Making ExifToolGUI portable

Because ExifToolGUI doesn't need to be installed, nor is anything written into registry when running it, ExifToolGUI already is portable. Similar to GUI, ExifTool also doesn't need to be installed and doesn't write into registry. So, it is enough to copy both files on USB flash and start GUI -it works. However, when started the very first time, ExifTool "unpacks" several files (about 10MB) on disk into Windows's "temporary" folder, which are then used by ExifTool to work. That is, when we pull out USB flash, there's a "trace" left, that ExifTool has been executed on this PC.
For whatever reason, some would prefer running ExifToolGUI from USB stick without need to write anything onto PC. The following solution was suggested by Wayne (TT), a member of ExifTool forum, originally discussed here -and as mentioned there: use at your own risk.

Here's how it's done...

Fully portable ExifToolGUI

First you need to create "bat" file having following content:
rename parfiles par-%USERNAME%
set TEMP=%CD%
start /wait ExifToolGUI.exe
rename par-%USERNAME% parfiles
If above is created with Notepad, then rename saved file to (for example) runGUI.bat.

Now create new folder on USB flash drive (for example PortableGUI), and copy exiftool.exe and ExifToolGUI.exe into that folder. Additionaly copy previously created runGUI.bat into that folder. Finally, create parfiles folder inside PortableGUI folder and that's it (yes, parfiles folder is empty).

What we now have on USB stick, is:
<PortableGUI>       Folder
  <parfiles>        Folder
  exiftool.exe      Application
  ExifToolGUI.exe   Application
  runGUI.bat        Batch file

First time use
Always use runGUI.bat to start ExifToolGUI! ExifToolGUI will soon appear... but don't start using it! -wait until writting activity on flash drive ends (watch LED blinking on USB stick). If you start using GUI before this activity ends, GUI might show "Not responding". Anyway, this writting activity can take about 20 seconds (depends on USB stick speed) and happens only on first run. Next time, there will be no waiting, because parfiles folder is allready populated with all files needed.

Important: You will notice, that after starting runGUI.bat, well known "dos" window appears. You can minimize this window, but don't close it! When you'll exit ExifToolGUI, this "dos" window will be closed automatically.

I think above solution is simple and effective -even Windows will take notice on ExifTool/GUI's presence, of course.

Bogdan Hrastnik
February, 2012