A company is claiming up to 98 per cent of so-called Y2K-compliant PCs are failing hardware real-time clock (RTC) rollover tests - and it's not afraid to prove it. With Monday marking 200 days left to the millennium, the last thing IT managers and company management want to hear is that the computer systems that cost millions of dollars to make Y2K-compliant are actually not compliant. But Henrik Christensen, managing director of Abacus ComputerCare (HK), 'a provider of environmentally friendly, preventative maintenance services' for computers, claims that even Y2K-ready Pentium III PCs are failing tests on RTC. To prove his point, Mr Christensen last week held a press conference at which he demonstrated new models from top-brand PC and notebook vendors were failing Y2K tests on the RTC. He says that IT managers with similar problems face an interesting dilemma. Do they sum up the courage to return to the board of directors and inform them the systems that were stated as Y2K-compliant are actually not quite compliant yet? Why are brand new 'Y2K-ready' PCs still being shipped without an RTC fix? We put this question to PC vendors but got no straight answers. IBM did seem interested and was co-operative, but Dell Computer was not. While IBM's people were eager to investigate and find out the exact basis for the claims, the folks at Dell rather uncharacteristically referred us to their public relations company. IBM was more forthcoming and a Y2K expert called twice to discuss the issue. One idea doing the rounds is that a simple reboot at the end of the year will make the problem go away. That should prove popular with IT managers. Mr Christensen says several PC vendors have asked to see his tests and are worried about the negative publicity. One even threatened to sue him. And IT managers are getting the shock of their lives. 'We talked to an IT manager who thought more than a thousand PCs in his office were compliant until we ran our tests. He literally went white in the face,' Mr Christensen said. IT managers were also partly responsible, he said. Many IT managers were relying on computer-vendor statements of compliance and putting Y2K-compliant stickers on PCs without testing the RTC. 'For some reason, most of the top PC vendors have aligned themselves with Y2K standards that do not stress the importance of RTC tests,' said Mr Christensen.