Latest Dropbox Incompatibility

Since the recent Dropbox versions (first observed on v72.4.136), DropboxPortableAHK is not compatible with Dropbox anymore. It looks like Dropbox changed some of the internal data structures that DropboxPortableAHK modifies to set the Dropbox path and I could not figure out a way around this, yet.

I want to use this unfortunate event to talk a bit about the future of DropboxPortableAHK. As most of you already noticed, active development stopped in 2017 and even then the changes were very infrequent and only consisted of a few bug fixes. I haven’t used DropboxPortableAHK myself for years, because I’m only using two computers that I have full control over and simply used the regular Dropbox app to sync between those. Actually, since Dropbox started to block ‘uncommon’ (in their view) file systems (like btrfs) without good reasons, I don’t use the official Dropbox application anymore at all and mostly work on one machine now.

As far as other users of DropboxPortableAHK go: I don’t really have much statistics for that. The only stats I have are the download statistics on the website and from the auto-update. As one would expect, those are also declining since months. As I don’t use the software anymore and the users seem to lose interest as well, I’m wondering if it’s worth it to continue working on DropboxPortableAHK. I just don’t have as much time as I did years ago when I started DropboxPortableAHK in school.

I know there are some passionate users left out there, and some of them even donated to this project. I’m really sorry that I could not provide a quick update for this issue, yet. I will try to find a solution to make the current Dropbox versions compatible again, but don’t expect something in the next days, it might very well take a few weeks.

If you still use DropboxPortableAHK, it would be great if you leave a comment to describe why and how you use it. It always motivates me when I read how my software helps people in their day-to-day life :)

EDIT: Good news everyone! I finally figured out a way to make DropboxPortableAHK work again with the latest version of Dropbox. There are a few issues left that I’d like to work on during the next days, but things are looking good for a new version coming out soon.

Dropbox File System Incompatibility

Since a few days, Dropbox requires its syncing folder to be on a compatible file system, which at the moment is only NTFS on Windows. If you are using DropboxPortableAHK on an internal hard drive, it is most likely already formatted as NTFS and everything works fine.

However, some USB thumb drives are formatted as FAT32 or exFAT. If you use DropboxPortableAHK on such a drive, Dropbox will display the following error:
Dropbox Unsupported File System Error

This issue is also mentioned in the Dropbox Help and raised hundreds of complaints in their own forums. Unfortunately, it looks like Dropbox will not change this behavior, so the only way to keep using DropboxPortableAHK on your thumb drive is to make sure it is formatted as NTFS. Please make a copy of all your data on the thumb drive before formatting it, because formatting will erase all data. Please check out the Microsoft documentation for more information about formatting a drive.

In case you regularly use DropboxPortableAHK and it makes your life easier, please consider a donation.

Status Update

Hey people. It has been a long time since I have written my last blog post or user group message. Since then, I moved to another city and things were a bit hectic.
Unfortunately, Dropbox updated its software again and DropboxPortableAHK was broken for a few weeks now. I am very sorry that I could not provide an update and was also not reachable via the website or email, since I did not have my development machine with me until now.

Thanks to the community members there were some great instructions over at the user group that allowed you guys to continue using DropboxPortbleAHK while it was broken. My thanks go especially to Henk van den Akker, Xavier Geoffret, Alfonso Arciniega, and Juraj Frankovsk√Ĺ, who all contributed to the instructions and continued to point others in the right direction.

I just published the latest Dropbox version (v48.4.58) to bring DropboxPortableAHK back from the dead and I am determined to provide faster updates in the future. Since nothing big has changed for DropboxPortableAHK in the last versions of Dropbox, I am even thinking of making the updates fully automatic. I will also set up the website mail accounts on my phone so that I can at least respond to requests in a timely fashion, even if I do not have my computer with me.

When DropboxPortableAHK works fine I always wonder if people actually still use it, because everything is so quiet. But when it broke a few weeks ago, it became noticeable that there are still quite a few users around (the user group received many messages and my inbox has a couple hundred messages that I go through now), some have been here since many years.
I don’t know why, but Google deactivated my AdSense account, which prevents me from making money from advertisements on this site. Please consider a donation if you use DropboxPortableAHK on a regular basis. If you’re an active user, also please comment here, at the user group, or drop me an email to let me know how DropboxPortableAHK helps you. It always makes me happy to see that my software is of value to others.

Sorry again for my long absence and for letting all of you down :(

EDIT: For clarity, the latest version is still v1.6.8.15 and can be downloaded from: DropboxPortableAHK v1.6.8.15. If you already have this version, you don’t have to download it again. Simply start DropboxPortableAHK.exe and it will offer to download the latest Dropbox version for you.

Beta v1.6.8.15

Beta version v1.6.8.15 brings support for Dropbox versions greater than 28.4.14. Also, the DropboxPortableAHK version gets displayed in the setup screen and the tray icon tooltip.

As alsways, 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 v1.6.8.14

The next beta version has arrived: v1.6.8.14 fixes SyncAndGo on Windows 10 and brings SyncAndGo support for all currently available languages in the Dropbox client, which adds support for users who have their Dropbox set to Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish, Ukrainian or Thai.

As alsways, 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 v1.6.8.13

A new version of DropboxPortableAHK was just released! There are a couple of important changes in this version:

  • SyncAndGo handling was rewritten. Command line parameters do now always override the stored settings. Use the ‘-syncandgo’ command line parameter to enable, use ‘-no-syncandgo’ to disable the feature. Hold down the Ctrl-Key during startup to toggle the SyncAndGo state. Whenever SyncAndGo is active, it will show a notification.
  • Encryption key validation of the Dropbox database was changed. Hopefully, this will fix the issue that the completion of the Dropbox setup was sometimes not detected.
  • Another setup change: after running the setup, a reindex of the Dropbox folder is forced. This should prevent Dropbox from thinking the Dropbox folder got purged and thus prevent it from deleting all files in their webinterface as well.
  • USB Autorun was removed. This feature only worked on Operating Systems prior to Windows 7 and since Dropbox removed support for Windows XP, there is no need for this anymore.

Also, the latest Dropbox version 20.4.19 is now supported.

If DropboxPortableAHK makes your life easier, please consider a donation or leave a comment. Any feedback is greatly appreciated :)

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 v1.6.8.12

The last version had an issue when you came from on old setup of DropboxPortableAHK. The application did just crash with an empty error message without any further information. Unfortunately, this also broke the auto update.
Users of v1.6.8.11 can either:

  • download the latest version manually and replace the old DropboxPortableAHK.exe with the new one (recommended), or
  • delete the DropboxPortableAHK\.dbfiles\profile\AppData\Local\Dropbox file manually (which fixes the empty error message and allows the auto update to work)

Hopefully, the current version works fine again :)

Here is a copy of the announcement of the last version since they are still valid:

The new beta version makes DropboxPortableAHK usable again with the latest Dropbox version (9.4.49) :)

It is not possible to run multiple Dropbox instances simultaneously, yet. This includes the regular Dropbox client. To sync multiple instances, you can simply start them one after another and shut them down again when they finished syncing.
This can easily be automated with DropboxPortableAHK’s SyncAndGo feature.

If DropboxPortableAHK makes your life easier, please consider a donation or leave a comment. Any feedback is greatly appreciated :)

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 v1.6.8.11

EDIT: Please go straight to Beta v1.6.8.12, this one is broken!

The new beta version makes DropboxPortableAHK usable again with the latest Dropbox version (9.4.49) :)

It is not possible to run multiple Dropbox instances simultaneously, yet. This includes the regular Dropbox client. To sync multiple instances, you can simply start them one after another and shut them down again when they finished syncing.
This can easily be automated with DropboxPortableAHK’s SyncAndGo feature.

If DropboxPortableAHK makes your life easier, please consider a donation or leave a comment. Any feedback is greatly appreciated :)

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 blocks multiple instances

I’ve been working on a new DropboxPortableAHK version for the past days and it looks like Dropbox now actively fights multiple instance running at the same time. I did not find a way to go around this, so I thought I’d just reach out to you and ask how you primarily use DropboxPortableAHK.

Please select an answer from the poll below.

What do you use DropboxPortableAHK for?

View Results

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I hope to get a few votes during the next days to further decide about how to tackle this.

Beta v1.6.8.10

The latest beta brings full support for the current Dropbox version 3.16.1.
Sorry for not getting this ready until Dropbox blocked the last beta :(

As usual, DropboxPortableAHK will check for the latest version on startup and auto updates the setup.

Full changelog:

1.6.8.10 beta (25.03.2016):
+support Dropbox 3.16.1
#improve Dropbox being closed detection
#unregistering Dropbox context menu

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