Plant Base 2 - Portable Mode Installation

The Plant Base 2 program may easily be installed as a portable software application on removable media. So you can carry Plant Base on a USB memory stick and plug it into any PC.

There are two methods to create the portable copy - the principles and end result are the same for both.

If you already have an installation of Plant Base 2 running on your PC, then it can be switched to portable mode and copied onto the required media.

There is an important pre-requisite for this to work properly - your Windows login user must have Write access to the program folder. This means it will not work when installed in the default folder locations due to UAC security protection. However in that case you can simply copy the program and data files to an unrestricted folder, then proceed as below.

  • Run Plant Base 2
  • Open the Config Options screen
  • On the General tab, tick the "portable mode" check box and click Apply or OK.
  • Copy all application files to external media (see below)

An alternative method does not require a currently installed copy.

  • Extract all files from a Plant Base 2 ZIP file, either to a PC folder or removable media
  • Using NotePad edit the PlantBase.prefs file, in the [Config] section add or replace these lines
        Portable = 1
        RegCode = your-40-character-license-code   
  • Also while editing the PlantBase.prefs file, check the database file paths are correct and amend if needed.
  • Save the prefs file and copy all files if required

(if needed contact us about the ZIP file)


Only licensed users can run in portable mode.

Plant Base 2 will run happily in Portable Mode while still installed on the hard disk, provided the login user has write access to the program folder and data files are located as described below.

In portable mode the 4 database files are located either in the same folder as the program or any sub-folder below it (i.e. all files are relative to the program). When switching to portable mode, if the current database files are located outside the program folder then they will not be changed - so the program will continue working. However, you should re-open all files, ensuring they are within the program file path (copy the database files there first if necessary). This will enable true portability.

Plant Base 2 uses a settings file rather than the Registry to store run-time options. This is PlantBase.prefs and is in plain text format so that it may be edited if required. In portable mode this file must always be in the same folder as the main Plant Base program file, plantbase2.exe. Apart from the data files, these are the only 2 files that are absolutely essential.

Care is required if using Picture Library 3 (linked picture files). In portable mode the program will first attempt to open pictures in the sub-folder PicLib3 - below the program folder. If the image file is not found then it will attempt to use the original path, but that might not be correct when using a removable drive.

Files (for Windows):

Program folder (main folder, any name)


language sub-folder, optional - defaults to English

language files (*.lang)

PicLib3 sub-folder, optional -

any named image files, recorded in Picture Library 3

data files, can be freely named, in the program folder or any sub-folder. The supplied files are:-


For Mac edition: same as above, but plantbase2.exe is replaced by the bundle and plantbase2.chm is replaced by a sub-folder help containing the HTML help files.