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backup files don't keep original date but backup date

SyncBackFree is the freeware version of SyncBack. It is *not* an evaluation version of SyncBackPro/SE.
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konekoangel
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backup files don't keep original date but backup date

Post by konekoangel » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:12 am

Hi everybody,

I'm using the last version of SyncBack Free (V7.3.1.12) on Win7 x64 to back up an internal drive to an external drive.
I use the mirror setting (Source > Destination) with default settings.

Everything works really great except for files with .exe, .dll and .js extensions.
These backup files don't keep the date of the original files but get the date of the backup.
So each time I launch the backup, all these files are copied again and again each time, even if they have not been modified.

I know there is known similar issues with FTP server (but I'm not using an FTP, just a regular external drive) so I tried to "Force the file modification date & time to be correct" without any luck. I also tried the Pro version playing with some advanced settings but it change anything.

I don't want to use the Hash comparison because it's just way too long to compare. I have several Terabytes of data to backup so it's not an option.

I don't understand why these files can't keep the original date once copied. Any help would be greatly apprecied.

Thanks

cliffhanger
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Re: backup files don't keep original date but backup date

Post by cliffhanger » Fri Apr 03, 2015 10:01 pm

Given that these files could arguably be described as 'executable' (DLLS contain code that could be called by another process which is itself apparently innocuous), it suggests maybe some other process (AV, anti-malware, something in firmware...) is scanning them and maybe marking them somehow as 'clean' (metadata?) and either the process itself is changing the LastModified stamp, or Windows is doing so in response to that change.

Bear in mind that if you don't see errors in the logs about 'failed to set date' (if/when you're using the force-set option), then either your device is silently ignoring the command (almost unheard of for a dumb USB, but cannot be ruled out if the device has extra* firmware 'features', thus certainly a possibility if a NAS) or SB is succeeding either way but something is interfering afterwards. Either way, you have no more options in SB except potentially involving hashing, as you mention. The copy process (API) should preserve the date anyway (and for all the other files, it does - a big hint...), and if force-setting it (with no sign of the 'force attempts erroring) doesn't help, this suggests subsequent interference from a 3rd-party process (3PP). It may be sufficient to add an exclusion to that 3PP for the 'location' (whole external drive), and/or the 'writing' process (i.e. SyncBackFree - tell the 3PP that Free is a trusted application/process), but finding out which 3PP is doing it (and what methods are available to tell it not to) may be a process of elimination. It's certainly not the case that SB is treating those files differently; with minor exceptions, such as certain filters, and what to do when copying DESKTOP.INI files, SB (any version) does not care what the file-type is and makes no differentiation between them.


* some external USB drives have their own added firmware (e.g. 'one-touch Backup' and similar), which might include some 'security' (by definition, probably simplistic/non-updatable) and if so, may not be configurable (except maybe 'off')

konekoangel
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Re: backup files don't keep original date but backup date

Post by konekoangel » Sat Apr 04, 2015 10:17 am

Thanks for the help.

I didn't think about this possibility at all but it sounds logical...
So I did some tests with and without Avast, Malwarebytes and Comodo FW running but I'm not sure if it changes anything.

I made some test with a new profile backing up just a folder with a few files which usually don't keep the date and it worked great after running 2-3 backups.
But on my original profile (which backup a entire drive), it does not work the same (even for the same files in the same location) and doesn't change anything (like there is too much files to copy so the work is not as clean).

My "external hard drive" is actually an USB3 Icybox Docking Station with some Western Digital Green drives, so I doubt there is any specific firmware issue with it.

So I finally tried to use the "Windows Explorer method of file copying" and I ended up dealing with a lot less files with this date issue. And after running again the backup, all the files finally get the original date. So it's kinda weird how it doesn't work the same each time I run the backup, but it seems to work almost flawlessly with the Windows Explorer method.

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