Creating, managing, and sharing between multiple installs
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Thread: Creating, managing, and sharing between multiple installs

  1. #1

    Creating, managing, and sharing between multiple installs

    There has been many threads on setting up multiple installs of FS9. I myself asked that same question. I thought it would be a good idea to write up an easy to follow HOW TO on setting up multiple installs of FS9. It is really easy, though it does take some time. But it is time well spent as having multiple installs of FS9 allows you to categorize your aircraft into ERA/TYPE, allows you modify each install to better reflect the ERA/TYPE of flying you want to do in it.

    I will also be writing up some HOW TOs on sharing mesh and scenery between installs, sharing sound packs between installs...ways that save HD space, ways that help keep things better organized and easier to find.

    I will paste the text of the Multiple Installs of FS9 in the next post window.

    OBIO
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  2. #2
    SETTING UP MULTIPLE INSTALLS OF FS9

    I have seen numberous questions about setting up multiple installs of FS9, so I thought I would type up this HOW TO for those looking to set up multiple installs of FS9. I currently have 3 installs of FS9 and will soon be setting up a fourth install to better manage my ever growing collection of planes.

    First, a suggestion:

    Use a separate hard drive to install your flight sims onto. This keeps them clear of the main C: drive and any problems that your operating system may encounter. I am currently using a 1 terrabyte SATA drive as my SIM drive. I have tons of free space left over...even with 3 heavily modified and heavily stocked installs of FS9, an install of FSX updated with SP1 and SP2, a number of folders of mesh and scenery that I share between my FS9 installs and my Photoshop files (lots and lots of paint kits and paints that are either done or in progress). I have lost far too many hours of work due to having my sim files on the main HD and having the operating system go belly up and having to format or replace the HD...with my sim files on a separate HD, the chances of loss due to OS problems are greatly reduced.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    STARTING FRESH


    First, do a full install of FS9 to what ever directory you desire. Update the install to FS9.1.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    SHARED MODS

    Now, install any modules or texture tweaks that you want to use in each of your installs. Installing those things that you know you want to use across all your installs at this point is a real time saver.

    For me, these items would include: FSUIPC, the HDE Clouds, Sky and Sun packages by Pablo Diaz, TreeGen by FengZhu,

    Photoreal Ground vegetation by Gyula Kalcsó (available on Simviation.com), the replacement cliff textures by Ben Hartnett (available on Simviation.com), the HI Rez Moon packages by Roy "Boikat" Altholz (Simviation.com), and so forth and so on (for a complete list of the packages I use in my freeware based installs, see the Making FS9 Look Great For Free thread).

    This would also be a great time to install the Shockwave 3D Lights package if you have it and to make any additional modifications to the stock aircraft that you choose to make, such as better skins, improved sounds, panel mods...anything that you want the stock planes to have in all of your installs.

    Additionally, if you have a collection of gauges that you use a lot and want in all of your installs, by all means add those gauges to the GAUGES folder now so that you don't have to paste them into multiple installs later on.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    TWEAKING THE FS9.CFG FILE

    Now would be the ideal time to tweak the FS9.CFG file. This starts with going into the SETTINGS menu and changing things to how you want them to be, such as locking frame rates to 25FPS, setting screen resolution, setting your ATC preferences, and such.

    Once you have that done, go into the actual FS9.CFG file, the one that is located in the Documents, App Data or what ever it is folder. The hidden FS9.CFG. Modify it as you want it to be...and to what works best for your system and hardware (further tips on Tweaking the CFG file can be found in a thread here in the FS9 subforum...as started by DangerousDave called FS9,CFG Tweaks).

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    LET THE COPY AND PASTING BEGIN

    At this point, you should have one fresh install of FS9, updated to FS9.1, with all the modules and texture tweaks that you want to have in all of your installs in place, and the sim's settings and config file tweaked to the way you want it to be.

    Now, think about how you want to organize your various installs. What do you want in each install?

    Me...I have an install for GA aircraft, once for Vintage Military aircraft (WW2 era and Before) and one for Modern Military aircraft (Korea War era and after). I will soon be adding one or two more installs...one will be used to thin out the aircraft in my GA install (Early GA and Modern GA) and to divide my Vintage Military aircraft into Pre-1935 and Post 1935 eras).

    Now...create new folders for each of the installs you want to have and name them to refect the Era or type of aircraft that will be placed into each install. Vintage GA, Golden Age GA, WW1 Military, WW2 Military, Jet Age, Vintage Commercial, Modern Commercial, Modern Military, Modern GA, Helos. Whatever will work for you and your sim needs.

    Once you have your various folders set up, go back to the original stock FS9 install. Open the main folder. Now, do a Select All on the menu bar under EDIT. Let the system copy all the files to a temp folder or whatever it does.

    Now, go into the first new emtpy folder and PASTE. It will take a small pile of minutes to paste all the files...but not too long. Once done, go on to each additional new folder and PASTE the folders and files into them.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    RENAMING THE EXE FILE

    Once you have the FS9 files copy and pasted into each of your new install folders, you will have to give each new install a dedicated name. You can no longer have an FS9.exe in each folder/install....the EXE file must be renamed and given a distinct name. My current installs have names like GA.EXE, MOD.EXE, VinMil.exe. Use names that reflect the Era or type of plane in each install. VintageGA.exe, WW2Mil.exe, JetLiners.exe. Whatever works for you and your sim needs.

    Once you have all of the EXE files renamed, right click the exe file and do the Send To Desk Top thing to create a short cut icon for that install.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    More COPY, PASTE and RENAME

    Now, you will have some more copying, more pasting and more renaming to do. Go to the folder where the FS9.CFG file is located.

    Win XP is something like C:\Documents\NAME (Owner'sName)\App Data\Microsoft\FS9

    Win 7 is C:\Users\NAME\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\FS9

    Once you have found the CFS9.CFG, select it, right click and COPY. Paste as many copies as needed until there is one copy for each install you have just set up. One at a time, select the copies of the FS9.CFG file and rename them, using the names you just assigned to the various FS9.exe files. GA.exe would need a GA.CFG file, VinMil.EXE will need a corresponding VinMil.CFG file. JetLiners.EXE will need a matching JetLiners.CFG file.

    Having a cfg file that is linked to the exe file of each install will allow you to make additional tweaks and changes to each install and for those changes to only affect the install you want them to.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    And there you have it...multiple installs of FS9, each set up as an individual sim that can be further tweaked and modified to the era or style of flying you will do in each install.



    OBIO
    3-23-2011
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  3. #3

    Words of caution to users of Free Track Head Tracking

    The head tracking will not work with a renamed fs9.exe file if you are using the tirviews.dll connection.

    For Free Track to work with this type of Multiple install you need to use the FSUIPC connection. This means you lose 6DOF as FSUIPC does not support it.

  4. #4
    Great thread Obio, picked up a couple of tips there!

    I have a specific question, but best to give a little background info first. I have 4 FS9 installs, to cover different periods; FSGW (which covers Golden Age to the 1940's), a 1950-1960's install (which uses the 'scenery layers' technique I picked up from Cal Classic, to allow appropriate AI etc), a 'retro' install (kinda catchall for the stuff that doesn't fit - and allows me to reopen closed bases (RAFG lives again)) and a modern enhanced stock install (with full MAIW/WOAI/any other enhancement).

    There are some scenery items I share between installs, which certainly saves on space. However, my BIG enhancement to the stock install is FS Genesis mesh and UT; how would I go about sharing those (especially the mesh, which makes a massive improvement) - obviously I could just share my main Scenery folder, but then I'd also be sharing traffic files etc. Any thoughts?
    Andy

  5. #5
    I have my mesh files in folders OUTSIDE on any FS9 install. I have my FSGenesis mesh in a folder called FSGenesis, my Rhumbaflappy Mesh sets in a folder called RhumbaMesh. Inside of the FSGenesis folder, there are the two folders for Scenery and Textures. All the mesh BGL files are in the Scenery folder.

    In my sims, I simply add the FSGenesis mesh by directing the sim to D:\FSGenesis (This is the address to the folder in my set up...yours will be directed to what ever folder you put your FSG mesh into). I'm still confused about the order of mesh in the scenery library....top to bottom, bottom to top, it don't matter....I have no idea...so I set my mesh up lowest LOD to highest. My order is Stock, Rhumbaflappy, FSGenesis, then a few other higher level meshes above that.

    OBIO
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

  6. #6
    Rightio, looks like another job for the weekend!!
    Andy

  7. #7
    'tis a darned shame we canna do similar with FSX gadzooks. In fact it's worse than that even, I have two copies of FSX, an original pre SP when it first came out and FS Gold which I use daily. But even with two separate serial nos not usable separately.
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  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Naismith View Post
    'tis a darned shame we canna do similar with FSX gadzooks. In fact it's worse than that even, I have two copies of FSX, an original pre SP when it first came out and FS Gold which I use daily. But even with two separate serial nos not usable separately.
    Another good reason for me to stick with FS2004 then!!
    Andy

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