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captain420

How to install PMDG, ORBX, etc. using add-on.xml

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Hey guys, I'm doing some planning should I have to reinstall my entire P3D from scratch again. I want to do things properly this time, should I have another reason to reinstall P3D later down the line, I won't have to worry about it messing with any of my add-ons. I've should've done this to begin with, but I guess it's better late then never. As some of you may have already known, my sim was loading extremely slow. I'm talking 10-15 minutes, whereas before it would take about 2-3. I've been trying to troubleshoot to see what the cause is and believe it has to do with a corrupted terrain.cfg file, or at least related to that. Anyhow, I want to know for future reference, is there any way to install 3rd party scenery from developers (PMDG, ORBX, FlyTampa,  FS2Crew, Carenado, Alabeo, Aerosoft, QualityWings, etc) who don't follow the official add-on.xml method?

This would save us so much time if we ever need to reinstall P3D all over again. Especially for those of us who have a huge amount of add-ons installed. That takes up a lot of time to reinstall. Doing things this way I can simply do a wipe of P3D, perform a clean install, and get it back and running with all my 3rd party add-ons still intact.

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Posted (edited)

Hi,

create an empty folder somewhere, copy the prepar3d.exe into it, then point the installer of the product at that location (instead of the P3D main folder). Now create the approriate XML file(s) to link the content to your sim. Installers will usually create the necessary directory structure themselves. Be aware though, that some products change config files too, those you will have to handle manually (and they must be present in the fake sim folder for this to work - Autogen comes to mind).

Furthermore you will probably be missing sounds, if an aircraft uses a programmatic sound gauge that can't find the sound files any more, If that happens, you may have to copy the sounds over in the actual simulators Sound folder.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI

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The most recent installers from Fly Tampa allows you to install some sceneries outside the P3D root using the addon.xml method. From memory I don't remember the exceptions, but in those cases, I've installed them by moving manually and using the Lorby-SI Addon Organizer tool, very useful and easy.

I'm also interested to know about ORBX, PMDG and other aircraft that don't have their installers ready for the addon.xml method.

Cheers, Ed

 

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Posted (edited)
10 minutes ago, Lorby_SI said:

Hi,

create an empty folder somewhere, copy the prepar3d.exe into it, then point the installer of the product at that location (instead of the P3D main folder). Now create the approriate XML file(s) to link the content to your sim. Installers will usually create the necessary directory structure themselves. Be aware though, that some products change config files too, those you will have to handle manually (and they must be present in the fake sim folder for this to work - Autogen comes to mind).

Furthermore you will probably be missing sounds, if an aircraft uses a programmatic sound gauge that can't find the sound files any more, If that happens, you may have to copy the sounds over in the actual simulators Sound folder.

Best regards

Will this method work when installing add-ons such as ORBX, PMDG, etc? I really want ORBX/PMDG out of my main P3D's install folder. These 2 are probably the most important ones for me. I'd like to take care of them first.

Edited by captain420

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Good luck with that!

I have done it in the past (but not for PMDG and ORBX) but for many sceneries. The trouble starts if you recieve updates of the products. Many files like effects, sounds etc. are still in the main P3D folder and a new update will install them there or refuse to install then in your new location. 

And I predict that installing ORBX outside is nearly impossible as all the ORBX files are all spread over your P3D, deep inside.

 

I ended now back to install where the addons want. Simply installing them is much faster then sort all the outside installed addons and manage them to run in P3D again and test them.

 

But a tool which will help you is Folderchangesview: you have to select locations which will be monitored (P3D main, AppData Roaming LM, ProgramData LM, Documentsand then you'll see what is changed during an addon installation)

 

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Posted (edited)
11 hours ago, captain420 said:

Will this method work when installing add-ons such as ORBX, PMDG, etc? I really want ORBX/PMDG out of my main P3D's install folder. These 2 are probably the most important ones for me. I'd like to take care of them first.

Yes it will - if and only if you do it correctly. Constant manual work is required and sound knowledge about how the simulator does what and how the addon operates. The point is tricking the installation and maintenance tools into thinking that your simulator is somewhere else, while still linking everything back to the sim so that it works.

Honestly - why bother. This is way too much work. I suppose that PMDG and Orbx will eventully change their installation strategy, and until then even a full reinstall of their products is usually relatively painless - the management tools are pretty advanced by now.

One thing to keep in mind (in general) - the default installation path is most likely the only one that the developer has ever tested (why would he test anything else?). If you start messing with the installation, you will have a hard time getting any support if things start to go wrong. Most certainly not from the developer, and most likely not from anyone else (because noone can reproduce what you did on your computer, thus being unable to help you with anything except giving general advice).

About tools that are tracking what is installed where: while this is nice (P4AO can do it too, using the Snapshot feature), when you get that information, it is already too late. Files have already been altered or overwritten. (sorry Günter, just MHO of course) You need a clean copy of all simulator files before every install and a sound backup and recovery strategy.

Best regards

Edited by Lorby_SI
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Ditto Oliver..... why bother. I wouldn't expect any performance gains and the constant upkeep is senseless.  Orbx does recommend the use of a symbolic link (they have a pinned topic in their forum on how to do it) if you want to move the Orbx folder to save space, but it is not going improve performance and could increase loading time.

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