Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition

Blackberry

46 comments
BALTHOR
BALTHOR

The way that I see it the time change is being implemented to conserve on energy.I do not detect a single problem in our energy production.If I drive past the bank and the clock's time is changed then maybe I'll change my company's clock?All of the world's transactions are tied to the world clock system.If I change my clock because of some article that I read will I knock my transactions out of sync?Do I know the full implications to my system?Where are the official Government statements?This is clocks in vehicles,jet aircraft,security systems,and so on.

Ethical_Loner
Ethical_Loner

I don't know if I'm afloat aboard the Good Ship Lollipop, crossing over into Boofland or what but each and every one of my over 80 XP SP2 machines came up with KB931836 as a critical update.

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

My corporation is going to update our computers with this file for the time change.All of our transaction times will be changed.Will we be in sync with the world clocks?I simply can not trust this article.Are we headed for a Planetary disaster?The Government has a law for the daylight savings time change and it is even programmed into my wristwatch.

Mark W. Kaelin
Mark W. Kaelin

Have you patched your systems for the change in Daylight Savings Time this year? Are you concerned about its impact?

Wizjam
Wizjam

This new DST was implemented by Congress, not by Microsoft. Congress beleives that we will save 100,000 barrels of oil a day on the new DST. But Congress didn't consider all the money spent by organizations around the country scrambling to comply with the law. Microsoft, and indeed, all other OS manufacturers as well, are simply patching their systems to get them in synch with the new time mandated by the law. Oh, and Congress will have a review at the end of this year, to decide whether or not they'll do it next year. So, we may be removing the patches next year if they cancel the change next year. I agree with Palmetto, why are we explaining this to you? If you want to complain, write your Congressman, it was their doing!

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

"The way that I see it the time change is being implemented to conserve on energy.I do not detect a single problem in our energy production." What's driving the change in the law is unimportant at this stage. Whether you detect a problem in the energy production system or not (debatable), the law has been changed. Business and government agencies that observe DST will roll their clocks forward in 12 days. "All of the world's transactions are tied to the world clock system." What world clock system? Each country is free to implement the time measurement system of it's choice. Most countries have agreed to accept Greenwich / Zulu / UMT time as a standard and recognize the International Date Line. However, each is free to determine how many hours and / or minutes it's local time will be offset from Greenwich. Even in the U.S. there is no federal clock system. Several states opted out of the previous DST configuration and will continue to do so under the new regulations. If you don't believe the articles you've read, why not contact your operating system provider or supporter? You may also want to contact the manufacturers of your applications. As for official government statements, try http://tf.nist.gov/timefreq/general/dst.htm http://tf.nist.gov/general/history.htm What evidence would you consider adequate proof that this is going to happen? More importantly, why do I keep trying to convince you? I guess I'll quit.

gworley
gworley

No basically it is a registry edit that you could do yourself with TZEDIT from MS. All the patch does it clear the registry entries and put in the new timezone data that was mandated by the U.S. Government that was put in place in 2005. Basically it isn't the end of the world if the clocks are off by an hour but it could mean that you would be lated for an important meeting. George

fhammett
fhammett

There is a downlaod to patch 98/ME as well from intelliadmin, same link as prev post. I've used both successfully.

jshelton
jshelton

As of about two weeks ago, Microsoft made KB931836 a critical update. Originally it was listed in the optional area.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Congress changed the DST law in 2005, to take effect in 2007. What do you mean by "in sync with the world clocks"? There are 24 time zones, and some countries and even some states don't observe DST. No one is "in sync" to the hour, just for the minutes and seconds. Your wristwatch, computer, VCR, etc. will either have to be patched or manually adjusted.

dncbrady
dncbrady

Yes, BALTHOR. Legislation was passed last fall by the US Congress to change the dates. No, BALTHOR. The authors of the legislation gave no consideration to those who do business with other nations who may or may not care what we do with our clocks. Anyone surprised?

AV .
AV .

I've patched my servers and workstations for the operating systems. I am in the process of patching the Outlook clients, but the Windows CE clients don't have a recommended user patch other than having the user adjust the time according to Microsoft. I'm looking at this article http://support.microsoft.com/kb/923027. Isn't there a utility that can make the necessary registry changes?

ctdak
ctdak

I have one instance of Outlook 2000 where the tzmove.exe DST update utility won't run. It immediately says "Operation failed" and that's all. Anyone else run into this? What's the problem? (Other PCs with Outlook 2000 ran the DST utility just fine.)

ctdak
ctdak

I have patched my 2003 DC, but is there a way to verify that the patch has been done successfully before March 11 rolls around?

r.pooler
r.pooler

If our entire enterprise is all located in Arizona, do we skip the patch? We don't participate in the "crazy time"(as my grandfather called it).

gworley
gworley

I use TZEDIT to update one of my Windows NT servers and then exported the Time Zone Registry entries and the on my remaining servers 2 running Windows NT and 2 running Windows 2000 Server imported the .REG file and all of them are now patched. BOO on MS for not providing a .REG file that took me about 20 mins to create. I don't understand why I should have to upgrade a web server that is doing a perfect job. --- it just doesn't make economic sense. George

Jax1
Jax1

I see there is an automatic update for XP SP2, but what about Outlook 2003, Exhange 2003, Server 2003 etc.? Why does those patches have to be downloaded and installed manually instead of also deployed through automatic Microsoft Updates?

RNR1995
RNR1995

Someone correct me if I am wrong BUT Why not just turn off the stupid DST anyway? If your network is setup properly you have a time server that gets its time from some Atomic clock that will change when appropriate, then all your WS and Servers get their time from the time server? I do not get it. Am I missing something here? thanks Ron

ctdak
ctdak

Pardon my ignorance on this whole discussion, but if the PCs on a network get their time from the main domain controller (and are therefore always synced with that DC), then wouldn't installing the DST patch on that DC be all that's needed as far as OS patches go? I realize that if a PC is removed from the network then it would need patching at that point, but is this the only real argument for patching all networked PCs?

welldone
welldone

It appears Microsoft did make available an exe for w2k computers. At one time they were charging for it (3 or 4 dollars) but have also seen it out on the Web in some download areas. Not sure how the licensing ended uo. I have the patch and ran it on a w2k machine and worked fine. The file name is Windows2000-kb931836-x86-ENU.exe

CCFern
CCFern

We are in Asia (Philippines). What if our US colleagues patched their systems, and we patch ours later (maybe April). Somewhere between the new and old dates, a colleague of ours calendars a meeting in MS Outlook. Will the correct time show in our Outlook calendar?

billbohlen@hallmarkchannl
billbohlen@hallmarkchannl

This has definitely been a mini-Y2K project for our team. Although the world won't end this time if the patches aren't applied, having times be off by an hour can affect the business. We have put all of our current projects on hold to prepare for DST 2007. So far the majority of our software products rely on the OS patches, or Java patches. but there are also patches for Oracle. Also make sure to check the OS for your network devices like switches, routers, and VPN appliances...they may need an upgrade as well.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

I'm not sure why you think other nations are relevant. This only affects the hour on the clock, not the minutes or seconds. Hours aren't the same across time zones anyway. We're doing what we've done for decades, just doing it three weeks earlier. The state of Indiana begin observing DST in 2006. It didn't impact their international business.

AV .
AV .

But it doesn't work on Windows CE. AV

david_pearson
david_pearson

Sorry - didn't see below that someone had already mentioned "Intlliadmin". This stuff worked fine for me (On Win 98, 2000 and old NT machines) so I guess I don't see what all the fuss is about when something like this is available for free. And no - I am not associated with them in any way...

tpawleska
tpawleska

All my company is based in Arizona, hell it is all based in one office, but we are going to install the patch based on the reasons that we have clients all over the country and set meetings through outlook with them all the time. I don't see any harm in installing the patch as I have tested it and it runs just fine.

hawk91
hawk91

I was just patching our Win 2003 servers using Microsoft Update and saw that the Server 2003 and Exchange 2003 DST patches were included.

ctdak
ctdak

You expressed the same thing I did earlier today. Read the reply I got to that one for one answer. It might still be a problem with some apps. But, since you brought up the time server syncing with an atomic clock ... I recently installed a new DC, Win Server 2003, and was pleased to see a section of the Day/Time utility allowing graphical setup of this very thing. Win 2000 never had this. But this section of the Day/Time window disapperaed on me, perhaps because my old W2K DC is still my time server. Can anyone confirm that this is the reason it disappeared? Also, will it come back if I disable the W2K DC as a time server?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

As Brian noted above, the system clock may show a local time but some of the applications use UTC / Greenwich / Zulu time and offset from it. If they are offsetting based on Standard Time without the patch, they'll be wrong for three weeks.

CES13
CES13

Im been searching in google the link where i can download the file from, but not success; Could you please let me know where i can donwload the file from? Thanks...

srose
srose

Run a search on Google with the patch name Windows2000-kb931836-x86-ENU.exe and you will find it on the internet.

cburnham
cburnham

Yes, they do have an executable for patching Windows 2000 and that is the name (in post above) , but Microsoft is financially raping people for it - they are charging FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS. I am with a nonprofit and we absolutely cannot afford that. However, I did find a copy of it so if anyone wants it, e-mail me cathylb@gmail.com. I called MS and complained LOUDLY that they are charging for this. Their response is that 2K is outdated and they usually charge FORTY thousand for these patches. I am not liking MS today.

Ksol
Ksol

I searched Microsoft's site. this is not available unless purchased. I googled it, and it does return some places that have it, not publicly available though. Anyone else?

gworley
gworley

Your time will be an hour off until April 1st. Your computers don't think that DST has begun yet for the U.S. so Outlook meetings etc... will be an hour off. George

brian.kronberg
brian.kronberg

Microsoft is recommending to patch all systems, worldwide, prior to March 11th. If you have Exchange/Outlook, then you need to plan even more as there is a specific order to how you need to patch your systems. Also, there are still lots of questions on what will still be broke as all the patching and calendar item manipulation still leaves items that have no patching solution. As for your question, if you do not patch your systems then you will not see the proper time for the calendar event. Outlook only uses UTC time to record the date/time of a meeting. If your system is not patched, then you will not be applying the correct offset to the UTC and therefore you will not see the correct scheduled event time. If you are creating the calendar event on an unpatched system, then everyone else will see the wrong time from patched systems. I do also warn you. Changing your system time does not help. If you put your clock ahead an hour to compensate, others will see the correct time, but after you set your clock back, your item will have the wrong time. Microsoft recommends that if you have a global enterprise network and cannot complete patching, at the minimum, communicate to your users to append the correct time (ex: @ 8:00 CDT) to the end of the subject line of the calendar event. This will ensure people with unpatched systems can correct the scheduled time on when accepting the meeting request.

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Yeah, some Pacific island nations, among others.

Jax1
Jax1

I think they have been there since last month. However, that is still cutting it close. They should have been out 6 months ago so few people would have already have been entering appointments into Outlook before the machines were patched. It was not a good idea to wait this late to deploy these fixes.

RNR1995
RNR1995

No it won't come back Einstein at MS thought if you are on a Domain set your own time server. But if you are a single user or a workgroup then you could pick one from a GUI....HMMMMM Ya think they could of left that in for DC's or does someone have a reg hack to get it back?

CharlieSpencer
CharlieSpencer

Go to www.microsoft.com and search for the KB (Knowledge Base) number; in this case, KB931836 (assuming you've provided the correct KB number in your question). If that turns out to be the wrong number, search the MS site for the terms Windows 2000 Daylight Saving Time You're about 12.1 months too late. Until you find the patch, disable the DST option and change the time manually.

Nice Techie
Nice Techie

Your computer should be patched by now.

Wizjam
Wizjam

Microsoft warned us that they will not support Windows 2000 (or NT) any more with patches or Service Packs, which is why they are charging for the patch. But of course, the patch is free for XP and 2003. I think it is there way of forcing the hand of the IT community to upgrade; I don't condone it - especially to non-profits - but I understand it. As an IT professional, it gets harder and harder to keep supporting multiple older OS's.

ctdak
ctdak

Four dollars might be reasonable, but what they have quoted you just proves once again that MS doesn't know how to treat their customers. The patch should be free (at least for 2000 and higher). They can afford to create good will but instead they use every opportunity possible as leverage to get everyone to update to their latest OS. If you have a small network and only have a few time zones that you work in, then using TZedit and changing them manually on each PC is very doable. I've done it.

cburnham
cburnham

Why is Microsoft charging for the Windows 2000 patch? Do they not realize that most of the customers that are still on W2K are nonprofits? I have about 35 machines to update and they are all on Windows 2000. This really irks me. Can someone explain?