File Attribute 'Archive' Bits not being reset


  • The following questin was previously posted in "Microsoft Answers" and it was suggested (by David Vinod, Support Engineer) that it would be better posted in this forum.

    Several months ago I got a new laptop with Win 7 Pro SP1 64bit. I have done numerous backups on this machine but I've noticed that the file attribute 'archive bit' (a) is not being reset as it was on Win XP.  (NOTE: backups were full backups not incremental or differential.)

    Does Win 7 treat file attribute bits differently than XP?

    I also have noticed that 7 displays attribute bits that were not used in XP; where is there a description of all attribute bits?


    A response referencing a KB article ( does not address my question. (I have no trouble seeing/reading the various attributes.)

    My experience with Win XP shows that when a back-up is done, all files with the 'archive bit' set (eg "a" displayed) have the archive bit reset/removed upon completion of the back-up.

    When I do back-ups on Win 7, the archive bit(s) do not get reset.

    Friday, February 17, 2012 5:30 PM

All replies



    As we know in Windows 7, the first backup created will be a full backup of all selected content, and subsequent backups will include only new or changed files (incremental backup).  Based on my knowledge, if the folder is exist, the system would reserve the current attribute. Otherwise, the attribute would be resoted.

    Hope that helps

    William Tan

    TechNet Community Support

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 1:44 AM
  • As noted  above, each month I do a "full backup (not incremental or differential)".  Thus I would expect Win 7 to reset all 'archive' (a) bits --how else does it track what files have been changed --regardless of the backup type?

    Also, where can I find a list/description of all file attribute types used by Win 7?

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 4:11 PM
  • here:

    hope this helps,
    :: Please remember to vote if the info helped you :: Please post back so everyone can benefit from the solution

    Tuesday, February 28, 2012 5:08 PM