Hard Drive Installation Date Information

Posted on 2004-11-08
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
I'm trying to determine the date that my hard drives were installed on my computer. Is there any file within Windows98 where this information resides?
Question by:GFH0229
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Nope.  But if the drive is your C: drive, you can get an idea by the date and time of the c:\windows folder was created.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment

    If you go to dos from windows and type in dir /p, the date of the installation, wil be shown as stated above.

    LVL 9

    Expert Comment

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Do you mean that you are actually trying to determine the age of the hard drives to get some idea of whether they are likely to begin to fail and need replacement?

    If so, then look in Control Panel > System > Device Manager > Disk Drives
    If it names the hard drive by make and model, then you would probably be able to find out the date of manufacture from the company's website.

    Failing that, there is usually some type of date stamp or sticker on the drive itself if you can see it by removing the case panels.

    The DIR /P command will unfortunately only give you the "Modified" date.  This is a bit of a misnomer.  You would expect that "modified" means "changed", ie. if the file was updated at some time after installation.  Not so, it tells you the date that the file was originally created.

    The command:

    DIR  /ad  /oa  /4  /p  C:\

    will show you a list of folders ( <DIR> ) of the C:\ Drive along with the "Accessed" dates (earliest first).  This is the date when that FOLDER was created or perhaps renamed.


    WINDOWS     <DIR>        01/06/2004  20:28 WINDOWS
    RECYCLED      <DIR>        01/06/2004  20:54 RECYCLED
    MYDOCU~1    <DIR>        01/06/2004  20:45 My Documents
    PROGRA~1     <DIR>        01/06/2004  20:28 Program Files
    LITESH~1       <DIR>        01/06/2004  23:29 liteshell
    OLDPROGS     <DIR>        01/06/2004  23:39 OLDPROGS
    UNZIP             <DIR>        02/06/2004   1:02 Unzip
    NVIDIA           <DIR>         02/06/2004   2:59 NVIDIA

    The command:

    DIR  /ad  /oa  /v  /p  C:\

    would show the "modified" and "accessed" dates (earliest first):

    File Name         Size        Allocated      Modified      Accessed  Attrib

    WINDOWS        <DIR>                      01/06/04  20:28  01/06/04      DA
    RECYCLED       <DIR>                      01/06/04  20:54  01/06/04   HS D
    MYDOCU~1       <DIR>                      01/06/04  20:45  01/06/04      D
    My Documents

    That's about as close as you'll get to when WINDOWS was INSTALLED on that hard drive.

    Install Everest Home Edition and run it.  Look under "Storage" and then click on your hard drive's listing.  It should provide more details than Device Manager about the Model Number, and should also provide the link to the manufacturer's website.

    Download: (installer file)
    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Sorry, gonzal13.  I was wrong about the plain old DIR /P command.  It DOES show the "Accessed" date, although  DIR /oa /p will list them in order of earliest first.

    My apologies, don't know what I was thinking about there.

    Author Comment

    Thanks to every one so far. BillDL is correct that the drives do contain manufacturing dates, but the manufactured date may be very much earlier than the actual drive installation date. What I was hoping to find was some type of file in Windows 98 that maintains a sequential log of device installations. I'll keep this open for one more day.
    LVL 13

    Expert Comment


    Nothing to be sorry about.
    This site demands teamwork first to help the client, then the points

    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    You can get a log extracted from the registry and elsewhere by using MSINFO32

    Start Menu > Run > MSINFO32 > Click "OK"
    Components section > History
    Click either the "Complete History" or "Last 7 Days" Radio button to filter results.

    This shows a running log of changes made to the system, and includes Hard Drives, IDE controllers, etc, etc.  Perhaps it will show what you need to know.

    Grouped into sections, it will show either as:

    Last Change Thu Sep 23 03:27:16 2004
    Original Configuration Fri Sep 17 04:22:04 2004 to Date

    Have a look and see what you can make of it.

    Edit > Select All > Edit > Copy
    Open Word or Wordpad and decrease the font to 8pt Courier New
    Paste the results for about a 14 page report in a reasonable layout.

    Author Comment

    Iwant to thank all of you for your help and input. The point awards go to BillDl for his recommendation to use the history file in MSinfo32. That is the file I was thinking of when I asked the question, but could not remember its location. I'm also awarding "honorary" points to my wife, who, upon learning of my quest, promptly retrieved the receipt for the purchase of the hard drive. I guess sometimes we get too sophistcated.
    LVL 38

    Accepted Solution

    LOL.  Isn't life just too complicated at times  :-)

    Glad this info helped in some way, despite the "hardcopy proof" retrieved from what seems to be an organised filing system there.

    I guess you will want to close the question now?  Here's how you do it:

    Here's the generic and unbiassed details  ;-)

    If you feel that you resolved this problem using the comments made by one particular expert, then you should click on the "ACCEPT" button next to the "Login" name of the expert who posted that comment.

    Where you feel that more than one comment assisted you, then you can share your points between the experts by clicking on "SPLIT POINTS" link. To do this, first select the "PRIMARY USER" and allocate however many points you wish to allocate and select an appropriate "GRADE", then select the other user(s) and allocate points against him/her/them.


    LVL 38

    Expert Comment

    Thank you, GF80229

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