Ever since I installed windows 10 1809, one of my drives is randomly showing files as having no modified date.

If I edit and save these files, the date updates, however this applies to thousands of files, so it's not the easiest thing to do.

The main issue is that some applications will ignore folders with these files in them.

What is wrong here? Is it corruption? Is it a bigger issue? or Should I just go ahead and run an application to touch all the files without dates?

SMART checks are all okay and chkdsk passed its standard tests.

Files with no dates Powershell no Date Prop Dialog

  • 1
    did you try running chkdsk? – phuclv Jan 3 at 5:11
  • @phuclv I completely forgot that, thanks. I'll give it a go – mt025 Jan 3 at 7:08
  • Ran a standard chkdsk, no issues found. I can run a deeper chkdsk but that will take about 20 hours. I may give that a go if I can't find another solution. – mt025 Jan 4 at 8:04
  • how about the date in properties dialog for those files? And does powershell also show the date? – phuclv Jan 4 at 8:48
  • Right-click on an Explorer header and display all date columns: "Date created", "date" and "Date modified". Do they show other dates than the end of 1969? Is drive U just a simple disk? – harrymc Jan 13 at 19:09

It appears this question was asked in a similar manner in the "What is the range of dates that windows explorer can display?" and the answer on that post gives some good resources offering a clue explaining.

I've dug into those resources and others a bit and will reference quote the parts which I think are relevant and important your question since you posted a bounty it must be important for you to get a verifiable answer.

Note: I believe this is a Windows Explorer/File Explorer limitation and not that of the underlying file system.

As per the "Interpretation of NTFS Timestamps" post and the results of extensive testing. . .

Windows Explorer GUI:

Timestamp range:

  • 1980-01-01 00:00:00 - 2107-12-31 23:59:57
  • 2107-12-31 23:59:58 and :59 are shown as (blank)

Remaining timestamps outside the range are translated as (blank)

Interpretation of results

In terms of coverage, none of the tools presented above is perfect: all are affected by some kind of restriction to the time period they translate correctly. The tools that comes off best are, in order of the time range they support:

  • Windows Explorer GUI (1980–2107)


As per the Why do my file creation, access, or modified time disappear if I set it to midnight on January 1, 1980? here relevant information. . .

A customer discovered that if their program used the Set­File­Time function to set a network file's creation, access, or modified time to the specific value of "midnight on January 1, 1980", then the corresponding timestamp is removed.


Some time ago, I discussed several timestamp formats you might run into. Today we'll take a logical step from that information and develop a list of special values you might encounter. Note that if you apply time zone adjustments, the actual timestamp may shift by up to a day.

  • Date: December 31, 1969 - January 1, 1970
  • Interpretation: The value -1 or 0 as a time_t.

All of these special values have one thing in common: If you see them, it's probably a bug. Typically they will arise when somebody fails to do proper error checking and ends up treating an error code as if it were a valid return value. (The special values 0, -1, and 0xFFFFFFFF are often used as error codes.)


Further Resources

  • 1
    @mt025 .... if you are fine with fixing the NTFS file stamps for the date modified attribute, yes you can go ahead with touch to make those attributes newer than the erroneous 12-31-1969 date and that should be a simply fix. There are also PowerShell commands you can run to update files as discovered if you wish but touch should work just fine too if that's the tool you are already familiar with for the task. You can use PowerShell: Set-ItemProperty -Path "<C:\Folder\Filename.jpg>" -Name LastWriteTime -Value "<MM/DD/YYYY hh:mm:ss>" like this to adjust CreationTime or LastAccessTime too – Pimp Juice IT Jan 13 at 20:26
  • Thanks for the answer, these files are quite new, so the dates would have been in the last 10 years. However, the last part seems to explain why it happened. I suspect windows or another application has messed with these dates. So you don't think its just any type of file corruption and its more likely that another application has tried to set these dates incorrectly? – mt025 Jan 13 at 20:52
  • It's a 6TB SATA drive. Just 1 large partition. I normally unplug it during install time, it was a clean install. I moved the default user locations after install. – mt025 Jan 13 at 22:05

Your date fields were destroyed by the upgrade to Windows 10 version 1809, as a result of one of its numerous file-destroying bugs. As the earlier possible date in Windows is January 1st, 1970, your date fields have been set to zero (or maybe -1).

If you wish to recover the original dates, your only option is to return these files from backup. If you don't have backups, you may reset all dates of files and folders on disk U to some arbitrary date, just so they don't stay blank.

Some tools that can be used are:

  • File Date Corrector ($20)
    This is the only tool that will try to figure out the original dates from meta-data included in suitable files such as documents and images. In trial mode it will show the changes that the paid version will execute.

  • BulkFileChanger by Nir Sofer with tutorial.

  • Attribute Changer
    A Windows Explorer add-on used via right-click.

If these are not enough, you will find a few more in the article
5 Free Software to Bulk Change File Timestamp in Windows.

  • I think you hit the nail on the head that this is related to the "file-destroying" bugs in windows. In was skeptical at first, however I can see that only my pictures, downloads, documents, music, videos are affected. All the other directories are fine. – mt025 Jan 13 at 20:54
  • These types of files are the ones that have the most chance of having useful meta-data that can be used by the product File Date Corrector. You may test the trial version, but unfortunately there is that $20 price. – harrymc Jan 13 at 21:14
  • For images from cameras that contain EXIF data, the free ExifTool might be useful. – harrymc Jan 13 at 21:18

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