I'd like to create a file with an invalid created/modified/accessed timestamp. To be invalid it should be a date and time before 12:00 midnight January 1, 1601 C.E. UTC

  • Why would you want to do this? – Rowland Shaw Oct 7 '10 at 12:28
  • 2
    So that I can test that the application I'm writing can handle corrupt timestamps gracefully. – Tom Robinson Oct 7 '10 at 12:30

Look for a tool called Timestomp

The software's goal is to allow for the deletion or modification of time stamp-related information on files.


This is not possible.

File time is used in Windows API through the FILETIME Structure, described as:

Contains a 64-bit value representing the number of 100-nanosecond intervals since January 1, 1601 (UTC).

As negative values are not supported, the above date is the starting limit.

Conclusion: Your code which tests for earlier dates will never be challenged.

  • 2
    The "touch" command in Linux can create such a file, but under Windows it is recognized as being created today. (Tested with FAT32 Flashdrive and Win XP) – user16115 Oct 7 '10 at 14:03

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