File dates ?


Jul 6, 2008
In the example below I do not understand why the creation date for the file is later than the write date or why the last access date is the same as the creation date. Can someone please explain how these dates should be interpreted?

Wed Jul 4, 2012 9:15:14
F:\BAT>*dir /km datename.btm /t:a
6/03/2012 11:41 2,394 DATENAME.BTM

Wed Jul 4, 2012 9:15:44
F:\BAT>*dir /km datename.btm /t:w
12/09/2011 2:32 2,394 DATENAME.BTM

Wed Jul 4, 2012 9:15:48
F:\BAT>*dir /km datename.btm /t:c
6/03/2012 11:41 2,394 DATENAME.BTM

Wed Jul 4, 2012 9:15:55
F:\BAT>*dir /km datename.btm
12/09/2011 2:32 2,394 DATENAME.BTM

TCC 14.00.24 Windows Vista [Version 6.0.6002]
May 20, 2008
Syracuse, NY, USA
That seems to be what happens when you copy a file.

v:\> copy wmiuptime.btm wmiuptime2.btm
V:\wmiuptime.btm => V:\wmiuptime2.btm
1 file copied

v:\> do t in /L a w c (dir /k /m /t:%t wmiuptime.btm)
2012-06-05 00:56 849 wmiuptime.btm
2011-08-03 09:22 849 wmiuptime.btm
2012-06-05 00:54 849 wmiuptime.btm

v:\> do t in /L a w c (dir /k /m /t:%t wmiuptime2.btm)
2012-07-04 10:32 849 wmiuptime2.btm
2011-08-03 09:22 849 wmiuptime2.btm
2012-07-04 10:32 849 wmiuptime2.btm
May 20, 2008
Elkridge, MD, USA
The answer is simple. In the Windows and most other user friendly environments creation and access dates refer to the specific instance of a file, thus they would be different for a master and its copies. However, "change time" (or "write time" in some platforms) refer to the CONTENT, thus all copies would have the same value. Hence when you copy a file, the copy will be created AFTER the last time the content changed, and it is accessed by the copy process, thus the access time is also later.
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