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Posted 12 Dec 2004

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Changes file & folder dates

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4.53/5 (10 votes)
12 Dec 20041 min read
This is a simple tool to change created, modified and accessed dates of any file/folder.

Sample Image - FileDate.jpg

Introduction

Many tools are out there to get file dates, but this tool will set whatever date you specify to any file(s) or folder(s). By studying this tool, you will learn about:

  • manipulating file/system date time
  • finding files recursively
  • implementing drag & drop feature to an edit box

Setting Date & Time

When you click Apply, the new date & time you had specified will be set to the selected file(s) or folder(s). SetFileTime API is used to set date and time to a file/folder. Setting date and time to folders and files within a folder is a tricky thing. Here I have used FindFirstFile and FindNextFile to find all folders and files recursively while setting new date & time to them. Here is the code for it:

// its an independent function, will set the date and time
///   its a core function in this tool
int SetFileDateTime(char *szFilePath, 
            FILETIME ftCreated, 
            FILETIME ftModified, 
            FILETIME ftAccessed)
{
  DWORD dwAttr;
  dwAttr = GetFileAttributes(szFilePath);
    
  if(g_bIgnoreAttrAndApply)
  {//to ignore mean resets the file/folder attributes to normal
   //         and again it will be set back

      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_HIDDEN&dwAttr)
          if(!g_bAttrHidden)
              return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_READONLY&dwAttr)
          if(!g_bAttrReadOnly)
              return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_SYSTEM&dwAttr)
          if(!g_bAttrSystem)
              return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_COMPRESSED&dwAttr)
          if(!g_bAttrCompressed)
              return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_ENCRYPTED&dwAttr)
          if(!g_bAttrEncrypted)
              return 0;

      SetFileAttributes(szFilePath,FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL);
  }
  else
  {//if not to ignore, then the following 
   //attributed file/folder can not be set to new file x date time

      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_HIDDEN&dwAttr)
          return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_READONLY&dwAttr)
          return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_SYSTEM&dwAttr)
          return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_COMPRESSED&dwAttr)
          return 0;
      if(FILE_ATTRIBUTE_ENCRYPTED&dwAttr)
          return 0;
  }

  // open the file/folder
  HANDLE hFile = CreateFile(szFilePath,
        GENERIC_READ|GENERIC_WRITE,FILE_SHARE_READ|FILE_SHARE_WRITE,
        NULL,
        OPEN_EXISTING,
        FILE_FLAG_BACKUP_SEMANTICS,
        NULL);

  if(hFile == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)
      return 1;

    //set date time
    BOOL bVal = 
         SetFileTime(hFile,&ftCreated,&ftAccessed,&ftModified);
    if(!bVal)
    {
      char *szBuff = (char*)malloc(sizeof(char)*1024);
      LPVOID lpMsgBuf;
      int err = GetLastError();

      FormatMessage(FORMAT_MESSAGE_ALLOCATE_BUFFER|FORMAT_MESSAGE_FROM_SYSTEM,
              NULL, 
              err, 
              MAKELANGID(LANG_NEUTRAL, SUBLANG_DEFAULT),
              (LPTSTR) &lpMsgBuf, 
              0, 
              NULL);

      sprintf(szBuff,"Unable to set date to \n  %s \n\nReason:%s \nError No:%d",
              szFilePath,lpMsgBuf,err),

      MessageBox(NULL,(LPTSTR)lpMsgBuf, "GetLastError", MB_OK|MB_ICONERROR);
              LocalFree(lpMsgBuf);
    }

  // close the handle
      CloseHandle(hFile);
    
  // if it is ignore then it should be set back to its original attribute
  if(g_bIgnoreAttrAndApply)
      SetFileAttributes(szFilePath,dwAttr);
    
  if(!bVal)
      return 2;
  return 0;
}

// it is a recursive function will 
//                go through the files and folders within any folder
int SetDateTimeToFolderFiles(HANDLE hSearchedFile, 
             char *szPathName, 
             FILETIME ftCreated, 
             FILETIME ftModified, 
             FILETIME ftAccessed)
{
    WIN32_FIND_DATA stFindData;
    char *szCurFilename = (char*)malloc(sizeof(char)*_MAX_PATH);
    char *szCurPathname = (char*)malloc(sizeof(char)*_MAX_PATH);

    strcpy(szCurFilename,szPathName);
    strcpy(szCurPathname,szPathName);

    if((hSearchedFile == NULL)||(hSearchedFile ==INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE))
    {// start the search
        sprintf(szCurFilename,"%s\\*.*",szPathName);

    hSearchedFile = FindFirstFile(szCurFilename,&stFindData);
    if(hSearchedFile == INVALID_HANDLE_VALUE)
        return 0;
    }
    else
    {
        if(!FindNextFile(hSearchedFile,&stFindData))
        {// if no more file exists close it
            FindClose(hSearchedFile);
            return 0;
        }
    }

    strcat(szCurPathname,"\\");
    strcat(szCurPathname,stFindData.cFileName);

    if(stFindData.dwFileAttributes&FILE_ATTRIBUTE_DIRECTORY)
    {// if it is a folder then ....
        if((!stricmp(stFindData.cFileName,"."))||
            (!stricmp(stFindData.cFileName,".."))||
            (!stricmp(stFindData.cFileName,""))||
            (!stricmp(stFindData.cFileName,"")))
        {
            // call it recursively
            return SetDateTimeToFolderFiles(hSearchedFile, 
                            szPathName, 
                            ftCreated,
                            ftModified, 
                            ftAccessed);
        }
        
        // call the set function for the found folder
        SetFileDateTime(szCurPathname, ftCreated, ftModified, ftAccessed);

        // call it recursively
        SetDateTimeToFolderFiles(    NULL, 
                    szCurPathname, 
                    ftCreated, 
                    ftModified,
                    ftAccessed);
    }

    // control will come here only if the found one is a file


    //  set the date time to the file
    SetFileDateTime(szCurPathname, ftCreated, ftModified, ftAccessed);

    // call it recursively
    return SetDateTimeToFolderFiles(hSearchedFile, 
                    szPathName, 
                    ftCreated,
                    ftModified, 
                    ftAccessed);
}

Special attributed files cannot be set with new date & time. It should be reset to FILE_ATTRIBUTE_NORMAL to set new date and time. If the user doesn't check the checkbox Also apply to files with special attributes, then these special attributed files will be ignored while processing. This brings a new feature to this tool. User can ignore the special system files when mass data & time setting is done.

Getting Date & Time

When you click Refresh, the selected folder or file's date & time will be retrieved and populated. The following code will do that...

// refresh will get date and time from folder/file and
//   CdateTimeCtrl will be populated with it
void CFileDateDlg::OnBtnRefresh() 
{
    CString cszPath;
    m_edtPath.GetWindowText(cszPath);

    FILETIME ftCreated, ftModified, ftAccessed;
    BOOL bRet = GetFileDateTime(cszPath.GetBuffer(0),
                    ftCreated, 
                    ftModified, 
                    ftAccessed);
    cszPath.ReleaseBuffer();

    ((CDateTimeCtrl*)GetDlgItem(IDC_DATECREATED))->SetTime(ftCreated);
    ((CDateTimeCtrl*)GetDlgItem(IDC_DATEMODIFIED))->SetTime(ftModified);
    ((CDateTimeCtrl*)GetDlgItem(IDC_DATEACCESSED))->SetTime(ftAccessed);

    ((CDateTimeCtrl*)GetDlgItem(IDC_TIMECREATED))->SetTime(ftCreated);
    ((CDateTimeCtrl*)GetDlgItem(IDC_TIMEMODIFIED))->SetTime(ftModified);
    ((CDateTimeCtrl*)GetDlgItem(IDC_TIMEACCESSED))->SetTime(ftAccessed);

}

Conclusion

Hope you will find this very useful. You are always welcome to modify this tool. I also want to remind you that I'm not responsible for any damage caused by this tool. Thanks.

License

This article has no explicit license attached to it but may contain usage terms in the article text or the download files themselves. If in doubt please contact the author via the discussion board below.

A list of licenses authors might use can be found here


Written By
Software Developer (Senior)
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Comments and Discussions

 
QuestionWhy? Pin
Rocom21-Jun-06 0:00
Rocom21-Jun-06 0:00 
AnswerRe: Why? Pin
John T31-Mar-07 8:18
John T31-Mar-07 8:18 
This is the nature of the WIN32_FIND_DATA structure which returns data string pointers to "." and ".." when FindFirst or FileFindNextFile functions are used.
The debugger will show you.
Also you can use cmd.exe with the DIR command. Hope this helps
GeneralRe: Why? Pin
Axel Rietschin22-Nov-14 11:42
professionalAxel Rietschin22-Nov-14 11:42 

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