Friday, October 14, 2011

Watch 4 Folder 2.3

Watch 4 Folder 2.5 is available now here

Click to jump to Watch 4 Folder 2.5 post

This is version 2.3, for version 2.5 click here
Watch 4 Folder v2.3 - a small (802kb), portable (no installation) and powerful monitoring tool to monitor folders and files activities.
It is simple to use and to set, it can monitor 15 types of events and trigger different actions in case an event occurs.
Main changes in this version:
- New command line parameter to start WF4 minimized to the system tray.
- Can use the changed shell object as an argument for the executed program, batch or script.
- Program to execute support now also *.cmd and *.vbs
- Can close the monitor while running.
- More info in the live log.
- Some minor improvements
- Add a user guide in english (rtf and pdf formats).

Notice: When using WF4 2.3, your OS can't be in "Classic Mode" because the software is using some advanced controls.
More details can be found in the included user guide.
Notice (29/05/2012): in case you experience an error when trying to monitor file rename events please download this fixed version of Watch 4 Folder 2.3, thanks to Kadien Elric who found this issue.

Read CNET Editors' Review on Watch 4 Folder (Outstanding)

Freeware by LeeLu Soft 2011
New! How does it works ? click to read developer description on how Watch 4 Folder  2.3 works (new window)

A nice example of how to use W4F to monitor a folder and send new created files by email (by Eric Schmitz):
If you have a folder that you need to monitor for new files and you want to send the new file as attachment by email (outlook only), here are the steps to do it.
Create a batch file and name it whatever you want.
In the batch file enter the next line:
 "C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office11\Outlook.exe" /a %1 /m "&subject=Scanned Document from youremail@youremail.com&body="
Replace the subject text (Scanned Document from) with the subject text you want.
Replace the email address (youremail@youremail.com) with your address or any address you want.
Save the batch file.
Now open W4F and set the following settings:
Select the folder to monitor.
Check the "File Create" monitor event, this will monitor the selected folder for new file creation.
On the Action panel, check the "Execute a program or batch file" checkbox.
Browse and select the batch file you just created.
This step will set W4F to execute your batch file when a new file is created.
Check the "Add changed object as argument" checkbox.
From the arguments drop list, select the first one "File Create – File Name" and check it (round check box).
This step will set W4F to return the new created file name as argument for the batch file (represented as %1 in the batch).
Now you can click on "Start Monitor".
When a new file will be created inside the monitor folder, the new file will be attached automatically into a new email message with your subject and address.

Download the latest version of Watch 4 Folder as a portable file from our new site, CLICK HERE

Download "Watch 4 Folder 2.3" install file 1mb:
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"Watch 4 Folder" 100% Clean Software:
Soft82 100% Clean Award For Watch 4 Folder

89 comments:

sulasno said...

is there an alternate download site ?

Zvika said...

Hi sulasno, I add a direct link mirror to the post.

Usemeplz said...

Are there really innovations in new version? I just think download it or not, cause I use last version, thx for answer!

Zvika said...

Hi Usemeplz,

The main changes on this version are:
- New command line parameter to start WF4 minimized to the system tray.

- Can use the changed shell object as an argument for the executed program, batch or script.

- Program to execute support now also *.cmd and *.vbs
- Can close the monitor while running.

- More info in the live log.

- Some minor improvements.

- Add a user guide in English (rtf and pdf formats).

Because it is a portable application you can download it and use it without removing the older version.
Notice that the monitoring configuration file will not be compliant with the new version because of the new features.

sulasno said...

I can't get it to work;

I setup to monitor a file change in a sub folder and to launch another application when changes are detected; when I make changes to the (text) file, w4f does not launch another application

Anonymous said...

In w7 I've monitor a folder for rename.

I want to rename the folder.
I cant do it because it's system blocked to the program.

Bye

Gauz73 said...

Any way to run this as a service?

Anonymous said...

Could you make the GUI resizable please.

Not being able to resize the form to see as much as possible is making me feel claustrophobic.

Thank you.

Zvika said...

WF4 is a client software and it is not designed to run as service.
We are working on a professional version that will be based on a service (not a freeware).

W4F is a fixed size software.

If you can't rename a folder it has nothing to do with W4F.

Jaap said...

I've been using W4F since 2.2 for some time now, and let me tell you: I love it!

Thank you for sharing this as free-ware. I use it to sync my windows machine with my MacBook using a backup server in between. This sync is done using the tool Unison.

Basically if I change a file on my windows machine, shut the windows machine down, and start my mac it will be in sync. Dropbox-ish experience.

On Linux and mac's its easy to trigger a script when a change is made on a file system. On windows you're out of luck. Until I found this app.

You made this possible.

Zvika said...

Thank you Jaap

Alejandra said...

Thank you for the program is great! But I have a question, I'm using it in command line. I use /s to start monitoring but I don't know which command I need to use to stop monitoring. Can you help me with that? Which's the order to stop it under command line?

Zvika said...

Hi Alejandra,

I didn't add a command line parameter to stop the monitor, but it is a good idea..., I will add it to the next version.

Zvika

Fastguy said...

Hi,

Very good program, thanks for it. I have some recommendations:
- An "execution delay" parameter to run the executable program when a change is detected. For example, run the application 5 minutes after the change has happened
- Collect the change events during the "execution delay" and only run the application once.

The above is for the purpose below:
- I run unison to sync folders, unison takes some time to sync.
- I don't need unison to run each time since there can be multiple changes in a minute, for example, deleting many files and directories, moving files from here to there, which can create multiple event.
- If I could delay the run for a configurable time (ie 2 minutes) and if we run the unison only once during this 2 minutes (in case any change happen), it would be perfect.
- In the current configuration, each time a change happens, a process runs, which is a bit overkill for my purpose.

It would also be good if the batch file or executable window can be hidden from view, not good to see something popping up each time I make a change. It shall be transparent. If I wonder, I can check the log file.

Many thanks again!

Zombiebrainz said...

Great program - having difficulty getting the argument in .VBS though. Having a Vbs with only the following code always returns zero:
"wscript.echo wscript.arguments.Count"

My config -- watching a folder on the desktop for File Create, action is to run this simple vbs and add the changed object as argument "File Create - FileName" -- it does trigger when I copy a file there but always says "0" as the count. What is wrong with what I'm doing?

Zvika said...

Hi Zombiebrainz,
I'm not sure that I understand your W4F configuration, can you save it and send it to me (click on save)?

You need to check "Add changed object as argument" and then open the drop down list and select the appropriate argument (and check it), in your case it should be "File Create - Filename", you can't see the list if your Windows is running in classic mode.

If this is OK, W4F will trigger your script in this syntax:

YourScript.vbs ArgumentName

Notice: Arguments represent the full path of the changed object warped with double quotation, example: "c:\MyFolder\MyFile.ext"
regards,
Zvika

Zombiebrainz said...

emailed your gmail account with the details.

Chris said...

Thank you for this useful utility.

Some thoughts... why not make it a two-column layout - folder browser on left, options on right. Navigating to a heavily-nested folder in a window that is only 86px tall is an exercise in frustration.

And please, for the love of god, add a way to disable those tooltips! :) Everything is so densely-packed, anywhere I move my mouse I have stuff popping up in my face, and most of the time it just says the same thing as the label on the input.

Usability issues aside, it does the job I need it to, so thank you!

Chris said...

Or, easier still, just have a text input with a browse button and use the native windows 'select folder' dialog.

willemijns said...

Hello,

if you launch by this batch
"D:\f>w4f23.exe d:\f\MonitorConfig.ini /s /m"

the ms-dos command page stays forever :-(

Zvika said...

willemijns,
This is how Windows OS is working... your batch is the parent process, so it can't be closed until you close W4F, but you can execute it from a shortcut in you start menu or in a few other methods, google it.
Zvika.

Richard R said...

Thanks a lot for this incredibly useful and full-featured application.

I'm experiencing something odd. I have a folder being monitored (C:\Email) and a batch file located in C:\Email\Logs ("Watch Sub Folders" isn't checked). The batch file contains two lines that run a PowerShell script, which does the heavy lifting. The script is unsigned, and I have my execution policy in the PowerShell console set to "RemoteSigned."

When I open the C:\Email\Logs folder and manually run the batch script, it works. The PowerShell script launches like a champ.

When I add a file to C:\Email, your software correctly identifies the change and launches the batch file. However, when executed by Watch 4 Folder, the batch file fails to launch the PowerShell script, instead showing an error that the execution of unsigned scripts is disabled on the system.

Can you provide any insight as to why manually executing the batch file does launch the PowerShell script but triggering it with Watch 4 Folder doesn't?

Zvika said...

Thank you for using my software.

W4F is using a simple Windows SehllExexcute API to launch the batch file.
What is the OS version ?
Are you running W4F as Administrator ?
Did you try it on a different PC ?
Did you try launching the script directly from W4F without using a batch ?
I think you should try first a simple batch that will launch notepad or something like that just for testing it and if this is running OK try a simpler script.
I have no knowledge on PowerShell scripts, but it looks to me like something with the way this script is executed, can you add some error checking inside the script ?
Zvika

Richard R said...

Thanks for the reply. I'm on 64-bit Win7, running W4F as an admin. I ended up simply self-signing the script by following the directions found on TechNet (http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/dd347649.aspx)

That ended up taking care of the issue

Merlin said...

@willemijn:
If you put the command start before the command in your batchfile the batch window will immediately disapear.
So your batch file will look like this:
D:\f>start w4f23.exe d:\f\MonitorConfig.ini /s /m

Anonymous said...

Hello, I'm running W4F 2.3 on a Windows 7 Professional System, Service Pack 1 as an administrator. I have it set to monitor File Create, File Delete, and File Rename and automatically write to a log file elsewhere a few folders up. When I start monitoring and rename a file I get the error "Invalid argument to date encode" so I'm not entirely sure what to do. As I'd like to see when certain files are created/deleted but also when they are renamed and what they are renamed to and using File Change does not seem to document the OldFileName and the NewFileName.

Zvika said...

Hi, monitoring a folder for file create , delete and rename, are basic W4F features, it was tested by me and by thousends of users.
Can you save your W4F settings and send me the settings.ini file so I will check it ?

Anonymous said...

That's why I'm confused as to why it's not working correctly for me. I've uploaded my settings file below, I hope you are able to come up with something to help, but thank you for replying so quickly.

http://www.mediafire.com/?25ljhpspai2wwlq

Zvika said...

Hi,

I tested your file as it is, I just changed the root path.
It works fine for me, in the shared folder you can find the log file and the live log image file.
W4F logged the event with the old and new file names.
From your error I can guess it has something to do with your date format, It looks like W4F can't read your machine date format, this is important because W4F logs everything with date-time stamp.
Shared folder:
http://www.mediafire.com/?bs8wcpvan8vhk

Anonymous said...

I wonder why it can't read my date format. Is there some way I can check on it or change it to rid myself of this error?

Anonymous said...

Alright well scratching what I said before, I found where I can edit my date format, I'm just trying to figure out what to change it to so it will work with your awesome program.

Zvika said...

Hi, it was just a guess based on your error message, I can't be sure this is the problem, because it is not a custom error message made by W4F, I think it has something to do with the date format or with the way the OS is passing the date to W4F, can you try it on a different machine with similar configuration ?
Basically you don't need to do anything with your date to make W4F work.

Anonymous said...

I currently don't have access to another machine with a similar configuration. I did try it on another machine running Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium and the same error appeared again. I also will note that when I rename the file, I do so through the file properties instead of left-clicking the file for the menu and hitting rename that way. When doing so the latter way, W4F doesn't log it.

I will try again on another Windows 7 system today to see if I have any better luck.

Zvika said...

Hi, what is your system primary language ?
I'm not sure it is the date, just a guess.

Anonymous said...

English United States is the language of choice on all the machines I've tested on thus far now including a Virtual Machine of a Windows 7 Professional, and a Windows Vista Basic machine, all with the same error, so I'm becoming very perplexed as to what now could be causing this error for me.

Zvika said...

I'm using the same primary language, so this is not the problem.

Can you test it with the following date format (region and language settings):
short date: dd/mm/yyyy
long date: dddd dd MMMM yyyy
short time: HH:mm
Long time: HH:mm:ss

Let me know if something has changed.

Anonymous said...

I altered my settings as described above and received the error once more. Is there any particular services or other things that your program relies on that I may not have?

Zvika said...

No, Just Windows OS...

Anonymous said...

Actually, I will ask one thing. I saw that someone had a similar error in the previous version, though he had a different configuration that me, and you provided him with an altered version of the program as you added a line of code that fixed his problem but did nothing for you. Is there a possibility that it would help me in my case?

Zvika said...

Hi,
I think the link I sent him is still active, so you can download it.
It is a portable version, so no need to install and you can run it with no problem even if you installed version 2.3.
But... I don't think it was the same issue.
I will try and find time next weekend to check the source again, this is the first time I see this error, so I want to check the source again, I think it has to do something with getting the date - time from the OS.
Maybe I will try to compile a version without the date-time stamp and send it to you for a test because I can't recreate the error on my machines, I tested this app on 5 different machines, Win7 pro 32, Win7 pro 64, XP SP3 pro 32 X 2 and XP pro 64.

Zvika

Anonymous said...

Well I checked the link, and it says its not found so I don't believe the link for that Modified W4F 2.2 is valid anymore. It wasn't the same issue, but it involved a rename event as well so I thought it would be worth a try.

I hope you find something, but I imagine it will be difficult sense you can't reproduce the error on your end. Is there anyway to see what kind of date-time stamp my system is returning to your program when it produces the error?

Zvika said...

Anyway, W4F2.3 is based on the modified code I sent to that guy, so it should be with this fix already.
I can get and display the date-time but I need to add a single line of code to do it, I can add it to the test version.
Just give me some more info, when exactly the error message pops up ?
Is it when the event accrues ?

Kadien said...

Yes the error pops up just as the event occurs and after that it will not log any other actions. I hear it pop up just as I hit apply after editing the file name in the file properties. Also when I left click the file to rename it via the context menu in Explorer and rename it, the file will be renamed but W4F does not log that the file was renamed, and the error doesn't occur.

The error only occurs when I edit the file name via the properties menu of the file. That's all the information I can think to give you at the moment, I'll see what else I can think to give you that may help you.

Kadien said...

I've just tried it on another system in a different timezone and it worked. So I'm not sure what is different between our configurations that made it work for him but not for me.

Zvika said...

Hi Kadien,
Ok, you gave me the info I needed to recheck my source code.
I will do it in the coming weekend, I'm going to be at work for the next two days, so I believe I will have the time only on weekend, The time zone information is also interesting, I can't get the connection between this and the error yet, but I will check it.
Is it OK by you if we continue this conversation by email ? it is more convenient…
Zvika.israeli@gmail.com

Kadien said...

Thank You for resolving the issue with me. The File Rename event now works correctly with no sign of the error when I rename files. I look forward to using this great piece of software.

nafets said...

Super program!
Just a query: If I monitor two folders with two instances of the program, a change initiated by instance one (i.e. copy file to the other monitored folder) will not trigger action, whereas copy/pasting by hand does.
Cheers

nafets said...

Hi -> just a comment on my own comment. The problem does not seem to be more than one instance of folder watching, but rather that the program does not seem to pick up changes to a folder induced by command line commands (e.g. move a.pdf b.pdf).
Funny?!
Cheers
Stefan

Zvika said...

Hi nafets,

I tested it again and it works fine for me, also from the command line.
Is it a local path or a network path you are monitoring ?

Z.

nafets said...

No, all local.
Setup is:
w4f23.exe monitors c:\a -> waits for a download, and if so, triggers a batch file that does some processing and then move file.pdf c:\b\fild.pdf
another w4f23.exe monitors c:\b -> ones the batch moved file arrives, it (should) trigger some further processing.
But, nothing happens.
If I copy/paste file.pdf to c:\ via filemanager everything works fine???
Cheers
Stefan

Zvika said...

Hi nafets,

Sorry for the delay.
I just simulated it on one of my machines, it works with no problem.

First Instance detected the new file, executed a batch that copy the file to a different folder, this folder was monitored with a second instance, at it detected the new file and shows a desktop alert.
Can you simulate this without any complex processing of the file ?

Z.

Daniel said...

Hello sir, this application doesn't work well on windows 7.

Zvika said...

Daniel,

This software was developed on Windows 7, and is used by tens of thousands of users that are using Windows 7.
If you have a problem running it, let me know the details, instead of this funny declaration.

Z.

Jim McLeod said...

Can W4F watch more than one directory?

Zvika said...

No, but you can run more than one instance of W4F

Robert Deca said...

I'm using w4f23 on Windows Server2008 R2 64 bit. The used memory grow up until the program get stuck after about 2 days.
After some minutes the memory usage is about 6,000K but after 2 days il is about 1,503,000K. The pop up windows named Watch 4 Folder 2.3 says: "Thread creation error: Not enough storage is available to process this command".
Another issue on the same system is: renaming a file named "text.txt" with "text.txt.new" I get a pop up window Named Watch 4 Folder 2.3 saying: "Access violation at adress 0058A046 in module 'w4f23.exe'. Read of adress 00000044".
Can you help me finding a solution?
You wrote some time ago you was working to develop the same application as service is it ready? Even if it wouldn't be free, it is interesting.
Thank
Robert

Zvika said...

Robert, did you try to run it on a different computer ? are you getting the same results ?
I didn't test W4F on server 2008.
Sorry but I didn't started yet to work on the service.

stu shapiro said...

hey guys,

I'm using EOS utilities (a program that controls my SLR camera).

When i take a picture with the camera software it downloads the image to a the watched folder. W4F doesn't recognize this new file as a file created. I tried making the eos cam software create a folder and put the image in the new folder. this isn't recognized as a folder created either.

i dumped an image in there from my dektop and it worked great.

so why doesn't it react when the camera download and control software takes a photo and creates it in that folder?

Thank so much,
stu

Zvika said...

Hi Stu,
Can you give us some more information?
What OS is running on your PC?
Are you the local admin?
How does the EOS transfer the image to the PC?
Z.

user said...

Hi!

Watch4Folder works perfect but I get an access violation on opening or saving a ini-file.
I tested it on a Win8 x64 and Win7 x32. Both won't work.

Some work-arounds?

regards

Zvika said...

Hi,

Do you recieve the error with any ini file or with a specific one ?

Maybe the file is locked by a different program ?

Are you running W4F as admin ?

Z.

Unknown said...

Hi,

I need to watch folder used for recording radio stream into files to either append date and time to recorded files or to move them into another location. Sory but I am not experienced enough to set it by myself so I chosed to ask You.

Thanks a lot
Honza

Zvika said...

Hi Honza,

I hope I understand your needs:

Create a batch file inside the monitored folder or somewhere else:

Right click on empty place inside the folder > new > text file, and give it any name, open the new created text file and add the next line:

move %1 c:\DestinationFolder\

Close the text file and rename it to MoveFiles.bat or any other name.

Run WF4.

On the top panel (1), select the folder you need to watch.

On the events panel (2), check file create, this will set W4F to monitor new files creation inside the selected folder.

On the actions panel (3):
Check "Execute a program or batch file"
Browse and select the batch file you just created (MoveFile.bat), this will launch the batch file you created whenever a new file will be created.

Check "Add changed object as argument"

From the arguments drop list select and check the first entry "file create - file name", now the new created file will be represented as %1 in the batch file.

Start the monitor (4).

Now, when a new file will be created inside you destination folder, W4F will catch the event and will execute the batch file which will execute a move command and will move the new created file (%1) to the destination folder as pointed in the batch file (c:\DestinationFolder).

I hope this helps you.

Z

Mac25_de said...

Hey, just downloaded your prog. Works fine, but I am looking for a possibility to create an event if a certain number of files in a folder is reached. (No matter waht size). Is this possible?

Regards

Zvika said...

Hi Mac25_de,

I think you sent me today a mail about that, I sent you a replay.
Is it you ?

Regards,
Z

Anonymous said...

W4F 2.3
I create a test folder containing two files:
D:\test\test.txt
D:\test\a\a.txt
I start monitoring D:\test with "sub folders" checked. All events are o.k. despite changing content of d:\test\a\a.txt. This doesn't trigger any action.
Is it a feature or a bug?

Zvika said...

What OS are you using ?
Did you run W4F as administrator ?
Try this fixed version:
http://www.mediafire.com/?erd5b9yrbokmybq

Anonymous said...

Dear Zvika

I am on WinXp Pro. I tried modified version with no visible difference. When I run as admin, I get no notifications at all regarding subfolders (even those that worked before).

m.

Zvika said...

Did it work for some subfolders only ???

Anonymous said...

I created one folder (test) and one subfolder (a) only. Version run as admin didn't show any notifications. Version (standard and modified) run normally don't show file content change for subfolder.

m.

Zvika said...

Can you save the settings and send me the saved ini file.

Anonymous said...

Zvika, this is the file content:
http://pastebin.com/Xri2RL2X

m.

Maik said...

Hi,
is there a option to log the (network)user, who made the changes?
Maik

Zvika said...

No...

Zvika said...

Hi,

I test your settings file with 5 different computers, and it works fine with sub folders.

Z.

Anonymous said...

It's a pity. I tested it on two computers - @work (XP Pro SP3) and @home (Windows 7 Pro). The same on both.
When I change the content of the file in a subfolder to the monitored one, It doesn't trigger any event.

m.

Zvika said...

Sorry, but I can't simulate the problem.

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone,
i try to monitor a network folder but it doesn't work; is there a possibility to do it? Thanks.
ROberto

Zvika said...

No, you can't monitor a network folder

Tom Gottschalk said...

Is an event fired instantly or after the operation has been finished?

I want to watch a folder for new incoming files and then need to rename and move them to another location.

I cannot rename or move the file(s) if they are still written (e.g. create file event). It would be neccessary to fire the created event after the file has been written completely.

How does W4F act?

Zvika said...

Hi Tom,

W4F events are triggered by a message from the OS, I believe Windows is sending the message when the process ends, not sure.

Z.

Tom Gottschalk said...

Yes, you're right, I've tested it. The event is fired instantly so it is *not* possible to work with these files, e.g. to rename or move them or open them in another application (for example: I want to re-encode video files, the encoder cannot read the file if it is very large and still written).

Hum, any ideas on this?

I just found: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/10982104/wait-until-file-is-completely-written

Maybe you like to implement such a feature (a new event, e.g. 'OnCreateUnlock') in the future?

Also see here the 'WaitForFile' command: http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/netfxbcl/thread/5695490c-a644-48a3-be2b-cfb762cf4765/

Zvika said...

Thanks Tom,
It is a great idea for the next version.
I think I will use something like in the first link, I don't write in C# but I get the concept and I think can implement a similar procedure.
I'm going to check it soon.

Thanks,
Z.

shineofleo said...

Hi Zvika,

This is really a great small program! Thank you very much!

I just have a question about the %1 argument usage. I want to process the new file, then save it as another file, e.g. in another folder with the same name, or the original name + 'new'.

So there is some operation on the strings of %1, but currently I don't think it is possible?

Of course, other language can do it, but I want to keep it simple and that's the reason I think your program is great!

Any feedback is appreciated. I am using .bat as the basic format. Thanks!


Leon

Zvika said...

Hi Leon,

I'm not sure I understand your question.
You can use the %1 in your batch file.
WF4 was never tested by me on Win8.
A new version is on the way, it will solve your other issues.

Z.

Anonymous said...

Hi I have a question, is the paid version of W4F able to also identify what user modifies/delete/create a file?

Thank you in advance and congratulations for the program, it's very neat.

Zvika said...

No...

Anonymous said...

I'm using W4F 2.5 free version. It seems that my settings will not be saved. I start W4F from command line with parameters but it opens with the sample settings. what should I do ?

Zvika said...

Send me your command line example