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I've using my laptop which is configured to use the Indian TimeZone. I'm looking at the time-stamp of .sys file (Driver files). I'm observing the times of the same file on another machine which is set to Pacific TimeZone after installation (of those driver files) i.e. the timestamps shown in /Windows/System32/Drivers folder

How could this be possible? I'm getting lost with time conversions while I try to compare files :(

Examples below:

  1. .sys file1

    • 3/14/2012 2:44 PM (in my laptop with Indian Time zone)
    • 3/14/2012 2:44 PM (in another machine set to Pacific TimeZone)
  2. .sys file2

    • 2/09/2012 10:21 AM (in my laptop set to Indian Time Zone)
    • 2/09/2012 09:21 AM (in another machine set to Pacific TimeZone). I guess the difference here could be due to DST
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Are you browsing the Pacific machine from the Indian machine, that is, using the C$ share or some other method? –  Patrick S. Mar 27 '12 at 13:50
    
Nope. I'm just looking at the time Stamps of same .sys file in 2 different machines in two different TimeZones - i.e. in the driver installation folder in my laptop and in another machine, I'm vieweing in system32/drivers folder after installing the driver. [I'm not able to share a snapshot here] –  stack_pointer is EXTINCT Mar 27 '12 at 13:59
    
I ask because NTFS does not care about time zones; in fact, it stores time stamps in UTC. So if you were browsing the Pacific machine from the Indian machine, Windows would use the Indian machine's time zone to display the time stamps. –  Patrick S. Mar 27 '12 at 14:05
    
Yes here, TimeStamps show different when I change the TimeZones in a particular machine i.e. if I move from Pacific to Indian and VICE-VERSA. But, still my question how would same file show same time stamps in different TimeZones in different systems? –  stack_pointer is EXTINCT Mar 27 '12 at 14:29

1 Answer 1

Some assumptions:

  • We assume that the times you are reporting are from the windows explorer or right clicking on the file and viewing its properties.
  • That the files are really the same, i.e. have the same version number.
  • That the times you are reporting are the "date modified" time, and not the created or accessed time.

Since windows stores the 3 visible time stamps (Created, Modified and Accessed) in UTC, and then converts each time displayed using the local time zone setting, we would expect there to be a 13.5 hour difference between the Date modified times of the same file between the Indian and Pacific time zones. But you are reporting a 1 hour difference. This suggests there could be a typo in reporting both observations of files. Since the times of the file you observe as the being the same are very recent, and they are driver files that typically aren't updated that frequently, it seems likely that the time value being reported is not the modified time (the time of file creation) but the time created or accessed. If you have been checking/using these files, that access time could have coincidently been the same on the different machines. Are you certain your perusing hasn't affected your observations? To verify this hypothesis, copy these two different files to a temporary directory on either machine. Then look only at the date modified fields. They should be the same.

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