Friday, 17 February 2012

Using Insync without installing (portable "installation")

I hope this help and to anyone who would try it, please please please do it at your own risk. I can not be held liable for any problem including but not limited to loss of data. So far I have had no problem but YMMV.

- Introduction -

Just recently I started using the great Insync softare/service which allows you to use your Google Docs space in a similar way to DropBox. The advantage of using Insync/Google is that you can get 20 GB of storage for only $5 USD a year, whereas all the popular cloud-syncing services charge at least the same amount per month.

Currently Insync do not offer a portable version of their client, however it is not too difficult to create one. By "portable" here I only mean a version which you do not need to install and can be used from without administrator privileges. I have no idea whether the program modifies the registry when running.

- Requirements -

  1. We must download the Windows version of the InSync client (because this tutorial only works for the Windows version).
  2. We also require the amazing "Universal Extractor" (available here). Be sure to download the "portable" version (it wouldn't make sense having to install a program to make another program portable, would it?
- Process -
  1. Open (unpack/unrar) and Run the universal extractor program. You should see a screen such as this:
  2. In the "Archive/Installer to extract" select the Insync installer that you previously downloaded (should be named "Insync-0.9.XX.YYYY.exe"
  3. After selecting the installer, the "Destination directory" text field will be automatically filled. If you want to change it do it now, otherwise note the location of this folder.
  4. Press "OK"
  5. Wait for some time until the program has finished extracting the files to the specified folder.
  6. Open to the output folder. You should see the following files and folders:
- The tricky part: fixing missing files -
  1. Now, go to the $INSTDIR folder and within this, to the res folder. You should see several icons (image files with .ico extension).
  2. look for the file named "taskbar-normal.ico". Make a copy of it (select it, press CTRL+C and then CTRL+V) . You should have a new file called "taskbar-normal copy.ico" or similar.
  3. Rename the copy you just made exactly to "taskbar-normal-update.ico" (take care of not adding spaces or an additional ".ico" if your Windows is configured to hide extensions).
  4. Repeat step 2 and 3 for the file: "taskbar-syncing-4.ico" (copying this file) renaming it to "taskbar-syncing-4-update.ico"
  5. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the files:
  6. At the end you should have created the following new files:
  7. Now go to the folder $PLUGINSDIR (under the main folder where you extracted the contents of the installer). You should see the following files:
  8. Move all those file to the $INSTDIR folder (where the insync.exe program is located)
  9. Finally, rename the $INSTDIR folder to something like InSyncPortable or any other meaningful name you want.
  10. Move this folder to your prefered location. Use the insync.exe file to launch the program.

Important: Do not forget to define the folder where you want Insync to download your files before you login to your google account.

And that's it. I have been using the InSync client in this way for about 2 weeks without a problem. And to my surprise the client was even automatically updated!

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