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Author Topic: Portable mode?  (Read 2913 times)

Liquidmantis

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Portable mode?
« on: May 01, 2007, 09:22:17 AM »
I'm attempting to run FARR as a launcher for apps on a USB flash drive.  I'm already running it on my workstation and I'm trying to run two different configurations.  The local one will be for all my local stuff and the roaming copy will use a different hotkey and only search for apps on the USB drive and %startmenu%.  This way I can plug my USB drive into any system and FARR will autorun.

I thought I had this working, but it seems to be only temporary.  While both copies were running I had set different options for the portable copy but the next time I insert the flash drive the USB copy of FARR has the same options as my local copy.  How is it finding the other INI file?

Is there an option I'm missing to force portability?

mouser

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2007, 09:43:57 AM »
there is no special option BUT you might want to try version 2, which preserves the %startmenu% type directory patterns and does not save the resolved versions, so its better suited for portability; farr v2 also knows how to support directories that are relative to the farr path.

i'm sending you forum message with farr v2 download link.

ps.
that doesn't explain the phenomena you described, which sounds like basically you copied over your configuration file with your workstation one (the configuration is stored in the program directory in FindAndRunRobot.ini so don't copy over that file from workstation to usb).

Liquidmantis

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2007, 09:55:21 AM »
Oh, disregard my PM reply then.  I am running v2.  But yeah, I did copy the entire folder contents over.  I assumed that once I made the changes to the USB copy that its local INI would get the current change.  However, now I just realized that FARR stores the INI in the Application Data tree and not local (I'm on Vista).  I copied that to the directory on the USB drive and restarted FARR but it's still reading the one in Application Data.  Do I need to use a commandline switch or something?

mouser

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2007, 11:04:40 AM »
youll need to exit far and then copy over the config file and then restart.
btw im just adding code recently to handle vista user access permissions so you may have to delete any FARR ini file in the VirtualStore directory of vista before it will actually see and read the new ini file in the application directory.  (the newer versions will know how to handle this all automatically and should be released soon.)

Liquidmantis

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2007, 11:16:03 AM »
That didn't get it either.  I killed all FARRs, deleted the FARR directory in the VirtualStore, then launched the FARR on the USB drive and even with the INI in the same folder as the application it still created a new INI in the VirtualStore.

Huzzah Vista!

mouser

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2007, 11:22:31 AM »
hehehe.
well the new version will fix this, i could build you a copy for testing.
but let me clarify something based on my understanding of vista which might help you understand what i think is happening.

when farr first starts, if the ini doesnt exist yet in VirtualStore, it will read the one in its application directory.  when it saves it, it will try to save it in its application directory.  but vista will intercept this and write it instead to VirtualStore.

thereafter, even if you copy and replace the ini in the application dir, vista will trick the app into using the one in VirtualStore.

basically VirtualStore is alike a secret hidden cache, which makes apps think they can write into the application directory when they really cant.  it can cause EXACTLY the kinds of troubles you are experiencing.

personally this seems to be like a horrible solution on microsoft's part, though i understand the idea.  In my opinion they should have set the permissions to let an app write into its own directory.  that would have made life so much simpler.

--

anyway try this for now:
1. exit farr.
2. delete the virtual store ini.
3. copy your desired ini into application directory.
4. restart farr.
that really should work.

if you restart farr between steps 2 and 3, you trick yourself.

ps. if this still gives you trouble don't worry about it and email me for new vista-aware version (mouser@donationcoder.com).

wait, i think i already incorporated the vista stuff in 2.00.82 , so its using vista user directory :)

sorry for the confusion!

so can you tell me where you WANT to portable usb copy to get its farr ini file from and save to?  is it the case that you are running it on vista and you want it to store its settings in the usb drive application directory where farr lives, instead of to the user settings on c drive?  will vista let an application on the usb drive write to its application directory? if so i can tell you what to do to convince farr to override vista default save location.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2007, 11:27:25 AM by mouser »

Liquidmantis

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2007, 11:36:40 AM »
Posting the pertinent stuff I emailed for anyone else's information:

So those are the steps I followed.  I think I see what the problem is though.  While that will work for the load, if I make any config changes to the USB version it writes to the VirtualStore and that will blast my local FARR config.  This is probably what you're expecting to happen already though.

One option would be to only make config changes on an XP machine or to do it manually by editing the INI file.

mouser

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2007, 12:04:17 PM »
does this mean that vista wont let the app write to the usb drive? what's the standard way to get around this for portable apps on vista? run in xp compatibility mode?

i mean i can make farr TRY to store ini on the usb drive, but if vista prevents it, what can i do?

or is it the case that vista WILL let farr write to the usb if it wants, but its a bug in farr which is not trying to do so.

Liquidmantis

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #8 on: May 01, 2007, 12:22:34 PM »
I replied via email.  Looks like you already beat me to what I thought was my awesome workaround.  Indeed, setting it to WinXP SP2 compatibility mode will keep all the changes in the local program directory.  I don't think there is any other way to keep it from happening.   

I don't understand how other portable applications are supposed to deal with it though.

Whoa.  So I just checked it with XYplorer and without running in compatibility mode the INI changes are actually kept locally.  Even the copy I'm running on my workstation has its changes local without using the AppData VirtualStore.

Liquidmantis

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Re: Portable mode?
« Reply #9 on: May 01, 2007, 12:48:17 PM »
The compatibility mode doesn't seem to be a very good workaround.  Every time I exist FARR it seems to clear the compatibility mode checkbox.  Then on next launch it's back to using the AppData location again.