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Date manipulation on a computer

by luineida / March 19, 2008 11:52 PM PDT

Is it possible to know the actual date in which a letter was written on a computer when somebody puts a date on a document far away back of the actual date the documento was written. Is it there in the hard drive or register the actual date?


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Re: date manipulation on computer
by Kees Bakker / March 20, 2008 12:08 AM PDT

That depends.

First of all, you need to have access to the file (the Notepad or Writer document, for example). Then you can have a look at the creation date or modification date using Windows Explorer or My Computer. But that's easy to manipulate also.

Then some programs might (just: might) keep the data somewhere inside the file also. MS Word in the property sheet of a document, displays date of creation, modification and opening of the document. But I don't know if it takes the first 2 from the file properties you see in Windows Explorer or if it maintains its own administration. That's easy to try, if you want to know it.

Hope this helps.


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Date manipulation on computer
by luineida / March 22, 2008 1:37 PM PDT

Thanks for your help. I have just noticed that WORD gives you "last day modified" in Windows Explorer, and "date and time created". "date and time modified", and "date and time accessed" in Properties, how can anyone edit those values? I tried to do it and I couldn't. Is there any other way of manipulating those values. One of the answers to my question suggests that it can be done. Is that wright?


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It is rather easy to alter file dates ...
by Edward ODaniel / March 23, 2008 5:00 AM PDT

and has been for many, many, years.

All you have to do is TOUCH the file.

Some versions of TOUCH only change creation date and others change only Accessed and changed dates while others change any or all dates so if you want to play around you might want to try a few (although if memory serves me the one via the previous link does all).

Several of these also (some are even Graphical Interfaces for the command line impaired) have full capability for date manipulation although I personally prefer the old TOUCH --

PowerDesk Pro (the free version here has it too) -

Your possibilities are "endless"

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Re: manipulating days
by Kees Bakker / March 23, 2008 5:11 AM PDT

To set the access date of a file to a certain date/time, set the Windows date/time to what you want (just right click on the clock and change it) and access the file.


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Date manipulation on a computer
by luineida / March 23, 2008 2:56 PM PDT
In reply to: Re: manipulating days

Thanks, Kees. By your reply I understard that the only value that is modified through clock manipulation is "day and time accessed", not "creation time", right? I am referring to WORD application, which is the application used in most corporations.


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Is the question about the integrity of the date/time?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 23, 2008 9:26 PM PDT

By the replies so far I think it's clear that you can change any date of file or what Word reports. If there are more then look up WORDPIPE to change even more inside the .DOC.


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Re: changing the creation date.
by Kees Bakker / March 23, 2008 10:50 PM PDT

Set Windows time to whatever you like. File>Open, File>Save As. Purge old file, rename new file to old file and you're done.

And there are those utilities like Edward mentioned (I use one called 'Change Attributes') to manipulate all dates you want.


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Yes and No
by Jimmy Greystone / March 20, 2008 2:18 AM PDT

Yes and no is the answer to your question. There's a bit of metadata appended to files that lists when they were created and last modified, and some files have the same feature used in a different way.

However, these cannot always be relied upon to be accurate. It is pretty trivial to modify these values to whatever you want them to be.

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