Portable install with v21 - why did it not work?

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Aug 19, 2008
1. extracted v21 installer files, copied to thumb drive
2. Ran TCMD, entered key, clicked portable key, selected thumb drive, success. Key in root folder. Exit.
3. Ran TCMD, trial ends in 30 days.

Interesting part was help/about before step 3 showed it registered to the machine I used to do the install.

What did I miss?


Staff member
May 14, 2008
You should install TCMD on the thumb drive, not do a custom extraction & copy. There are some things the installer does that will not be configured properly with a manual copy.

Was the TCMD you were running the one installed on the thumb drive, or on the local hard drive? If TCMD is running on a removable drive, it will look for the key file in the TCMD installation directory. Unless you installed TCMD in the root of the thumb drive, it won't find a key file in the root.
Aug 19, 2008
Did this in a VM since I didn't want my local TCMD installation getting in the way and avoid the documented uninstall, install portable, re-install desktop method.

So, a VM with nothing on it. Read in the portable thread about extracting the contents with an arg. Another post about just copying the installed product on the desktop to the thumb drive and activating it. That's a pretty old thread though. Figured extracting was close to that - but I see your point now.

The TCMD that I ran was on the thumb drive - attached to the VM. The "activation" placed the key file in the root of the thumb drive. I place a copy in the program folder I created containing all the TCMD binaries. But that didn't help either. No surprise now that I understand install needs to do it's thing too.

So, that's what I tried. I'm not sure why I didn't just try an ordinary install, given the VM was clean. Maybe I was thinking regardless of the "drive" I installed it on there would be registry keys in the VM that were needed later.

Therefore, in a bit I'll wipe the TCMD folder on the thumb drive - leaving that key file in the root. Then I'll do a regular install - to the thumb drive. I'll run that, copying the key file into the installed folder if necessary. If that doesn't work, I'll reactivate which shouldn't be any problem since it will be the same device. Then, that should definitely work.
Aug 19, 2008
Took me forever to get back around to it, but finally had success with this. Installed directly to the thumb drive. The previously activated .key file didn't work so I reactivated. The new .key file works fine.

I don't have to do this often so just spinning up a VM to do it is simple. I do the same for another utility and only tried the copy with TC since I came across a post that suggested that method.