copy only changed files

Posted on 2006-10-25
Last Modified: 2008-02-01
Hi All.
I have a client that is using an application to scan documents.  We are then putting a copy of these on to an external drive for a backup and then taking off site.
I am currently running a batch file that basically runs the xcopy command with /D.  Worked great in the beginning but now my data files are getting up in the area of 40 gigs.  This takes over an hour to check the date on each file and decide whether to move to the external drive or not.
Is there a program that would run as a TSR that would create a list of new or changed files for a certain dir or drive?
Or is there a better way to program my batch file to track changes?
Thanks in advance.

Not sure how to assign points.  Hard for me but probably pretty simple for others.
Question by:conmac863
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

by:Éric Moreau
ID: 17805906
Hi conmac863,

I wrote a small application in VB.Net that does that. See the article in March 2006 from

LVL 38

Expert Comment

ID: 17806310
Robocopy.exe from the Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools is very good for this kind of thing.  It can run as a TSR if you use the /MON or /MOT switches.

Author Comment

ID: 17812001
Thanks emoreau.  I will look at the code and see if it is something I would be able to do.
Thanks to you too Shift-3.  I d/l the software and will give it a try as well.  Would be great as the data is on a server 2003 box.  Wonder if it will work on any other OS?  Will try it.  If not I will be back to creating my own program and looking closely at emoreau's code.
I appreciate the quick response.  If no more responses by E.O.D. I will split points.
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Author Comment

ID: 17812160
looking at the info for robocopy it looks like it needs to stay connected to the remote source and will update as changes are made.  I should have been clearer in my original post.
We do weekly maintenance at this client and bring the external drive, copy data, and take the drive with us.  
In my mind I see a text file that copies the location of all new and modified files.  Then when I run my batch file it would look at that text file and copy just the files listed?  Does that make sense?
LVL 38

Accepted Solution

Shift-3 earned 125 total points
ID: 17816211
The functionality you're looking for is built into the operating system in the form of archive attributes. Whenever a file is modified, Windows automatically turns on its "A" attribute.  You can view these in Windows Explorer by switching to Details view, right-clicking the Name/Size/Type headings, and selecting Attributes.

Running robocopy with the /M switch will copy only files with the Archive attribute turned on.  It will then reset the "A" on all those files.  Thus you can use it to back up only the files which have been modified since the last time you ran it.

Author Comment

ID: 17818311
Ok Shift-3 I will give that a try on my next visit.
Thanks for your help.

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