Thursday, December 13, 2012

Dropbox Installation Aborted

After installing Dropbox on a new workstation, but not setting up the account, I could not connect to the Dropbox service as the proxy details were missing. Due to installation of additional software I had to reboot before completely setting up Dropbox client. After that, the application was in some undefined state. I was unable to run it or re-install. When trying to re-install, I was getting the infamous "Installation Aborted" error.
The list of installed programs showed Dropbox and the removal worked but any subsequent installation would again fail.
These are the steps that I tried, in order to be able to reinstall:
  1. Uninstall Dropbox from Programs and Features
  2. Remove Dropbox directory from %APPDATA%. To do this, open Windows Explorer and type "%APPDATA%" into the address bar (without quotes). If there are any issues (with the shell extension, for example), use Unlocker to get rid of it.
  3. Remove "HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Dropbox\" with RegEdit. See this help article.
  4. While in RegEdit, delete all keys containing "Dropbox". These are mostly related to ShellExtension.
  5. Clean-up registry with CCleaner, Wise Registry Cleaner (link), and Eusing Registry Cleaner.
  6. Remove other Dropbox entries with Autoruns. (Shell extension is in "HKLM\Software\Classes\*\ShellEx\ContextMenuHandlers"; "HKCU\Software\Classes\Directory\ShellEx\ContextMenuHandlers", "HKCU\Software\Classes\Directory\Background\ShellEx\ContextMenuHandlers", "HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\ShellIconOverlayIdentifiers")
  7. Unlink your computer from Dropbox (link).
However, none of these really helped. Then, after n-th failed attempt, a simple solution came - boot into Safe Mode and install from there. Installation was a success without performing any of the cleanups above.

In the end, it turns out the issue was caused by antivirus policy which blacklists dropbox.exe. Probably the policy was not updated during the first installation. Fortunately, Dropbox will work even if .exe file is renamed.


Anonymous said...

It can also help opening the installer from dropbox as archive (e. g. with 7zip) and running the uninstaller-exe included there. After this did new install and all fine.

Anonymous said...

Somehow my dropbox on my computer got corrupted. So, I tried to reinstall with exactly the same failed behavior as you described. I right clicked on the installer chose 'Run as administrator'. I then received a warning message that dropbox wouldn't work if I installed it this way. I ignored the message and it worked ... haha ... go figure