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[Outdated] Google Chrome Portable Now With Auto-Downloading Action and Wrist Laser! (Update 0.4.154.29)

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The MAZZTer
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[Outdated] Google Chrome Portable Now With Auto-Downloading Action and Wrist Laser! (Update 0.4.154.29)

That last bit is a lie, sorry.

But it really does download Chrome from Google's servers so you don't have to have a local install. Smile

NOTE: This topic contains out of date information that should not be followed. Please check the new(er) topic instead: https://portableapps.com/node/17360

[Edit: Updated to download 0.4.154.23, which has a fix for a bug which causes frequent crashing for some users.]

[Edit 2: Fixed bug where copying a local install wouldn't work.]

[Edit 3: Updated to download 0.4.154.25, a beta-channel release. Also a note: I just noticed recent releases of Chrome include no spell check dictionaries. Instead they are downloaded on-demand as needed... I could try and make the installer download 'em too but maybe some other time. Chrome will only download 'em once anyway (well, the English dictionary appears to have had one update, so possibly once every update).]

[Edit 4: Updated to 0.4.154.29 to fix a security vulnerability in Google Gears. Also plugins will be preserved when you update an existing Google Chrome Portable installation.]

Downside is, based on how Google organizes their downloads, I had to link it to a specific version. But, I kept the local-copy option in so you can do a local install of newer versions and then copy it with my installer automatically.

Also by default, now when running Google Chrome Portable, your profile will be copied to the local computer temporarily, and copied back (unless running from a CD or DVD) when it closes (sans Cache). You can disable this functionality by creating a GoogleChromePortable.ini file in the same directory as GoogleChromePortable.exe and putting the following in it:

[GoogleChromePortable]
Google ChromeDirectory=App\Chrome
ProfileDirectory=Data\profile
SettingsDirectory=Data\settings
Google ChromeExecutable=chrome.exe
RunLocally=false

I also fixed several smaller bugs... now it uses the proper Chromium icon, fixed the appinfo.ini having just plain wrong information in it, and fixed several straggler registry keys that Chrome used to add itself to the "Open With" menu for HTML and HTM files.

Here's the download:
http://downloads.mzzt.net/GoogleChromePortable.paf.exe

Let me know if you run into any problems, I tried to test it as thoroughly as I could.

Bruce Pascoe
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Does this incorporate my changes to copy the profile to temp while running, also? Because without that, Chrome is just plain unusable from flash memory. Sad

Edit: Nevermind, it does. I missed it the first time around. Blum

Edit 2: I still have to wonder why you're using a Chromium icon, though... this is Google Chrome, not Chromium. The icons should match.

The MAZZTer
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Because I'm not sure if the

Because I'm not sure if the Chrome icon itself is open source. Chrome is not to be redistributed while Chromium can be. The Chrome icon is a part of Chrome... so...

The Chrome icon IS in the Chromium sources though, right next to the Chromium icon. Which leaves me a bit confused and eager to avoid making a mistake.

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Bruce Pascoe
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Umm

But you're already redistributing Chrome. Wink

Also, quick question: Your installer is downloading 0.4.154.22. My locally installed Chrome is version 0.3.154.9... and says it's up to date! Is 0.4.154.22 not officially released yet?

The MAZZTer
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No I'm not, I'm

No I'm not, I'm redistributing an installer/launcher which doesn't bundle Chrome with it, but downloads the official Google installer and extracts it. I think that's OK.

0.4.154.22 is on the "dev" update channel. By default Chrome only listens to the "beta" update channel. "dev" updates aren't as stable supposedly (though it's been fine for me). They're not like Firefox's nightlies, they release less frequently and are more stable than that. More like Songbird's "Blessed Nightlies" if you've been following Songbird's development.

More details on the "dev" channel, including how to update using it: http://dev.chromium.org/getting-involved/dev-channel

Side note: Don't update Google Chrome Portable using Google Chrome's built-in feature... it'll break the portable launcher. I might look into working around this limitation in a future update.

I suppose next time I update the installer I should use the latest "beta" channel update instead of the "dev" one.

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Bruce Pascoe
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The built-in updater doesn't work with Chrome Portable, anyway. It says "Update server not available", presumably because the relevant GoogleUpdate.exe isn't running.

The MAZZTer
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Actually a local Chrome will

Actually a local Chrome will START GoogleUpdate. Oddly my portable version doesn't seem to, even when a local Chrome is installed. Odd. Though it works out.

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Bruce Pascoe
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I can't compile the launcher

I can't compile the launcher with NSIS Portable 2.38... I get an error on newadvsplash::wait:

"Invalid command: newadvsplash::wait"

Zach Thibeau
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That's because he's using the

That's because he's using the old newadvsplash plugin he needs to update the plugin and use this line instead or Bruce if you want to do it your self so you can recompile it without waiting you can replace it yourself Smile

newadvsplash::stop /wait

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

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All right. All I want to do is replace the icon (resource hacking the icon in breaks the launcher...), so it was a bit discouraging when that error came up. And I'm not familiar with the newadvsplash plugin, so I didn't know what to do. Thanks. Biggrin

Zach Thibeau
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no problem Bruce :)

no problem Bruce Smile

your friendly neighbourhood moderator Zach Thibeau

The MAZZTer
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That line should be commented

That line should be commented out, I'll fix it next release.

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lazfsh
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Looking forward to your next release! Questions though

Where do I put the flash files to make it run flash w/o using the official installer?

The MAZZTer
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App\Chrome\Plugins should

App\Chrome\Plugins should work (you'll have to create the folder).

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Bruce Pascoe
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Bug

I wanted to reinstall and copy my local Chrome, since the development version has an annoying bug where it creates duplicate speed-dial entries.

Unfortunately, copying the local Chrome didn't work... it blasted through the installation in two seconds, and when I checked the App\Chrome folder, instead of a folder named with the version number, there's an empty folder called "1". Similarly, Data\settings\version.txt has just "1" in it rather than the version number...

Not sure what's going on here.

The MAZZTer
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My installer gets the version

My installer gets the version number of the installed Chrome... and thus the folder name to copy... from HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Google\Update\Clients\{8A69D345-D564-463c-AFF1-A69D9E530F96}\pv

What is the value of this string for you? It sounds like it's 1 for you, but that is invalid (and would cause a local Chrome to fail to run!)

Edit: Argh, it just did it for me too, lemme check it out.

Edit: Stupid bug... Try redownloading the installer and it should work now. >_>

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fatcerberus1
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Thanks, it's working now. Smile

The MAZZTer
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Updated the installer to use

Updated the installer to use the new beta-channel 0.4 release released today.

Also noticed an odd peculiarity with Chrome that wasn't present way back in 0.2 when I first made the installer (not sure when it was added) that you may want to be aware of... see my edit up top for more details.

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Bruce Pascoe
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New version

Chrome 0.4 is out. Think you could update your installer, MAZZTer? If not, how would I go about updating Chrome myself?

I mean, I could have it recopy my local Chrome (which I just updated), but does your installer support in-place upgrades? I don't want to lose my bookmarks and stuff...

Edit: Nevermind, I see you already updated it. But the question about in-place upgrades still stands.

The MAZZTer
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Right now in-place upgrades

Right now in-place upgrades are only possible using my installer... the Chrome updater would break it, since my launcher expects the version to remain the same (I may figure out a way to fix this limitation in the future). My installer will wipe the App\Chrome folder and replace it with the new Chrome. Basically you'll have to re-copy any plugins or dictionaries you want (or let Chrome redownload dictionaries on-demand).

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Bruce Pascoe
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:)

All right, that's good to know. I only have one plugin (Flash), and I can just copy that from Windows\system32 again, so no big deal. I don't care if it has to download the dictionaries again--I can live without spell-check until it does. Smile

The MAZZTer
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Bump

Google released a new version of Chrome which includes a security fix for Gears. I have updated my installer to use it and I recommend users of *.154.25 upgrade immediately.

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Bruce Pascoe
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Bug?

I noticed an issue today. My local Chrome apparently updated itself, but since my portable Chrome was out of date, the versions are different. And it seems you can't run a local copy of Chrome alongside a portable copy if the versions are different... the local one will fail to start if Chrome Portable is running.

This doesn't happen if the versions match...

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This is a known issue that

This is a known issue that cannot be fixed. If you wish to run both a portable and local Chrome at once they must be the same version. Chrome uses a registry key to figure out which version it is, which determines where it loads its files from. My launcher temporarily replaces this key with the Portable Chrome version number, and then sets it back when you close Portable Chrome.

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mryandao
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Bookmarks

does the bookmark stays?
mine doesnt

The MAZZTer
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I'm not sure exactly what you

I'm not sure exactly what you mean.

Bookmarks will be copied from a local Google Chrome install to your portable Google Chrome only if you check the option to copy your profile in my installer.

The Google Chrome launcher copies your profile, Bookmarks included, to the local hard drive for faster access while running Google Chrome Portable. When you close the last window, the profile (including bookmarks) should be copied back. This may take a few seconds.

If you are having a problem with one of these features, please describe the steps you are performing, and what ends up happening.

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Bruce Pascoe
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I'm thinking maybe the launcher should show a "Please wait while shutting down" type notice while copying the profile back to the drive, to prevent launching it again too soon, since that's one thing that can cause data loss. I've done that before--enough that I've trained myself to watch Task Manager now.

It doesn't need one for startup, since it's pretty quick copying the profile /to/ the hard drive, but I've found that copying it back can sometimes take up to two minutes on a slow drive (like my 16GB Cruzer). The Chrome profile gets pretty big after a while.

The MAZZTer
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I should probably do some

I should probably do some tests... just running the profile off of a flash drive might prove faster or at least less annoying than the occasional bump when making a bookmark or adding a site to the history. I may switch the default option to running it off the drive, and allowing the INI file to change that behavior to copying the profile locally for those who want that behavior.

Right now if you launch a second instance of Chrome Portable it just launches a new browser window and closes. I may have the first launcher make or delete a special temp file when it's cleaning up the profile so subsequent launchers know to wait.

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Bruce Pascoe
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I actually found that it's not the history/bookmarks that slow it down--it's the phishing filter ("Safe Browsing" files). Seems Chrome is constantly rewriting that file (even while it's idle), so eventually it slows down to halt when the file gets big enough. I did a test, running the profile from the drive, and when I turned off the phishing filter Chrome was usable again.

Of course, that test was done a while back with a relatively clean profile. The situation may have changed now that I have 10+ MB History Index files... does Chrome ever delete old history?

The MAZZTer
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Chrome likely downloads that

Chrome likely downloads that file in the background. Or do you really mean it's rewriting it from scratch all the time?

You can try forcing it to read-only to see if that helps.

Chrome doesn't seem to have any preferences relating to deleting old history. I dunno if it does it at all, but if it does it won't be often. The more data it has the better autocomplete results the omnibar can give.

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Bruce Pascoe
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Yeah, I think it does

Yeah, I think it does download it in the background, but during my test I noticed that the file started out growing pretty quickly, then as it got bigger the growth rate slowed down and the light on my drive started flashing more. I suspect it's some sort of inefficient database format and every time it downloads a piece, it's rewriting the whole thing...

I'll turn the malware filter off if I have no other choice, but I'd really prefer not to. I've never stumbled into a site that triggered the filter, but there's always that chance and I like to be safe.

Bruce Pascoe
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Yay!

Chrome has reached 1.0! Let's see if your installer will copy a local version...

Edit: It worked!

The MAZZTer
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I also updated it to download

I also updated it to download 1.0 or the latest dev 0.4 (although the dev has an older version number, the only differences are it includes a hotmail fix 1.0 lacks because it hasn't been sufficiently tested.

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Bruce Pascoe
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Found a bug

When clearing browsing data, files in the profile directory may be deleted (the History Index files, for example). However, when the launcher copies the profile back to the drive, it doesn't delete the stale files. I didn't do enough testing to find out if this would cause future problems, but I'd imagine it might.

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Thanks, I'll fix that in the

Thanks, I'll fix that in the next release.

[Edit: Fix is uploaded!]

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Bruce Pascoe
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I think you got a little overzealous... you fixed the stale file issue... but you added some new issues. When copying the profile back, you're now excluding not only the cache, but also the thumbnails and Safe Browsing files.

I don't care about the Safe Browsing files as long as the phishing filter still works correctly (it does, right?), but excluding the thumbnails meant that I also lost all my favicons. I was NOT expecting that, and needless to say I wasn't a happy camper. And the thumbnails themselves are pretty important too, in a browser where the speed-dial list is automatically managed.

For now I'll recompile the launcher so it doesn't exclude the thumbnails, but I await a proper fix.

The MAZZTer
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I excluded the thumbnails on

I excluded the thumbnails on purpose... I didn't know it contained the favicons, but it generates a thumbnail for every. page. you. visit. (Used in history search.) On my local profile this file is 150mb in size (history files are bigger though).

Also I use the same file filter for the initial copying of the local profile on install as well as the running copying of files back and forth. Not copying the browsing filter made sense then... I'll put it back in, as well as the thumbnails for now, in both the local profile copy on install and the launcher copying. New version is uploaded now.

Oh, and this isn't a new issue, it was like this since I made it copy the files back and forth (just you probably didn't notice it since any Thumbnails file in data\profile would always be copied out, just never copied back).

Maybe I'll put a "bookmarks only" profile copy option in my installer in the future for a cleaner, smaller profile copy.

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Bruce Pascoe
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The thumbnails are also used for Speed Dial, which in Chrome is automatically generated based on your browsing habits. Since it can change at any time, it makes sense to keep a thumbnail for each page.

In any case, I missed the thumbnails when they were gone, but I missed my favicons more. Smile I rarely read the titles in my bookmarks menu anymore; I just look for the right icon.

Bruce Pascoe
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Feature request for installer:

Preserve plugins when upgrading.

Currently, the installer deletes basically the whole App folder before installing the new version, so I have to copy my plugins out and then back in when it's done. Having it automatically do this would save my a lot of headaches. Smile

The MAZZTer
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Currently, the installer DOES

Currently, the installer DOES preserve your plugins on upgrade. I recall testing it quite thoroughly.

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Bruce Pascoe
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Odd

Weird, it never has for me. Am I putting them in the right place? I have them in App\Chrome\[version]\Plugins...

The MAZZTer
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Nope. Plugins go in

Nope. Plugins go in App\Chrome\Plugins, as the [version] folder is wiped every time Chrome upgrades itself (on a local install).

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Bruce Pascoe
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Quick note about "exclude" xcopy switch

Be careful with this switch--the fact that you're excluding "Cache" during profile copy means that any file whose full path contains "Cache" will be excluded--including files unrelated to the actual browser cache. Right now it's not a problem, but it could be if they add something like, say, "History Cache" or something. A better move would be to exclude "\Cache\"--this would narrow it down to only files in the Cache directory (which is the intent anyway).

To test this, I added "Safe Browsing" to exclude3.txt, and all of the Safe Browsing files were excluded: both "Safe Browsing" and "Safe Browsing Filter".

I know this isn't the best place to bring this up, but the PAc forums don't have Private Messaging, so...

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Oh. That sucks. I assumed

Oh. That sucks. I assumed wildcards would work. Well I can't add a front slash to some of those since I don't want an empty directory copied, but I'll add a backslash as well as some extra path data to some of my exclude entries.

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Bruce Pascoe
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As long as you don't use /E, it shouldn't copy empty directories.

But yeah, the /EXCLUDE behavior is really weird. No clue why they implemented it that way.

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But they aren't empty, they

But they aren't empty, they have files in them... I'm just excluding the files. Blum

At least, I imagine it would create the empty directories. I should probably test that though. Blum

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Personally, I'd save myself the hassle and just delete the files and directories I didn't want, then copy over the whole folder. At least I could be sure of what I was excluding that way. Smile

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I guess I should do that.

I guess I should do that. The xcopy exclude stuff made sense when copying directly from the application directory to the portable drive, but it doesn't do that any more.

I could just exclude the big files (Installer\chrome.7z) and get rid of the directories by hand.

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Bruce Pascoe
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Not good!

If the system crashes or Windows restarts before quitting Chrome Portable, the profile is not copied back... which with the new behavior, means you lose your profile! Thankfully I had a day-old backup of my flash drive, so I was able to recover everything...

It took me a while to figure out what happened, but then I remembered that Windows Update asked me to restart earlier and I did... but I still had Chrome running, leading to the issue described above.

I understand the behavior was changed to solve the stale-files issue... but losing my profile is worse. Sad I'm sure you'd agree.

By the way, how do you enable running the profile directly from the drive? I'd like to try that again and see if the experience has improved any with the new versions...

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The INI file is in my initial post.

The INI file is in my initial post. I think I'll make using the profile in-place the default in the next version (whenever that will be) with the INI option allowing you to switch copying the profile on.

I'll look into also making those extra INI lines optional (it's a bug, but not my bug >_>).

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All right, I have it set to run in-place right now. So far so good, but let's see what happens.

Edit: Okay, no performance issues so far (it does seem to be writing to my drive a lot though...), but when running in-place, it wipes the profile on exit! I assume this is a side-effect of the changes for running locally...

The MAZZTer
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StrCmp $RUNLOCALLY "true" ""

StrCmp $RUNLOCALLY "true" "" CheckIfRemoveLocalFiles

CheckIfRemoveLocalFiles:

Oops. :downs:

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Bruce Pascoe
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The launcher source is a mess. With all the stuff commented out (it's a modified Firefox launcher, from the looks of things) and jumpy logic, it's quite hard to follow. NSIS really isn't suitable for this task, but what can you do? Seems NSIS is the standard for PAF launchers... Sad

In any case, I managed to fix the bug by uncommenting RemoveLocalFiles2: and then adding:
StrCmp $RUNLOCALLY "true" "" RemoveLocalFiles2
...at the top of RemoveLocalFiles:.

The MAZZTer
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I just rewrote the INI stuff

I just rewrote the INI stuff into functions. Much nicer now. Should fix a few ini handling bugs too.

You did the same fix I did. Blum Gonna continue rewriting bits of the launcher until it's more readable, to prevent more bugs like that. Should do the same with the installer bits too.

[Edit: Rewrote a bit of it and found a limitation to my local profile copy... it doesn't work (I could fix it maybe but I'm not sure how to... would need some winapi calls to figure out if a running process' full path matches ours or not... right now it just looks at the filename) when a local chrome is running when you launch portable apps chrome. Another reason to disable it by default. Smile

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Bruce Pascoe
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Ah ha, so that's why I keep losing my portable profile! It used to work fine for me, though, even when running local Chrome... don't know why it stopped working in the newer releases. What have you changed regarding profile copy since it was implemented?

In any case, I switched off RunLocally (well actually I just recompiled the launcher to make "false" the default, since I don't like putting an INI file into the mix), and it seems to be performing admirably, even while downloading a big file with FrostWire in the background. Looks like it's improved since 0.3.

I guess go right ahead and make in-place the default. I won't object. Smile

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Actually it's a limitation in

Actually it's a limitation in John's original code. If the launcher is set to copy the app/profile locally (via RunLocally or if run from a CD) but the app is already running (checking just the process name) then it will fail... or, if AllowMultipleInstances is true, it will assume the other process is an already running portable version and will skip the profile copy and cleanup.

For Firefox (which is the launcher I based mine off of) this is reasonable because Firefox does not support multiple instances anyway. If you force the launcher to support it then it would just launch firefox.exe, which would see the existing Firefox process and open a new window in THAT and quit.

Instead of checking for chrome.exe I could check for GoogleChromePortable.exe but the proc finder used in the code now wouldn't work since it would always return true! Still would need the API calls anyway.

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Workaround

I think I found a way around the local/portable conflict. When determining whether to clean up or not, check for the existence of History-journal in the profile directory. Chrome always seems to create this when it starts, and the journals all get deleted when it closes down.

Of course, if by some chance Chrome crashes, the journals might not be deleted and then we're back to square one. So instead I would suggest making a stub launcher whose only purpose is to launch chrome.exe (via ExecWait) along with any arguments passed to the stub. When chrome.exe terminates, so will the stub. Then, in the main launcher, just test against the stub rather than chrome.exe.

The MAZZTer
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I've already rewritten the

I've already rewritten the launcher to use a different plugin to check for processes (the current one used can't tell me if more than one of a process is running), and it checks for another running launcher to determine if Google Chrome Portable is already running.

I'm gonna release it in a new post, this one has too many edits. Blum

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jimmie48
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I installed this software and started it and everything was there: bookmarks, history, and more. But the second time I opened it everything was gone.

Bruce Pascoe
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Yep

It's a bug. Read the conversation above to find out why this happens. You'll have to wait until the author releases a new version to fix the issue.

Phantom Logic
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aww i wanted a wrist laser

aww i wanted a wrist laser Cry

nice app though Wink

Bruce Pascoe
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...

This isn't the latest release, by the way. It has major bugs. You'll want to get the newest version in this thread:
https://portableapps.com/node/17360

The MAZZTer
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Actually I upload newer

Actually I upload newer versions over the older ones >_> so he's still good, but the info in the thread post is out of date. I've updated it with a notice about the new thread. Smile

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