SyncToy using current timestamp? RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have two folders (F1 and F2) that I want to sync between my laptop (LT) and PC.  SyncToy syncs folder F1 perfectly.  But everytime I try to sync the other folder (F2), SyncToy wants to overwrite most of the files - even though the files have not changed. 

    If I let SyncToy overwrite whatever it wants, and then run sync again immediately, then SyncToy wants to sync all the files again!  This only happens for F2.  The sync for F1 works perfectly. 

    I'm confused, because both folders simply contain flat files.  F1 & F2 are located on the same NTFS partition (on their respective computers).  The only difference is the content of the folders:

                files      folders        size
            --------     --------   ---------
    F1:    20,445       1,176    5.87Gb    (contains my PDF, Word docs etc)
    F2:     7,644           153    912Mb     (contains my MS-Mail *.eml files)

    I've noticed that when SyncToy overwrites the files in F2, it doesn't use the timestamp from the file being written.  It uses the computer's current time.  So the next time I try to sync, SyncToy wants to re-sync all the files again (presumably because the timestamp has changed).  This timestamp change only happens when I sync F2, not when I sync F1.   F1 timestamps remained unchanged (as I would expect).

    I have tried deleting the contents of F2 and re-syncing from scratch, but the odd behaviour returns after the initial sync.  In between the two sync attempts I do not open MS-Mail or alter any of the files in any way.

    Both my LT & PC are running Vista HomePremium x64.  I downloaded SyncToy 2.0 (64-bit version) from the MS website.  I have never used v1.4 or 2.0beta.

    Any ideas how I can fix this odd behaviour?  Thanks.
    Sunday, September 20, 2009 7:03 AM


All replies

  • Hi,

    This behavior is really strange. I am not familiar with .eml files, would you mind to provide some additional information: 
    I want to know which action mode were you using (Synchronize, Echo or Contribute?). And is there any chance that the timestamp could be changed by other programs? Was the timestamp changed in both left F2 folder and right F2 folder?


    This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights.
    Monday, September 21, 2009 10:44 AM
  • Hi,

    For both folders I am using the synchronise function, with default settings.

    EML files are text files created by the MS Mail program in Vista.  The files contain the contents of an individual email.

    Here is an example of the timestamp problem.  I will only overwrite one file in this example (to save time).

    On laptop (LT), the left folder is my local folder, the right folder is the network share folder on my PC.

    From my LT, I select Preview.  SyncToy says it wants to overwrite 7,197 files.  I de-select all files & only re-select one file called 18BE6784-5EBF682A.eml ('the file') for an overwrite.

    According to SyncToy:
    timestamp on PC: 19/9/2009 6:04:06PM
    timestamp on LT:  9/2/2009 4:48:24PM

    I click on "Run".  Operation completes. (This takes a long time to complete, even though there is only 1 file overwritten. SyncToy is using 50% of CPU).

    Windows Explorer now reports:
    timestamp on PC: 19/9/2009 6:04:06PM
    timestamp on LT: 22/9/2009 7:54:18PM

    In SyncToy, I select "Preview" again. SyncToy agrees with Explorer's timestamp. SyncToy now wants to overwrite the same file, but this time on my PC.

    Now that I've looked more closely at this, I note that all the *.eml files have filenames starting with numbers.  The files in the folder which is syncing ok have filenames beginning with alpha characters.

    Both my PC & LT use the 'old' Win2K sorting method for filenames: http://support.microsoft/kb/319827.  That is: NoStrCmpLogical is set to 1.  Could this be causing the odd behaviour?


    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 10:19 AM
  • Hi -

    I am guessing both your laptop and desktop are using NTFS? Is there a possibility that you have an anti-virus program or any other program actually touching the files ? I ask because I notice that the new timestamp on the LT looks like a very current/correct date. This is not likely to be related to the name at all.

    Here is one more thing you can try which might help narrow the issue down -
    Assuming both the drives are NTFS - copy one of these eml files to a random folder like C:\1\ and then use synctoy to sync this to a similar folder on your LT. Take a look at the timestamp immediately and see if they match on Windows Explorer.


    Deepa ( Microsoft Sync Framework)
    Tuesday, September 22, 2009 7:36 PM
  • Hi Deepa,

    I disabled Norton Anti-Virus and ran the test you suggested.  The EML files were still touched.

    I have come across another thread, which deals more directly with my problem: "Bug copying .eml-Files, time stamp changed" at  http://social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-CA/itprovistasp/thread/8dc21ddc-9c87-40f6-a43e-96325ea14f96.

    That thread suggests to me that this is a problem associated with EML files, rather than SyncToy.

    Consequently, I will move my enquires to that thread.

    Thank you for your helpful replies.

    Saturday, September 26, 2009 1:04 AM