I've got major system-wide issues as of about 30 minutes ago; the only thing I believe that could have caused this is after I went into sleep mode, well just before it, my PC rebooted, so I just shut it off, I then resumed Windows and ever since many of the apps I was using started throwing up errors regarding security certificates. First with Google Chrome with any https:// site I visit throwing up this error:

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As you can see, this is on a Google Docs page so it won't be a problem with their certificate authority, but what seems to be, my installed copy of the 'Thawte Cert' even though the expiry has not reached?

I also cannot login to Windows Live or TweetDeck (specifically complaining about certificates again, but this time a different one:

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Pretty much anything requiring secure authentication is inaccessible.

Does anyone know why this would have happened or what I can do to fix this? I am too scared to delete any of my certificates out of the store as I have no idea if they would automatically reinstall.

  • Certificates do not reinstall automatically, so don't delete! – harrymc Oct 2 '09 at 10:47
  • Maybe you can rollback your system to a system restore point dating from before this mess happened? – harrymc Oct 2 '09 at 10:48
  • If you do get them back, you can export them for safe-keeping. – harrymc Oct 2 '09 at 10:50

You would not believe it: after finally digging deep and finding a forum post speaking about a similar thing, it turned out that our system clocks were reset to 2002. This is probably what caused the certificates to appear expired, or invalid.

It's nice to know a crashed sleep action can bork causing a time reset! Setting the date back to 2009 fixed the problem.

  • All certificates have timestamps in them. These time stamps define when the certificate becomes valid, and when it stops being valid again. For example, a certificate could be valid January 1 2011 to January 1 2012. If your system clock is wrong, it will see the certificates as being invalid because they're outside the valid dates. This is why fixing the system clock fixed the certificates. – mauvedeity Oct 8 '11 at 12:08

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