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False indication of a date difference between compared files

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  • False indication of a date difference between compared files

    For some reason, .eml files are reported in Folder Compare to have different dates when I know the file has not been changed. For example, the files might be:

    Left folder
    Population numbers.eml 04/22/2009
    Average effects.pdf 04/25/2009

    Right folder
    Population numbers.eml 01/22/2010
    Average effects.pdf 04/25/2009

    The problem is that I know that the .eml file in, say, the right folder (see above) has not changed since 4/22/2009, and yet BC says that ti is today's date. The line of text is also blue indicating that the file is newer. The date is always the current date and the time is sometime during the day. The configuration is always that the file on the left is my USB drive and the file on the lright is in a folder on the hard drive of the computer I am using.

    I use the USB to transfer all the files in a "MyFolder" structure that I have created on my computers at home and at work between the two machines, when I leave in the morning to go to work and when I leave work to go home. I use BC to figure out which files I need to copy to take to work or bring home.

    The problem is that, when I start my USB drive in order to copy the files that I have worked on during the day on my comptuer at work (or in the evening on my computer at home) to the other computer, some of the .eml files in the MyFolder structures on the right has the current date when I _know_ I have not touched them during the session.

    Why does this happen?

    It only happens to the .eml files, which are email text files. My email program is Thunderbird.

    What appears to be happening is that sometime during a work session, for some reason, BC is opening the .eml file, or somehow resetting its file time and date to the current time and date even though I have NOT read the email.

    Why does this only happen to .eml files?

    These updated .eml files do not occur unless in I leave the USB drive plugged into my computer for a long time period.

    These .eml files only have changed dates sometimes, not every work session.

    Thank you.

    John Wirt

  • #2

    Beyond Compare is probably not the program changing the timestamps on your files. We merely use the timestamp as a means to determine differences, and if the file has a newer timestamp then we show it as newer. Other programs, such as Thunderbird or an anti-virus may be updating the timestamp each time it accesses the .eml files.

    You can use a program such as Process Monitor to watch the files and see which program is changing the timestamp.

    Are you attempting to sync POP email between two computers? I would recommend using IMAP instead, and then it is all done automatically on the server.
    Aaron P Scooter Software


    • #3
      The timestamp changing occurs both on my computer at work and the one at home. Only .eml files are affected.

      Also, the time stamp is changed only if I leave BC Folder Compare on for some time and connected to folders. Leaving BC on for an hour or more the dates of some files are changed.

      The machine at work has Outlook, so it doesn't even know what an .eml file is.

      Hmm, no I am not attempting to sync mail between two computers. The .eml files that are changed are old emails that I am save on my home machine because they have valuable information in them.

      Thank you.
      Last edited by Jack234; 25-Jan-2010, 10:45 PM. Reason: grammer


      • #4
        Beyond Compare won't change the timestamp of files just by sitting idle with folders open. Some other application on your system is probably modifying the files and you're seeing it after refreshing BC.

        The best way to track this down is to run Process Monitor with it set to filter .eml files. It should show you any applications on your system that are accessing the files. You can get it from:
        Chris K Scooter Software


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jack234 View Post
          What appears to be happening is that sometime during a work session, for some reason, BC is opening the .eml file, or somehow resetting its file time and date to the current time and date...
          Appearances may be misleading...

          You might want to check out this thread at Microsoft TechNet:

          Bug copying .eml-Files, time stamp changed
          BC v4.0.7 build 19761


          • #6
            So the problem is Vista! Yes, I have Vista at work.

            Since the computer support people would charge my division $500 to do something like change a file association, I think my solution will have to be getting all the .eml files off of my thumb drive.

            For those who are interested, the computer support people where I work are from Perot Systems........They're almost as bad as the Vista they installed on everyone's machine. SP1, I think.

            My solution is going to have to be getting rid of all teh .eml files on my thumb drive. For saving emails I will switch to .PDF files. They don't have the problem.



            • #7

              One other suggestion would be to use IMAP instead of POP for email syncing. If you were able to use IMAP at work and home, you would not need to sync your mail manually. It would all be done on the mail server.
              Aaron P Scooter Software