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  • Softwares like DirLister, Snap2HTML

  • I have a external disk of size 2tb,, and laptop with 500gb SSD and free time at work..

  • Copy Volume Shadow of External Disk, just directory structure and files, files metadata only/not actual content of file.
  • Basically I want to copy just directory structure, folders, files properties/not the actual content of file; from external disk to my Laptop SSD
  • Copy them to my SSD and then take to work and re-arrange file, folder, change directory structure and then flash the changes i made to my external disk when Im home.
  • Important is to copy just directory structure, folders, files properties.. Its Ok if It cant flash changes made to the directory onto disk.. I can do that manually
  • It would be like virtual disk (virtual disk without actual files)..
  • Are there any 3rd party software that can do it.. Any software which copy list of file,folder,directory structure, and display them as if viewing in explorer

  • dir /b /s >extractlist.txt this cmd gives text file output with directory structure, file size & date.. And its pain in eye to go through those words.. So I was thinking if there is any software which fakes as windows explorer/any file explorer and shows shadow of external disk.Just cloning directory and file name and its properties.

  • Everything software has Export File List (.efu) I want something similar..Export directory structure, and file properties, just timestamp and what size the file was.

  • How could you keep file properties (metadata) if the files themselves are excluded? I'm not quite sure what this would look like. – Mr Ethernet Oct 24 '19 at 11:36
  • I just want Timestamps, like date created, modified, Size and File name... – hasoma Oct 24 '19 at 11:46
  • My Robocopy answer shows how to copy the folder structure and exclude all file data but unfortunately it can't show you the file metadata. Maybe someone else can come up with something that does what you need. – Mr Ethernet Oct 24 '19 at 11:52
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    First, edit your question to avoid asking for a software recommendation. Second, you need to clarify how it's possible to have file properties when no such file exists. That's a contradiction and makes your question unanswerable. – I say Reinstate Monica Oct 24 '19 at 11:52
  • dir /b /s >extractlist.txt this cmd gives text file output with directory structure, file size & date.. And its pain in eye to go through those words.. So I was thinking if there is any software which fakes as windows explorer/any file explorer and shows shadow of external disk.. – hasoma Oct 24 '19 at 11:54
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Robocopy:

Robocopy can easily exclude all files from a copy job, so that it only replicates the folder structure in the destination.

robocopy /e "d:\2TB external drive" "c:\SSD drive" /dcopy:dat /xf * /r:1 /w:1

  • /e includes all folders, including Empty folders.
  • /dcopy:dat includes Directory timestamps
  • /xf * Excludes all Files.
  • /r:1 Retries failed copies 1 time.
  • /w:1 Waits 1 second before retrying failed copies.
  • will try when I return home.. Thanks – hasoma Oct 24 '19 at 12:02
  • @hasoma the proper command line options for robocopy would be /create or /copy:T /dcopy:T but you will still be left with zero length files. You can’t have an accurate file size and a zero length file. See here: docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/administration/… - this answer, as is, does not do what you requested and wouldn’t create any files at all. – Appleoddity Oct 24 '19 at 12:38
  • @Appleoddity I had no idea that was possible with /create as I've never used that switch before. Just tried it and it works! I don't understand the or /copy:T /dcopy:T part though. Using those switches together doesn't mimic the /create switch. Am I missing something? /copy:t would be redundant as the default is /copy:dat unless specified otherwise. File timestamps are included by default, it's just directory timestamps that need /dcopy:t in order to include them. (Incidentally, Modified directory timestamps are included by default, that switch adds Created and Accessed.) – Mr Ethernet Oct 24 '19 at 13:05
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Some of your properties such as the size do require to have a file associated to them. But at least on Linux filesystems, you can cheat and create a file that reports the size you want to ls but doesn't use any disk space (this is called a "sparse file"). So you can create a "shadow" of a file with the truncate command, something like this:

truncate -s $(stat -c %s "$real") "$shadow"

(the shadow must not exist, otherwise it's truncated and won't be fully sparse).

So write a small script which given a file path:

  • if its a directory, creates the equivalent directory on the target
  • if its a file,
    • creates the equivalent shadow file using truncate (directory has been created by the other case)
    • does a touch -r sourcefile shadowfile to copy the time stamp
    • possibly copies other relevant metadata (flags?)

And then uses the script in a find:

 find top/source/directory -exec transferscript {} \;
  • will try when I return home.. Thanks – hasoma Oct 24 '19 at 12:02

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