How to update several portable instances? [solved]

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boxinator
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How to update several portable instances? [solved]

Post by boxinator »

I am still a new user, but very happy now with the daily work in those Sandboxes.

Now I have to go through my first-ever updates. My personal setup is this: I have placed what I call instances (to avoid the term installations) using the "portable" option from the installer in several locations for different purposes and different projects or "clients". Works well. This is all on Windows 10 pro.


I have just now downloaded and tested the new installer (Sandboxie-Plus-x64-v1.13.3.exe):

When I used the option "portable", and guided/browsed it to my existing locations, it did just bulldoze my existing portable instance. I have tested this with an old instance, and I can say that for example my Sandboxie.ini was just overwritten by a new empty default version. My configuration is gone! So I did it wrong.

I searched online in the help topics and here in the forum, and could not find instructions. But I found one thread where a user was saying that updating from "inside" the tool was less stable than downloading the latest installer and starting from that (I do not know all the context of that one).

So before I mess around any further, please advise how to update my existing portable instances that I am now using for production, i.e. for paid work. I have spend a lot of time and user bastik1001 has given me a lot of his time to configure everything nicely. So I do not want to mess anything.

Thank you for pointers. I do not need click-by-click but I need the concept on how to update best.
Last edited by boxinator on Tue Mar 26, 2024 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
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bastik-1001
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Re: How to update several portable instances?

Post by bastik-1001 »

I don't use the portable version of Sandboxie-Plus, but whenever I download some portable software, it is usually in an archive. When I update that and the archive contains a default settings file, I skip the file. Most of the time I extract to some other folder and then move the new files to replace the old files, besides the configuration. So my approach would be to let the installer extract the files to a folder that is empty and then copy the new files, without the Sandboxie.ini to each instance.

As I don't use the portable version of Sandboxie-Plus, I can't tell how the process of updating works when it is done from within. Other software that I use portable does not have such a function.

The automatic update of Sandboxie, requires a valid active certificate, otherwise the updater will find a new version and guide the user to download the installer. This is true for the stable releases, pre-releases are updated automatically, if the user enabled them in the first place. Most of the time, I update manually before the updater offers it to me, as that process is intentionally delayed to catch errors before they are shipped to a wider range of users.

Edit: The following does not seem to be the case, the installer does not replace the Sandboxie.ini
Maybe the installer should not replace a Sandboxie.ini, when it extracts to a folder that is not empty, but that would need to be implemented. As for the file, maybe you can recover it, by using the Windows function to restore a previous version. This can be done by right-clicking the file. I hope that it works out.

David, might have a better concept for doing updates on portable versions.

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bastik-1001
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Re: How to update several portable instances?

Post by bastik-1001 »

I just tested it with a Sandboxie-Plus installer, I extracted it to a folder and then I used a newer version of the installer and choose the same folder to extract to. I edited the Sandboxie.ini to have some content. The installer notified me, that the folder is not empty and asked if I wanted to use that folder. I proceeded and the installer replaced the files in the portable version, but the Sandboxie.ini was not changed.

I updated my post, to state that what I guess does not happen, since for me, the Sandboxie.ini was not altered.

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boxinator
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Re: How to update several portable instances? [solved]

Post by boxinator »

@bastik-1001

Thank you muchly for your research and for your help:

I followed your lead:

1. make a backup of the entire folder of my portable instance

2. run the lastest installer, and opt again for the portable option

3. browse to the folder where my existing instance is located

(there is a mild "trap" in the installer operation: User has to concentrate: wherever you browse to and confirm, the installer will add a sub-directory with the name sandboxie-plus.

In my case I had accepted this default name when I first installed my portable instance. So I had to look twice because now I was presented a stacked path with one folder sandboxie-plus inside my existing folder sandboxie-plus. Once you notice this, all you need to do is manually delete the added sub-path and the backslash. This way the new installer will pour the new goodness into your existing folder as intended.)

4. installer will notice that the target folder is not empty and user can abort or confirm

(The dialog is actually this: "The folder: <path> already exists. Would you like to install to that folder anyway?" In the context of such an update, the term "install" is fine and user needs to click on "YES")

5. installer will replace most exisiting files and sub-folders with new versions; installer will not ask for further confirmations; the process takes only seconds; if all goes well, the files Sandboxie.ini and Sandboxie-Plus.ini will not get overwritten but will be respected and kept

6. confirmation of the successful update:
- update-note no longer showing in the right-corner of the menu bar
- > help > about will display the new version


Observations:
Today, with my production instance this worked fine, I am glad.

Yesterday, when I had tested with an older instance that I had kept from my very first experiments, the Sandboxie.ini was replaced by an empty file.

@bastik-1001, do you remember how you helped me learn about Sandboxie a few days ago? And how I realized that my personal first experiments were all messed up? And how I decided to start over from scratch, so that I could apply your instructions better? So today I have received the first benefit from opting for a clean new install back then. The update worked fine. I have already tested and done some accounting: It works fine.

So bastik-1001 has written up how to update a portable instance (or several, same method just in several locations) of Sandboxie-plus. I propose that a summary without personal observations and without the (normally not happening) issue of damaged Sandboxie.ini file could be written up and placed with the tutorials. I hesitate to assign work to other people. Do I have access to write under tutorials? Probably best, if a veteran user will write it up, and will use the correct terms.
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bastik-1001
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Re: How to update several portable instances? [solved]

Post by bastik-1001 »

Thank you, and yes, I remember. I might turn this into a tutorial soon, but if you want to write the tutorial you surely can, as you can post there, and you are verbose, you mentioned, what I did, but what I skipped in writing, which is not ideal, since there might be things that need to be done, which I fail to mention.

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bastik-1001
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Re: How to update several portable instances? [solved]

Post by bastik-1001 »

I turned this into a tutorial

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