Setting file creation date

Tim Peters at
Fri Aug 10 22:18:13 CEST 2001

[Fredrik Seehusen]
> How do I set the creation date when opening a file, or override the
> creation date of a given file (... if it is possible in python)?
> This has to be done in Windows NT by the way :(

I expect you'll have to get the Python Win32 extensions (visit ActiveState's
web site), and use the SetFileTime() Win32 API function (which allows
changing all three times).

[Roman Suzi]
> ...
> Also I remember, Macintosh had file creation time stored,
> but Windows 9x store only two times (probably mtime and ctime).

No, Win9x beasts store all three.

> ...
> So, I wonder where creation date is used and how it survives
> archiving...

Windows archiving systems vary in what they do to the date stamps, and
that's a PITA.

Creation time is exactly what it sounds like <wink>.  When you *copy* a file
using native Windows functions, the creation time on the copy is set to the
current time, but the modified time is inherited as-is from the original.
This drives Unix weenies insane, but it's actually quite useful in its own
strange way <wink>.  Note that this implies it's quite possible on Windows
to see a file with a modification time older than its creation time --
creation does not imply modification.  Of course almost none of this is
documented clearly anywhere (that I know of, anyway).

More information about the Python-list mailing list