2. The common Windows problems.
The games require a few steps be taken so they work correctly, so they can be modified, and that the characters behave as they were originally intend to(patching).2.1. Don't use the default directory.
Install the game to anywhere else than the default Program Files folder. "C:\Program Files\Black Isle\BGII - SoA\"
This is, so far at least a problem on Windows XP SP3 with or without the 64-bit, Windows Vista and Windows 7.
So don't install the game to the C: -drive's Program Files sub-folders(it's actual name changes according to your Operation System's language selection and the byte set, and between the different OS'es too), this is because the Operation Systems protect that folder from overwriting by mirroring the files, with is an extra security layer that actually puts the files into another directory, so your changes will not even take effect if you launch the game under a XP SP2 compatibility mode, under the Vista or Windows 7.
In Windows 7, the changed files are actually written into your User Profile's Virtual Storage... from which they cannot be ran in XP SP2 compatibility mode.
The Windows 7 x64 is said to be exception, as the "Program Files (x86)" is not mirrored... I have no personal knowledge on this. And I bet it has to do with the exact version of the program, as there's more than the basic today(Office, Professional, Ultimate).
Update: Yep, my Ultimate versions folder is indeed mirrored.
But anyway, in megamoding the BG2 game, you should essentially install the game to the "C:\BWP\BGII - SoA" -folder, or whereever. But NOT
into "C:\Program Files (x86)\Black Isle\BGII - SoA\" NOR to "C:\Program Files\Black Isle\BGII - SoA\" !!!
The other Infinity Engine games neither should be installed to the Program Files, but to C:\Games\ sub-directories, as an example.2.2.1 Disabling your User Account Control, in Vista and W7.
Now, Windows Vista and Windows 7 have these annoying new features called User Account Control, which even with Admin permissions stop everything mod related, as it prevent programs from altering other programs, at least without your permission, which in turn says that you have to re-enter the program code after the permission is given to the said program which doesn't suit with BiG Worlds programs cause the user didn't code program, nor typed the .exe's need special features to actually do things they do. You disable this feature by going this path in;
Vista: Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Accounts -> Turn User Account Control on or off -> Uncheck the box next to 'Use User Account Control (UAC) to help protect your computer', and push OK, and then restarting the computer, in annoyance...
W7: Start -> Control Panel -> User Accounts and Family Safety -> User Accounts -> Change Your User Account Control settings... set to the bottom most option and done, and then restarting the computer, in annoyance...2.2.2 Disabling the Program Compatibility Assistant on Windows 7.
To increase this annoyance, the clever idiots at the MacroHard
have invented this assistant that always asks: 'Did this x program install successfully?' on 32bit system, and in 64bit system it can and will stop you from overwriting useful files, like the BGMain.exe when you upgrade the SoA to ToB.
To remove it push the Start -> type to the console: gpedit.msc and start it, then User Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components -> Application Compatibility
Double click the option "Turn off Program Compatibility Assistant", and inside its configuration mark the "Enabled" -> Apply -> OK. Restart the computer.
file can also be found usually manually from C:\Windows\System32 or C:\Windows\System64 -folder, in most machines, but as said in the link some versions of the Window 7's don't have that, meaning that you are stuck with the original setup... whatever that is, so you don't have to disable it.2.3 Install the official game patches.
As the Bioware.com was updated a sometime ago, the old games don't have an official site to download the patches from, but there was a net archives that had the content, it seems for a while that the wayback machine was updated and thus the previous links were no longer in action, but these new should work:Baldur's Gate
; use the v1.1.4315, without the DirectX 8+ patch, cause they were betas from long ago!Baldur's Gate: Tales of the Sword Coast
; the v(1.3.)5512 without the DirectX 8+ patch, and even though the link says not to patch the Original Saga version, the Original Saga version can be patched to gain the most compatible version of the game, so it's recommended.Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn
; the 23037.Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal
; the v(2.5.)26498... DO NOT use the 26499!
Other good patch links to non-Bioware links with patches to Infinity Engine games:Planescape: Torment
; the v1.1 ...Icewind Dale
; v1.06Icewind Dale Heart of Winter
; Trials of the Luremaster, also known as the v1.42 patch.Icewind Dale II
; v2.012.4 Make a quick icon from the BGMain.exe to the desktop.
This is made because you want to make sure you actually start the right game files, as the Baldur.exe uses the Windows Registry, which might not be the current game files in the same game folder you wish to modify the game in. (8.)2.5. Start the games.
The game's installation is finalized when you start a new game, you only need to only be able to save the game, and no, you won't be using the character you create as the save at this point will not have any of the modified content, so you can delete it if you want to... the reason why you need to start a new game is that you can see if there's something wrong with the game at this point, that it actually starts, that there's no graphical errors etc.2.5.1 Get rid of the graphical errors before you modify the game.
The BG2 engine shouldn't have any black boxes under statistic animations nor any other black boxes, GUI flickering etc. If you have them, your configuration is not properly made, or your graphical settings are screwed, and you need to look at the 5.I
for help.2.6 Remove the unnecessary files.
The game folder contains unnecessary and sometimes even buggy files if they are not removed when you start the modified game. The folders that have them are the temporary folder, and the later unusable files, so that is; "temp", "tempsave" and "cache", "save" "mpsave" folders, if they exist. You can delete them, or their content.2.7 Make a backup.
This is optional, but I heavily recommend copying the game directory, or making a .rar archive from it. As you can then skip all the steps before this.2.8 Modify the game.
Now you can install the mods you want to. Or use the BWS.2.Q1 Why, install in non-Program Files folder, disable the UAC, and the PCA? And then install the patch...
Well, cause we need to, and because we can enable them after the game and the mods (or the auto installers like BiG World Setup.vbs and BiG World Install.bat) have run their procedures to completion. (Or you go through the horror of making manually all the installation of the BWS without much gain, but suffering).2.Q2 And why we need to ?Think about it
. Because the game wasn't originally designed to use user profile's virtual storage, because the original game engine was made in 1990's(released 1998-2002), not after the 2006 when the Virtual Storage first became commonly available with Windows Vista. So because the WeiDU.exe is not, nor is the original games 'certified' for Windows Vista nor Windows 7 as they do not support the User Account Control, you just have to do what is said in this picture:
And use that option.
Or, you could do this
in Vista, but I haven't given it much though as I use the W7 now.2.Q3 What should the GoG BGII [Alias] section look alike ? If one installs in to the C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\ directory... and what else.
HD0:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD1:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD2:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD3:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD4:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\
CD5:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\data\;C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\CD5\
HD0:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD1:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD2:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD3:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD4:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\
CD5:=C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\;C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\CD5\
Because the GoG version is not totally alike the original, you should rename the readme as "BG2-ToBPatchReadMe.txt" and copy the 25movies.bif file from the data directory to the C:\BWS\BGII - SoA\CD5\movies\ -directory. This is because the BWS is build to check those files, so it can be considered genuine updated BGII - SoA + ToB game.
And so you know, the CD6:=... definition doesn't exist in the BGII games memory, so it's redundant.2.Q4 The latest BWS'es BGT-WeiDU doesn't like that the BG1 game is not installed to the default folder... can I easily fix this.
Well, not easily, but if you wish, you can have the BGT understand that the game is installed to the default folder by setting a fake copy there.
You do this by installing the game to anywhere else than the default folder, then you make sure it works and you have no errors in it after you have installed the latest patch etc. etc.
Then you edit the baldur.ini file in the BG1 directory and have the [Alias] section to be exactly this on 32 bit Windows:
HD0:=C:\Program Files\Black Isle\Baldur's Gate\
The CD1-CD6 drives don't matter as you have to have a full install, meaning all the data is stored to the HD0... and then you go and copy the game folder the default install folder, that is empty: => C:/Program Files/Black Isle/2.Q5 The BG1 saves disappear to somewhere with Window Vista/7, help, while I went stupidly and installed into the Program Files folder ?
The files, if you have access to them are hidden somewhere close to:
C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Roaming\VirtualStore\Program Files\Black Isle\Baldur's Gate\save\
C:\Users\*username*\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Black Isle\Baldur's Gate\save\
Edited by Jarno Mikkola, 24 November 2012 - 12:53 PM.