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Platform updates fail after 14.4.1

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heinz57g
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Platform updates fail after 14.4.1

i had already posted similar in another, wrong section and under the wrong heading - apologies. but after 11 years of totally problem-free updating it made me nervous to see the same fault on three computers (all WIN 7, one 32, two 64bit), on two HDD installations, and by now on now 5 USB sticks (which actually should be and are more or less independent of the OS).

when going thru the normal update procedure, the mssg pops up that first the platform need update. fine, has always been like this.

when trying to install the update, it comes up with '' ERROR OPENING FILE FOR WRITING ...\...\PortableAppsPlatform.exe. ''

choice of ABORT RETRY IGNORE, even after ABORT used, on next start it comes up with '' Cannot open file \...\...\App\Graphics\Chrome\matte.png '' - and that was it.

(( the \...\... stand for the path, usually \PortableApps\ ))

no way to start PA after that. luckily, all of us (but my wife) had full backups - so no real damage - but what is going on?

greetings - heinz -

John T. Haller
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Missing Details

Thank you for creating a new post. I still need to know:

1. The full path to the installed copy of the PA.c Platform including drive letter. Tell me where Start.exe is. If it's in the root of the drive, tell me the drive letter like E:\. If you keep it in a specific sub-directory, tell me the whole path to where Start.exe is like E:\MyApps\

2. What antivirus you are using, if any.

3. Have you tried manually downloading the full installer for PA.c Platform 14.4.3 and running it and then installing that? If so, what exactly happened? If not, please do this now and detail what occurs. If it can't auto-detect your current install, select Custom and select the directory containing Start.exe.

4. Can you manually delete the file PortableApps\PortableApps.com\PortableAppsPlatform.exe with the platform closed? If so, then please try to manually upgrade using the full installer as mentioned in point 3

Side note: I installed Platform 14.4.1 within my clean Windows 7 32-bit virtual machine and let it automatically update to 14.4.3 without issue. This was tried in an install on the local C drive as well as with an external USB 2.0 flash drive mapped to F:\. I also tested on drive C in my 64-bit Windows 7 vm. The only thing noteworthy that occurred was during the USB 2.0 upgrade the update installer displayed a "Please close all instances of the PA.c Platform..." message because reads/writes to the USB drive are absurdly slow passing into and out of a virtual machine meaning the platform took a lot longer to close than the updater expected. Clicking OK allowed it to continue as the platform had finished closing by that point.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

heinz57g
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john, tks for following up

john, tks for following up here. i have now checked 7 systems with the very same symptons - 4 myself physically, 1 my wife, and 2 on the phone - which to me indicates it has nothing to do with the computer as such. and to make it a bit easier (on me), i will use the laptop in front of me as an example - the others should be very similar or same, and nothing was changed over many years - but regular updates. and thats what bothers me most - if it was ONE setup that balked it would be easier to circle it in.

. >> 1. The full path to the installed copy ...

c:\PortableApps\

thats also where START.exe is. all the actual apps are then one further down:

c:\PortableApps\PortableApps\

. >> 2. What antivirus you are using, if any.

none for these trials.

. >> 3. Have you tried manually downloading the full installer for PA.c Platform 14.4.3

can only download 14.4.2 on your site, which comes up as the newest one. where is 14.4.3 hidden? i thought i had found it this morning (it is midnight here now) but dont remember where.

but have downloaded 14.4.2, and installed it into a c:\TestPortable. that worked fine, comes up with an empty portal and asking it to be filled.

. >> then installing that? ... select Custom and select the directory containing Start.exe.

will do that shortly and report back - by now i have enough backups to try back and forth.

. >> 4. Can you manually delete the file PortableApps\PortableApps.com\PortableAppsPlatform.exe
. >> with the platform closed? If so, then please try to manually upgrade using the full installer as
. >> mentioned in point 3

sure can, will do and report back.

greetings - heinz -

heinz57g
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and on we go - positive

john, we are getting somewhere: first, found my 14.4.3 - my mistake, sorry. started out with a fresh version 14.4.1.

then applied your method -3 - on it. same errors as described in the very beginning and a totally shot setup.

back to a fresh 14.4.1, then tried your method - 4 - : erase PortableAppsPlatform.exe first, then manual update - and that worked - HURRAY !

so, based on this, can you find out why the regular and automatic update does not work? yes, we have found a workaround, but it is and remains such - not really what 99% of your users have been doing in the past.

have now already updated 3 of my USB sticks too using method - 4 -, complicated, but no hiccups whatsoever.

greetings, and sorry for being such a bother - heinz -

John T. Haller
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Automatic Detection = Path Mixup When Manual

Using a path called X:\PortableApps to contain your actual PortableApps directory will cause any installer run directly (running the paf.exe yourself in Explorer) to install to the wrong location. This includes the platform as well as any actual apps. The installers will sort through all available drive letters on your system looking for ?:\PortableApps\ and when it finds it, assume that's where you want to install. It's basically equivalent to having C:\Program Files\Program Files and that mixing up installers.

Note that the above issue does not affect automated updates nor installs via the platform's app store/updater. To check, I tried installing PA.c Platform 14.4.1 to C:\PortableApps\ so that Start.exe was within there. Ran it and it automatically updated to 14.4.3 without issues. So, I am unable to recreate your issue even when using the exact same setup. If the PA.c Platform is closed and not running, there is absolutely nothing we do that would lock it. The error you are seeing is generated by the NSIS installer code itself because Windows told it 'sorry you can't write to that file because it is locked'. It's locked by Windows itself. Now we need to determine why Windows is locking it on your machines. Have you checked Task Manager and shown tasks from all users to ensure that PortableAppsPlatform.exe is not running?

It is possible file permissions are somehow interfering. Do you ever run as different users? Are these external drives formatted as NTFS? Have you verified that the special item Everyone has Full Access from the root of the drive to the entire drive?

Is there anything else you can think that you do out of the ordinary on your machines? I'm stumped as to what is causing this for you across machines that I am completely unable to replicate in any of my environments.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

John T. Haller
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14.4.2?

In addition, where are you seeing 14.4.2? It's 14.4.3 everywhere on the site. You click the big Download tab at the top and get a 14.4.3 download button. A link to the release announcement titled Platform 14.4.3 is also at the top of every page on the website.

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depp.jones
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One other thought:

Have you activated the option to close all apps on exit? My manual update to 15 Beta 1 just failed ungracefully when I forgot to close an app I had in background (my fault but similar side effects).
Maybe there is any app left that the platform is trying to close when being told to shutdown by the updater.

John T. Haller
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Process to Reproduce?

What are the steps to reproduce? The platform exits without closing your apps even if you have that option selected when you do a platform update using the updater. I do not think the platform installer currently checks if the updater is running, though.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

depp.jones
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I had the platform open with

I had the platform open with WinSCP running in the background.
Running the Installer manually does not close the platform nor does it give a hint that it is running.
It just states that it cannot overwrite the "PortableAppsPlatform.exe".
Trying to switch to the platform to close it gives an error message (something like Cannot open file [...] button_right_normal.png) because apparently it has been deleted by the installer already.

This happens regardless whether another app is still running an cannot be closed (it's just more complicated to close the platform).
The only way to close the platform was via the taskmanager or the rightclick menu of the tray icon (but only if it could close the other app).
I don't know if this behavior is new or if it is connected to this bug in any way. I just found out when I changed my usual workflow (closing the platform before a manual update). I can check if it affects the update when I have some time left this evening.

John T. Haller
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Manual vs Update

I think I have the installer not to check for anything when run in manual mode because it assumes you know what you're doing. I'll have to check though.

Sometimes, the impossible can become possible, if you're awesome!

depp.jones
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Did a downgrade to 14.0 and

Did a downgrade to 14.0 and the instant upgrade to 15 B1 went without issues even when apps were left running, so everything as expected here.
Maybe the platform installer could check for a platformm already running. That way it would behave like any other PA.c app. That would make the user experience much more consistent, especially as for an unexperienced user it could be tricky to deal with a demolished platform that could not be closed the usual way as long as the installer is still running.
But thats becoming OT now. Wink

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