OS X V10.7 Lion :: Did Finder Change Some Modification Dates When Making A Copy?

Jun 8, 2012

I just copied a very large number of files using Finder and I discovered that some modification dates were changed.  For me this wasn't a problem, but it's strange and I don't understand why it happened.  I wonder if anyone else has seen a similar behavior.  Here are the details: 

I have a Mac Pro running under OSX 10.7.4 with 15 GB of RAM and 7 hard disks.  The disks details are as follows: Internal 1 is 500 GB and came with the computer.  It is my boot drive and has a variety of material.  It's about 75% full. 

Internal 2 is 1 TB.  It has OSX 10.6.8 on it for use as a repair disk if I need to run TechTools against my main drive or if I need to run SpringCleaning.  It is about 85% full and contains mainly videos of one type or another. 

Internal 3 is 2 TB.  It is 98% full and contains mostly .jpg files.  This drive has a single root folder with 3-4 levels of subfolders.  Some subfolders have as many as 5000 folders in them.  The bottom level folders each have anywhere from 20 to 300 files. 

Internal 4 is 3 TB.  It was purchased last week because drives 2 and 3 are getting full.  My intent is to copy drive 3 to 4, then copy the data from 2 to 3.  I'll probably retire 2 since my SMART checks are showing problems. 

External 1 is 3 TB and is used only for Time Machine to backup internal 1. 

External 2 is 4 TB and is used to backup Internal 2 and 3 using ChronoSync.  I'll be changing this to 3 and 4 soon. 

4 days ago I installed drive 4 and used Finder to copy the root folder from drive 3 to 4.  That took about a day.  I then ran ChronoSync in Trial Sync mode to see if everything was OK.  (Perhaps I shold have used ChronSync to make the transfer.)  I discovered that about 8,000 files had discrepancies.  I wrote a simple AppleScript to identify any meta data differences between the files on the two drives.  It's been running for about 12 hours and I suspect it will take more than a day to finish.  So far all that script has found are modification date differences.  I've examined about a dozen of the files and they look OK. 

Anyone seen anything like this?  Any ideas what happened?  I have three user accounts on this Mac Pro.  The copy was made in one account with nothing else running, but I was doing a variety of work in another account.  The third account was not active. I just did a better search of this forum and discovered a similar case from 2010.

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I discovered that a limited batch of folders on several different hard drives had all taken on the same modification date, which was several days ago. It is truly maddening because I keep the contents of may enclosing folders sorted by modification date for critical reasons, and now these spontaneously changed folders are far out of order. 

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