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FreeFileSync Portable 7.9 Dev Test 4 - Closed For Now

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John T. Haller
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FreeFileSync Portable 7.9 Dev Test 4 - Closed For Now

I've put together a development test that attempts to work around the long-standing bug in FreeFileSync 6.3 and later that renders it unable to be launched from other processes (menus, schedules, third party file managers, etc). This bug results in an error: "Cannot open file "GlobalSettings.xml". Error Code 32: The process cannot access the file because it is being used by another process. (CreateFile)" on starting the app.

This setup uses a second helper process to handle some of the file moves and break processes. Please give it a try and report back whether it works for you. Particularly if you've tried FreeFileSync 6.3 or later (the standard version without PAF) and had encountered this error on your system.

FreeFileSync Portable 7.9 Dev Test 4
Download 10MB / Installed 43MB
MD5: 6c0eae85e730ccd3c96a46f96fdcada8

Note that we're packaging FFS 7.9. The official builds of FFS 8.0 and higher can not be made portable. The app locks itself to a specific relative path in an attempt to force end users to use the bundleware installer to install and upgrade the app. This appears to be done with closed source code rendering FFS 8.0 and later binaries not open source and possibly in violation of the GPL if the project has accepted outside code under the GPL and combined it with their closed source code.

Updates
7.9 Dev Test 4 (2016-06-29): Added 1 second pause before helper launches FFS
7.9 Dev Test 3 (2016-06-27): Downgraded to 7.9 to resolve install.dat lockdown (locked to specific relative path), disabled update check
8.2 Dev Test 2 (2016-06-27): Added second process break
8.2 Dev Test 1 (2016-06-26): First public test of new method

B-52
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I'm still seeing the "Cannot

I'm still seeing the "Cannot open file GlobalSettings.xml. Error Code 32" with the 8.2 beta test1 above but it seems to occur only every few application starts now, instead of every start like it was with "FreeFileSync 6.3" on my system (Win 7 x64).

John T. Haller
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Difference direct vs platform

Is it any more likely running it directly vs rubbing it from the platform?

UPDATE: Also please try Dev Test 2 as I added a second process break.

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John T. Haller
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8.2 Dev Test 2

Added a second process break for troublesome machines.

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RogerL
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FreeFileSync - An exception occured

Running FeeFileSync Portable 8.2 Dev Test 2 (MD5 OK) on Win 7 gives:

MsgBox hdr:"FreeFileSync - An exception occured"

MsgBox txt:

"Installation files are corrupt. Please reinstall FreeFileSync."

"Consistency check failed for"
"G:\PortableApps\FreeFileSyncPortable\App\FreeFileSync\install.dat"

John T. Haller
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Ah Right, 8.x Issue

Ah right, I forgot about that. It's downgraded to 7.9 as 8.x is locked to a specific relative path so it's not portable. I had thought the developer had disabled this after the backlash from users but they apparently kept it in rendering their own portable build not portable.

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John T. Haller
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7.9 Dev Test 3 Update

I downgraded to 7.9 because 8.0 and up has a lockdown to a specific relative path. This lockdown source is not included in the FFS source code repository, so the FFS 8.x builds are all closed source freeware, not open source.

I also disabled the update check dialog.

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RogerL
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Every start is OK

7.9 Dev Test 3 starts up OK every time on my Win 7 x64 box

Kyle
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The 7.9 Dev Test 3 (2016-07

The 7.9 Dev Test 3 (2016-07-27) from above seems to run fine on my Windows 7 desktop PC! Unfortunately the error code 32 pops up about every second start on my Windows 10 laptop. The system is Windows 10 Pro, 4.00 GB RAM, 64-bit on an Intel Core i7 4510U CPU@2x2.00 GHz with the latest Windows updates. Hope this helps!

John T. Haller
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It Does, Please Try Dev Test 4

Having someone with a PC where it sometimes doesn't work is very helpful. Please try Dev Test 4 on the problematic PC.

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Kyle
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Unfortunately still no change

Unfortunately still no change with Dev Test 4 on the laptop. Also the start is now somewhat sluggish (when it works), but I guess this is expected due to the 1 second delay. Let me know if there is something else to test!

John T. Haller
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7.9 Dev Test 4

I added a pause before the helper EXE launches freefilesync.exe. Hopefully this will help with the few PCs the error still occurs on.

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Working on Windows 10

So far, 7.9 Dev Test 4 is working on my Windows 10 desktop. Launched it a dozen times so far. I'll be using it over the next couple of days and report any issues I find.

Drazick
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Great Software

Such a great program.

It's a shame the developer uses such cheap tactics.

He also updates the software in a pace which is not normal just because of that.

John T. Haller
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Closed For Now

As every attempt thusfar has failed to work on some PCs, we can't in good conscience release this as stable, so I'm going to close this test version for now. It will remain up with all source code included if anyone comes up with some additional ideas.

I'd also like to put out a call for someone to be able to compile FreeFileSync from source. This would allow us to attempt to fix the bug that the publisher seems uninterested in fixing. It would also allow us to release a proper 8.x version that is fully portable without the install.dat lock intended to force end users to use the bundleware installer. Unfortunately, no build instructions are available for the app, making building difficult.

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rozberk
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Alternative build someone did

I don't know if this helps as it seems this pushing against an author who really is doing their best to not allow it to be used for portable use anymore, but I saw a build version here: https://github.com/abcdec/MinFFS

Gord Caswell
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Looks interesting

That looks interesting.

It may be a possibility to use as a replacement.

fkbreitl
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Add FreeFileSync anyway to P'oartableApps

Anyway it would still be very useful to have FreeFileSync as portable app because one can still start it via a link from the Start menu.
That's anyway how I start my apps.

Could you also make an official bug report at the FreeFileSync forum and link it here?
According to my experience the FFS developer was quite supportive.

John T. Haller
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Not portable, reported in March 2014

The app isn't portable in its present state so we still ship the last version that works right.

The issue with settings breaking was reported to the developer in March 2014. It's linked in the first sentence. The developer has no intention of fixing it.

The issue with settings breaking on cloud drives and requiring install on each PC is by design. The developer does this on purpose to get you to use his installer with bundleware on each PC you use.

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richo
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Portable version is Donater only

I know this topic is old now, but just thought I'd mention that since version 8.3 (that I noticed), FreeFileSync Portable can only be installed using a Donation Edition installer. (which doesn't have any bundlware)

It could even be the whole issue behind the errors since version 6.3

John T. Haller
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Detailed on App Page

This is already detailed on the app page: "All versions of FreeFileSync after 6.2 are broken and can't be run from other apps. This prevents packaging, use of the base portable version with the PA.c Platform, use of the local version with a scheduler, use of the local version with an alternative start menu, etc. Details are in this bug report from March 7, 2014. The current version of FreeFileSync can not be used portably without paying a fee and is no longer fully open source, which may be a violation of the GPL."

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Drazick
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Too Bad

Too bad the developer started doing shady things.
As the program itself was the best out there in my opinion.

It might be a good time to search for a replacement.

SyncFolder - http://www.syncfolders.elementfx.com/ seems like a good candidate.

Thank You

fkbreitl
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Dear John,

Dear John,
I have a question regarding the version of FFS in PortableApps.
It seems to me that the last portable version of FFS was 7.9 with instructions on how to extract it at
https://www.portablefreeware.com/forums/viewtopic.php?p=80205#p80205 while the version PortableApps is still 6.2.
Could you upgrade it to 7.9?

Ken Herbert
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At the current point in time it will likely never be updated

Please read through the rest of this thread if you would like to know further details as to why, but the basics of it is that there has been a bug in FFS since 6.3 (that the publisher has not attempted to fix) which causes launching the app from another process (as the PortableApps Launcher does) to be inconsistent or impossible for a lot of users.

This thread was an attempt to create a workaround for that, but unfortunately nothing John tried has worked.

At this rate there will probably never be another PortableApps release of FFS since we won't release an app that we know will be unusable to many of our users, and the publisher has not attempted to fix the problem.

the developer formerly known as winterblood

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I see. Sorry I didn't read

I see. Sorry I didn't read carefully. I didn't expect such a strange problem.
But I agree with Drazick that FolderSync is a good alternative to FreeFileSync.
I just tested it and it the better than all the other Windows file sync program I have tested so far.
If it could be added to PortableApps this could be very useful.

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FreeFileSync

Looks like version 10.0 has lost the ads ?

As I would not know how to check this I thought I would post this here.

https://freefilesync.org/
https://www.ghacks.net/2018/05/03/freefilesync-10-0/

John T. Haller
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Portable Paid Only

It lost the ads but portable only works for paying customers.

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