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Running Dropbox as a service. Windows Server 2008 X64.

dropbox windows server 2008

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#1 Branndon

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Posted 18 April 2013 - 12:59 PM

If you by chance run Windows Server 2008, and want to install a copy of Dropbox on it to sync files, you probably want Dropbox running whether or not you are logged on to the server. In order to run dropbox in the background, without even being logged in, you need to run it as a "service". This allows it to auto start on boot, and sync files in the background. (Please note, at the end of this tutorial, dropbox will be syncing, but the usual file and folder icons will not show on the file icons.)
 
 
Install Dropbox if you haven't already.
Download Link: Dropbox Download
Using the link above will give me credit for referring you to Dropbox.
 
Once you download Dropbox, run the installer.
Once it's fully installed, and you have created or logged in to your Dropbox account, right click on the dropbox icon in your taskbar. The icon will either have a green check mark DropboxGreen.jpg , or two blue animated arrows circling each other Dropbox Working.jpg .)
Click on the little gear in the top right corner (Dropbox 2.X and above only. If you're using an older version, please update to 2.X from the Dropbox website.)
Dropbox 2.png
Click the 'Preferences...' menu item.
Dropbox 2 menu.PNG
Uncheck “Show desktop notifications” and “Start Dropbox on system startup”
Dropbox 2 Settings.PNG
Click OK.
Right click on the Dropbox icon on tray bar DropboxGreen.jpg (next to clock) and select "Exit"
 
Setting Dropbox up as a Service
Install Windows 2003 Resource Kit Tools (You will receive an error about the software having known issues. Ignore this warning.) 
Click the start button, type CMD, right click on the single icon that shows up titled cmd.exe, and select "Run as Administrator".
Copy and paste the following command sc create Dropbox binPath= "C:\Program Files (x86)\Windows Resource Kits\Tools\srvany.exe" DisplayName= "Dropbox Service"
If everything went right, you'll see the message: [SC] CreateService SUCCESS
If you see anything else, it's probably a problem with the path of your installed Resource Kit Tools, or you are not running the 64 bit version of Windows Server 2008.
 
Configuring the service
Click the start button, and type Server Manger, and click on the program.
Once open, expand the Configuration option.
Click on Services
Server Manager.PNG
Double click on "Dropbox Service"
Change startup type to "Automatic" from the first screen you see.
Click on the Log On tab, and change the Log On As to the admin account which you want to run the service as.
Don't forget to put in the correct password.
Click "OK". 
 
Modify the Registry
Click the start button, then type "regedit" and click on regedit.exe when the program shows.
 
Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dropbox
Right click in the blank white space on the right side of the screen.
Point to  "New" then click on "Key"
Reg 1.png
This created a folder to the left titled "Parameters", right click on the new folder, and select "New" then select "string".
Name the string "Application" and hit enter.
Double click the word "Application" which now appears on the right.
Set the value to the path to the dropbox.exe binary. Find the location by right clicking on the Dropbox icon on the desktop. i.e.: C:\Users\YOURUSERNAMEHERE\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox\bin\Dropbox.exe
Close the Registry Editor.
 
Copying Dropbox Files
Copy the Dropbox folder from C:\Users\YOURUSERNAMEHERE\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox to C:\Windows\SysWOW64\config\systemprofile\AppData\Roaming\Dropbox
The Dropbox folder will not exist in the target folder, so just hit paste to put it there.
 
Complete!
Now reopen Server Manger, and go to services. 
Right click the "Dropbox Service" and click "Start". 
 
 
That's it! Now drop a file into your Dropbox folder. Go online to the Dropbox web interface to see if it uploaded, or check on a nearby computer using Dropbox.


#2 jinx101

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Posted 29 July 2013 - 03:20 PM

Love srvany... been using it for years now.  Question, I haven't set this up yet but I might.  Curious, if you set the service to run as yourself and then left the path to your profile's dropbox copy would it just update that copy all of the time?

That way, when I login I could trigger a script that shuts the service off and turns the client on so I could use the client features when I'm logged in (assuming the service hides those?).  Then on log off, I could restart the service.

Either way, great post. :)



#3 Branndon

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Posted 30 July 2013 - 11:42 AM

I'm not sure Jinx. I wrote this tutorial after learning myself, and haven't tried any other scenarios. If you do try it, and want to come back and answer your own questions, others would benefit from it. Thanks for asking, and I'm sorry that I couldn't answer it for you.

#4 Amin Vanda

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 12:46 AM

Hi. I like your tutorial.

But somehow it's not working for me.

The Dropbox service is running, but the syncing is not happening (while it works when I run the Dropbox.exe itself).

I had to use Local System account while creating the service logon. Could that be the reason?

Thanks



#5 Branndon

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Posted 18 August 2013 - 08:06 AM

I can't say whether the local account is the problem. I believe I used a non local account during installation. I think the account just has to have server level admin access in order for this to work. Can you try it while logged in as the domain administrator?



#6 Amin Vanda

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Posted 25 August 2013 - 07:24 PM

Thanks for the response. I made it work.

Yeah, the local user was the problem, although it was the same user I granted access for.

:)



#7 net123

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:31 PM

Thanks Branndon's tutorial,
Have you had it long-term use?
Dropbox will automatically upgrade,
Older versions will not be able to login,
You should use the schedule,"net stop Dropbox",
and "start Dropbox.exe",
Wait ten minutes,"pskii Dropbox.exe",
Then,"net start Dropbox"

I install Dropbox as a service 2 years,
However, both will often stop working because Dropbox must upgrade。

#8 Branndon

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:18 AM

Hi net123. What if your server is rebooted from time to time, wouldn't this allow dropbox to update itself? If not, then I agree, it should be scheduled to restart dropbox perhaps once a week or so.



#9 psib3rman

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Posted 18 November 2013 - 08:01 PM

Great Tutorial, Thanks Branndon.

I got stuck on the user account for a couple of hours too, Thanks Amin for bring that to light.

Local Admin was no good had to switch over to the domain admin to run the service and everything came clean.

Cheers Guys

Psiber


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#10 andydraysen

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:07 AM

Any idea how I can get this to work with amazon cloud drive? I can get the service to start but it doesn't seem to be syncing when I'm off.



#11 Branndon

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Posted 21 November 2013 - 08:21 AM


Any idea how I can get this to work with amazon cloud drive? I can get the service to start but it doesn't seem to be syncing when I'm off.

 

Sorry, I don't. I wrote this original tutorial as I was learning how to do it, I'm not an expert at services. :(






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