Moving files with Elements 12 Organizer does not make the files visible in their new location to Windows 10 File History

  • 1
  • Question
  • Updated 3 years ago
  • (Edited)
Recently I upgraded my Windows 7 system to Windows 10 which resulted in the backup software I was using from Seagate no longer working. Seagate told me to use the Windows 10 File History feature which I did. I wanted to have a backup that produced an exact copy of the backed up files on a separate, dedicated drive and do it in a way that did not compress, encrypt, or in any way alter the files or directory structures. I needed to be able to easily access the back up file with the same application used to create it or take the drive to another computer and access the information there. Most of what I'm backing up are photographs and it is important that I be able to look at these files with various Photoshop products.

A few weeks after moving to Windows 10 I upgrade my Photoshop Elements to Version 12 which came with a slide scanner that I'd purchased. That upgrade went smoothly.

In the last few days I've been doing some structural reorganization of my images, using PSE's organizer to create new folders and move existing files into those folders. What I discovered was that Windows File History did not discover that there were new directories and relocated files. I've run a couple of experiments as well as have made some assumptions based on system performance regarding how PSE Organizers and Windows File History work. Windows File History appears to look at one or more file attributes in order to decide if a file needs to be copied to the File History location, however it is not using the "Archive" attribute. From what I've read in several locations, most backup programs use some algorithm based on date information and possibly other file attributes to decide if a file needs to be backed up. The "Archive" attribute seems to be a legacy structure brought from Windows NT and no longer is really used, but has not been removed. For Windows File History it seems the decision depends on at least one of the dates associated with the file, most like the Date Modified or something similar. Based on how quickly PSE Organizer can "move" files from one folder location to another, I'm guessing that it does not actually copy or rewrite the file data, but rather changes the links / pointers in the file system and does not change the Date Modified attribute of the files. If the files were actually rewritten to a new location and the old files deleted, I would see a much longer processing time. I was moving a large number of rather large image files. The other thing that I did discover is that moving a file with PSE Organizer does cause the "Archive" attribute to be set, but it does not cause the "Date last saved" attribute to be changed. I'll take a wild guess and assume the Windows File History probably looks at the "Date last saved" attribute and not the "Archive" attribute, then compares the date to the last time File History was run and decides if a file needs to be placed in the History.

Based on what I'm seeing and what I think I can infer about how things work, I believe that PSE Organizer needs a fixed. If this was a change made in the latest version of PSE then I guess I need to do another upgrade.
Photo of Bill Junk

Bill Junk

  • 85 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
  • frustrated and potentially looking at a lot of effort to get a duplicate copy of my image files.

Posted 3 years ago

  • 1
Photo of Michel BRETECHER

Michel BRETECHER, Champion

  • 1129 Posts
  • 235 Reply Likes
I have always thought that what you are describing is simply the result of the organizer giving calls (orders) to the Windows Explorer, which is the one who does the job.
The Organizer does not 'move' files or folders itself, it does not care about Date Modified or such (only about Date Created), it uses the Explorer to do the job, and the result for file attributes is the same as if you had issued the move order yourself to the Explorer. Same result and same operation time.
Am I wrong here?
Photo of Bill Junk

Bill Junk

  • 85 Posts
  • 4 Reply Likes
You may very well be right. While I don't know if Explorer itself is involved, I would expect PSE Organizer to make a call to a system library routine to actual do the file move operation. I did a quick experiment with the Windows File Explorer which sould use some of the same library routines, moved a file and then looked at the various date attributres associated with the file. None of them were changed. I now think this exposes a flaw in the way Windows moves files or how moved files are treated by File History.

The only work-around that I've come up with is to use the PSE Organizer to move the files so that the catalog's integrity is maintained, then go to each file in its new location and make a very minor modification to the file with Photoshop and then save it. File History will pick up the modification made in the new location, but does not remove the file copy it's saved from the file's former location. Yuk! Yuk! Yuk!