FIX: "fatal error U1073: don't know how to make

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Article ID: 112336 - View products that this article applies to.
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Using the Visual WorkBench to build an internal project or to compile a file may cause the following error message to be generated:
Internal make: fatal error U1073: don't know how to make '<filename>'.
<filename> could be the currently loaded file name or the name of any file that is part of the current project. Loading the project as an external makefile allows the files in the project to be successfully compiled. Also, individual source files that show the problem can be successfully compiled from the command line outside the Visual WorkBench.

Different symptoms occur with Visual C++ 2.0 and 2.1. For more information, please see the following article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
125494 BUG: Visual C++ Gives GP Fault If System Date past 18-Jan-2038


This problem can be caused by having the system date and time set to a value after January 19, 2038, 3:14:07 A.M.


Set the system date and time to the current date and time.


Microsoft has confirmed this to be a problem in Visual WorkBench version 1.1. This problem was fixed in Microsoft Visual C++, 32-bit Edition, version 4.0


The problem has to do with the fact that the time-related C run-time functions use a type of time_t to represent time values. Currently time_t is defined to be a signed long. The maximum number of seconds that can be stored in a signed long is 2,147,483,647. Because the time- related functions use 00:00:00 (midnight), January 1, 1970 as their base, the maximum time and date that can be represented with a time_t type is January 19, 2038, 3:14:07 A.M.

The internal build engine used by the Visual Workbench attempts to check the last modification time and date when doing a compile or a build. If the modification time and date are past the January 19, 2038, 3:14:07 A.M. value, the Visual WorkBench generates the U1073 error.

Only files that have been saved on the system with the incorrect time and date exhibit this problem. For example, files that are included with the samples provided with the compiler can be successfully compiled and built from within the Visual WorkBench. This is because their last modification time and date was set when they were initially created. However, once the files have been modified and saved on the system with the invalid time and date, they can no longer be compiled from within the Visual WorkBench.


Article ID: 112336 - Last Review: August 16, 2005 - Revision: 2.1
  • Microsoft Visual Workbench for Windows
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Retired KB Content Disclaimer
This article was written about products for which Microsoft no longer offers support. Therefore, this article is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.

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