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larryparadise

Quick Plugin Question

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hey all,

can a guy like me simply copy/paste plugins from one file to another...like if i copied my plugins folder to a flash drive and then pasted the plugins from the flash drive into the plugins folder on another computer...or would i need to go through the actual extract process in order for the plugins to work?

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Yes, for most content, it will be fine to do this. But remember, some mods (e.g. the Extra Cheats DLL) require to be placed in the root directory of your plugins folder (not inside any subfolders). When in doubt, remember to check the readme for any specific installation requirements.

 

Also, for mods like the NAM, it's probably best to do a complete reinstall, to make sure everything is configured correctly.

 

Hope this helps. Please ask if you have any further queries. :)

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Wait! Wait! Wait! You mean After I unzip a folder from my flash drive I don't have to open the folder and cut and paste each individual do dad? I can just cut and paste the file directly into my plugin subfolder I made?

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  • Original Poster
  • Yes, for most content, it will be fine to do this. But remember, some mods (e.g. the Extra Cheats DLL) require to be placed in the root directory of your plugins folder (not inside any subfolders). When in doubt, remember to check the readme for any specific installation requirements.

     

    Also, for mods like the NAM, it's probably best to do a complete reinstall, to make sure everything is configured correctly.

     

    Hope this helps. Please ask if you have any further queries. :)

     

    Thanks CB...that's the answer i was hoping for

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    Wait! Wait! Wait! You mean After I unzip a folder from my flash drive I don't have to open the folder and cut and paste each individual do dad? I can just cut and paste the file directly into my plugin subfolder I made?

     

    I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to do. As long as the plugins are unzipped and in your plugins folder, it will be fine.

     

    Here's how I'd go about it:

     

    1.  Copy the zip files to a new folder on your computer such as on your desktop or in "Documents"

    2.  Unzip them

    ---------------------------------------------------

    3.  Choose one you want to install.

    4.  Read the readme for any specific requirements (including dependencies) :read:

    5.  Make a new subfolder in "Plugins" -- give it an appropriate name, so you can clearly identify the contents.

    6.  Copy the required files into the new subfolder

    7.  Repeat from step 3

     

    Remember, the only exception are those that need to be placed in the root of the plugins folder.

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    Wait! Wait! Wait! You mean After I unzip a folder from my flash drive I don't have to open the folder and cut and paste each individual do dad? I can just cut and paste the file directly into my plugin subfolder I made?

     

    I'm not exactly sure what you're trying to do. As long as the plugins are unzipped and in your plugins folder, it will be fine.

     

    Here's how I'd go about it:

     

    1.  Copy the zip files to a new folder on your computer such as on your desktop or in "Documents"

    2.  Unzip them

    ---------------------------------------------------

    3.  Choose one you want to install.

    4.  Read the readme for any specific requirements (including dependencies) :read:

    5.  Make a new subfolder in "Plugins" -- give it an appropriate name, so you can clearly identify the contents.

    6.  Copy the required files into the new subfolder

    7.  Repeat from step 3

     

    Remember, the only exception are those that need to be placed in the root of the plugins folder.

    Oh okay that's what I do, just making sure is all...

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    Larryparadise, the zipped file itself does NOT need to be inside the Plugins folder after you unzip it.  In fact, I don't even download the zipped files into my Plugins.  I save them to a separate folder on my desktop and selectively pull out the files I know need to go in the Plugins folder.  Even if it's an .exe file that comes with its own installer, I first install it to a folder on my desktop and then transfer the relevant files into my Plugins folder.  So to answer your question, you only copy and paste the files which have the following extensions:

     

    .dat

    .dll 

    .sc4desc 

    .sc4lot 

    .sc4Model

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    OK, let's clarify this.

     

    The downloads generally are .zip files (compressed archives).  You should put them in a separate place away from the game files in your Documents\Simcity 4 folder.  I keep mine in an SC4RelatedDownloads folder.

     

    You unzip (expand) the archive in place which will give you a folder with the same name as the .zip but containing the actual files from the archive.

     

    Now, examine the contents of this folder.  If it contains a .exe file, just run it.  Otherwise you need to manually copy the files that are plugins into your Plugins structure.  Files you should copy have extensions of: .sc4lot, .sc4desc, .sc4model, .dat and .dll.  Check the readme document, if any, to see if there are other requirements.

     

    @ihrob:  You and I posted at the same time.  You know, at one time this was clear to everyone, but time goes on, eh?

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  • Original Poster
  • Larryparadise, the zipped file itself does NOT need to be inside the Plugins folder after you unzip it.  In fact, I don't even download the zipped files into my Plugins.  I save them to a separate folder on my desktop and selectively pull out the files I know need to go in the Plugins folder.  Even if it's an .exe file that comes with its own installer, I first install it to a folder on my desktop and then transfer the relevant files into my Plugins folder.  So to answer your question, you only copy and paste the files which have the following extensions:

     

    .dat

    .dll 

    .sc4desc 

    .sc4lot 

    .sc4Model

    Thanks...that's exactly the answer i was looking for.

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    Silly question here...  Is it possible for your plugin subfolders to have subfolders?  Say I have an IDK how bout a Best Buy downloaded.  So I make a subfolder titled Best Buy in my plugins.  Now say the Best Buy has growable and ploppable.  Could I make subfolders in the subfolder labelled Best Buy, one for growable and one for ploppable?

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    In fact, I explicitly recommend making subfolders to get some structure and overview into your plugins. I also recommend backing up your existing plugins folder. You can simply copy the entire folder as is to a different location.

     

    Even a reinstall of complex mods like the NAM is not required at all. Once you have a working NAM configuration in your active plugins folder, you can also e.g. make a copy of this plugins folder on a flash drive, and copy it from the flash drive to a different computer. You will get an identical copy of your plugins folder, and this identical copy will work just like the original.

     

    Care should be taken, however, when you do not copy into an empty plugins folder. In this scenario you may end up having older NAM files interfering with newer ones, and problems will arise.

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    The game will read the entire contents of your plugins folder. So it doesn't matter how many subfolders you use. As T Wrecks said, creating a logical structure actually makes it easier to locate and manage specific content. Also, having lots of subfolders won't impact the game's loading time.

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    Okay cool. I do have a backup of my main plugin folders in "my documents". I do like to keep things organized in my plugin folders so if something isn't right with a building ie brown box or missing features I know right where to look.

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    If there is an installer inside the zip and no other files that go along with that installer i do not even bother with unzipping it, I just activate the application within the zipped folder.  You can only do that though if there are no other files involved in the installation.  Like a dependency pack, just an application, no ther files(do not count the readme, you can look at that regardless of any situation zipped or not.

     

    Files that do not have an installer application I have to unzip, no choice there, the game will not recognize .zip as a file it can use, no way of getting around that.

     

    To answer your question about whether or not you can just copy and paste your folder, yes you can, most definitely, I have 6 plugins folders myself, when I want a different look or whatever reason for that matter, if I just feel like it even, I will delete the contents of the one I am using and copy and paste the contents of one of my backup copies into it's place.

     

    Don't worry about things like the TSCT or event he cheats.dll, it is not in your plugins folder and will not be affected in any shape or form.  

     

    The only time you might have to worry about transferring files in this manner is if you are to be transferring them to another PC.  Like the  NAM, if you are to transfer that to another PC, you would have to install, not transfer the Traffic Simulation tool on the other PC before you could use the NAM effectively, yes NAM would be there but it's traffic data, low, med, ultra and whatever would not be active.  Learned that one the hard way one day when I went to transfer my files to my lap-top.

     

    When I have to unzip a file, sometimes I can avoid that.  Sometimes.  Like downloads from the simpeg.com on Pegasus' PLEX, most of the time you can just open the zip folder and then click and drag the PEGPROD folder right into a shortcut for your plugin folder and it will merge the folders automatically.  That is like the only case where a folder with no installer application can be installed without unzipping it, but the file structures have to be the same, so be on the look out for that.

     

    I keep nowadays with so many mods now, I can keep downloading them repeatedly.  Over the course of a few months a while back ago, I just downloaded everything from PLEX, the LEX and the STEX, I created folders on my third hard drive, the one I use strictly for storage with everyone''s names and downloaded all their files and put them in their name appropriate folders.  When you see "You have downloaded this 6 times."  You wonder "will there be a 7th?"  I just got tired of it.  I am sure it is a burden on the servers too, bandwidth and whatever, I want to at least try to be courteous.

     

    Timmie, just create a shortcut in your computer window so you don't even have to go through the whole copy paste thing any more you can just grab the folder and drag it to your shortcut, you can do that with desktop shortcuts too.

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    On the other hand, I have tonnes of disk space, so I keep a full user backup on my EHD as well as a copy of any critical SC4 files.  The EHD is 1Tb divided into five 200 GB partitions.  My main drive is 500 GB with two 250MB partitions and a left over which is my Linux swap area of about 22 GB.  The main partition sizes are approximate.

     

    I keep all downloads in a separate structure.  SC4 things are not the only things I haul in, so those are kept in a subfolder.  Not everything in the subfolder is a plugin, and not all the plugins are loaded.  For example I have NAM V30 and its companions out there and I also have NAM V31 (carefully renamed).

     

    Plugins are structured more or less in parallel with the downloads, but there are naturally some exceptions for load last items.

     

    I also have a separate EHD which is normally off line.  It has only 300 GB, but is useful for backups of my backups as needed.  Currently my main system including all O/S and user files is at 33.4 GB which is only 13.25 % of the partition.

     

    Machines these days come with humungous disks, and an EHD now comes in terabyte increments.  I don't need this, but there you are.

     

    P.S. I neither download nor store movies, which tend to eat up storage in great gobs.  I have some pictures and music, of course, but I generally either stream music or listen on my cable system.

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