Symantec Enterprise Vault File System Archiving Placeholder Conversion Tool (EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe)

Article:TECH52742  |  Created: 2009-01-19  |  Updated: 2014-09-15  |  Article URL
Article Type
Technical Solution



Symantec Enterprise Vault File System Archiving Placeholder Conversion Tool (EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe)


EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe can be used to correct the size of Symantec Enterprise Vault File System Archiving (FSA) Placeholders which appear to be of 0KB on NetApp and NTFS filesystems.
In addition, it will convert all Placeholders on an NTFS filesystem to the sparse file format.
The new /l option will allow the utility to delete and recreate legacy placeholder files in an updated format (files under 2k in size). 

Installation and pre-requisites:

On NTFS file servers, Symantec strongly recommends that this tool be run on affected file servers before upgrading to Enterprise Vault 2007, as users will still be able to recall the archived items from affected Placeholders. If it is run after the upgrade, users will not be able to recall archived items using affected Placeholders until the Placeholder has been converted.

On NetApp file servers, run the tool after upgrading to Enterprise Vault 2007. Users will still be able to recall archived items using affected Placeholders before the Placeholders are converted

This conversion tool can be run against the following versions of Symantec Enterprise Vault:

6.0 SP4 or above
7.0 or above
2007 or above

This conversion tool can either be run locally on the file server or remotely from the Enterprise Vault server.

To install the tool, copy the attached file EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe to the Enterprise Vault installation folder on the Enterprise Vault server or File server.

To uninstall the tool, remove the EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe from the Enterprise Vault installation folder.


The conversion process is run on a per share basis and should be run under the context of a user with Read and Write permissions to both the Windows share and the NTFS file structure.

Command line syntax:

EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe [/s] UNC_folder_path
/?      Show help.
/s      Update placeholders in specified folder and all sub-folders.
/l      Delete legacy placeholders and recreate them. 
/c      NetApp option only. For placeholders created before Enterprise Vault 7.0, the archived items are recalled from storage to determine the size. This may be slow but results in exact sizes. If you do not use /c then sizes are rounded to the nearest kilobyte.

For example, to process folders and sub-folders under the share \\myComputer\myShare:

EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe /s /l \\myComputer\myShare

Note:- NetApp devices are case sensitive. The folder path passed as a parameter should be in the same case as on NetApp volume/name of Qtree/CIFS share/foldername etc. If not, the sizes will not be set.

EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat /s /c \\mynetapp\mysharefolder


1 million placeholders on remote NTFS storage.

Time required to process 1 Million PHs: 503 minutes i.e. ~8.5 hrs
Time per file (milliseconds): 30.1 ms

1 million placeholders on remote NetApp storage.

Time required to process 1 Million PHs: 1908 minutes i.e ~ 32 hrs.
Time per file (milliseconds): 114.48 ms

Note: The Placeholder Conversion Tool is included in Enterprise Vault 2007 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and higher in the installation directory. (\Program Files\Enterprise Vault)


EVUpdatePlaceholderFormat.exe (96 kBytes)

Supplemental Materials


RC: Placeholders created with Enterprise Vault 6.0 SP2 and earlier appear to have zero size (0 KB) on NTFS


Placeholders created with EV7.0 and previous versions appear to be of 0 KB on NetApp

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