time/date stamps upon installation...

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time/date stamps upon installation...

Post by long-lurker » Mon Feb 04, 2013 7:18 am

i have an external hard drive that several folders are "synchronized" to so that vital files are "always archived"...
the synchronization ignores two-second differences due to NTFS versus FAT32...

my question is this, i re-install Windows every month...
all UP-TO-DATE files are copied to the hard drive during Windows installation...
but the first synchronization will sync ALL OF THEM, saying that the external drive's are "newer" (by HOURS)...

any insight as to what causes this or possible solutions to prevent it?
many thanks in advance...

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5eraph
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Post by 5eraph » Mon Feb 04, 2013 2:48 pm

Daylight Saving Time changes all currently written timestamps. An update pack that was not compiled in your time zone will also potentially cause the timestamps to be off by several hours.

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Post by long-lurker » Mon Feb 04, 2013 3:09 pm

makes sense...
is there anything i can do to prevent it, or is it just the nature of the beast?

"re-compiling" downloaded update packs is not outside my grasp...
i just kinda need a point in the right direction...

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Post by 5eraph » Mon Feb 04, 2013 4:18 pm

I don't have experience with what you're trying to do. Attribute Changer may help. A detailed PDF is included in the installation files that indicates the program should be able to offset modification and creation times. Haven't used it myself in years, though.

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Post by tomasz86 » Mon Feb 04, 2013 9:51 pm

What software do you use for synchronisation? You need to use something which checks for file content and ignores time stamp changes.

I use FreeFileSync for backups and it has this option:

Image

Even if the files have got different time stamps it compares only their content and won't copy duplicates.

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Post by long-lurker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 6:47 am

5eraph wrote:I don't have experience with what you're trying to do. Attribute Changer may help. A detailed PDF is included in the installation files that indicates the program should be able to offset modification and creation times. Haven't used it myself in years, though.
it's basically the "My Documents" folder...
its entire contents are copied over to a folder on my installation DVD and when i install Windows, that "My Documents" folder and all of its contents are also created (copied over from the installation DVD)...

the external hard drive came with its own synchronization software, not that i "have to" use it and looking for something else "might" solve the problem (but i personally do prefer timestamp synchronization anyway)... the external hard drive is FAT32, the desktop Windows is NTFS, so there is a 2-second offset (which the synchronization software already allows for)...

the first synchronization after a Windows install will sometimes have a two-HOUR offset, sometimes have a six-HOUR offset, sometimes have an eight-HOUR offset...

i have not correlated the offset durations to any particular update pack (i use the XPSP3_QFE_UpdatePack 99% of the time)...

i have switched around between different versions of .net, but the chaotic timestamp difference does not seem to be "connected"...

heck, i could use the same EXACT installation DVD and the first synch will have different HOUR offsets upon each installation...

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Post by 5eraph » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:25 am

Have you tried replacing your motherboard's CMOS battery? It's responsible for keeping time while the system is powered down. A low battery could account for significant drift.

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Post by long-lurker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 7:54 am

already thought about that - replaced it even though a voltmeter showed it as OK...
if that were it, wouldn't the minutes and seconds would also be off, not only the hours?


wait! i just thought of a "fix", will try later this morning or early this afternoon...
not sure why this hadn't dawned on me before as something to try...

right now, i'm copying a FOLDER off of the installation DVD to a FOLDER on the hard drive...
i'm going to try this - COMPRESS the folder contents into a .7z onto the DVD, EXTRACT that .7z into folders onto the hard drive...

that "should" preserve the timestamp of the file "inside" that .7z...

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Post by 5eraph » Tue Feb 05, 2013 8:28 am

You should also try ROBOCOPY, which preserves original timestamps. ;)

Links to the utility can be found in my addon thread.

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Post by long-lurker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:25 am

hmm, upon further investigation, it seems that the nLite process is writing the DVD with the timestamps NOT the same as the originals...

my Windows installation *IS* copying the files with the timestamps present on the DVD, but nLite is NOT creating that DVD with the *CORRECT* timestamps...


any thoughts on that?

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Post by 5eraph » Tue Feb 05, 2013 9:42 am

I don't know what engine nLite uses to burn directly to disc. Have you tried making an ISO instead? I don't know if it will perform differently, but it may be worth a try.

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Post by mooms » Tue Feb 05, 2013 10:06 am

I think nLite use Mkisofs (or is it cdimage ?) to make the iso, but I don't know how it burn the image.

I always use UltraISO to make the iso (use the original XP iso as a template, so UltraISO will keep the boot sector), but I don't burn the iso anymore, I use Rufus or XP PowerPacker to copy the install files on an USB key. Much faster to install and no need to waste a CD/DVD (and there is more and more laptops without optical disc drive).

Sorry for the semi off-topic.

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Post by long-lurker » Tue Feb 05, 2013 11:26 am

it's not really off-topic at all...

i use USB to install WinXP on the Acer Aspire Netbook - BUT i have been UNABLE to get that type of installation (ie, from USB) to run nLite's list of Unattended RunOnce...

so for the desktops, that get installed every month, i use DVD's instead...
and have never re-installed the Netbook in YEARS because of the RunOnce failure...


as for nLite's burn versus ISO...
hmmm, not sure, i use nLite's create ISO first, then burn that ISO using nLite...
i used to use Nero to burn that ISO, but don't remember if those installations had timestamp offsets or not...

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Post by long-lurker » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:26 pm

as an update, the timestamp HOURS seems purely RANDOM if folder contents are copied over as folder contents during Win install...

the HOUR offset is always 2 or 5 when nLite creates the ISO and then nLite burns that ISO...
i live in the Eastern Time Zone (GMT minus 5)...

the HOUR offset is 2 or CORRECT when nLite creates the ISO but then Nero burns that ISO...

both ways, the offset is purely RANDOM (between 0, 2, and 5)...
install using the same exact DVD and the result will not always be the same as far as timestamp goes for folder contents copied over as folder contents...


so what i have done is to use a program called Zip2Exe (from NSIS)...
compress the folders to .zip files, use Zip2Exe to compress the .zip to an .exe (hunted for it 'cause i didn't want to write a 7Zip config.txt for each and every folder, Zip2Exe does it 'for me', basically)...

use nLite's RunOnce to run that .exe with a "/S" (capital S) switch during my Win install...

now those folder contents remain timestamp-synched with my backup hard drive archive after installation - ALWAYS, not just randomly...


(oh, also tried to boot from a cd "boot menu" that is supposed to enable "boot from usb" for m/b's that don't have that option, but it locked up on my old m/b... will try at a later date on the Acer Aspire, which can only be installed from USB - thanks again for the mentioned programs...)

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Post by bphlpt » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:28 pm

I wonder if you would have better success if you didn't involve nLite in making/burning the ISO at all? Maybe even using RVMi instead of nLite? Just curious. Glad you were able to come up with a solution that works for you.

Cheers and Regards

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Post by long-lurker » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:34 pm

i find nLite WWWAAAAYYY easier to use when it comes to "RunOnce" deploying self-made silent-install proggies fully unattendedly...

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Post by 5eraph » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:08 pm

RVMi and nLite both use mkisofs to create ISOs, bphlpt.

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Post by bphlpt » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:34 pm

OK, then use nLite as usual, except use UltraIso to build the ISO and Nero to burn it? Still curious.

Cheers and Regards

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Post by long-lurker » Thu Feb 07, 2013 7:13 am

i'm still curious as well - it just takes a LONG time to trial-and-error...

thinking back over the years, i think, not positive, but i think that i observed these timestamp offsets before and the underlying only-changed variable was which .net framework pack was used or not used...

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Post by long-lurker » Fri Feb 08, 2013 11:33 am

opted for 7zip sfx's and folder-dependent config.txt's after all...
turns out that the Zip2Exe won't "keep" EMPTY folders contained within the original .zip...

got my problem fixed...
still unable to determine "why" the timestamp offset was there in the first place...

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Post by dumpydooby » Sat Feb 16, 2013 2:19 pm

5eraph wrote:You should also try ROBOCOPY, which preserves original timestamps. ;)

Links to the utility can be found in my addon thread.
Our buddy code2↑↑↑3 also has a utility called vcopy as well as timeclone.

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