Files on WHS shares getting changed RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi, I have an issue here that I am hoping those more familiar with WHS can help me with. I have searched every way I can think of but as of yet I haven't even found a single instance of a similar issue. I will try my best to detail the issue but it will be hard to explain. I actually have two issues but I believe they are related.

    I copied about 500GB of movie files from a HTPC (Vista Media Center) to my WHS. Due to the size or the transfer I just let it run over night and this morning I connected to the HTPC to check on the file transfer. I only did a 'copy' so I could compare the source and targets once the copy was done and was planning on deleting the source once the copy was verified.

    So I did a 'select all' on the source folders and did a properties so I could see the number of folders which was 300. I then UNC'd to the share on the WHS I had copied the folders to, let's call it \\whs\videos, again did a select all and viewed the properties. This is where the weirdness started.

     As you may know, in Vista when you select a bunch of objects in a folder, you dont really have to right click and choose properties as the information shows at the bottom of explorer. So when I looked here wanting to verify that there were in fact 300 folders like I had originally copied I was surprised to see the number going down! It was dropping at a rate of about 1 folder per second. I panicked at first because I thought for some reason the folders were being deleted but they weren't.

    As it turns out, the folders were instead being changed somehow which was 'unselecting' them from my 'select all' because each time I hit select all again it would start over at 300 then start dropping again. After poking around I found that the folders were being changed somehow because the 'last modified' date was changing on all the folders from the date and time they were copied last night, to the time it was right then when I did the select all. I made no changes whatsoever other than hitting the select all command (ctrl+a).

    That's all for issue #1, now for issue # 2...

    I keep all of my music on my desktop PC and I use the Sync Tool 2.0  powertoy to sync the music collection with a drive I have mapped to a share on the WHS which is \\WHS\music. I have it set to 'echo' the folder on my desktop with the folder on the WHS. When I run a sync it analyzes both sides and only syncs the WHS side to match the desktop. So if I rip a new CD, the next sync will see that as a change that doesn't exist on the WHS and synch the change over.

    What I have noticed is that every time I do a sync, there a LOT of files that get sync'd that should not have changed under any circumstances. Many times it is MP3's but most often it is the .jpg's for the album art. I can watch it copy hundreds of these from folders I havent used, opened, listened to, or even thought about since before I even had a WHS except for the initial sync that copied the whole collection over to the WHS.

    What concerns me is that in both instances it seems that the reasons behind this is because files are changing but I have not been able to specifically pinpoint what exactly is changing (other than the last modified property). With the previous issue of corruption that was occuring on WHS this has me very concerned even though I have PowerPack 1 AND never use an external program to modify files directly on the WHS. My first thoughts were maybe it was the indexer or possibly windows Search that is installed by default on WHS but honestly that doesnt make much sense to me because they don't change file or their properties on any other machine I have. What I do know is that it seems that the changing is always done on the folders/files that are stored on the WHS itself.

    Similar to issue # 1, I have also noticed some old music folders I haven't listed to in a long time that just like the movie folders in issue #1, showed much much newer 'last modified' dates than they should have.

    I know first instinct is VIRUS! but I haven't come across any viruses that behave in such a way. I do not have active anti-virus software on the WHS but I do on every other PC in my network and those are set to scan the mapped drives from the WHS. I also previously had avast WHS edition installed and it was clean and virus-free but I uninstalled it once my trial was up. If anyone has any insight into this I would sincerely appreciate it and I apologize if I didn't explain it well. If I can provide any additional info please let me know. 

    • Edited by tripat Thursday, November 6, 2008 10:31 PM
    Thursday, November 6, 2008 10:08 PM

All replies

  • Hello,
    are these folders duplicated folders? So may be duplication was still going on.
    What for a virus scanner do you use on client and server? These can sometimes cause strange or nasty effects (sometimes malware could not do much better). Also changing files so, that they are recognized as changed.
    Your systems are free of malware?
    Maybe also some indexing going on, or you have a tool embedded in Explorer, which does this stuff.
    Would this happen also, if you use a different client or login locally to your server and access the shared folders via the desktop shortcut here?
    Best greetings from Germany

    Thursday, November 6, 2008 10:37 PM
  • Regarding your MP3s, many media players do a lot of file manipulation behind the scenes. For example, both iTunes and Windows Media Player can be set to automatically download album art, and in that configuration they may do so repeatedly. This will result in the issue you describe. Similarly, automatic updating of ID3 tags will cause this.
    I'm not on the WHS team, I just post a lot. :)
    Friday, November 7, 2008 12:07 AM
  • I do the same thing with my music.  By chance are you using Zune software on one of your PC's?  I was using 3 computers using WMP 11 and all was working well with the syncing, only new songs and album art would get synced.  Then I put the Zune Player V3 on one computer.  It modifies the files like you say, even though I have turned off the option to add album art etc.  I opted out of the Social thinking it might be doing it, but it still changes the time stamp.  Makes it very difficult to keep things synced.
    Friday, November 7, 2008 12:31 AM
  • Hi guys thanks alot for the responses which I will respond to in order:

    Olaf - Folder duplication is turned off for every share. I do not use a virus scanner on the WHS or on the HTPC and I use Norton 2009 on the desktop PC. I don't have this problem with files stored on the desktop PC nor the HTPC, its only when they reside on the WHS. I am confident my systems are completely free of malware. I would like to note that I can go for a week or more without accessing my music share for instance, then access it via my WHS website and I will notice that the last modified date was just 2 or 3 days prior or even earlier that same day when absolutely nothing should have been accessing or changing files.

    Ken - Good point as I do use both iTunes and WMP11 but neither application is even aware of the items stored on my WHS as my music collection is "live" on my PC and I only do the sync as kind of a backup and also so I can access the files for download via the internet if I need to. I double checked both apps just to make certain and confirmed neither one is pointed to the WHS in any way and wouldn't be modifying the files stored there. Frankly, that's part of what makes this so weird to me because the issue here is that it's the copy of those files on the WHS that are getting changed and therefore triggering SyncToy to think it needs to update them with fresh copies from my desktop PC. Even if they were changing on the desktop PC I would still expect it to be music I have done something with lately and not music that hasn't been listened to or even accessed in a year or more.

    KCXLT - No, I do not have a Zune so I don't use the Zune software.

    Your great suggestions did make me think in terms of things running behind the scenes though and I had an idea. Considering I had just dropped a very large portion of data onto the WHS, is it possible what I was seeing was a result of the server performing it's storage balancing? I don't know exactly how it does it's balancing routine but is it something along the lines of copying folders from one drive to another? If I am thinking of this correctly then wouldn't it make sense that the newly balanced folder will have its 'last modified' timestamp updated to when it was balanced as opposed to when it was originally copied to the WHS?

    This of course still doesn't explain why so many items in my music collection that shouldn't have changed at all get re-synced by the sync tool but maybe the two issues aren't related as I originally thought.
    Friday, November 7, 2008 1:49 AM
  • I forgot to add that I use Goodsync to sync my music.  I'm experimenting with it, but it lets you exclude files by time, so I just excluded the date and earlier from the last sync, so even if they get changed in the right folder(time stamp only) they will not get re-written.  Still abit of a pain because I'll have to change the date eveytime new material is added.
    Friday, November 7, 2008 3:52 PM