Beta v1.6.8.8

There is a new beta version available that fixes an issue with SyncAndGo not exiting correctly and has full support for the latest Dropbox version, which is v3.8.8 at the moment.

Please check out the user group for more information, the download link, and to report any issues: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dropboxportableahk

Beta v1.6.8.7

The new beta version fixes the Dropbox update prevention again and improves the fault tolerance during the initial Dropbox setup.

Please check out the user group for more information, the download link, and to report any issues: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dropboxportableahk

Beta v1.6.8.6

There was a little issue in v1.6.8.5 beta that prevented the Dropbox update prevention to work if there has already been an update of Dropbox in the past.
The new v1.6.8.6 beta solves this issue.

Please check out the user group for more information, the download link, and to report any issues: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dropboxportableahk

Beta v1.6.8.5

As promised last week, here it is: the latest beta version v1.6.8.5 :)

Please check out the user group for more information, the download link, and to report any issues: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dropboxportableahk

Current Status and Possible Future

Wow, it has been some time since the last blog post :)

The latest Beta version (v1.6.8.4) was released in August 2014 and works quite well for most people. There are a few hickups here and there, but most of the time, it works fine.
DropboxPortableAHK currently supports the latest version provided by Dropbox and I am confident to keep things working for the next versions as well.
However, the update prevention system does not work anymore, because the latest Dropbox versions changed the way the update file gets downloaded, which makes it impossible for DropboxPortableAHK to block it.

In my current development version, I have thus added a new update prevention, which worked without issues for the past days. It has one issue, though.
Dropbox downloads the update file – which might take a bit depending on your connection speed (~50 MB) – and afterwards enters the update state. This means that the Dropbox tray icon just displays ‘upgrading Dropbox’ and offers no way of indicating the current synchronization status.
At least, syncing continues, so you won’t really loose important time that could be used to sync your files. After 15 minutes, the tray icon switches back to normal operation again and shows your current sync status. The update itself is completely blocked by DropboxPortableAHK, so you will stay on whatever version DropboxPortableAHK offers.

I will release a new beta version of DropboxPortableAHK with the new update prevention enabled during the next week.
If nothing breaks, I will release this beta version as new stable version in about two weeks :)

Beta v1.6.8.4

There is a new beta version available that works with Dropbox version 2.10.29 again :)

Please check out the user group for more information, the download link, and to report any issues: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dropboxportableahk

Dropbox retiring old versions

Dropbox started to update old versions more aggressively and now blocks all old versions during the setup:
Dropbox Setup old version error

I am working on a solution to support the latest available Dropbox version and will post a new public beta version as soon as I am done :)

Beta v1.6.8.2

I think it is time to release the current beta version to the public.

There are still a couple of issues though:

  • After using DropboxPortableAHK on a machine that has a regular Dropbox version installed, DropboxPortableAHK reindexes all the files in your Dropbox folder, which might take a while depending on the size of your Dropbox folder
  • Automatic download of needed Dropbox application files is not available in this beta, they are provided with the beta download
  • Desktop Icons and other Windows Explorer functions might be broken after the Dropbox setup. Restart your computer to restore the previous state. This is Dropbox’s fault, I hope it can be solved by moving to a later version of Dropbox in an upcoming version of DropboxPortableAHK

 

Please check out the user group to get access to the download and to report any issues: https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/dropboxportableahk

Recent connectivity issues

Since a few days, the Dropbox version used in DropboxPortableAHK can’t connect to the Dropbox servers and shows a red cross on its tray icon saying “Can’t establish a secure connection”.
During new setups, the Dropbox setup starts with an error saying the proxy configuration is not correct. This is the same issue.

This issue might be connected to the recently discovered Heartbleed OpenSSL bug, but without an official word from Dropbox I cannot say for sure what is going on. I have contacted the Dropbox guys and am waiting for their response which hopefully will not take too long.

It looks like all Dropbox versions after 1.1.45 still work fine, so either Dropbox decided to pull the plug on old versions or they use a different way of connecting to their servers in versions after 1.1.45.

Until I got a reply from Dropbox, there is nothing I can do about this issue, sorry. Please be patient, I will publish an update on the site as soon as I got anything from Dropbox.

Update (17.04.14):
I got a reply from Dropbox today. They said they updated their security and that’s why old Dropbox clients can not connect to their server anymore.
This was what was already suspected by many of you.
I sent them a reply for any possible solution for newer clients and hope to hear back from them soon.

Thanks for your support guys :)

Update (23.04.14):
Yesterday, I received a reply from Dropbox again. It basically says that Dropbox version 1.1.45 is dead and will never work again. Also, they will not assist me in changing the Dropbox path on newer versions.
During the next days, I will investigate if it is possible to either decrypt the Dropbox database settings and use them on another computer or repackage the Dropbox client to not use an encrypted database at all.
Anyone willing to help, feel free to do some research :)

Update (27.04.14):
Good news, everyone! I am able to set the Dropbox path on encrypted Dropbox databases. This means, we can now use the latest available Dropbox client software :)
I only did a few rough tests to confirm that it works and have not a working DropboxPortableAHK release, yet. If everything goes well, we will be back on track again next week.

Update (02.05.14):
Just a quick status update after long hours of work today ;)
I think that it should now be pretty straight forward (logic wise, not time wise) to create a working solution using a Dropbox version up to 2.4.x.
During my tests today, my 2.4.11 setup updated itself to 2.6.18 and nothing worked anymore :( So I spent the last hours trying to find the reason for that and can now say that I think I will also get it to work on versions up to 2.6.18. However, the preparation for this will require a few additional hours during the next days.

Until then, thanks for all your nice words and your donations, I appreciate every single one of them :)

Update (04.05.14):
I ran into a few issues during the last two days, which made me scream at my screen, until I finally found the reason for these today. This took longer than expected, so the new version is not quite ready, yet.
I’d rather not give an ETA, but if I had to, I’d say soon-ish ;)

Update (13.05.14):
Beta versions will be shipped, starting tomorrow evening! (huurraayyy :))
The setup process works again and Dropbox starts up just fine afterwards.
Tomorrow, I will work on making it compatible with simultaneously running instances (like a regular Dropbox version installed).

Update (14.05.14):
The beta version just went live.
I sent a mail to everyone who signed up to receive a notification in the past.

Update (15.05.14):
Please do not ask for beta invites, this is not a public beta until I resolved some issues concerning the setup, as some people get confused how to set it up.
I will contact everyone who donated since April and was not part of the beta program anyway during the next hours, they should have an opportunity to see the current version if they want to.

The beta will go public with the next version, which will probably be the day after tomorrow. Any beta version will update itself to the next stable version, once it gets released, which will hopefully happen during the next days.

Please understand that I don’t want to spread the beta too much at this point, because there are still some issues that I’d like to fix before it goes public. There are only two days left, so please be patient :)

Update (19.05.14):
I am still working on improving the first beta. During weekdays, I can barely put time into this project, so everything takes a bit longer than expected, sorry.

Update (28.05.14):
Beta version is now publicly available: Beta v1.6.8.2

Possible permanent fix for Dropbox updates

Hey guys!

I just want to let you know that I might have found a solution to the always coming back Dropbox update issue.

If you want to skip the technical explanation, just skip to the end and see, how you can help :)

Here is a quick reminder why Dropbox updates are bad for DropboxPortableAHK:
Starting with version after 1.1.45, Dropbox started to encrypt their database. This made it impossible for DropboxPortableAHK to change the Dropbox folder path.
That’s why DropboxPortableAHK tries to prevent Dropbox from updating itself no matter what, because if Dropbox succeeds to update itself it will encrypt the database on the next start and DropboxPortableAHK can not modify the Dropbox path anymore.

Then, DropboxPortableAHK will start the setup again and you basically have to start from scratch. This is obviously pretty annoying.

Over the past few weeks, I put many hours into figuring out why Dropbox might succeed to update itself on some of your machines and did never – even with the basic update prevention – on any of mine. I had no luck, I did not come up with anything.

However, I instead found a new way to possibly prevent any new Dropbox update. On startup, Dropbox looks into its database to see what the last time was when it checked for updates.
If this time is too long in the past, then it will check for updates again. So, to prevent it from even checking if there is a new version available, DropboxPortableAHK can set the “last time Dropbox checked for updates” value to a time far in the future.
This way, Dropbox always thinks it already has checked for new updates and will skip this during its execution alltogether.

But there is still the possibility of Dropbox checking for updates. This is, because Dropbox resets the value in its database on startup to 0 and thus will always check for updates the first time it connects to the server.
There is a little timeframe between Dropbox resetting its value and trying to check for updates. This is when DropboxPortableAHK needs to modify the database in order to skip the update check. To be able to do this, it is possibly best to just write to the database every few milliseconds during startup of Dropbox. After a few minutes of running, we can stop this and stop wasting CPU usage and possibly slowing down the computer if the database is on a slow media (like slow USB drives).

How can you help:
It would be great if there were a few users willing to test this version for a few weeks before I release it to the public.
The code should be safe, but as I mentioned earlier, it might slow down the computer (or just Dropbox) during startup of DropboxPortableAHK.

So, if you want to test this beta version, please send me an email through the contact page or reply as a comment providing your email address (which will be hidden from others).