Revert to vanilla data

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Edit: 2/9/10 clarify where to copy files to

Edit: 3/10/10 Redo Shivering Isles part to correct an error

Edit 3/28/09 added section on what to do with saved games - Thanks to Noisab

Here is a troubleshooting suggestion - put your Oblivion back to an unmodified state. Using this procedure you can always revert to your current data folder with all of the mods and any problems they may cause. And then back to the unmodified with a simple rename A to C and B to A operation Where A is your current data, B is the Oldata and C is the unmodded data folder. Just remember which is what to keep from overwriting and losing anything.

Rename your data folder to something like oldata - the name doesn't matter as long as you know what it is and it is NOT data.

Create a new data folder where the original one was. Oblivion\data

Now, copy - DO NOT MOVE the following back into the new data folder if you do not have Shivering Isles installed

  • Music (folder)
  • Shaders (folder)
  • Video (folder)
  • Credits (text)
  • Oblivion - Meshes.bsa
  • Oblivion - Misc.bsa
  • Oblivion - Sounds.bsa
  • Oblivion - Textures - Compressed.bsa
  • Oblivion - Voices1.bsa
  • Oblivion - voices2.bsa
  • Oblivion.esm

Unmodified Oblivion data with Shivering Isles

This is the data folder with Oblivion & Shivering Isles installed. Before adding any mods or any DLCs.

  • Music - Folder
  • Shaders - Folder
  • Video - Folder
  • Credits.txt - Text file, not needed
  • DLCList.txt - Important - needed for Shivering Isles
  • Oblivion.esm - This is the main Oblivion
  • DLCShiveringIsles.esp - a dummy (empty)file, but must be here.
    ONLY copy the file DLCShiveringIsles.esp into this. UNLESS any of the other DLCs are there be sure not to include any that are not installed or your game crash on start.
  • DLCShiveringIsles-Meshes.bsa
  • DlCShiveringIsles-Sounds.bsa
  • DlCShiveringIsles-Textures.bsa
  • DlCShiveringIsles-Voices.bsa
  • Oblivion-Meshes.bsa
  • Oblivion-Misc.bsa
  • Oblivion-Sounds.bsa
  • Oblivion-Textures-Compressed.bsa
  • Oblivion-Voices1.bsa
  • Oblivion-Voices2.bsa
  • Textures - Folder ** ONLY copy the following ONE file.**

The easiest way to do the Textures is Create a new folder named Textures. Inside of that create a new folder named Effects, and copy the file into that.

This will be your unmodified game, (also called vanilla) with the official patch already installed (if you installed it already) back to the exact configuration it was in before you installed any mods. It will not affect OBSE as that is installed in the Oblivion folder. It Will remove any OBSE plug ins though.

This will not remove your saved games. However, they will probably no longer work as they are dependent on a set of mods that are no longer installed. If you wish to reset your save game folder go to the location they are in:

  • For XP this will be C:\Documents and settings\user name\my documents\my games\Oblivion.
  • For Vista or Win7 C:\users\user name\my documents\my games\Oblivion

If you want to start over, just erase everything in the my saves folder and your saves will start over from #1

Start a new game WITHOUT starting OBSE. and test it. If it works, your problem was caused by mods. If not, you must reinstall. Once you get a working vanilla game - NO mods make a COPY of this in a new folder outside of the Oblivion folder - this will be your emergency backup to avoid having to reinstall when you have problems. Now start the game using OBSE to see if that works. The game should start just as if OBSE wasn't started. This does not test all of OBSE, just the start game part.

Now install OBMM. You will use OBMM and not the game data to activate mods from now on. They will show in load order. Test to be sure it works. There is a launch Oblivion function - one of the blocks on the right side of the main screen. It will automatically launch OBSE first if it is installed.

Now install ONE mod. start using OBMM. activate the new mod and launch the game. Test to be sure that mod works. Once you are sure it works, install another mod and test again. When a problem shows up, you will know what mod caused it and can either not use that mod, Be sure to uninstall completely - meshes and textures also and not just the esp. OR, try troubleshooting - changing load order and other things to get it to work.

By installing and testing just one at a time, your load order will build itself.

Other suggestions:

Always read any documentation such as a readme file for every mod. And look in the forum topic that is automatically created for each mod when it is uploaded. Usually any special problems other people have encountered, along with any solutions will be listed there.

When you download mods, download them into a separate folder outside of Oblivion. Then create a new sub-folder for each mod. Extract (unzip) the mod into that folder and not directly into the Oblivion\data folder. Then COPY - do not move the parts of the mod into the proper places in the data folder. Or if you decide to use OMODs create the OMOD in the proper place using the files in that separate folder.