Upgrading SmartFTP from 2.5.1006.46 to 2.5.1008.19

My previous upgrade experience had been a bit rocky. On Thursday 29th November 2007 I downloaded this new version.

The First Thing I Noticed

Viewing the downloaded installer in Windows Explorer.

Strangely, the new installer is using an old style for the icon.

I ran it anyway.


Message box says ‘Preparing to install...’.

The normal MSI message box appears, telling you the cogs are whirring.


SmartFTP Client Setup wizard.

The install wizard appears and says, in big bold text:

Resuming the SmartFTP Client Setup Wizard

The wizard has only just appeared so it can’t be resuming.

Validating Install

Wizard says it is validating the install, with a progress bar.

I clicked Install and it displayed the next page of the wizard. It says:

Please wait while the Setup Wizard installs SmartFTP Client. This may take several minutes.

Status: Validating install

A progress bar showed it was making progress, until...

Files in Use

A new window appears. It lists 2 programs which need to be closed.

It displayed a new window which said:

Files in Use

Some files that need to be updated are currently in use.

The following applications are using files that need to be updated by this setup. Close these applications and then click Retry to continue the installation or Cancel to exit it.

  • 2.png - Paint
  • SmartFTP Client (32-bit) - Free Software Downloads and Software Reviews - Download.com - Mozilla Firefox

Paint was open because I was taking screenshots and saving them. It listed that as 1 of 2 programs which must be closed. A bit inconvenient!

I closed Paint and clicked Retry.

Files in Use (Still)

The new window only lists 1 program now.

Paint was no longer listed. Yay.

The second item began with SmartFTP Client (32-bit) but this wasn’t running. I noticed the list had a horizontal scrollbar, so I scrolled along looking for more clues. When I got to the end, it said - Mozilla Firefox. Again, this was a bit inconvenient as I was writing and previewing this page as the installation progressed.

But I closed Firefox and clicked Retry again.

This is Progress

Wizard shows install progress, with a new progress bar.

The new window was now closed and focus returned to the wizard. The progress bar rapidly reached the end of the window...then it went back to the start and the actual installation began. Would be slicker if the validation and installation were measured on the same progress bar, imho.

Only took a few seconds for the program to be installed.


Final page of wizard.

The final page of the wizard says, in big bold text:

Completing the SmartFTP Client Setup Wizard

The “ing” was a bit confusing because the installer progress bar had finished. Also, a ticked checkbox told me Lanch SmartFTP Client which seems to indicate everything has finished. Things get a little more confusing, though...

When is Installed not Installed?

Quick Launch bar showing a SmartFTP shortcut, with a newly created SmartFTP shortcut on the desktop.

Clicking Finish closed the wizard, as you’d expect. The SmartFTP License Reminder window then appeared, since I haven’t purchased SmartFTP yet. Seconds after this, a message box appeared called Installer Information. It said:

You must restart your system for the configuration changes made to SmartFTP to take effect. Click Yes to restart now or Now if you plan to manually restart later.

So the wizard has told me I could Lanch SmartFTP Client and duely did so, only for something else to say this shouldn’t actually be happening.

Perhaps the checkbox in the wizard should say Restart now so clicking Finish restarts the computer?

I clicked Yes to restart the machine, which worked fine. Then I launched SmartFTP, getting the license message as expected.

After the Restart

SmartFTP’s main window with misaligned toolbars.

Oh dear. The interface has been trashed. I get this every time I upgrade.

I had not customised the interface by some odd method. I just select the Native Windows theme (which it has remembered, correctly) and tick some menus to hide most of the chrome (which it hasn’t remembered).

SmartFTP have fixed UI preference bugs in the past, so I’m hopeful this will get ironed out for next time.

Specifically, the problems are:

  1. Protocol button from the History toolbar is visible.
  2. Login toolbar is visible.
  3. Login toolbar is alongside the History toolbar. One toolbar per row tends to be the initial layout in Windows XP.
  4. Standard toolbar is visible.
  5. Standard toolbar is right-aligned when toolbars are left-aligned by default in Windows XP.
  6. Windows toolbar is visible.
  7. Windows toolbar is empty, which makes it look like a bug.
  8. Windows toolbar shouldn’t exist? There’s a Window menu for weirdos like me who turn off tabbed browsing in their FTP client.
  9. The status bar is not displayed.

Saving Private Prefs

Unwanted toolbars and buttons are now hidden.

The changes I had to make are:

    1. Click View > Toolbars > Customize menu to display the Customize window. (This should really be called Customize Toolbar for consistency with Windows Explorer?)
    2. Remove the Protocols button by dragging it from the toolbar and dropping it on the Customize window.
    3. Click the Close button.
  1. Untick View > Toolbars > Login.
  2. Untick View > Toolbars > Standard.
  3. Untick View > Toolbars > Windows.
  4. Look for a View > Status Bar menu item to display it again. There isn’t one.
  5. Look through Tools > Settings for a way to get the status bar back. There isn’t one, afaict.

Now it is nice and simple, although I do wish the status bar were here.

Swings and Roundabouts

Logged in to Project Cerbera. Status bar has returned! Log pane is being drawn over the main view.

This page would need to be uploaded to Project Cerbera, so I decided to log into it. It was still listed in the History toolbar’s combobox, so I selected it and press Ctrl+G to Go to it. The screenshot shows the result.

The status bar has made a very welcome return. But the Log pane has gatecrashed the party, drunkenly falling out of the window’s toolbar area. Very odd but I’ve had this before when using Ctrl+G after changing the selected item in that combobox.

Clicking View > Panes > Log ticks the item and displays it properly. Clicking View > Panes > Log again unticks the item and hides it properly.

That’s the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I Like It

Log pane now hidden.

Now everything is ship-shape and just the way I like it. Yay! But it should have been like that when I first ran the new version, imho.

Status Bar Makes an Early Exit

Returns to the “Saving Private Prefs” setup.

Just out of suspicion I decided to close the Project Cerbera window (Ctrl+W). The status bar dissappeared again. D’oh!

I guess this was a design choice of the SmartFTP developers. It contains the resizing handle, which is always useful because it’s easier to get hold of than the window borders. Or rather, it should contain the resizing handle. SmartFTP has been missing this for a while.


Selecting a Quick Launch item from an existing SmartFTP, with the newly created SmartFTP shortcut on the desktop.

SmartFTP created a shortcut on my desktop which I hadn’t asked for. I have a Quick Launch item for it instead. Perhaps the final page of the wizard should add a checkbox saying Create a shortcut on my desktop? That way I could stop this from happening by unticking that checkbox.

On the plus size, the program is still called SmartFTP.exe so my existing shortcuts Just Work.


One thing I like is it detected my currently installed version and overwrote it. No need to Browse around C:\Program Files\ to give it the right path. In my case, this is C:\Program Files\Smart FTP.

Something I don’t like is the new folder it created at C:\Program Files\SmartFTP Client 2.5 Setup Files. It contains 3 files:

Could these go somewhere like <SmartFTP Install Path>\Setup Files next time?

Along similar lines to all the toolbars becoming visible, it lost my custom keyboard shortcuts. Luckily I had only set a few.

SmartFTP remains my favourite FTP client. Making the upgrade experience smoother and the aftermath cleaner would be nice, though.