I'm a happy user of Dropbox, but I want to use it with my Windows Home Server.

I would like to ask if it's possible to run it as a service. The default installation installs dropbox.exe in C:\Documents and Settings\administrator\Application Data\Dropbox\bin

That path prevents me from creating a user-defined service using Windows Resource Kits.


I found a forum post (now deleted) which describes a solution for Windows Home Server. There is also another post that covers Running Dropbox as a service on Windows Server 2008. The description below is for WHS.

First, run the Dropbox installer using the command line switch /D=C:\Program Files\Dropbox (with no quotes) to install Dropbox into the Program Files directory for all users.

Then here an updated version of the procedure given on this link:

Since Dropbox will normally only work when a user is logged in, we will have to install and use it first via remote desktop, before it can be turned it into a Service.

  1. Remote desktop to your WHS as administrator
  2. Get DropBox from their website.
  3. Install and configure Dropbox as you like. e.g. I made a special share on my WHS named Dropbox before the installation and linked Dropbox to this share. Then exit dropbox from the system tray.
  4. Similar to Foldershare, you will need instsrv.exe and srvany.exe from the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools.
  5. Copy instsrv.exe to C:\Program Files\Dropbox
  6. Copy srvany.exe to C:\Program Files\Dropbox
  7. execute "C:\Program Files\Dropbox\instsrv.exe" Dropbox "C:\Program Files\Dropbox\srvany.exe"
  8. execute reg ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dropbox\Parameters /v Application /d "C:\Program Files\Dropbox\Dropbox.exe"
  9. execute reg ADD HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\Dropbox\Parameters /v AppDirectory /d "C:\Program Files\Dropbox"
  10. Delete or move the shorcut to Dropbox away from the startfolder (Start -> All Programs -> Startup) on the startmenu.
  11. Move (cut/paste) ALL the files from C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Application Data\DropBox to C:\Documents and Settings\Default User\Application Data\Dropbox
  12. execute net start Dropbox
  • 4
    One step to add: As Dropbox installs into Application data, you need to create the folder c:\program files\dropbox and copy all files from the Dropbox\bin directory to it
    – Michael Stum
    Dec 30 '09 at 3:29
  • Is there a similar version for Windows Server 2008? Jun 8 '11 at 10:03
  • I managed to get this working (Windows Server 2008 R2 64-bit) using this article social.technet.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/winserverMigration/… - I didn't need to use instsrv.exe - just srvany.exe pointing to Dropbox Jun 14 '11 at 14:12
  • I use TaskScheduler and start Dropbox when system start. Work like a charm. :)
    – dariol
    Aug 18 '11 at 12:12
  • note: srvany.exe HAS to be in the same dir as dropbox.exe, instsrv can be anywhere on the path Nov 3 '11 at 15:44

Any2Service supposedly lets you turn any exe into a service. Haven't been using it in a long time myself but maybe it's worth a try.

  • Link is broken.
    – Macke
    Aug 1 '15 at 9:54

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