Every file on your computer contains information that identifies its attributes and dates to the Windows XP operating system. The attributes indicate a file's archival, compression, encryption and user read/write privileges. The dates specify the file's creation, the last time it was modified and the last time it was accessed. Many programs that run under Windows depend on the integrity of the file-creation date timestamp in order to properly run (for example, system or hidden files in the Windows folder and its subfolders) so Microsoft does not provide either instructions for changing it through either the Windows XP command line interface or a built-in utility or applet. Fortunately, there are several effective free or inexpensive third-party utilities that you can use to change any of the file or folder creation date timestamps.
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Download and install a file timestamp change utility. These include programs such as FileDate Changer, express Timestamp Toucher and SetFileDate.
Run the utility and select the file or folder whose creation date you want to change. Depending on the utility you use, batch file or subfolder selection may be possible if they are all in the same folder. Refer to the utility help file for information about file selection.
Set the created timestamp to the date and time you want it to be. Date and time fields you do not set will remain unchanged. Note that some utilities may not allow you to change the created timestamp to be more recent than the modified or accessed timestamps. Refer to the utility help file to learn how the timestamp settings work.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid changing the file-creation dates on program files, protected, hidden and system files in Windows XP. Changing these files may result in false positive flags by your antivirus program, and may also interfere with the operating system itself.
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