I am trying to take old cluttered hard drives and upload them onto a SharePoint site that is easily searchable for others in the company. Is there a way I can do something in SharePoint that would allow me to upload a document in to a library and have it automatically populate columns with metadata from the file like dates, titles, author, etc. I'm also wondering if there is a way i can automatically generate tags for these docs to make them easier to find?
You can upload documents in SharePoint. While uploading, it would take few metadata automatically, name, created date and created by as person uploading it. Depending on the version of SharePoint you are using, we are write a utility to make changes to metadata. Additionally, the utility(powershell) could also be used to tag documents initially.
First of all: smart move to consolidate the data into a single environment.
You have several options: a. Use the OOTB "Open with Explorer" (using IE) or the SharePoint Online Modern view to upload complete folder structures. You end up with new creation/modification dates and the metadata can only be extracted from Office files.
d. Use 3rd party apps that provide metadata extraction capabilities (e.g. http://www.slimapplications.com/product/explorer/) The apps provide functionality to extract metadata from various types (Office, emails, PDFs, images, audio files, video files, ...) during uploading. e. Use ODFB sync client Though it allows uploading of files it does not support metadata.