Once upon a time in technology, many years ago, Microsoft previewed server software to great fanfare at a meeting of IT pros. The company demonstrated how easy it was to use the software, which would automatically install the server, email server, and Sharepoint server — all in less than 30 minutes.
There was one problem: every time Microsoft went to demonstrate the server software, it would fail with an unclear error message.
Back then, I would sometimes post and answer questions in a Microsoft newsgroup. Just before Thanksgiving, I started seeing consultants trying to install the software see the same failure. One person in the forum thread figured out the issue: a specific SharePoint dll file used during the installation had a Nov. 23 expiration date. If you installed the server software before that date, you had no issues. If you tried to do it after, the installation would fail. The workaround? Go into the bios of the server, set the date back to before Nov. 23, install the software, then set the clock back to the correct time.