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).