Why does SyncToy want to overwrite files that have NO changes (in this case from C-drive to D-drive) RRS feed

  • Question

  • I store all my photos in several locations, the "master" location is (for now) on the C-drive where also WinXP (SP3) is installed.
    Machine is a Dell-Dim 8400, 3.4 GHz, with two physical 250GB SATA drives

    I run SyncToy immideately after I have downloaded new photos (JPEG) from our cameras. Photos are store in folders per "year" with subfolders underneath. An identical "mirror" is maintai9ned by SyncToy in a backup folder on my D-drive (and other networked locations).

    When running SyncToy in "Echo" mode on the "2009" folder set, it wants to "overwrite" ALL files already stored in the destination (D-drive) 2009 folder. Although these files have NOT beeen changed, they are not compressed, not indexed, etc. Just files on a NTFS formatted drive.

    As hard disk space is cheap these days, I have turned off Windows native file compression, Indexing Service, etc, etc. When looking at the time stamps on the various files (both original files and target file to be written over) they are identical - as they should be, no changes have taken place. Yet, still SyncToy wants to copy and overwrite all my (alreay good) data.

    Since I do NO want to overwrite these files, I have to manually "deselect" them in the Preview window. Time consuming and unneccesary.

    What am I doing wrong? Why does SyncToy wants to copy and overwrite files that have not undergone any changes?

    Apart from this, very happy with SyncToy. Just wish "Folder Pairs" could be copied, since it would make it much faster to copy an existing set-up, and modifying it, than to create a brand new pair (especially when having to dig deep in network drive file structures).
    • Edited by wellcraft19 Tuesday, January 5, 2010 1:19 AM Added info
    Tuesday, January 5, 2010 1:13 AM

All replies

  • What version SyncToy did you used? Could you have a try with SyncToy 2.1?

    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Saturday, January 9, 2010 8:45 AM
  • Ping,
    Sorry forgot. Version is 2.0

    Not eager to upgrade (yet) since I have to "synch" first which means ALL my good files are overwritten. I have them stored elsewhere as well, but it is sort of strange.

    There's only one user (me) on this PC, NO changes have taken place, time/date stamp on files are the same (created date, change date). Only difference is the "accessed date" which might make sense since the files on the LHS (C-drive) are sometimes access when displaying photos, etc.

    Any more suggestions? My gut feeling is that this really have nothing to do with SyncToy per se, but something in NTFS (a flag somewhere?).

    Apart from that, SyncToy for me has really ROCKED. Never any real issues at all since I started using versin 1.0 just when it came out. 
    Sunday, January 10, 2010 1:40 AM
  • How did you got files on drive D before sync toy starts its sync process, manually copied? 
    How did you find out that files on drive D were overwritten during the sync process?


    Leo Zhou ------ This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Tuesday, January 12, 2010 6:42 AM
  • 1. Been a while now, but it was either by copying full folders, or by letting SyncToy build/replicate the folder/file structure on drive D (RHS) based on what it saw on drive C (LHS)
    2. Files have NOT BEEN overwritten, but SyncToy WANTS to overwrite them - and I am not yet eager to do that (curious to find of why it wants to overwrite since there is no logic known to me that would trigger it).

    I normally Sync every two-to-three days and one day (after several tens of "normal" syncs), files suddently wanted to be overwritten.
    What I am trying to say is that Synctoy worked PERFECTLY "normal" during several months of keeping these folders sets "in sync".
    Did anything happen to trigger this? No that I can recall, just normal Windows/PC operation.

    Thnx ///
    Tuesday, January 12, 2010 7:17 AM
  • The issue I would like to clarify from you are -

    1. When you manually copied files to D first and then you use SyncToy to do a sync from C to D for the same set of files on D already, then you may see files tends to be over-written during sync.  I think this should an expected behavior.  If you do not think this is the case, please raise.

    2. If Files already on D are through Sync, then sync the same set of files again from C to D should NOT see over-written behavior, unless file on source was modified before sync.  If this is not you case, please raise.

    Leo Zhou ------ This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 10:58 AM
  • Hi -

    Any idea if you started seeing this after the DST change in November? I have seen users report this but   I have not seen this to be an issue on NTFS formatted drives.

    Also, when looking at these files in "Preview" mode can you take a look at the times on the files and see if SyncToy is reporting different times on these files?

    Deepa ( Microsoft Sync Framework)
    Wednesday, January 13, 2010 8:00 PM
  • Leo,

    1. Even if files WERE moved "manually", they were later "synced" w/o any "alerts" (requests to overwrite). Hence, I agree with you that it might happen on a "first run", but after that SyncToy ought to keep track of the differencies (or as in this case, the "no differencies").

    2. Think I partially already replied above, but SyncToy "flags"/requests over-write for files that have not seen ANY changes after SyncToy have kept them "up-to-par" for many, many months.


    Not to be 100% sure, but I could possibly agree that I started seeing this in (early) November time frame. Did not really pay THAT close attention at the time, and was busy with other stuff so had no time to post to forums either.

    In "Preview" the the times for the files (LHS and RHS) are identical. They also correspond with information in Win Explorer "properties" for each pair of files.

    I'll list information for a pair of jpeg files (20090103_6544.JPG) here below:

    Created: Wednesday, January 14, 2009, 12:39:21 PM
    Modified: Saturday, January 03, 2009, 9:02:48 PM (corresponds with the time SyncToy reports)
    Accessed: Today, January 13, 2010, 5:59:48 PM

    Created: Wednesday, May 20, 2009, 11:52:02 PM
    Modified: Saturday, January 03, 2009, 9:02:48 PM (corresponds with the time SyncToy reports)
    Accessed: Today, January 13, 2010, 5:59:53 PM

    VERY MUCH appreciate you guys looking at this. No "show-stopper", but VERY annoying since I really DO NOT want to copy files unless anything's changed.
    Thursday, January 14, 2010 2:05 AM
  • I had exactly the same problem.

    My observation was that wmpnetwk.exe changes/changed the "Date modified" of all my photos. It turns out that wmpnetwk.exe is part of the Windows Media Player (WMP).

    So what does WMP have to do with my photos? Unsuspecting I put my photos into a folder that is tracked by WMP as a "library" of images.
    Further there is a (unfortunate) default setting in WMP "Maintain my star ratings as global ratings in files" that requests to add "star ratings" to files of the libraries.
    Now my conclusion is that whenever new files (here photos) are added to the folder of the WMP library then wmpnetwk.exe asynchronously (at really unpredictable times) starts operation and adds the meaningless "star ratings" into the file which changes the "Date modified".

    I fumbled around in the WMP->Organize->Options->Library dialog where the "Maintain my star ratings as global ratings in files" resides and cleared the \Users\<currentuser>\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Media PlayerCurrentDatabase_372.wmdb and now my photos are no more modified.
    But as said I couldn't find a clear statement about all this and some uncertainty remains.

    My request to the Microsoft guys would be:
    (1) WMP shall not make any modifications in files by default after installation. Instead let the user explicitly choose about such things during installation (and warn them!)
    (2) Clarify the behaviour of WMP, wmpnetwk.exe: Which settings cause modifications in files, when/under which conditions does wmpnetwk.exe start operation, how can a user manually trigger a rescan of library files through wmpnetwk.exe.

    As this thread is hot, could someone from Microsoft reply on this?

    Saturday, January 16, 2010 10:07 AM
  • Roland,

    Good catch! One of (many) reason I do not use WMP (even though I have considered it as a media server down in the basement, but settled on PS3server instead).

    Application should "simply and clearly" be able to "tell" when it wants to modify a file, even if it just updating of a meta tag.

    So, in my case, the files have NOT been changed. Still waiting for some reasonable explanation  :-)
    Sunday, January 17, 2010 10:30 PM
  • One issue look at is the metadata. I found that if files have different attributes (hidden, encrypted, archived), then synctoy wants to resync them, or even create copies (file.doc and file.1.doc), regardless of whether the files and creation dates are otherwise same.
    Friday, November 15, 2013 4:25 PM