I'm moving my files from Windows XP to OSX Sierra, and having trouble with rsync and directory modification dates.

For now, I have moved the files from XP to a FAT32 USB drive using XP, and when I look at the directory dates on this USB drive from Windows, the "create time" is set to the time I copied the files, but the "modification time" is set to the time the directory was last modified.

However, when I open this same drive under OSX, both the modification time and create time are set to the time the directory was copied.

When I copy the files from the USB to my OSX drive, it copies over correctly the file modification dates, but again the directory modification dates are set to the same time as the creation dates.

Any hints on how to debug what is going on here?

I am using the latest version of rsync (3.1.2), but I suspect the problem is deeper at the OS level, as OSX is stating what I feel are incorrect values for the modification dates on these directories on the FAT32 disk.

  • 1
    This is not strictly speaking, an answer, but is there a reason why you did not use Apple's Migration utility? It's compatible with XP and might alleviate your issues support.apple.com/en-us/HT204087 – Steve Chambers Sep 5 '17 at 13:25
  • Hi Steve - thanks - I did indeed use the migration utility - however that utility does not preserve dates/times on files nor directories. It also eliminates certain files I wanted to keep (I've noticed it doesn't transfer over any *.dat files for example, nor any *.exe or *.dll - I can do without the *.exe or *.dll but the *.dat files may still be useful). The approach I've taken is to use the migration utility, then use rsync to update the file modification dates. This works for files, but it doesn't seem to work for directories, and I have a feeling it's something do with FAT32 and OSX. – karlos Sep 5 '17 at 15:18
  • Note: I solved this by just connecting my windows box to OSX directly with SSH (instead of going via a USB drive), rsync was then able to correctly update the directory dates. – karlos Oct 2 '17 at 21:06

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