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SAS Dataset Modification Dates

Q:  The modification dates on my SAS datasets have changed, and I have not modified the file! Why is this happening?

A:  When you view a SAS dataset by double-clicking on the icon from either the Windows Explorer or the SAS Explorer window --- or even if you merely view the properties of a SAS dataset from within the SAS Explorer window --  the Windows modification date gets updated to the current date and time!  This is a bug specific to using SAS 8.02 with Windows 2000 Advanced Server. According to SAS Technical support it should be fixed in SAS Version 9.0.

In the meantime, the internal creation and modification dates are still preserved.  There are several ways to see the proper dates: You can run a "proc contents" of the dataset, or you can view the properties of the dataset by right clicking on the dataset icon from within Windows Explorer (instead of SAS Explorer).

/* To do a proc contents: Run the following code in SAS: */
/* Substitute appropriate libname, path and file names */

libname mine 'U:\My Documents\My SAS Files\';
proc contents data=mine.mydata;

To view properties from Windows Explorer:

  • Open a Windows Explorer window to the directory which contains the dataset in question.
  • Right-click on the dataset icon and select "Properties".