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File and Folder purging tool

Posted on 2016-09-12
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Last Modified: 2016-10-18
Hi All,

I'm looking for a automated third party tool to delete the local files and folders, remote share drives files and folders with respect to various retention Periods.

Could anyone please help me with the tools information
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Question by:MSSG_RRD
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Expert Comment

by:Bill Prew
ID: 41794294
Often this is done by a script of some sort (BAT, VBS, Powershell) where you list a set of delete commands that also take into account the retention rules.  But depending on the complexity of your needs or rules that might be too simple an approach.

Can you elaborate more on the requirements you have put together?  Things like what is to be purged, is anything archived before purging, logging needs, What date stamp do you want to use (created, accessed, modified), are you just removing files or whole folders if they are old or empty, etc.  The better your description of your need the faster and more accurately a solution can be suggested.

~bp
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by:MSSG_RRD
ID: 41794314
Hi BP,

Thanks for the response.

We are looking for a GUI Based tools which will delete the files (.docx,.xlsx, images, video files) which will get saved on the file servers and the deletion should happen on daily basis in a specified time with various retention period (30 days, 60 days, 90 days etc..)
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Bill Prew earned 167 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41794341
Take a look at MSH, seems to match what you are describing and you can download a free eval version to play with.

http://www.mshtools.com/delete-files-older-than/

~bp
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by:MSSG_RRD
ID: 41794376
Thanks Bill... Will check on this
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Assisted Solution

by:Philip Kao
Philip Kao earned 167 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41798758
Does your company have a need to create an audit log of such purge activities?  If so, then an automated tool may not work without logging capabilities.  Not saying that Bill's suggested tool is bad, just that if auditing is necessary, it may not record the deleted files.  If so, then Beyond Compare (http://www.scootersoftware.com/) may be a different option.  It works great and records everything being deleted.
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by:Bill Prew
ID: 41798781
Beyond Compare (http://www.scootersoftware.com/) may be a different option

How does Beyond Compare purge by date, I have only seen it do folder and file comparisons to identify differences between them?

~bp
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Expert Comment

by:Philip Kao
ID: 41798793
It can be used as a date range to match criteria.  I've used it to restore whole time lapses as well as purge via time lapses.  It is one of the lesser advertised features and only available from the fully enabled version.  It may be one of the more powerful tools out there.
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by:serialband
serialband earned 166 total points (awarded by participants)
ID: 41799183
There are also built in commands for that kind of work.

Windows has the forfiles command.
forfiles /p "C:\PATH" /s /m *.* /d -<number of days>
forfiles /p "C:\PATH" /s /m *.* /d -<date>

find files older than 9 days
forfiles /p "C:\PATH" /s /m *.* /d -9

find files older than August 31, 2016
forfiles /p "C:\PATH" /s /m *.* /d -8/31/2016


Unix/Linux/OS X has the find command which I'm more familiar with.

If you want to find all files that were modified more than 9 days ago
find {folder} -mtime 9

If you want to also delete those files
find {folder} -mtime 9 -delete

You could also set a file to a specific time and find files older than it.
Create a file with a fixed time stamp of 2016, August 31, at 12:00:00pm
touch -t 201608311200.00 files_older_than

Then use that to compare
find {folder} ! -newer files_older_than
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