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Discussion: Multiple BG2 Installations

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The problem comes if you already have a seriously modded install and you want a second clean install.  Obviously you could repeat the method and then uninstall all the mods from the second install but you could end up with the infamous 'Stroke Anomen's thigh' bug.

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Heres a (possibly) simpler way, resulting in each clone installation being about 60mb (including the 34mb from the override folder).



How to Create a Minimal BG2 Clone for Modding


1) Complete a full install of BG2:SoA (and install the latest SoA patch, if ToB is not to be installed)

2) Complete a full install of BG2:ToB (if required) (and install the latest TOB patch)

3) Make new directory, e.g. "clone1"

4) Copy the following to "clone1"


  • \characters
  • \override
  • \portraits
  • \save
  • \scripts
  • \sounds


  • baldur.ico
  • baldur.ini
  • bgconfig.exe
  • bgdxtest.exe
  • bggltest.exe
  • BGMain.exe
  • Chitin.key
  • dialog.tlk
  • Keymap.ini
  • Language.txt

5) Edit bgmain.exe at 0x00705E04, from "hd0:\dialog.tlk" to ".\dialog.tlk..."

"6864303A5C6469616C6F672E746C6B00" to "2E5C6469616C6F672E746C6B00000000"




How it works

The common files are stored in the initial install directory.

The core files (unique to each clone) are copied into each clone dir.

The .exe patch is to tell the .exe to search for the dialog in the local dir, as opposed to the \data dir.


This has the usual downsides:


I dont know how it will affect games which place new biffs in the chiten.key (likely all clones will be affected, since theres only 1 chiten.key). Same goes for new music (though this can easily be altered, by .exe patching the music entry from hd0:\music to .\music).


The registry entry only points to the initial install. So this will be the one runby the autorun feature, and wil be the one listed under add/remove (hence we dont need the uninstall files in our unique copied data).


I havent extensively tested this method. It's not been tested at all on non-english versions of the game. I suspect it would work fine, as long as the right offset is changed for the dialog.tlk reference.


Anyway, I hope it works, and helps.

Any questions, just ask.



ps. I know it involves .exe patching (generally bad), but weidu is capable of this, andit only needs to be done once (once the patch is done, the .exe looks in the local dir. So you can copy that .exe into another clone dir, and it will look in there). This could be distributed as a weidu component maybe, if we get enough game version offsets.


EDIT: Added language.txt to the list of files needing to be copied. - Idobek

EDIT: Switched the bgmain.exe to and from values. - Idobek

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This is cool, thanks igi. Would creating a local data directory containing dummy files cause problems? Lots of mods do REQUIRE_FILE checks for ToB biffs, creating dummy 25blah biffs would be the easiest way to deal with this.

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Ooooo. I just got Hex Workshop. I think this:

5) Edit bgmain.exe at 0x00705E04, from "hd0:\dialog.tlk" to ".\dialog.tlk..."

"2E5C6469616C6F672E746C6B00000000" to "6864303A5C6469616C6F672E746C6B00"

Should read:
5) Edit bgmain.exe at 0x00705E04, from "hd0:\dialog.tlk" to ".\dialog.tlk..."

"6864303A5C6469616C6F672E746C6B00" to "2E5C6469616C6F672E746C6B00000000"

Also you would have to change the dialogf.tlk reference as well (directly after this in my exe). This should do the job:
BEGIN ~Multiple Install BGMain Hack~

COPY_EXISTING ~BGMain.exe~ ~BGMain.exe~
  WRITE_ASCII 0x00705e04 ~.\dialog~
  WRITE_ASCII 0x00705e0c ~.tlk~
  WRITE_LONG  0x00705e10 0x00000000
  WRITE_ASCII 0x00705e14 ~.\dialog~
  WRITE_ASCII 0x00705e1c ~f.tlk~
  WRITE_LONG  0x00705e21 0x00000000
  WRITE_ASCII 0x007069b4 ~.\music~
  WRITE_LONG  0x007069bb 0x00000000

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Yeah, your probably right, you spotted the deliberate mistake :-) And yes, the dialogf.tlk needs changing too, for non-english versions.

Moving slightly off-topic, I suspect the english versions could use a dialogf.tlk if one were present. If implemented we could have Enchanters and an Enchantresses etc, instead of the dull masculine world we have now. :D I must try this one day.

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I do something a little different to create multiple installations for TDD, TS and beta testing. I will say first off that I have a 250 gig hd, so space was not an issue for me and my OS is WinXP.


Base installation: A Manual full install SoA, a full install of ToB, Official Patch-(latest release), Baldurdash fixes-(latest release). Then configure how you like, tweak baldur.ini if desired, and add any portraits, scripts, characters, etc. to the appropriate folders. (Bioware has instructions on thier site for doing a full manual install if you are having problems getting it to work on WinXP - http://www.bioware.com/games/shadows_amn/s.../known_issues/)


Game path: C:\Program Files\Black Isle\BG II - SoA. I made multiple copies of the main BG II - SoA folder. I have in the Black Isle folder now BG II - SoA, Original BG II - SoA, TDD BG II - SoA, TS BG II - SoA, and several others for the romance mods I'm beta testing. All I have to do is rename two folders to install/test a new mod or to switch games. This has worked for me without any complications. Haven't had to reinstall the game in a long time and if a mod messes up the game, I just delete that folder. Make more copies of the main installation as needed. About your post above - I'm glad to see a tool that will create multiple installations is being considered.

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Idobek: I tried getting something from dialogf.tlk, but it didnt show in the game. Still, it might not have been the correct circumstance, I'm not 100% sure when it's actually used.


As for bg1tutu, yeah, I doubted it would work, but it was worth trying.


Bren: Yeah, thats a good method, but we dont all have 250gb HDDs. We're trying to use as little space as possible for each install (well, I am a least).

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You can make a local \data dir if you want, and place any files you think wil be REQUIRE'd in there, it will make no difference to the game.
It makes no difference to the game or WeiDU but NI and DLTCEP don't like it
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It makes no difference to the game or WeiDU but NI and DLTCEP don't like it


Maybe they could be modified in some way, to read the data from where we put it, rather than assuming its where its meant to be? I'll ask go suggest it.

This method seems to cause a quite bit of trouble :D Still, you can save like.. 200 entire MB!! Or something. Anyway, I like it :D

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This method seems to cause a quite bit of trouble  :D  Still, you can save like.. 200 entire MB!! Or something. Anyway, I like it  :D
Its more like a gig. I like it as well. At 200megs (including music) per install its hard to argue against. It has a couple of drawbacks but nothing that can't be overcome or worked around (except the tutu thing).
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