PowerShell, deleting files using last modified and last accessed

Posted on 2016-11-11
Last Modified: 2016-11-16
I had this question after viewing PowerShell, deleting files from multiple servers.

I had help with the below script to delete files from multiple servers. However, i now realize that some files are being used and need to delete files where the last acccessed time is less than x days and modified time is less than x days.

$User = "user"
$Password = Get-Content "D:\NCR\DAX\Scripts\psPW" | ConvertTo-SecureString

$Creds = New-Object System.Management.Automation.PsCredential -ArgumentList $user, $Password

$Servers = Get-Content D:\NCR\DAX\Scripts\servers.txt 
# When you run an Invoke-Command command, Windows PowerShell runs the commands on all of the specified computers or in all of the specified PSSessions.This method will delete from all servers at the same.
Invoke-Command -ComputerName  $Servers -Credential $Creds -ScriptBlock {
  $date = (Get-Date).AddDays(-5)
  Set-Location 'c:\Users\dax\AppData\Local\Temp'
  Get-ChildItem -File | Where-Object {$_.LastWriteTime -lt $date} | Remove-Item -Force

Invoke-Command -ComputerName  $Servers -Credential $Creds -ScriptBlock {
  $date = (Get-Date).AddDays(-8)
  Set-Location 'C:\Windows\Temp'
  Get-ChildItem -File | Where-Object {$_.LastWriteTime -lt $date} | Remove-Item -Force

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Question by:jacobJL
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

Jason Crawford earned 250 total points
ID: 41883945
If I'm understanding the requirements correctly, you should be able to just modify line 11 to this:

Get-ChildItem -File | Where-Object {$_.LastWriteTime -lt $date -and $_.LastAccessTime -lt $date} | Remove-Item -Force

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Author Comment

ID: 41884059
SMH. That's exactly what i had but i forgot hyphen in front of the and operator. However after corrected i still get this error

Cannot remove item C:\Windows\Temp\vmware-vmsvc.log: The process cannot access the file 'C:\Windows\Temp\vmware-vmsvc.log' because it is being used by another process.
    + CategoryInfo          : WriteError: (C:\Windows\Temp\vmware-vmsvc.log:FileInfo) [Remove-Item], IOException
    + FullyQualifiedErrorId : RemoveFileSystemItemIOError,Microsoft.PowerShell.Commands.RemoveItemCommand

Author Comment

ID: 41884063
Oh. I just realized last accessed isn't the problem here. his file says last accessed in February. Not sure how its being used by another process, but i am thinking i need to exclude this file from the delete script
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LVL 15

Expert Comment

by:Jason Crawford
ID: 41884085
Looks like VMware logging.  We can exclude open files or *.log or both.

Author Comment

ID: 41884113
and would that be done like this

Invoke-Command -ComputerName  $Servers -Credential $Creds -ScriptBlock {
  $date = (Get-Date).AddDays(-5)
  Set-Location 'c:\Users\dax\AppData\Local\Temp'
  Get-ChildItem -File  -exclude .log | Where-Object {$_.LastAccessTime -lt $date} | Remove-Item -Force -WhatIf

How would you exclude open files?
LVL 69

Assisted Solution

Qlemo earned 250 total points
ID: 41886104
You'll need to use -exclude *.log - it needs to be a file mask, no substring match.
The brute force approach to get over open files is to just ignore the error message. Add -ea SilentlyContinue to the remove-item.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 41890028
Sorry for late response, was still running into issues but i figured it out. This is what i needed. thank you.

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