Timestamp Clamper: fix out-of-range file time

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 9, 2017
Updated • Oct 16, 2017

Timestamp Clamper is a free portable program for Microsoft Windows devices to fix out-of-range timestamp issues of files.

Incorrect file timestamps can be a big problem on computer systems. Most file systems support a specific time range only, and files that have timestamps outside of that range may cause all kinds of issues.

The author of Timestamp Clamper wrote the Windows program to address issues when replication, e.g. copying, files from one directory to another between storage that uses different file systems.

He noticed this especially on files created by older camera hardware, as these would sometimes have invalid timestamp entries, for instance a timestamp that was all zeroes. This was interpreted by the operating system by setting the timestamp to the earliest supported date and time.

Timestamp Clamper

Timestamp Clamper is a portable program for Windows that you can run right after you have downloaded the application to your device.

The interface, highlighted on the screenshot above, accepts the following input:

  • Select a folder that you want to process. The program scans all folders and files under the path automatically.
  • Select which timestamps you want to process. Available are created, last modified, and last accessed.
  • Select one of the supported time ranges. This determines the "good" range of timestamps the program ignores. It supports Unix time, NTFS, Fat32, exFat, ext2, ext3, and ext4.

The program comes with a preview option to scan a folder but don't make any modifications to it. Scans are very fast, and it is suggested that you use the preview feature to find out if files are stored under the path that you have selected that have incorrect timestamps.

fix time stamp issues

Timestamp Clamper corrects issues that it finds automatically. If date and time are older than what is supported, it will be set to the starting date and time that is supported. For Unix Time, it would be set to 1 January 1970, 00:00 for instance. If date and time are in the future, they are set to the current date and time instead.

The log the program creates supports copying and pasting. It includes the list of errors -- if any -- information on files that are outside the date and time range, and whether the modification of date and time succeeded for these files.

Closing Words

Timestamp Clamper is a handy portable program for Windows. While specialized, it may be useful if you run into issues that are caused by out-of-range timestamps.

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  1. Doc said on October 16, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    “Incorrect file timestamps can be a bit problem on computer systems.” Yes, and they can also be a **big** problem. :) #corrections

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