Windows Live Writer Portable 2.0 Now with U3
08NOV08 Major Update! Version 3 is here!!
This past February I posted a launcher for Windows Live Writer so that you can take it with your between computers and retain all your settings. Today I am releasing version 2.0 of the Launcher. Much has changed with Windows Live Writer and I have learned some new techniques for making it portable. This is a much cleaner implementation and it plays better with Windows Vista.
Additionally, this version will work with U3. U3 is a software launcher that is built by SanDisk and comes on most (if not all) of their latest USB sticks. You can read more about U3 at SanDisk. The U3 installation is just a little different and I have provided instructions for that as well. Don’t worry if you do not have U3. It will work either way.
Below is an outline for how to get the application to work. Unfortunately, if you were a previous user there is no clean upgrade path. The latest Windows Live Writer uses different registry keys and files. I recommend copying the old directory structure off your USB device and then deleting it from the device. Then do a clean install using these instructions.
The File: WLWPortable2.zip
This zip file does NOT contain everything you need to run Windows Live Writer. This is simply a launcher which will run Windows Live Writer in a self contained environment so you can take everything with you between computers via your USB memory device.
Non U3 users: Here is a summary of how to get this portable app to work on a normal non U3 device:
1. Unzip this file to somewhere on your hard drive.
2. If you don’t plan to use U3 you can safely deleted the file called WindowsLiveWriter Portable.u3p
3. Download Windows Live Writer from: http://get.live.com/betas/writer_betas
4. Install Windows Live Write as usual. You don’t even have to run it, just so long as it is installed. This is fairly straight forward but you might want to look over the details I have written below.
5. Copy ALL of the files FROM C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer TO the new structure on your USB drive that looks like the graphic below \WindowsLiveWriterPortable\App\WindowsLiveWriter
6. You can now uninstall Windows Live Writer if you want.
7. Copy the whole WindowsLiveWriter Portable folder to your USB stick.
8. Be sure to read the caveats.
To use Windows Live Writer from your USB drive simply double click on WindowsLiveWriterPortable.exe and it will take care of the necessary registry settings and document paths.
U3 users: Here is a summary of how to get this portable app to run on your U3 device
1. Unzip this file to somewhere on your hard drive.
2. From your U3 launch pad click Add programs and select Install from my computer.
3. Navigate to the location you unzipped the files to in step #1. Select the u3p file and click Open.
4. Click Next.
5. When the install is done, click Done.
6. Install Windows Live Write as usual. You don’t even have to run it, just so long as it is installed. This is fairly straight forward but you might want to look over the details I have written below.
7. Go back to the U3 Launch Pad and click the Explore Drive XX:(mine shows G: but yours might be different)
8. When you see the window open for drive xx: make sure you can see a folder called system. You might not because it is a hidden folder. If you can’t see it, see this note on viewing hidden folders.
9. Copy ALL of the files FROM C:\Program Files\Windows Live\Writer TO the new structure on your USB drive that looks like the graphic below USBDRIVELETTER:\System\Apps\DE5F518C-0D5F-4356-9994-B7C008D73F5C\Data\App\WindowsLiveWriter
10. You can now uninstall Windows Live Write if you want.
To use Windows Live Writer from your USB drive simply go to the U3 Launcher and click on the WindowLiveWriter Portable icon and it will take care of the necessary registry settings and document paths.
This program will work well from your USB device but there are some minor annoyances.
1. When you move your device from a different computer you might not see your drafts and latest posts in the right hand pane. Just go to File -> Open and you will be able to select these files.
2. Between machines the style of your weblog doesn’t always stick. If you want to get it again by clicking Weblog -> Edititing and the click the Update Style button.
3. Sometimes between machines you are prompted for the weblog password again.
4. On Vista you will get the ‘Allow’ prompt if you have User Account Control (UAC) turned on (default condition in Vista). This is unavoidable at the moment. The launcher does some manipulation that Vista only lets administrators do.
Details on installing Windows Live Writer
1. Download WLinstaller.exe from: http://get.live.com/betas/writer_betas
2. Double click to start the installer.
3. The following screen will pop up. Unless you want these services you can deselect all of them and click Install
4. The following screen will pop up. Unless you want these services you can deselect all of them except Writer and click Add to Installation
5. The installer will go through its thing. Seems like it takes a long time even on my fast computer. Then you will get this screen and you can click Close.
Remember, you do not even need to launch the program. Follow the procedures above and then you can uninstall Windows Live Writer from your machine.
Viewing Hidden Folders
To view your hidden files and folders:
open up any folder->
select tools from the top menu->
select folder options->
select the view tab->
scroll down until you see a check box to hide selected folders, you can now check and uncheck this as you please to hide or unhide folders and files.