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The truth about Skyrim's ArchiveInvalidation


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#1
AxelDominatoR

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I bet most of you have heard of ArchiveInvalidation or, to be exact, the bug within the ArchiveInvalidation code found inside Oblivion and Fallout engines.
This sneaky bug may cause all sort of troubles when installing data files and was more or less taken care of by the mod managers using different methods (BSA redirection being the most widely used).

While a Construction Kit is still not available for Skyrim, early tests show that the ArchiveInvalidation bug may not be present anymore. If proven true, this may simplify the life of both modders and users quite a bit.

As we try to shape the Nexus Mod Manager into a real all-purpose tool, we will surely benefit from any detailed information regarding the presence or absence of such bug in Skyrim engine.

Thus, we would be very thankful if you were to share your latest discoveries about the AI bug while installing Skyrim mods: the more we know, the better for everybody.

Some useful links:
Archive Invalidation at The Elder Scrolls Wiki
Archive Invalidation?

Big thanks to everyone for your support!


#2
HawkFest

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[ArchiveInvalidation] sneaky bug may cause all sort of troubles when installing data files and was more or less taken care of by the mod managers using different methods (BSA redirection being the most widely used). (...) Thus, we would be very thankful if you were to share your latest discoveries about the AI bug while installing Skyrim mods: the more we know, the better for everybody.

I dumped files in a new textures folder (this was my first mod install) for both « No More Blocky Faces » and « Detailed Faces v2 » mods. These two mods replace Vanilla's textures and masks (bump/normal maps). I haven't created nor modified any ArchiveInvalidation text file, and all works fine.

Any idea about what else I should check ? What would you like me to test ? I'm preparing myself for moding while playing a first run of the game, and I'd gladly offer some of my gaming spare time for this and learning a bit more about Skyrim's structure/engine/...

Edited by HawkFest, 17 November 2011 - 05:56 PM.


#3
kaburke

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I have changed NMM's Skyrim AI system to no longer alter the BSA list in the Skyrim.ini file. It also no longer drops a dummy BSA file. The new AI simply changes the last modified dates of Skyrim's BSA files to be sometime in 2008. I'm not sure if this is actually necessary, but hopefully I'll hear back from the community about it.

#4
Arthmoor

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That's probably going to be all it takes is to set the vanilla BSAs to something older. I installed a texture mod for higher resolution road signs and the game picked it up just fine without any editing of the ini or needing a BSA redirection. It appears they've fixed this issue finally.

#5
nynik

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I'm not very knowledgeable about AI etc, but I have encountered an occurance were I had uninstalled/reinstalled NMM a few times (different versions) and then went about installing various texture replacers. Long story short, I encountered texture issues which I solved by enabling the archive inval option in NMM - which had not been enabled due to reinstall etc.

So for me, having NMM activate it solved my texture issues (for what the replacers replaced) - for whats thats worth.

#6
rcd1976

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I'm finding that the NMM archive invalidation toggle is locked on activate, I can't un-check the arrow. I've tried rolling back from NMM 12.7 to 12.6 and I still had the same issue. I even rolled NMM all the way back to 12.0 and the archive invalidation toggle seemed to work but none of the new textures I had installed showed up. Now I know from reading the bug reports I'm not the only one having this issue, however I've read comment threads in some the texture re-placer mods that other people are able to get those mods too work so they must be able to apply some form of archive invalidation. So I'm wondering, is there a manual way of applying archive invalidation for Skyrim or will the method in the Oblivion UESP wiki work for Skyrim too? I'm hoping this weird archive invalidation bug ( if it is actually a bug and not several cases of user error) will get ironed out in NMM 12.8.

#7
stevenw9

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I haven't and probably wont activate ArchiveInvalidation. I haven't had a problem with any mods that's pushed me to click it. I however, agree, that the 'stuck' archiveinvalidation problem should be fixed, even if it's just a UI bug. However, I think that's more suited for the bug section of the forums.

My current Skyrim mods:
  • Armor Improvement
  • Beautiful Skyrim
  • Better Gold
  • Clothes Improvement
  • Detailed Bodies
  • Detailed Faces
  • Enhanced Blood Textures
  • Enhanced Night Skyrim
  • Glowing Ore Veins 300
  • High Quality eyes
  • No More Blocky Faces
  • Skyrim Sunglare
  • Display time on loading screen


#8
kaburke

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The AI in 0.12.6 and newer can't be untoggled as it doesn't do anything to untoggle. To be precise, turning AI "on" backdates all of Skyrim's BSA files to some time in 2008. That is all. As such, (at this point), there is no "turning AI off."

[edit]This will be clarified in the UI in some future release.[/edit]

Let me know if you have any other questions.

#9
kaburke

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I'm not very knowledgeable about AI etc, but I have encountered an occurance were I had uninstalled/reinstalled NMM a few times (different versions) and then went about installing various texture replacers. Long story short, I encountered texture issues which I solved by enabling the archive inval option in NMM - which had not been enabled due to reinstall etc.

So for me, having NMM activate it solved my texture issues (for what the replacers replaced) - for whats thats worth.

Do you know which version of NMM you were using when you used AI to fix your texture issues?

#10
rcd1976

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The AI in 0.12.6 and newer can't be untoggled as it doesn't do anything to untoggle. To be precise, turning AI "on" backdates all of Skyrim's BSA files to some time in 2008. That is all. As such, (at this point), there is no "turning AI off."

[edit]This will be clarified in the UI in some future release.[/edit]

Let me know if you have any other questions.



Thanks Kaburke


I heard from a couple of other sources (one being gophers video), that archive invalidation is unnecessary in Skyrim. I thought initially that the textures weren't installing properly because I couldn't toggle AI but on closer examination of my Skyrim/data folder I realized that the mods I installed via the NMM mod manager weren't installed properly because they weren't structured in such a way that was conducive to that application of NMM. So a word of advice to anybody who wants to install a mod via the mod manager in NMM, download the mod manually first to examine the folder structure. If it doesn't consist of a folder labeled "data" that then contains any one or more of the following folder types meshes, menus, textures, interface, sound, video, or any necessary esp's then the mod manager may not install it properly. The most common problem I came across was mods contained in a folder with the mods name on it. They would go into the Skyrim/data folder but then the folders contained in them wouldn't go where they needed to go so mods like that are either best installed manually or re-zipped in an appropriate format so the mod manager will install them properly. So long story short, if anybody runs into the same problem I had take a look in your Skyrim/data folder first.




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