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Robocopy – A hint for those with folder timestamp issues after sync’ing

I’ve been a long time user of SyncBack, my only gripe being that it doesn’t synchronize folder modification timestamps correctly on the destination drive..I have also updated to the SE edition, but I still get the same issue if the folder has already been created. Over the past two days I have spend a few hours looking for and testing a practical solution to this… Short of recopying my entire drive again with something like “Directory Opus” (which keeps all original timestamps intact) I couldn’t find anything that works as well as SyncBack does…

Until, I came across the well known MS CLI program called Robocopy. The GUI for this is pretty disappointing, and after reading through the help for the supported switches it really doesn’t unlock it’s full potential..

Anyways, enough yabbering on. If (like me) you need to synch timestamps between an original folder and a backup, use the following command in a DOS window:


robocopy "(source)" "(destination)" /dcopy:T /copy:t /s /log:mylog.txt /NDL

(ommit the brackets, but leave in the ” “). AFAIK this program is bundled with Vista or later, but for older o/ses you will need to download it.

Unlike the usual /MIR commands etc… robocopy is well known for, when using the copy:t and dcopy:t switches it does not copy over any data whatsoever. It simply searches for matching folders/files (in the correct structure/tree) and updates the timestamps on the destination if necessary :)

Over my SAMBA based home network, I used this to successfully update the timestamps on all folders/files on 400GB worth of data. Since this does not overwrite any files per se, this took just under 10 minutes! The last two parameters are for logging details only, so they can be committed if you’d prefer.

Anyways, I’ve read a few posts on here before looking for something like this, so I thought i’d sign up and share this quick and simple solution. Combined with syncback it makes a very powerful and versatile combination :)