File Share Archiving Solution

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Shaun Vermaak
My name is Shaun Vermaak and I have always been fascinated with technology and how we use it to enhance our lives and business.
Archiving data from file servers is essential in preventing stale data from clogging up space and old folders overcomplicating the structure.


This article outlines an uncomplicated Powershell script for archiving data from a file server. This process should be configured by a server administrator and typically would run as a scheduled task to ensure automated archiving.

The function dynamically creates the archive date based on the current date and archive age then leverages Robocopy with a few parameters to move these files to the archive location. The date created, date modifies and date accessed is interrogated so that it ensures only the correct files are archived.

It is best if this archive location has some sort of compression, duplication or is a cheaper storage.

The intention of the article is not to replace the need for a commercial data classification and archiving solution, but provide a functional archiving solution if you do have or cannot afford such a system.

The Powershell function

Simply run this to import the Powershell function.

function ArchiveData($a, $b, $c)
    # Build dynamic date for archiving
    $archiveDate = (Get-Date).AddDays(-$($c)).ToString("yyyyMMdd")

    # Run robocopy move command that ensures permission stays the same
    robocopy "$($a)" "$($b)" /W:1 /R:1 /MOV /COPYALL /b /minage:$archiveDate /minlad:$archiveDate /s /xf Thumbs.db desktop.ini /xd $RECYCLE.BIN """System Volume Information"""


# Example 1
# Archive data older, unmodified and not accessed for 1 year 
# from D:\CorporateData\DepartmentA to D:\ArchivedData\DepartmentA
ArchiveData "D:\CorporateData\DepartmentA" "E:\ArchivedData\DepartmentA" "365"

# Example 2
# Archive data older, unmodified and not accessed for 100 days
# from D:\CorporateData\DepartmentB to D:\ArchivedData\DepartmentB
ArchiveData "D:\CorporateData\DepartmentB" "E:\ArchivedData\DepartmentB" "100"

# Example 3
# Archive data older, unmodified and not accessed for 30 days
# from D:\CorporateData\DepartmentC to D:\ArchivedData\DepartmentC
ArchiveData "D:\CorporateData\DepartmentC" "E:\ArchivedData\DepartmentC" "30"

Drive Mapping

After setting this up, you may choose to map an additional drive map to this archive data. When I configured it, I set this to read-only. This means, users can retrieve data from their archive data drive mapping, but not actually save to it.

If a user wants to work on an archived file, there are two options:

  • Open the file and save to a new location. A user will typically get a message saying that file is read-only.
  • Copy the file to a new location before opening it

Navigating to the desired archived file is also familiar to the end user, because the folder structure is maintained in the archive folder.


I hope you found this tutorial useful. You are encouraged to ask questions, report any bugs or make any other comments about it below.


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