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Home > Licensing > Error -88,309 - GeoStudio: System clock has been set back.
Error -88,309 - GeoStudio: System clock has been set back.
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In this article we explain the error message:

Error: GeoStudio: System clock has been set back. (Error -88,309)


  • The FlexNet software used by GeoStudio monitors the status of certain system files.  It does this to determine if the system has been tampered with for the purpose of circumventing copy protection.
  • This error message indicates some of these files are dated past today's date. This can be caused by modifying the calendar, which leaves a time 'footprint' of changed operating system file dates, or from shared files from other users.
  • The FLEXnet software, being sensitive to such changes for security reasons, senses these forward-dated files and regards them as a security breach, giving you the "System clock has been set back" error.  

Before You Start

  • The process to resolve this problem involves modifying system files.
  • We highly recommend that you create a system restore point before proceeding.
  • Some of the steps involve using Windows PowerShell.

Search for Modified Files

To locate forward-dated files:

  1. Open 'File Explorer' (shortcut: Ctrl + N).
  2. Click on the 'View' menu option.
  3. Click on 'Options'.
  4. Select the 'View' tab.
  5. Check 'Show Hidden Files, Folders and Drives'. 
  6. Uncheck 'Hide Protected Operating System Files'. 
  7. Click on 'Apply' and 'OK'. 
  8. Click on 'This PC' in the tree view in the left-hand pane. 
  9. Click in the 'Search' field at the top of the Windows Explorer window. 
  10. Type "modified:" followed by today's date, two dots, and a date several years into the future. E.g., "modified:09/01/2020 .. 12/31/2099
  11. Click the blue arrow next to the search field to initiate the search.
  12. The search will return a list of files that meet the criteria.  Files with today's date and a current time should not be considered.

Change File Date

There are many ways to change the file creation date in Windows.  This article will describe two of them.  We encourage you to research the options available before choosing a specific approach.

Using PowerShell

  1. On the 'Windows Taskbar', click on the 'Start' button (shortcut:  Windows logo key or Ctrl + Esc).
  2. Find the 'Windows PowerShell' folder.
  3. Open that folder and right-click on' Windows PowerShell'.
  4. Select 'Run as Administrator'.
  5. Change the creation time of the necessary system files you identified above.  The following example changes the name of a file called test.txt.  Note the creation date before running the command:
  6. This file was changed with the following command:
    (Get-Item "D:\Temp\test.txt").CreationTime=("31 August 2020 17:00:00")
  7. Note the creation date after running the command:

Using Utility Programs

There are many utility programs with an easy to use interface that will modify file attributes.  GEOSLOPE does not specifically endorse any third party utility program.  We encourage you to explore your options and find a utility or other solution that is right for your operating environment.  Below is a list of some programs that you can investigate:



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