Jump to content
umlaut

Problems with license key and default directories

Recommended Posts

Hi
I´ve just gotten a new windows 10 PC instead of my old Windows 7 PC - and now I am in the process of reinstalling all my CM games. I want to keep them on a separate SSD-disk - my F-drive - as I did before, so I wont risk cluttering up my C-drive. I have all CM games, modules, packs and upgrades - except for Afghanistan and Black Sea

Problem 1:
I have installed CMBN, but when I enter my original base game CMBN license key the activation menu says "invalid license key". I know for sure that this is the original CMBN base game license key. I have tried to enter all the license keys for the subsequent modules and upgrades, but the activation menu doesnt react to any of them. I guess this is because I have to activate the base game first.
Any ideas why my license key doesnt work?

Problem 2:
I have installed CMFI succesfully on my F-drive, but the game never the less places the "user data" and "game files" folders in my documents folder on my C-drive. On my old pc all game folders would be placed in the location I chose for the install - but now it seems that I can no longer choose where the "user data" and "game files" are placed. Can this really be the case?
Can anyone  tell me how to get the game to place these folders on my F-drive?

I have tried searching the forums for answers to both problems, but I dont find the search function very useful.


Cheers
Umlaut

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Problem 2:

The CM games always install to User/Documents.....Basically you need to make a new Documents Directory on the drive where you want to keep such things, then point Win10 to it as the default Documents Directory:

https://www.dummies.com/computers/operating-systems/windows-10/how-to-change-the-location-of-user-folders-in-windows-10/

Remember.....You need to create the new folder in the correct location first.

PS - Win10 is quite smart, so there's a fair chance it will detect the change of directory location and your games will still run, otherwise you may neeed to reinstall.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for the reply @Sgt.Squarehead

Unfortunately it doesnt work: I´ve uninstalled CMFI and changed the directory (though I had to use a different method, because there´s no "location" tab in Properties on my version of Win 10: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/win-10-some-user-folders-missing-location-tab-in/9f5249ce-e2a2-4311-8b50-d40d0830a907).

But no matter what I do, the "user data" and "game files" folders are placed on my C drive. 😫

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update:
I got a very quick reply from John at the helpdesk: You dont need a licence key for the base game in CMBN. So: Problem 1 solved :)
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
54 minutes ago, Warts 'n' all said:

Interesting. I think that I might have to take out a helpdesk ticket myself. As I can no longer get CMBN to run at all. 

Make sure that you let me know it's you. 🙂

 

@umlaut I just replied to your ticket but figured I'd post here too in case someone else was curious....

The games can be installed anywhere in your system that you want but the Game Files folder  absolutely, positively, 100%, no expectations MUST be in Documents. That is the only place that the game "looks" for what is in those folders. So, if the folders aren't there you won't be able to access what is in the folders.....Meaning the only thing you'll be able to do is build maps and scenarios that you won't be able to play. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

umlaut - You are using the 'all-in-one' installers for CMBN and CMFI, correct ? I know that the CMBN 1.x series will NOT work with Windows 10 due to the version of the copy-protection system not being compatible with Windows 10. Either CMBN v. 2 or v. 3 updated the copy-protection system to where it could be used with Windows 10. Using the Upgrade 4.0 all-in-one installer should prevent that particular issue.

Problem 1:  With the license keys, if you're using copy-and-paste, make sure that you're not getting any 'whitespace' before or after the license key. I don't know if that will cause problems, but it is a possibility. I forget what the exact error message is when you run out of activations, but I typically wouldn't expect it to be "invalid license key". Usually each license key will have 4 activations associated with it (though 'multiple purchases' with one resulting license key can have more). Once you run out, you can contact the Helpdesk to add an activation to that license key. If you have the 4.0 Upgrade, then at least the 3.0 Upgrade and the 4.0 Upgrade license keys are required (I don't know if the 2.0 Upgrade license keys will be recognized or not).

Problem 2:  It's possible, but I can't exactly recall, that the CMBN 1.x series may have allowed you to specify or move the "user data" and "game files" to a custom location (this was likely the case with CMSF1, but possibly not CMBN). However in order to meet Microsoft file security requirements to not write data files to the 'Program Files'/'Program Files (x86)' directory the CM files were re-located to the user's directory. This has remained the case with later games, upgrades and modules. There are methods to 'redirect' the user and program data directories to a different drive than where Windows is installed (as mentioned in the above posts), but that means ALL user data is sent to this new directory location (not just CM files). This was mostly useful for people who had smaller SSDs for their boot drives and they wanted to save the write wear on them (and possibly have more user space) by having them located to a standard spinning-metal drive. Occasionally there are issues with folder redirection (performance and upgrade-wise, usually) and in general it is an additional complexity that I don't think is worth the hassle. The one possibility of doing what you want are 'Libraries' and the 'mklink' command line utility as mentioned in this article. However I haven't tested it with any CM games to know if it will really work or if there are other problems with these methods and CM. With the 'mklink' command you would need to know the name of the directories that CM creates BEFOREHAND and use the utility to create them before CM does. I believe subdirectories created within this folder can be created by CM without issue (and be linked to the new location).

Edited by Schrullenhaft

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 hours ago, umlaut said:

Unfortunately it doesnt work: I´ve uninstalled CMFI and changed the directory (though I had to use a different method, because there´s no "location" tab in Properties on my version of Win 10: https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/all/win-10-some-user-folders-missing-location-tab-in/9f5249ce-e2a2-4311-8b50-d40d0830a907).

But no matter what I do, the "user data" and "game files" folders are placed on my C drive. 😫

I have my machine setup in a similar way to what you want - game .exe and resources in a place of my choosing and game files in my Documents folder that have been redirected to a different drive of my choosing. It does work.

I used the method you linked too. As to why its not working - I'm not sure. I would suggest

  1. uninstalling CMFI and deleting any folders that are left.
  2. Verify that you only have one Documents folder and it is the one you expect (in File Explorer if you click on the Documents entry of the Quick Access entries that should take you to the place you expect)
  3. Test that other apps like Word for example correctly save to your preferred folder by default
  4. Fix any issues with that
  5. Install CMFI again and see if that fixes things.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks a lot for the replies, guys. I have tried everything I could to change the default location of the documents folder - but nothing works.

Fortunately, I have found a very acceptable alternative solution - inspired by Elvis´ answer:

18 hours ago, BFCElvis said:

The games can be installed anywhere in your system that you want but the Game Files folder  absolutely, positively, 100%, no expectations MUST be in Documents. That is the only place that the game "looks" for what is in those folders.

I had assumed that forced placement of the "user data" and "game files" folders were linked. But today I tried to manually move my "user data" (mods) folder from the C drive to the "data" folder on my F drive. And the games work just fine with "user data" placed there.

This is certainly an acceptable solution to me, as the "user data" folders with the mods are the main problem to me as they contain 7 to 10 GB´s of mods each. And with five CM games on my pc they would occupy a substantial amount of disk space on my little 250 GB SSD drive. The game files take up much less volume (if I remember to clean out old save files regularily).

So the lesson for me is this: The Games Files folder must be on the C drive - but the "User Data" folder doesnt have to.
:)
Cheers

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Glad you are working - no need to fix what isn't broken...

1 hour ago, umlaut said:

So the lesson for me is this: The Games Files folder must be on the C drive - but the "User Data" folder doesnt have to.

But that doesn't seem right. Here is now my home machine is setup:

C drive is a 256Mb SSD with the game installs like this:

C:\Programs\Battlefront\CMFB202 (which contains the game .exe, .brz files in the Data folder etc plus a z folder I put in the Data folder for release specific mods)

The D drive is a 1 Tb HHD with the game data files - because that's where my Documents folder is located, like this:

D:\Users\Ian\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Final Blitzkrieg (which contains the Game Files folders and the User Data where I have my main mods that can be shared between all versions of Final Blitzkrieg that I have running - which is currently two 2.01 and 2.02)

I also have test installs on that D drive as well like this:

D:\Programs\Battlefront\CMSuperSecretTestInstallThatYouAllKnowWhatItIs which is where the game .exe and .brz files are but the Game Files Directory is on the same drive as my Documents - which is the D drive too.

So, the game .exe and .brz files can go anywhere you like but the Game Files *must* be under your Documents folder.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks @IanL

My problem is, that I cant get the windows to accept changing the documents location from C to F.  Settings says that the location has been changed to F - but it is still C in the shortcuts menu (and in any other way).

Never mind about that - I am happy with the current setup, but one of your other comments intrigued me:

16 hours ago, IanL said:

D:\Users\Ian\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Final Blitzkrieg (which contains the Game Files folders and the User Data where I have my main mods that can be shared between all versions of Final Blitzkrieg that I have running - which is currently two 2.01 and 2.02)

How do you get two different game installs to share the same User Data folder? And more to the point: Could several CM games share a common User Data folder? If so, then perhaps we would be able to have only one folder with all those mods that are common to all CM WWII games - for instance most of the german vehicles - instead of four relatively identical folders in each of the WWII games. That would save me - and others players - a lot of disk space.

Cheers

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 1/11/2020 at 7:46 AM, umlaut said:

How do you get two different game installs to share the same User Data folder?

I don't have to do anything. The game looks for the user data folder by asking Windows where the current user's Documents folder is. So, if I have a version of CMFI (without the latest patch) on the C Drive and another version  (with the latest patch) but both run fine and both look to my D:\Users\Ian\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Fortress Italy folder for the scenarios, QB maps and mods etc. It means I have to be careful about which .exe I start before playing a turn because newer games can "see" older saves and upgrading may not be what you want to do.

 

On 1/11/2020 at 7:46 AM, umlaut said:

And more to the point: Could several CM games share a common User Data folder?

No, you cannot. Each game looks for a specifically named folder under the user's Documents location. Since you cannot control that you cannot make such a change. The games are absolutely not designed to share resources between them so just playing games with the directories is not enough anyway. At least not enough to do safely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
17 minutes ago, IanL said:

I don't have to do anything. The game looks for the user data folder by asking Windows where the current user's Documents folder is. So, if I have a version of CMFI (without the latest patch) on the C Drive and another version  (with the latest patch) but both run fine and both look to my D:\Users\Ian\Documents\Battlefront\Combat Mission\Fortress Italy folder for the scenarios, QB maps and mods etc. It means I have to be careful about which .exe I start before playing a turn because newer games can "see" older saves and upgrading may not be what you want to do.

I have done something like this with CM:SF2.....I have an unmodified install and another insatll with a full & permanent 'Heaven & Earth' modification, done from the 'z folder' at the game's install location (as opposed to from User Data/Mods, which would be shared by both). 

When I start either game, I see the same campaigns, scenarios and QB maps, so all the 'Heaven & Earth' stuff is clearly labelled as such.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...