File Dates



  • Can someone enlighten me as to to why file dates (at least in Windows, but maybe it's not MS' fault) are so goddamn unreliable?

    I mean, I have a jpeg that's not been touched for the past 10 years, but the creation date is somewhere in 2005 and last modified in 2008. Nothing has happened to this file. How did these fields get updated?

    More interestingly, I have some mp3's that I haven't touched -- or even played -- in the past week, yet the last modified date is yesterday.

    Even more interestingly, I have an album that I obtained a year ago, but the date fields from all files claim they were last modifed fifteen minutes before they were created, which was yesterday, apparently.

    Regarldess of explainability (files from remote sources retain the creation date or not; and maybe something like a virusscanner adds metadata to a file, updating the LM; some player plugins might Touch the file.), this does mean there's something seriously fucked up about the system.

    The big trouble is that I can't use file dates to create a list of recently added files. Which is one of the primary tasks  one would need such metadata for. Because there is no other information available, this means I cannot generate such a list at all, ever. A more practical issue: the album mentioned earlier would be included in a run of an incremental backup scheme, even though it's old and has not been changed.

    ========

    If you don't feel like musing my crap, you may help me brainstorming for a pithy volume name for my 1TB main hard drive, a task that I omitted when I first got my new machine. 1TB is practically infinite storage for me, so I'm considering fun names like "Hangar", "Tardis" or "Bottomless Pit". Yes, I'm that kind of guy.



  • I don't have any results like yours, though I bet if I looked, I would find some.

    However, my big beef is that when copying files from a flash drive/backup CD/etc, the creation date on the directories is the moment of copy, while the files retain their original creation/modified dates.

    Also, if you think the creation/modified dates are useless, look at the accessed date.   It's usually the moment you right click -> Properties.  Nice try Microsoft.  Last Accessed Date would be really fucking useful, but it's fucked up.

    ========

    In the "bottomless pit" theme, maybe sarlacc.  (Note that the escapist mispelled the name, not me) Your files will be slowly digested over a thousand years.  The name of the pit where the sarlaac lived was the Great Pit of Carkoon.


  • Discourse touched me in a no-no place

     1TB storage? Infinite? LOL

     I have several of those that filled within days. At any rate, I'm not sure Microsoft cares about file dating anymore.



  • @Weng said:

    1TB storage? Infinite? LOL

    I have several of those that filled within days.



    It varies, etc. : )

    I don't do movies.



  • OK, file creation date is when it was created on the machine, and gets set when you create a copy of the file on a machine to the current date/time, it doesn't retain the same creation date as the original file. Your mp3's will have recent modified dates as whatever application you use to listen to em has set em up in it's own library and is accessing them using read/write permission request rather than a simple read permission request because some programmer was probably lazy. Can't explain that last one, but nah there's nothing fucked up about your machine.



  • @Hitsuji said:

    OK, file creation date is when it was created on the machine, and gets set when you create a copy of the file on a machine to the current date/time, it doesn't retain the same creation date as the original file.
    True on Linux, False on Windows.



  • @tster said:

    @Hitsuji said:
    OK, file creation date is when it was created on the machine, and gets set when you create a copy of the file on a machine to the current date/time, it doesn't retain the same creation date as the original file.
    True on Linux, False on Windows.
    On Windows, it depends how the file gets there. 

    If it's downloaded (http or ftp or whatever), it's created date is when it was downloaded.  However, sftp has capability to retain the original creation date when the file is downloaded.

    If it's copied from a network share/DVD/whatever, it's the creation date that it has on the foreign medium (usually). 

    If you download a zip file, the zip file has the download date, but all the files inside retain the date they had when the zip archive was created, even when unzipped.  Except for directories. 

    I never understood why directories don't retain the original date, but files inside them do.

    My guess is that in some strange way, the modified date was retained for dhromed's downloaded file, but not the creation date.  



  • @belgariontheking said:

    My guess is that in some strange way, the modified date was retained for dhromed's downloaded file, but not the creation date.  

     

    I know that's the behavior when copying from an NFS share.



  •  @tster said:

    @Hitsuji said:

    OK, file creation date is when it was created on the machine, and gets set when you create a copy of the file on a machine to the current date/time, it doesn't retain the same creation date as the original file.
    True on Linux, False on Windows.

    Just retested using

    (a) right click copy -> right click paste withing same folder on local HDD. The copy did not retain the orginal date/time but used current.

    (b) in command prompt attempted: "copy orignal.file new.file" and again file did not retain original creation date but used the current date/time instead.

     

    Tested on Windows XP Pro SP 2 and Windows 7 Professional and had the same results in both.

    I've never seen a file retain the original creation date in windows (well any time I checked).



  • @Hitsuji said:

     @tster said:

    @Hitsuji said:

    OK, file creation date is when it was created on the machine, and gets set when you create a copy of the file on a machine to the current date/time, it doesn't retain the same creation date as the original file.
    True on Linux, False on Windows.

    Just retested using

    (a) right click copy -> right click paste withing same folder on local HDD. The copy did not retain the orginal date/time but used current.

    (b) in command prompt attempted: "copy orignal.file new.file" and again file did not retain original creation date but used the current date/time instead.

     

    Tested on Windows XP Pro SP 2 and Windows 7 Professional and had the same results in both.

    I've never seen a file retain the original creation date in windows (well any time I checked).

     

    Your right.  I must have been thinking of the modified date.



  • @tster said:

    Your right.  I must have been thinking of the modified date.
    Me too.  The date that's shown in the Detail view.  For some reason, I was thinking that's the creation date.



  •  I've pretty much given up on using Windows file copies and moved to cygwin rsync, which retains folder timestamps as well.  Only downfall is that it likes to suck up CPU.


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