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Brooklyn81

How to transfer plugins/regions to new computer.

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Hi everybody! I am posting this because I was unable to find this covered in the forums after I did several searches. I'm sure that it is covered somewhere, but I didn't have any luck tracking down the answers. Anyway, I have received remarkable help previously when I had a technical-type issue, so I knew where to go for help this time, so I thank you in advance for any responses.

 
Ok, here's the issue: my old computer recently bit the dust, so I had to re-install my Origin digital copy of SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition on my new computer. From my old I do have the buildings I downloaded from STEX (in a folder marked 'plugins') and a region I was working on (titled 'Scottsville') saved on a flash drive. Now I need to know how I go about getting my buildings and region into my game on my new computer. I am one step above 'Amish' in my skill level regarding computers, so please use as basic of terms/instructions as you can; I appreciate it. 
 
I assume I can accomplish this goal involving something along the lines of two options, which are:
 
Option #1:
 
Go to Windows (C:)--> Program Files (x86)--> Origin Games--> SimCity 4 Deluxe Edition, then either ADD my plugins/regions folder from my flash drive to the plugins/regions folder now visible here, OR delete the visible plugins/regions folders and REPLACE it with my plugins/regions folders from my flash drive. 
 
Option #2:
 
Go to Documents--> SimCity 4, then either ADD my plugins/regions folder from my flash drive to the plugins/regions folders now visible at this point OR delete the visible plugins/regions folders and REPLACE it with my plugins/regions folders from my flash drive.
 
I am leaning towards the fact the solution will be some variant of 'Option #1' but I've learned over my years not to make a move with computers unless I'm absolutely sure of what the correct move is, on accounta I think computers have put a lifelong curse on me, that I need to tread lightly in order for complete disaster to be averted when our paths must cross in something more complex than the basics (word processing, e-mail, internet (news, sports, porn)). Thanks for the help people.

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Copy the files from your backup plugin folder on the flash drive and simply paste them into your new SC4 plugins folder.

Both of the options you listed would get the job done, albeit in a sort of roundabout way. If you want to get a little advanced, option #1 can be used if you want to have multiple different plugins folder to load in the game: the game will only load the folder named "Plugins" exactly, so if you wanted to load an alternate folder for say, a European city, it is possible to easily switch them out.

Also, it is always advised to keep a backup of your plugins folder (well, all files for that matter), which you have (inadvertently, I think) already done. 

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On 8/28/2016 at 0:52 AM, nos.17 said:

Copy the files from your backup plugin folder on the flash drive and simply paste them into your new SC4 plugins folder.

On 8/27/2016 at 9:33 PM, Brooklyn81 said:

Go to Documents--> SimCity 4

Illustrating these ^

The window on the left is showing the newly installed game with an empty Documents - SimCity 4 - Plugins folder and the right side window is on a flash drive. In the backup plugins I did Ctrl+A to highlight all the folders, then right click in them and select Copy. Next I'd go to the empty white Files section in the left window, right click, and select Paste.

5966c08038e29_PlugCopy.jpg.c10e2b4b5a9317645cf528f5e44aa7b3.jpg

 

An exception here might be if you have NAM in your back up copy. You might want to skip its two folders. So, this next pic is showing I did Ctrl+A, then individually Ctrl-Clicked those two to deselect them before I would do the copy.

5966c080e28d5_PlugNoNAM.jpg.4ee1ac4b6928073e6c490b4d2df2e98d.jpg

My suggestion being you would want to install NAM 34 fresh so it has its files and registry entries complete how it likes to have them to keep track of what's where and what's installed. @rsc204 or @Tarkus or others more familiar will let you know if this is good advice. The latest NAM is here:

And if you don't already have it, you want this too:

I hope this helps. *;)

 

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11 hours ago, Brooklyn81 said:

Go to Documents--> SimCity 4, then either ADD my plugins/regions folder from my flash drive to the plugins/regions folders now visible at this point OR delete the visible plugins/regions folders and REPLACE it with my plugins/regions folders from my flash drive.

Whatever you do, your regions folder MUST be placed in the SimCity 4\Regions inside My Documents, otherwise they likely won't work at all.

I would highly advise you do the same for your Plugins folder, once more using the one inside My Documents for general play.

You see when you install the game it makes two of each of these folders. The ones in the installation directory (origin in this case), were not really intended for use by users. The main exceptions to this rule, are .dll files, which work better when loaded before any other custom content. Also any "Background3DX.png" files (these alter the background in-game). If you have these files, place them in the root Plugins folder inside the Origin install dir. But everything else should remain in My Documents.

As for the NAM, you can safely move/copy these files/folders over, they will work just as they did before. What you can't copy is the installation data, which remembers your installed settings. The only drawback here is that the next time you run the NAM installer, you will have to manually set up all the various options. After that first time though, once more the installer will be able to remember your previous settings.

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  • Original Poster
  • Thank you everybody for your help, I think I may be able to play SC4 today with all my stuff on it, time permitting, as I have some lame adult tactics I gotta get done today. You guys/gals are a huge help, I wouldn't have been able to do this without yous, thanks again! :) 

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  • Original Poster
  • Ok, bad news everybody. I finally went on to play SC4 just now and none of my downloaded buildings that I took and maneuvered from my flash drive are in the game, and neither is my region. I don't know why this is. I followed what you said, I thought, to the t. But my region is missing ('Scottsville') and my buildings I had downloaded off of STEX which I had on my flash drive and thought I correctly moved them to the appropriate folders are not in the game. If anyone has any idea why this is, please let me know. Also tried downloading NAM 34 and it didn't show up like when I downloaded it on my old computer, don't know why. I am operating on Windows 10, so I don't know if some of the advice I received about the files/folders are only applicable to Windows 7 and the earlier version of Windows. 

    I have a feeling this is going to suck. :( 

    Any suggestions would be helpful.

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    1 hour ago, Brooklyn81 said:

    But my region is missing ('Scottsville')

    Well, did you copy your backup region of Scottsville into the Region folder of SimCity 4 in your Documents folder? If not that's the only reason I can imagine it would not be there. Also, for the plugins, did you copy them to the right place in your Documents folder?

    I'm not familiar with Win 10, but I know peeps play the game with custom content ok in it. I'll bow out now since I've past my knowledge level and wait for the gurus to pop in.

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  • Original Poster
  • @CorinaMarie, you've already helped me tons, and I have a feeling there is some snafu or glitch that I somehow overlooked, or that my computer has a bunk folder or something that it shouldn't have or it's in the wrong place or something. I checked where I put my buildings, and I did put them in the correct spot, so I'm baffled about that. As far as my region ('Scottsville') missing from the game, I have a potential clue to why that may be. I went to the 'Regions' folder of SC4 in my documents folder and noticed that 'Scottsville' is there but where is lists the 'type' of the regions folders, all the regions 'type' is classified as 'File folder', but 'Scottsville' is classified as 'Shortcut', not 'File folder'. I think this has something to do with the region not appearing in my game. But considering I have computer skills one level above Amish, I wouldn't know how to jimmy with that stuff. We can wait until those gurus show up, or if I said anything in this current reply that sparks a thought with you, just let me know what it is, even if you're not 100% sure, I appreciate your help. 

     

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    On the shortcut instead of folder thinger: Go to your flash drive and double click the Scottsville folder and see if it opens up and has a list of files there. They should look like the names of each of your city tiles as you named them when playing and end with .sc4. If that is the case, then it's a matter of how you or Win 10 does the copying. Otherwise, I'm hoping you didn't back it all up as a shortcuts only. If so, you don't actually have your files. That could be the case with the plugins too.

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  • Original Poster
  • When I double clicked the 'Scottsville' folder in my flash drive it opened up and had a bunch of files such as 'City-New City (2).sc4', 'City-New City (3).sc4', and so on, then the two files there that don't end in '.sc4' are titled 'config' and 'region'. 

    I checked the plugins and all of those are all classified as  'File folders' which is probs a good thing and means that I have the actual files for those buildings. 

    So I'm glad that even with my bad computer skills I did manage to save stuff correctly on my flash drive, haha! Thanks for bringing that stuff up so I could check and see if things are legit on that subject, I would've never known to check the 'shortcut' vs. 'file folder' stuff. 

    Now it's just a matter of investigating and figuring out why my buildings and region aren't showing up in the game, and also why the NAM 34 didn't download like it did on my old computer and why there's no icons automatically put on my desktop like the last time. I might have to download Java or some schit, this computer's brand spanking new so I don't even know if I have that. 

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    Ok, so were you now able to right-click on Scottsville folder on your flash drive, select copy, and then go paste it into the Regions folder on your hard drive? If so, you should be able to load that region now in the game. When you select paste there may be two options. One is just Paste and the other is Paste as Shortcut. Obviously we don't want a shortcut. (Which by the way is sort of like a forwarding address IRL. Like it's not really anything except the information that tells you where to look for the real thing.)

    As far as downloading NAM 34, am I understanding that you got it to download but then it went missing and you can't find it? I know in Win 7 it has it's own special place it puts stuff that it downloads and pops up a window with it at the top. Then you click (or right-click) or something and get an option to Save it. That's when you can tell it where you really want the file to be.

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  • Original Poster
  • Oh crap, I went back on my flash drive and saw that I saved the 'Scottsville' region as a shortcut for whatever reason, so I can kiss that one goodbye, haha! 

    I might just have to download NAM 34 over again and maybe it'll work. 

    Computer stuff exhausts me, I'm going to take a break and eat some gummi bears for comfort then try to figure out stuff a little later on tonight. 

    I'm not too upset by losing a region, as I only had two or three squares of the region built up, but that's a lot of hours flushed down the ol' ceramic bowl. As long as I can figure out how to get my buildings and the NAM in my game I will have a smile on my mug.

    ttyl, thanks again CorinaMarie. :)

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    You say your old computer bit the dust, do you know what broke? Do you still have the machine? Even without any technical skills, you may actually be able to recover all the data from it.

    It sounds to me like you've had some problems copying your data onto the flash drive. Are you sure you have the NAM installer file? When you double click this an installer should start running. However, adding an extra layer of complexity, it's been packed into another file. The purpose of this was to significantly reduce the file size, and thus the costs of data storage/bandwidth for the places hosting the file.

    Is the file you are using named either:  or ?

    1. NetworkAddonMod Setup 34 SFX.exe
      If you have the first file with SFX in the name, then it's the packed version of the installer. In which case, when you run (double click) the file, you just need to tell it where to put the new file it will create. When the window opens asking where to "Extract to:", just click Extract, it will place the new file into the same folder you ran the file from. Then you should have the correct installer file NetworkAddonMod Setup 34.exe, without the SFX part. If so, continue to 2.
    2. NetworkAddonMod Setup 34.exe
      When you run this file, you should be eventually greeted with a new window named Network Addon Mod 34 Setup with a blue background.

    If you have a different filename or you are seeing different behaviour to what I've outlined, please try to describe what happens and we'll get to the bottom of it for you. Incidentally, Java is not required to install NAM, but it is recommended. Java is available for Windows 10, play it safe and only download it from Oracle directly.

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    On 8/28/2016 at 6:22 AM, rsc204 said:

    As for the NAM, you can safely move/copy these files/folders over, they will work just as they did before. What you can't copy is the installation data, which remembers your installed settings. The only drawback here is that the next time you run the NAM installer, you will have to manually set up all the various options. After that first time though, once more the installer will be able to remember your previous settings.

    Actually, the NAM installer should be able to detect the existing installation options if it is merely copied over, at least if the previous install is Version 31.0 or later.  The install.log file in the NAM folder is just for diagnostic purposes, and the installer actually reads the folder structure to determine what is there.  Our official advice now is to install any updates over top of an existing installation, rather than trying to do it clean.

    -Tarkus

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    12 minutes ago, Tarkus said:

    and the installer actually reads the folder structure to determine what is there

    Oh right, I figured it must be the registry entries, but never really looked at it.

    Rather embarrassingly, I have no end of trouble installing NAM. Because of my wired setup with many plugin folders, the NAM installer seems to see the last installed settings, rather than that of the particular install I'm trying to update. Coupled with having to run a custom controller for some RUL modifications I'm using, it's not a fun task. Is there something I'm doing wrong when installing again? How can I ensure the installer can see the specific previous install I'm trying to modify?

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    When changing the install path, the installer does indeed seek out the copy at the directory specified in the registry, and moves it over to the new directory before actually installing files.  Just now, I took a personal alpha build installer I had laying around, ran it up to the point of the destination folder selection, selecting a spare folder I had from NAM 33 Alpha testing (Plugins-NAM33A1-Incomp).  It took every file that existed in my previous NAM installation in My Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins\Network Addon Mod, and moved them to My Documents\SimCity 4\Plugins-NAM33A1-Incomp\Network Addon Mod.  The z___NAM files were merely cloned to the new directory (at least the ones the installer recognized--the experimental files I had in there weren't).

    If you manually replace the Network Addon Mod and z___NAM directories in the installation path listed in the registry with a different copy, however, that should trick the installer into doing what you want. The process should look something like this, assuming we have two Plugins directories, called Plugins1 and Plugins2, with Plugins1 being the specified install path, but Plugins2 being the actual desired installation directory:

    1. Take the Network Addon Mod and z___NAM folders out of Plugins1, into a temporary safe place.
    2. Copy or move the Network Addon Mod and z___NAM folders in Plugins2 over to Plugins 1.
    3. Run the NAM installer, and change the destination path from "Plugins1\Network Addon Mod" to "Plugins2\Network Addon Mod".  This will move it back to Plugins2, and allow you to update that installation.
    4. Finish installation, and then retrieve the original Plugins1 versions of Network Addon Mod and z___NAM folders from their temporary safe storage, moving them back into Plugins1.

     

    At this point, the registry will be pointing to Plugins2 as the most recent install, so if you wanted to update the Plugins1 version, you'd have to do the reverse of this switcheroo.

    Hope that helps!

    -Tarkus

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  • Original Poster
  • Hey everybody! I just wanted to thank you all for offering your advice and help for me and this issue I came across with my computer and game. For some reason there were too many folders associated with SimCity 4 on my computer, and this caused conflicts and problems, so I knew I'd have to get rid of excess folders that were causing problems and didn't serve a function. I messed around with some file folders, followed my gut, and miraculously I now have all my downloaded buildings in my game and the NAM I downloaded is functioning in the game as well. I did mess up and for some reason saved one of my regions from my old computer on a flash drive, but accidentally saved it as a shortcut instead of a file folder, oh well.

    Anyway, thanks again for your help, I really appreciate it. I believe some of you who responded had actually responded to an issue I posted about in the past, so thanks for sticking with this fella that always has issues with computers/SC4, haha! 

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