Complete Installation Guide for Oblivion/Part 1/Install Oblivion

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Install Oblivion (or Revert to the Vanilla State)

The purpose of this step is to create a fresh setup on which to start building modified Oblivion. Those users whom have never installed Oblivion or have just uninstalled it, need to install it. Those who have installed it, need to make sure it is patched to the latest version. Those who have it installed and patched and added mods need to revert it to the vanilla state. Those users that need to revert to the vanilla state but do not have all of the original files (BSAs and folders) backed up somewhere, should probably go back to the previous step and uninstall the game. Utilities and other tools will be installed in the next step.

Again, you only need to install the game or revert the game to its vanilla state.

Some Terms

  • GOTY - Game of the Year Edition
  • SI - Shivering Isles
  • My Games Oblivion folder - Documents\My Games\Oblivion|| - symbol for OR
  • modded - has unofficial modifications installed
  • Oblivion install folder - (default non-Steam) C:\Program Files\Bethesda Softworks\Oblivion
  • Oblivion folder - Oblivion install folder
  • Saves folder - Documents\My Games\Oblivion\Saves
  • OBMM - Oblivion Mod Manager
  • TESCS - The Elder Scrolls Construction Set
  • Data folder - Oblivion install folder\Data

If you run into problems with installing or launching the game, see the PCS Library.

Install the Game

  1. Run Oblivion's setup. Windows 7 and Vista users should choose an install directory outside of the program files folder to escape the UAC's overprotection. Choose a custom folder, a folder that does not already exist on the drive, to ensure that the UAC does not control it. There is no need to create the folder beforehand because the installation process will create it. For example, if the C drive is the drive on which you want to install Oblivion, you could choose C:\Games\Oblivion. Steam Win7 or Vista users, can acheive the same end by installing Steam to C:\Games or another custom folder and then installing Oblivion, since Oblivion will be installed under the Steam folder.
    • It is normal for the setup to take a while.
    • If problems occur during the installation process see the PCS Library.
  2. (Even if you have GOTY!!) Install the latest official patch for Oblivion (not SI) of the appropriate language.>> notes: 1) The SI v1.2.0416 patch does not patch the original textures BSA or OblivionLauncher.exe. Only use the v1.2.0416 patch for Oblivion. 2) If you have trouble installing the official patch, read the Unofficial Technical FAQ's patches section. 3) Many mods require Shivering Isles, so it may be worth installing even if you never go to the SI worldspace. Its instrusion into the main worldspace is very small.
  3. (Shivering Isles) Run SI's setup. For GOTY users, can do this by installing disc 2.
  4. Back up all files in the Data folder except for the Textures folder (which contains nothing but a useless duplicate.)
  5. (BAIN users that moved the Oblivion Mods folder last step) Move the Oblivion Mods folder from its temporary location to the new directory containing the Oblivion install folder. (For example, if Oblivion has been reinstalled to C:\Games, move it to C:\)
  6. (OBMM users that copied the OMODs folder last step) In the new Oblivion folder, create a folder obmm and move the OMODs folder ("mods") into it.
  7. (Recommended) Defrag your hard drive to reduce the fragmentation from the setup process.

Revert to Vanilla

  1. If you used utilities to install any mods, use those utilities to uninstall them. In OBMM, you can batch deactivate all OMODs with the batch actions option in the sidebar. This step is vital if you have used mods to edit shaders.
  2. Delete the Oblivion.ini and renderinfo.txt from the My Games Oblivion folder.
  3. In the Oblivion folder, delete all files starting with "obse_" and the OBSE "src" folder.
  4. In the Data folder, delete all but any of the following (original) files and folders:
    • Bash Patches (Bash folder)
    • INI Tweaks (Bash folder)
    • Music
    • Shaders
    • Video
    • Docs (Bash/Mod docs folder)
    • DLCShiveringIsles - Meshes.bsa (SI)
    • DLCShiveringIsles - Sound.bsa (SI)
    • DLCShiveringIsles - Textures.bsa (SI)
    • DLCShiveringIsles - Misc.bsa (SI)
    • Oblivion - Meshes.bsa (Vanilla) (SI)
    • Oblivion - Textures (Compressed).bsa (Vanilla)
    • Oblivion - Sound.bsa (Vanilla)
    • Oblivion - Misc.bsa (Vanilla)
    • Oblivion.esm (Vanilla)
    • DLCShiveringIsles.esp (SI)

If you do not have backups of the original files before, do so now.

  1. If any of the BSAs had been modified via BSA alteration or BSA repacking, replace those with backups of the originals.

Official System Requirements

From the Official Oblivion FAQ

  • Vanilla Oblivion - MIN
    • CPU: 2GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent
    • Sound Card: DirectX 8 compatible (could be on-board)
    • GPU: 128 MB Direct 3D and DirectX 9.0 compatible
    • RAM: 512 MB
  • Vanilla Oblivion - REC
    • CPU: 3GHz Pentium 4 or equivalent
    • Soundcard: DirectX 8 compatible (could be on-board)
    • GPU: 256 MB Direct 3D and DirectX 9.0 compatible
    • RAM: 1 GB

Install DirectX

  1. Install DirectX 9.0c , if you have not installed already this, specific version.
    • Later versions of DirectX may not contain the 9.0c DLLs.
    • If it is already installed, attempting to install it again has no negative side-effects. The installation only tries to add the missing DLLs.

Install the LAA Patch

Warning!!! Only users running a 64-bit operating system with at least 3.5GB RAM should try this. Read LAA Patch before attempting the following instructions.

The LAA patch is mentioned here for the sake of those who are already aware of such a patch. Since the point of this patch is to apply it in hopes of extending (modified) gameplay beyond a couple hours--often no longer than two or thee with a fairly modified game--the benefit of the patch (or whether it is working at all) would be easier seen after playing with an established modded setup a for extended sessions. Therefore, it may be best to wait until you have played with the modified setup you build over the course of this guide and apply the patch later.

  1. Launch the game, via any method, to test that it is working.
    • Testing should be sufficient once you have rough estimate for how long the game can run without crashing or meeting the unpatched memory cap of ~1.8GB.
      • An typical current (i.e., 2008 or later) gaming system running Windows XP or Windows 7 can run the out-of-the-box game quite well for an unspecified number of hours; so, it is really not worth testing unless your game is already modded.
      • If the vanilla game is crashing within two hours, your hardware is probably on the lower end or a driver conflict may exist. (See the PCS Library for help troubleshooting.)
    • If the game does not launch properly, at this point, that would probably indicate a hardware issue or software incompatibility.
    • See the PCS Library for help troubleshooting.
  2. Download the 4GB patch from NTCore
  3. Extract the executable to someplace for keeping.
  4. Run the executable.
    • Select Oblivion.exe (not the Oblivion launcher or the OBSE launcher).
    • The patcher makes a backup in the same folder should you need to revert to the original.

Game of the Year

Shivering Isles

Oblivion Mod Manager

User Account Control

Bethesda Softworks Archive

BAsh INstallers

Oblivion Script Extender