[BUG] Portable installation is broken in v8.0

Discuss new features and functions
ayuanx
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Sep 2011

Post by ayuanx • 16 Mar 2016, 12:26

---------------------------
FreeFileSync - An exception occurred
---------------------------
Installation files are corrupt. Please reinstall FreeFileSync.

Cannot open file "B:\abc\install.dat".

Error Code 2: The system cannot find the file specified. (CreateFile)
---------------------------
OK
---------------------------

grad
Posts: 1
Joined: 16 Mar 2016

Post by grad • 16 Mar 2016, 23:32

I'm getting a similar error. I have FreeFileSync portable installation installed into the Dropbox folder. On the computer it was 'installed' on it works fine, but on another computer Dropbox syncs to, I'm getting the following error when starting the application:

---------------------------
FreeFileSync - An exception occurred
---------------------------
Installation files are corrupt. Please reinstall FreeFileSync.

Consistency check failed for "C:\Dropbox\FreeFileSync\install.dat".
---------------------------
OK
---------------------------

smaragdus
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Mar 2016

Post by smaragdus • 17 Mar 2016, 04:53

The same error here, please see the screen-shot:
FreeFileSync 8.0 - 2016-03-17 - error - 001.png
FreeFileSync 8.0 - 2016-03-17 - error - 001.png (8.42 KiB) Viewed 13367 times
I have been using FreeFileSync for years and I get such an error for the first time. I am going back to FreeFileSync version 7.9 which runs fine. I hope the problem will be fixed soon.

radek
Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Mar 2016

Post by radek • 17 Mar 2016, 13:22

Added in version 8.0, among others:
"Automatically check consistency of FreeFileSync installation".

User avatar
Zenju
Site Admin
Posts: 4745
Joined: 9 Dec 2007

Post by Zenju • 17 Mar 2016, 18:08

This is related to the installation consistency checks that are now included. FreeFileSync will test during startup if any data corruption occured to the installed files.

Portable usage should still continue to work if you install on an USB stick directly and move it between different computers, or if you move it to the USB stick manually via Explorer. But it may not work if the copying is done via Dropbox, in which case it needs to be installed on the other PC, too (either locally or portably).

Seb_lau
Posts: 1
Joined: 17 Mar 2016

Post by Seb_lau • 17 Mar 2016, 22:15

I've just reverted as well, having had the same issue using SyncThing.
This was a very stupid "feature" to make mandatory (no option to disable or continue despite this check?)
The whole point of using portable installs (for me) is so I DON'T have to manually install/copy/move a USB for every machine..

ayuanx
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Sep 2011

Post by ayuanx • 18 Mar 2016, 00:01

Zenju wrote: This is related to the installation consistency checks that are now included. FreeFileSync will test during startup if any data corruption occured to the installed files.

Portable usage should still continue to work if you install on an USB stick directly and move it between different computers, or if you move it to the USB stick manually via Explorer. But it may not work if the copying is done via Dropbox, in which case it needs to be installed on the other PC, too (either locally or portably).
No, unfortunately that's not the case here.
Any fresh installation selecting portable checkbox won't have "install.dat" file.
You may test it yourself. (Make sure you don't have any existing installation on the computer).

radek
Posts: 2
Joined: 17 Mar 2016

Post by radek • 18 Mar 2016, 11:21

Any fresh installation selecting portable checkbox won't have "install.dat" file.
You may test it yourself. (Make sure you don't have any existing installation on the computer).
Meaning we can only make a portable installation 1) on a USB drive and and 2) only if it's not installed on the hard drive?

User avatar
Zenju
Site Admin
Posts: 4745
Joined: 9 Dec 2007

Post by Zenju • 18 Mar 2016, 12:06

ayuanx wrote: No, unfortunately that's not the case here.
Any fresh installation selecting portable checkbox won't have "install.dat" file.
You may test it yourself. (Make sure you don't have any existing installation on the computer).
When you close the FFS installation dialog, the file will be created (irrespective of portable/local installation type).

ayuanx
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Sep 2011

Post by ayuanx • 18 Mar 2016, 12:27

Zenju wrote:
ayuanx wrote: No, unfortunately that's not the case here.
Any fresh installation selecting portable checkbox won't have "install.dat" file.
You may test it yourself. (Make sure you don't have any existing installation on the computer).
When you close the FFS installation dialog, the file will be created (irrespective of portable/local installation type).
Come on, we are not idiots.
You just secretly updated the installation file a minute ago and refuse to admit it.
You think no one will notice but you forget that other sites have fetched the file before your secret update.

‎Original signing time: Wednesday, ‎16 ‎March, ‎2016 07:09:32
Updated signing time: ‎Friday, ‎18 ‎March, ‎2016 06:49:22

ayuanx
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Sep 2011

Post by ayuanx • 18 Mar 2016, 13:30

Just for the record, I don't know what you are trying to hide, but apparently you secretly added some code to record (or collect?) user's information. What exactly it is for, we have no idea yet.
Because for this part of the code, you deliberately hid it and did not put into the source code you provided.

I suppose 99.99% of people won't notice since few people would bother to read the source code.
I reckon I wouldn't normally, but this time you made me do that.

I am aware you might secretly change the source code file again.
FreeFileSync_8.0_Source.zip 2.83 MB (2,976,767 bytes)
I hope you intentions are good.

zlhnxqgf
Posts: 23
Joined: 18 Mar 2016

Post by zlhnxqgf • 18 Mar 2016, 13:55

ayuanx wrote: Just for the record, I don't know what you are trying to hide, but apparently you secretly added some code to record (or collect?) user's information. What exactly it is for, we have no idea yet.
Because for this part of the code, you deliberately hid it and did not put into the source code you provided.
Can you provide some details? I would like to check it myself.
Zenju wrote: Portable usage should still continue to work if you install on an USB stick directly and move it between different computers, or if you move it to the USB stick manually via Explorer. But it may not work if the copying is done via Dropbox, in which case it needs to be installed on the other PC, too (either locally or portably).
Are you serious? Why do you want to ruin your reputation with such changes?

User avatar
Zenju
Site Admin
Posts: 4745
Joined: 9 Dec 2007

Post by Zenju • 18 Mar 2016, 13:59

ayuanx wrote: updated the installation file a minute ago and refuse to admit it.
ayuanx wrote: record (or collect?) user's information
Jesus, ayuanx... yes, the 8.0 release was updated (twice!) to fix small showstopper bugs during the installation. These bugfixes don't affect users who have already installed 8.0 with success, so there is no need for a 8.1 update. Why these trivial upates make you throw wild accusations is beyone me. Please don't troll and keep the discussion based on facts.

ayuanx
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Sep 2011

Post by ayuanx • 18 Mar 2016, 14:04

Zenju wrote:
ayuanx wrote: updated the installation file a minute ago and refuse to admit it.
ayuanx wrote: record (or collect?) user's information
Jesus, ayuanx... yes, the 8.0 release was updated (twice!) to fix small showstopper bugs during the installation. These bugfixes don't affect users who have already installed 8.0 with success, so there is no need for a 8.1 update. Why these trivial upates make you throw wild accusations is beyone me. Please don't troll and keep the discussion based on facts.
Like I said, I hope your intentions are good. But I couldn't find the part handling this "install.dat" in source code, which caused this installation failure in the first place.

User avatar
Zenju
Site Admin
Posts: 4745
Joined: 9 Dec 2007

Post by Zenju • 18 Mar 2016, 14:07

But I couldn't find the part handling this "install.dat" in source code
This part is handled in the installer, which is not open source. As for the installation failure, is this still reproducible? If yes, I'd like to analyze what's going on.

ayuanx
Posts: 7
Joined: 10 Sep 2011

Post by ayuanx • 18 Mar 2016, 14:11

Zenju wrote:
But I couldn't find the part handling this "install.dat" in source code
This part is handled in the installer, which is not open source. As for the installation failure, is this still reproducible? If yes, I'd like to analyze what's going on.
No. The creation part could be in installer. But the read and verification part is in "FreeFileSync_XXX.exe".
I could read the assembly, but I don't want to spend time on it when there is supposed to be open source code ....

zlhnxqgf
Posts: 23
Joined: 18 Mar 2016

Post by zlhnxqgf • 18 Mar 2016, 14:17

Zenju wrote:
But I couldn't find the part handling this "install.dat" in source code
This part is handled in the installer, which is not open source. As for the installation failure, is this still reproducible? If yes, I'd like to analyze what's going on.
But FFS complains if the file is missing or its consistency check fails so where to find these checks in the source code?
Would you please explain to us why you added them even though the portable usage is crippled now?

zlhnxqgf
Posts: 23
Joined: 18 Mar 2016

Post by zlhnxqgf • 21 Mar 2016, 14:06

No comment on the checks and source code? Are these questions inappropriate or just tiring?

ninj_marx4
Posts: 5
Joined: 22 Mar 2016

Post by ninj_marx4 • 22 Mar 2016, 12:41

FreeFileSync is a great tool no doubt but i have to agree with zlhnxqgf & ayuanx. If you want to keep your good reputation please keep things open source.
And the silent updating of a version is really annoying. Now there is a 3rd Version of 8.0 signed on 20 March. That's just confusing for everyone.

Hope you can fix this Zenju and still kudos for your great tool!

andreiv
Posts: 1
Joined: 22 Mar 2016

Post by andreiv • 22 Mar 2016, 22:23

I can confirm this issue. I keep FreeFileSync on my Dropbox and use it on 3 computers. It works on one of them (the one I installed it on) but it fails with the error mentioned here on the other 2.

User avatar
Zenju
Site Admin
Posts: 4745
Joined: 9 Dec 2007

Post by Zenju • 23 Mar 2016, 16:44

As always, nothing is cast in stone, but the current 8.0 design is to only allow installations via the official installer with some leeway for the portable version. To clarify this, it's still possible to install FreeFileSync portably on an USB stick, carry it to another computer and use it there, or move it locally from one location to another. But it won't be possible to simply copy the files from one PC to another without an installation. This was done to leverage the importance of the FreeFileSync installer with it's single(!) and optional(!) advertisement, which is still the backbone of the project's financing.

I think I've also written this somewhere in the FAQs but with the number of users that FreeFileSync has, it has turned into something more than a hobby. So the time needed, not only for development, but also the tons of project management work done behind the covers, has to make at least some economical sense. Currently this means having the ad in the installer (but also donations; thanks so much to those who donated!) even despite the controversies about it (althout most of them originate from thinking principle rather than actual issues: come one, is clicking the decline button really that difficult?). As an alternative there now is also a version without advertisements for everyone who donates. Maybe this could be the best solution in the long run as everyone can choose for himself what FFS is worth to him, while avoiding the conundrum of coming up with a price for a tool that has *free* in its name...

I'm sorry for the silent bug-fixes, but these are a last resort in case of show-stopper bugs that only affect a small number of users. If they didn't affect only a small number of users it would naturally be resolved via a completely new release. If it wasn't a show-stopper bug, users could wait until the next update has arrived. But if the problem is a rare installer-bug as there were unfortunately a few with the 8.0 release, it doesn't make sense to have the majority of users reinstall when the issue doesn't concern them. Not fixing the bug is also bad since it leads to a lot of needless support requests about an issue already solved. It's a compromise for this particular case.

ninj_marx4
Posts: 5
Joined: 22 Mar 2016

Post by ninj_marx4 • 24 Mar 2016, 10:12

Thank you very much for your explanation! I accept your reasons and hope you keep up the good work!

zlhnxqgf
Posts: 23
Joined: 18 Mar 2016

Post by zlhnxqgf • 24 Mar 2016, 11:45

It all makes sense, thanks for the honest answer! I guess a clear statement on the ad-bundled setup would have been better in first place than just "Automatically check consistency of FreeFileSync installation" as a reason.
Too bad it's unusable as a portable app in cloud storage then, so I'll just stay with 7.9 for now.

FileHoarder
Posts: 1
Joined: 26 Mar 2016

Post by FileHoarder • 26 Mar 2016, 06:30

I have donated early on - and also recommended the software to others who told me they donated. Then had to cope with tons of aggravation because of your malicious practice to include crapware WITHOUT stating this up front - as other more honest developers usually do. This gave your product a very bad reputation over the many years you've been doing this.

So here are my questions:
- what is the minimum donation to qualify for the safe version?
- are previous donors not eligible for the safe version?
- for how many future updates does a donation guarantee access to the safe version?

zlhnxqgf
Posts: 23
Joined: 18 Mar 2016

Post by zlhnxqgf • 26 Mar 2016, 09:17

FileHoarder wrote: So here are my questions:
- what is the minimum donation to qualify for the safe version?
- are previous donors not eligible for the safe version?
- for how many future updates does a donation guarantee access to the safe version?
Zenju wrote:
Karia wrote: will I need to make another donation every time I want to get a new version?
Yes, you will have to donate again for the 8.0 release. But the good news is you can still choose the price yourself.