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Herr Prop-Wasche

A little program I am working on...

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Hello, trupp.

 

Reason I haven't posted in almost a week is because of a partial computer crash I had. The crash was almost entirely user error, as I was attempting to get a few more Hz out of my box via some O/C tweaks. A Windows file apparently became corrupted, and I had to reinstall Windows and eventually OFF, as well. However, things seem to be back and running and I hope to be back in the skies again, tonight.

 

Fortunately, before I uninstalled OFF, I made a backup of several important files such as ViewUI, Mine.xca, and CSF3.xca. Unfortunately, I forgot to save my Pilots folder so I lost all of my pilots. Nevertheless, after re-installing OFF and replacing the view, mine, and CFS3 files with the ones I had backed-up, a very tiny light went on and I wondered about the feasibility of creating a batch program that would automatically backup essential user files that could then be copied back to their correct locations after re-installing OFF. To that end, I soon began work on just such a program (just call me .bat-man)!!

 

To this point, the program copies the ViewUI.xml file located in the main CFSWW1 OFF Folder and places it into a folder I created called MyOFFVPFiles. This folder is then placed into the root directory where OFF is installed. The program also makes a copy of all of the Pilot?Dossier and Pilot?Log files located in your \CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields\campaigns\CampaignData\Pilots folder and also places them into the MyOFFVPFiles folder. Hopefully, this will let you keep your active pilots in case you need to uninstall and then re-install OFF. Finally, the batch program copies the Mine.xca, CFS3.xca, and ViewUI.xml files located in your C:\Documents and Settings\YOURNAME\Application Data\Microsoft\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields Folder to another folder named MyOFFSetupFiles which is then placed in the root directory of your C: drive. These files preserve your joystick and rudder settings and key/button assignments we have all spent precious time setting to our personal satisfaction, but then too easily forgotten when we need to uninstall OFF.

 

A couple of questions: 1) Is anyone interested in using such a program? 2) Are there any files that I have missed that you feel I should include in a small backup program? 3) Should I go the extra step of writing a restore program which will (hopefully) automatically place the backup files into their correct locations, or do you think most people are capable of copying the files themselves? Note: I can preserve the directory trees inside each folder and write a brief readme file so that you know exactly where each backup file should go after you reinstall OFF. 4) Any other thoughts or suggestions?

 

Unless there are some additional files that need to be included in the backup the program is basically finished. If you think there are some critical files I have missed, be sure to let me know. I am especially interested in the experiences of anyone who has had to re-install more than once, because they are the ones most likely to know what the important files are.

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Fantastic stuff.

I'm still a relative newbie with OFF but this sounds good to me - especially being able to preserve key/joystick assignments.

It sounds like you have put a lot of work into this and should be commended for your efforts.

 

I think most people would be able to restore the files manually if a simple "read me" told where to put them.

I'm not familiar enough with OFF yet to comment on files you may have missed.

I'd personally find this very useful as I tend to do a complete reinstall of my OS every 18 months or so just to keep it lean and mean.

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Well, you need to back up these files for your pilots:

 

(Your game folder) > campaigns > CampaignData > pilots

 

And both UnlimitedPilots.xml, I think.

One is on C: (your computer name) > app. data > roaming > microsoft > CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields > unlimitedpilots.xml

The other is in the sim folder.

 

Now I don't want to destroy your pleasure, but what I recently do is:

 

I make backups onto an external drive of the pilots folder , and the microsoft folder with ACRONIS BACKUP.

That should do, shouldn't it?

 

But if your prog does it automatically, and right and well - then I'd be interested.

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@UncleAl: Not sure exactly what you are saying, but the program is not intended to be used for nefarious purposes--just to give players a way to back up a few critical game files in case OFF goes toes up.

 

@Olham: I am unaware of Acronis Backup. Is that freeware or payware? Another problem I now see is that different operating systems have different paths in their C: drive. For instance, my XP setup stores OFF in the C:\Documents and Settings\ComputerName\Application Data\Microsoft\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields Folder, while Olham's Win 7 stores OFF files in the C:\Computer Name\Application Data\Roaming\Microsoft\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields folder. Thus, it looks like I will have to prepare separate programs to work in XP and Win 7. I also need to know if anyone else who has Win 7 has a different directory arrangement than Olham's. Also, is it different for 32 vs. 64 bit Win 7?

 

Now I don't want to destroy your pleasure, but what I recently do is:

 

I make backups onto an external drive of the pilots folder , and the microsoft folder with ACRONIS BACKUP.

That should do, shouldn't it?

 

Don't forget ViewUI.xml which stores your HUD gauges and HUD color settings. It is found in several locations: the C: drive location, the main CFSWW1 OFF folder, and two sub-folders. Mine.xca and CFS3.xca are also located in the C: drive. Those files store your joystick settings and button assignments and should also be backed up.

 

Okay, so unlimitedpilots also needs to be saved. Any other files?

Edited by Herr Prop-Wasche

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Frack, I forgot Vista! How does OFF get stored in C: on a Vista machine? That may require three programs!

 

Someone needs to tell Microshat to settle on ONE way to store documents and stick with it instead of changing it with every new OS!

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Frack, I forgot Vista! How does OFF get stored in C: on a Vista machine? That may require three programs!

 

Someone needs to tell Microshat to settle on ONE way to store documents and stick with it instead of changing it with every new OS!

 

As far as I can tell my directory structure for OFF is standard for Vista (at least I never specified any alternative to the default). The OFF root is at C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields\

 

I think the batch file you're proposing would be very useful.

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Is that the folder where OFF is installed by Vista? You should also have some OFF files somewhere in your Documents folder. Can you post that directory structure, too? That would be very helpful.

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Is that the folder where OFF is installed by Vista? You should also have some OFF files somewhere in your Documents folder. Can you post that directory structure, too? That would be very helpful.

 

C:\Users\[uSER NAME]\Documents\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields is where my screenshots go by default. It has three subdirectories: Campaigns, Missions, QuickCom which on my install do not contain anything.

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My above directory is a VISTA one, Herr Prop-Wasche.

ACRONIS True Image Home is payware, you get it for around 42,- Euro at AMAZON here.

But there are also other BackUp Programms. With such a program, you can backup your

drives, your whole computer, or only parts of drives - as you like.

You can later make "incremental backups", which only add the newer stuff to an old

backup. Very useful for making sure, you never loose important stuff.

 

Your special one would of course have the advantage, that it would do the job alone,

without everyone knowing and finding their file directories.

Edited by Olham

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Your special one would of course have the advantage, that it would do the job alone,

without everyone knowing and finding their file directories.

That's my main goal of the program: to avoid forcing the user to find all of the important files in all of the directories. Additionally, some files have identical names but contain different contents: for example, there are three different copies of both ViewUI.xml and UnlimitedPilots.xml. And, only one of them is effected by player changes to his setup! The trouble is figuring out which one! Better to just make copies of all of them.

 

I have also found another file which should be backed up: ConfigOverrides.xml holds the graphic settings you choose when you press the Graphics button inside Workshop. If this file is saved and copied into your re-install of OFF, you don't have to set up your graphic overrides again! You can also use this file to avoid re-configuring all of your graphics settings when you install a new video card or driver.

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I need a favor from some Vista and Win 7 users. Please post the complete directory structure where OFF stores the following files: Mine.xca, CFS3.xca, UnlimitedPilots.xml, and ConfigOverrides.xml.

 

For example: on my XP machine, these files are stored in the following directory: C:\Documents and Settings\Chris\Application Data\Microsoft\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields\

 

If your paths are different than above (as I assume they are), I need to know exactly what they are in order to make my program compatible with those operating systems.

 

Thanks.

 

EDIT: From browsing around, I have discovered the directory structure for Vista and Win 7 appears to be USER\[username]\AppData\Roaming\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields\

 

If this is not correct, please be sure to let me know.

Edited by Herr Prop-Wasche

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BTW if you backup the configoverrides, yes you can restore it, but it's not foolproof - it will only work if nothing has changed to your video drivers or card since.

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You raise some legitimate concerns, Uncleal, but this is a very simple program that simply copies files to another place on your hard drive for safekeeping in case you have to reinstall OFF. There is no messing around with your registry or any Windows file whatsoever. Your OFF settings will also remain unchanged. The only bad thing that might happen is that the program will not work and the files will not be copied.

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Update: The batch file program is complete and works well on my machine. However, to be on the safe side, I need a few volunteers who run Vista and a few who run Win 7 to make sure that the program will run on their machines. Any takers? PM me with an email address and I will send you the file (2 kb) as soon as I have finished writing a readme file to go with it.

 

I may also write a Visual Basic program that will do the same thing as the batch file, but it will take a wee bit longer as I will have to re-learn VB first!

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While I am enjoying my little conversation with UncleAl about the DANGERS of 3rd party software, I have yet to hear from anyone willing to volunteer their services in testing my program. I assure everyone that they have nothing to fear (but fear itself), by testing it out. I just need to make sure it works as designed on Vista and Win 7 machines.

 

Anyone willing to step one foot forward for God and country?

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Yes, Duce. The program is specifically designed to work on any computer, regardless of where you have installed OFF, as long as you extract the .bat file to the OBDSoftware\CFSWW1 Over Flanders Fields folder. After that, simply double click the .bat file to get it started and follow the instructions. After it copies the ViewUI and pilot files, you do have to enter the OS you are using in order for it to find the other files to copy, but that's it! Should be quite simple (crosses fingers).

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Okay, sorry, James, haven't been here for two days.

I will send you my E-mail address now.

I am running Vista (32 bit), and I will test it, if you want. :good:

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Hey, thanks guys. I appreciate it.

 

Barkhorn1x--I didn't get a PM from you. Could you send it again?

 

I will send out the program later today.

 

I still would like a few more testers. Anyone care to offer their services?

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