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2007 Time Zone Settings for New Daylight Savings Time

11/26/06

Posted by Dave
5 Star Support Security Specialist

Thanks to the Energy Policy act of 2005, we live in an age where the Federal Government has decided to change even time once again.

Here are the settings for the new daylight savings time that begins in calendar year 2007:

Current (2006 and before) daylight savings:

Daylight savings starts at 2:00 A.M. on 04/02/06 (first Sunday in April)
Daylight savings ends at 2:00 A.M. on 10/29/06 (last Sunday in October)

2007 Daylight savings:

Daylight savings starts at 2:00 A.M. on 03/11/07 (second Sunday in March)
Daylight Savings ends at 2:00 A.M. on 11/04/07 (first Sunday in November)

Microsoft released an update for the change in Daylight Saving Time (DST) that goes into affect next spring in the United States due to the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The update also addresses some changes in other time zones. The update will be included on Microsoft Update, Automatic Update and WSUS starting December 12, 2006 for Windows 2003 and Windows XP. Windows Vista will already include the newer time zone data.

That’s nice for folks running Windows XP, Windows server 2003, or who are about to purchase Vista. What about the rest of us? Microsoft has provided a knowledge base article KB#914387 to cover the subject. I’ve read it and understand it, but I seriously doubt it will be much help for the average user, or a number of IT professionals either, for that matter. Windows 2000 Professional is already in extended support, and Microsoft no longer supports any of their earlier operating systems. If you are running one of these earlier systems (like I am), you probably figure you will have to manually change your computer clock twice a year starting in 2007. That’s not necessarily true.

There is a way that the average user can handle this situation and still have the computer automatically change time for daylight savings. The method involves downloading and installing two very small free programs in your computer. It will work with Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME, Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000, Windows XP, and Windows 2003(server). Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Open your browser and go to:

http://www.karenware.com/powertools/powertools.asp

  1. Scroll down until you find the program named ‘Zone Manager’, and left click on it.
  2. Scroll down to ‘Download’ and download Zone Manager and save it to your hard drive (a folder named ‘downloads’ might be a good place) in a location you can easily remember. If you do not already have Visual Basic Runtime v 6.0 installed on your system (you will need it to run Zone Manager) you can also download and save it to the same location on your hard drive from this same page.
  3. Close your browser.
  4. Be sure you are logged on as an administrator privilege account if your system requires it to install programs.
  5. Open and install Visual Basic Runtime v 6.0 on your system (if you already have VB 6.0 installed on your system, ignore this step). Reboot your computer.
  6. Open and install Zone Manager on your system.
  7. Reboot your computer.
  8. Go to Start | Programs | Karen’s Power Tools, and select Zone Manager by left clicking your mouse.
  9. On the lower left of the page, left click the button named ‘Edit Zones’.
  10. Under the tab for Windows Built-in Time Zones, find your local time zone and left click on it to display the built in Windows settings.
  11. Left click the ‘New Zone’ button to create your new custom time zone, type in what you want for a name, and be sure the box is checked to ‘Enable Daylight Savings Time’. Set ‘begins’ for the second Sunday in March, and set ‘ends’ for the first Sunday in November.
  12. Review your settings to be sure they are correct, and then left click the ‘Save Zone’ button, followed by the ‘Save All Changes and Close’ button.
  13. You should now be back on the main program page. Here, you left click the ‘Save Shortcut to Zone’ button followed by the ‘Exit’ button.
  14. You now have a new desktop icon labeled ‘Activate…..’ that looks like a red box with a white K in the middle of it. When you double left click it with your mouse, your computer will be changed over to the new custom time zone you created.

If you followed the instructions above, you now have installed your new custom time zone that will change your computer time for you in 2007 to accommodate the new Daylight Savings Time settings. You will have spent about 15 or 20 minutes, and you didn’t even need to become a programmer.

If the government ever decides to change things again (They wouldn’t ever do that again now would they?), you just open the Zone Manager program again, create a new custom time zone with the proper settings following the steps above, and delete the old custom time zone.

If you like the Zone Manager program and play around with it a bit, you will find it also has a time synchronization feature that will allow you to synchronize your computer clock with one of the precise atomic clock servers around the world. You left click on the ‘Set Time’ button on the main program page, select the time-server near your current location from the new page that opens, and then left click the ‘Synchronize’ button on the upper right. It should only take about a minute or less even on a dial up connection.

I hope this article helps you out with computer time concerns for 2007 and keeps things simple for you.

Until next time here on 5 Star Support, happy computing!

Dave

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