Portable Installation

In version 246, we added support for an installation that does not use the windows installer or write to the Windows registry. In this scenario, MARC Report can be installed anywhere on your computer, such as on a USB stick, a second hard drive, etc. The only requirement is that you (i.e. your windows login) has read/write/create/execute permission on the installation folder.

Before using this installation you should make sure that the standard installation does not work. A reason not to use this type of installation is that it will make program updates somewhat more complicated. The reason for this complication is that subsequent versions will not be able to determine where an existing portable version, or any user customizations to it, are located. If a user is not heavily customizing the program, then this issue is not a problem–just install the new portable version, make whatever changes are needed on the program's Options form, and start using it (and after a bit of testing, delete the previous portable installation).

On the other hand, if any customizations beyond the options form have been made–like edit macros, cataloging sets, RDA relationships, MARC Global/Marc Reviews, editing templates, xml stylesheets, etc.–the files that record these decisions1) will need to be manually copied from the old install to the new install.


Use the steps below to set-up a portable installation.

The name of the download file for the portable installer is formatted like this2):

  • Download the portable installer and save it to your desktop.
  • Double-click on the downloaded file. This will create a folder named 'MARC Report 246' on your desktop3)
  • Drag the 'MARC Report 246' folder to wherever on your system you want to install MARC Report.
  • For the purposes of illustration, let's say we dragged this folder to a USB stick named F:\, thus creating
F:\MARC Report 246
  • Copy the MARC Report registration file(s) that we emailed to you into this folder (F:\MARC Report 246). If you have a MARC Global registration, copy it here also.


Launch MARC Report by double-clicking the executable named


When the program starts, goto the Help menu and select the 'Tech Support info' option. Check that the paths displayed here match the location of your flash drive folder. Check that the 'Flash drive install' parameter on this screen is “yes”.

This check is extra important when adding a flash drive install to a system that already contains a standard installation of MARC Report. (For more details on the folder layout, see the next section).

When you are satisfied that everything is ship-shape, you may

  1. make a shortcut (right-click on marcreportZ.exe and select 'Send To … Desktop')
  2. move the shortcut to a convenient location
  3. use Windows 'Pin to Start menu' option by right-clicking the shortcut
  4. use Windows 'Pin to Task bar' option by right-clicking the shortcut
  5. any combination of the above


When the steps in the above example are complete, the resulting folder layout will be:

Do not change any of the folder names or relative locations in this layout.

Also note the slight difference in the naming of the folder that contains the application

MARC Report 246

and the name of the folder that contains the user's options


This difference is intentional and must be preserved.


File association

A problem specific to multiple MARC Report installations on the same computer is this: when you double-click on a file with the .mrc extension, which installation will open it?

The answer is: whichever installation last registered the .mrc file extension.

If .mrc is setup to open in the standard installation, follow these steps to associate .mrc with a flash drive installation:

  1. Open the standard installation
  2. Goto Options|Program Automation
  3. Click on the “Unregister” button in the File Association box (bottom left in 246)
  4. Close the options and close the program
  5. Open the flash drive installation
  6. Goto Options|Program Automation
  7. Click on the “Register” button in the File Association box (bottom left in 246)

Files ending in .mrc will now open in the flash drive installation when you double-click on them

Changing the program folder

If you need to rename the top folder ('F:\MARC Report 246' in the example), or move the whole directory tree to another location, we recommend that you start over from scratch.

If that's not feasible, these steps should work:


  1. Delete the file named 'redirectIni.txt' in the 'F:\MARC Report 246' folder
  2. Delete the file named 'marcreport.ini' in the 'F:\MARC Report 246\documents\MarcReport' folder
  3. Delete any shortcuts and remove any 'Pin to …' that you made
  4. If you have customizations, backup the folder 'F:\MARC Report 246\documents\MarcReport'
  5. Move the 'F:\MARC Report 246' folder where desired.
  6. Follow the steps in the 'Test' section above

Note: these steps must be executed in the order given.

Flash drive letter

If you are using a flash drive and launching the program from a shortcut, and the drive letter of the flash drive changes, the above steps will fail whenever the drive letter of the flash drive does not match the one in your shortcut.

To resolve this problem, assign a constant drive letter to your flash drive. It does not matter what the drive letter is–what matters is that it does not change, or conflict with another assignment.

Its not hard to do this, but it does require Admin rights on the computer that you are plugging the flash drive into. Your IT people should know the steps to do this (but if not, search the web for 'static flash drive letter').

Error message

It might be possible that, while testing a flash drive install, an .ini could be created with invalid folder parameters; subsequent launches will not correct this kind of problem.

If you get the message

MARC Report is not installed or registered correctly.

go back thru the steps above carefully. Once you are sure everything is in order, before starting the program again, find the file called


located in F:\MARC Report 246\documents\MarcReport (using the example layout above).

Delete this file, then start the program

Updating a flash drive installation

In general, there is no problem with copying customizations from one version to another as long as the files are copied into the same-named folders in the other installation.

There is one file which must NEVER be copied, in either direction:


because this file uses absolute pathnames.

The first task is to identify the folder used for MARC Report options in each installation.

To do this, start the program and select 'Help|Tech Support Info'. Find the parameter named 'Options folder', and copy the path to your clipboard. Open a File Explorer window (Win+E) and paste the copied path into the top bar of Explorer. This will navigate to your MARC Report options.

To copy MARC Review or MARC Global saved reviews from one installation to another

Copy the files


to the same-named folder ('Options') in the destination installation.

Using the example layout in the snapshot above, the full-path of the options folder would be:
F:\MARC Report 246\documents\MarcReport\options

If you have created any autoreviews, copy them also. This would be any file in the standard installation option folder that ends with the file extension


That's it. Start the flash drive installation and you should now have all of your saved reviews.

NB. Support for importing/exporting a complete MARC Report configuration was added in version 256.

Thus, a simpler way to update a portable installation would be:

  1. Start your existing portable version
  2. Export your complete configuration
  3. Install the new portable version
  4. Start up the new version
  5. Import the previously exported configuration.
all of these should be located in the “options” folder
2) , 3)
where '246' is the current version
help/flashdrive.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/19 17:16 (external edit)
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