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DLC Wiki leads to CTD causing .bsa files


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#1 seekles

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 08:49 PM

I've been playing Skyrim for a while now in it's vanilla glory (I prefer to play games vanilla) but ran in to a number of disturbing resolution problems so I thought about installing the highrespackages finally. To do this properly I found your nice STEP project and tried to execute everything described in it. This led to Skyrim actually CTD-ing directly after it went fullscreen (so before the Bethesda logo pops up). After a day of testing I came to the following conclusion: Using a clean install of Steam and Skyrim following the STEP DLC section described to the letter leads to two HighResTexturePack0x.bsa files being created that will cause a CTD on startup of Skyrim. Running the system with vanilla steam downloaded HighRes files will work like a charm however. Now the only issue I ran into was 4 placeholder files copy exceptions during the unpacking of the HighRes files but since these files do not seem to be needed as they are removed by the .bat file I do not see why that could cause the error. The only other oddity I face is that allowing TESV.exe to run as administrator puts you in a launcher and Win7 allowance loop (hitting play in the launcher, generates the Win7 security question you need to OK which then again starts the launcher, etc) thought his happens when using vanilla and adapted HighRes files Anyone has a clue to what is happening here or is there an error in the DLC section's text?
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#2 z929669

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:18 PM

My guess is that you have an issue with the BSAs taht you created. If they were not packed correctly, this could cause the problem. Look at the BSA structures in DDSopt or BSAopt and compare to vanilla. If I understand correctly, if you use the default HRDLCs, you can run Skyrim, but if you use those that you newly created, you cannot? I personally used the same methodology accept that I packed my loose files into an archive and posited into my Data directory (via Wrye Bash). I avoid BSAs. It is pretty easy to mess up a BSA repack if you don't create the right source and target directories.

#3 frihyland

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Posted 20 May 2012 - 09:28 PM

I don't include directions for how to use ddsopt or bsaopt, you will need to read the documents for those. I'll add that to the wiki. I use bash personally so I just zip them up in bain format instead of repacking to bsa.
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#4 seekles

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 06:57 AM

I tend to agree with you on the incorrect packing z929669 when it comes to a faulty file but my issue is that I followed the manual of BSAOpt to the letter (especially my test with a clean install). I could try to unpack and repack the vanilla HighRes to see if BSAOpt is an issue in the unpacking/packing part if that helps. I glanced over the bsa created with the corrections and the vanilla but I'm to noobish to draw any conclusions apart from them looking the same. I piece of text on how to pack properly would be appreciated frihyland
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#5 frihyland

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 08:04 AM

How are you loading the bsa's? and how large are they? 2GB is maximum size supported by skyrim. Lots of updates to the wiki.
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#6 seekles

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 09:06 AM

Both files remain below the 2G limit (didn't know it existed) though the HRDLC2 to HighResTexturePack02.bsa just barely manages, this should be the case I assume cause the .bat file mainly removed some files hence a smaller repacked HighResTexturePack0x.bsa file. Could you write a small piece on how to use bash to create the appropriate HighResTexturePack0x.bsa files then I'll install bash and try that approach next to the test with unpacking and repacking the vanilla HighRes files with BSAOpt.
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#7 z929669

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 12:20 PM

The point about correct BSA structure is that within the BSA, you should see a directory structure like: textures/landscape/trees/*.dds and NOT landscape/trees/*.dds OR out/textures/landscape/trees/*.dds Both of the latter two structures will effectively eliminate all texture assets and crash the game (assuming that these are the only texture BSAs available and they are named correctly). The way Fri and I do it is by compressing the textures folder into a ZIP archive (or RAR or 7z). Then it is available for management using Wrye Bash, MO or NMM. Alternatively, you can simply paste the textures folder into your data directory (this is the manual install method used by TheCompiler). In fact, pasting each of those texture directories under skyrim/Data would be an easy way to verify that you have a BSA issue and not some other issue. The point is that you may have followed the guide, but clearly, you misunderstood one or more of the guide's instructions (or altogether missed some other, ancillary instruction).

#8 seekles

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 02:25 PM

Just mix a vanilla gamer with a 15 year ago advanced Unix user and et voila you got the nightmare that's me, I understand file structures etc and can understand most things you will write down but I have no clue how this BSAOpt/Skyrim modding etc works beyond the manual you write. So I will follow it to the letter and then report if something is wrong, with some pointers I can tell you where it went wrong and since I get the idea your targetting a broader audience hope you use the info to improve your project. There might be a misunderstanding from your point of view but I literary execute what is written down hence from my point of view that means there is something not written down clearly enough or wrong for that matter. Let figure out what it is shall we.
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#9 z929669

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 03:01 PM

I agree that we may have something worded in a confusing way, or possibly even overlooked something that we normally take for granted. It would be very helpful if you could identify the specifics of where you think that you deviate from what you think to be the intended course. Ultimately, you will want to have created two BSAs that match the respective structures of the original DLCs (less the bloat). Check this by opening each in DDSopt and selecting the respective BSA as the target "directory". Just cursorily examine the tree structure. Each should contain one branch called "textures" with many additional sub-branches. I made a couple of minor changes to the guide that may have been confusing previously.

#10 seekles

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 03:57 PM

I think I found out what is wrong and it's a setting problem in BSAOpt on my side. Is there a good way to check in game if the HighRes packages did load properly btw?

You might want to add to the guide that you have to check and set the Game menu to Skyrim each time you open or refresh BSAOpt. In my case this solves the loader CTD.

On a side note, I checked both files (corrupt and new) and the structure seemed solid, as in the same. Where does the Skyrim setting of BSAOpt kicks in in the file structure?

Also I think you could mention that the 4 errors you get when unpacking the .bsa's to the HRDLC directories (1 for HRDLC1 and 3 HRDLC2) about the placeholder not being able to be unpacked correctly (want a screen?) can be ignored cause the .bat file removes mention fo them anyway.

If you want me to write a small bullet section for using BSAOpt to pack correctly for this (12 bullets or so) I can do that, used up enough of your time for something stupid.
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#11 z929669

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:06 PM

Sure, go ahead and post whatever changes you think might be applicable to that section of the guide. We will incorporate if we agree (and possibly recruit you to wiki editor ;) if you are interested.... always in need of descent tech writers). I think that XXXopt writes BSAs in different format with respect to game type, but otherwise, they would look the same from the app. I have never had a problem with these apps not remaining 'fixed' to the game format I set them to, so I will pass the buck on that one.

#12 frihyland

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Posted 21 May 2012 - 04:28 PM

yeah, the automatic setting doesn't work when writing files just opening and the default is oblivion format. Set it to skyrim and forget it. The only changes are a few bytes in the header but it is enough to crash skyrim :( I had that in the wiki at one point, I'll put it back in.
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#13 seekles

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:01 PM

Hereby my improved version of the BSAOpt packaging line:Using BSAopt (or DDSopt), recompress the two remaining directories
(e.g., c:\HRDLC1 & c:\HRDLC2) back into HighResTexturePack01.bsa and
HighResTexturePack02.bsa, respectively (CAUTION: make backups of these,
because Steam can overwrite! Also, be certain that the directory
structures within each BSA match the textures\ directory structure under the skyrim\Data directory), OR
I suggest changing it into:
Using BSAOpt:
  • Start BSAOpt (pick the correct version, x32 or x64) and check if in the Game menu Skyrim has been set as option (this option might have reset which will generate CTD causing .bsa output files)
  • Click the top right Browse button
  • In the pop up menu select the directory you want to pack (HRDLC1 or HRDLC2)
  • Click the Use Folder button
  • Check if the directory tree that is listed in the top section of BSAOpt lists the structure (..\, textures and then the sub-files) anything else is wrong and you need to reselect your input directory
  • Click the bottom right Browse button
  • In the File name section select and overwrite "out" with HighResTexturePack01 or HighResTexturePack02
  • Check if the Save as type section is set the Bethesda Softworks Archive (*.bsa)
  • Click the Save button
  • Click the Pack button
  • Repeat the process for the other directory (HRDLC1 or HRDLC2) that needs to be packed
  • Delete the HRDLC1 and HRDLC2 directories

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#14 z929669

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 09:47 PM

Thanks. I'll let Fri take the lead on merging in your suggestions. (I also think that guide would benefit from some figures to help illustrate a few things) :yes:

#15 frihyland

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:23 PM

done, thanks for the help
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