Okay now, I've seen A LOT of threads on 'This mod trashed the game..' or 'help me plz, I messed up the game!'...etc. This can EASILY BE SOLVED. Hurrah!
Ragepunisher911's Guide to Not Messing up Farcry: [I'm sure you have your own method, but this is for the newbies.]
Keep a 'Everytime-I-Power-up-Log'
Have a new notebook in hand. Write down what you are planning to install, what files you have added, what files you over-wrote while doing an install of some FCC [Farcry Custom Content. Ie., a new Falcon skin, K-9 Mod, Tacto Mod, something along those lines.]. A couple of entries of a starting journal should look like this:
"6:00 pm. July 2nd, 2005. Ran Scandisk. Ran Defragmentation program. Installed Farcry.
7:00 pm. July 2nd, 2005. Installed Farcry Patches up to 1.3. [1.31 and 1.32 are not that important.]
7:30 pm. July 2nd, 2005. Restarted computer.
7:35 pm. July 2nd, 2005. Made a backup copy of the Crytek root folder. [Place it on the desktop, or within some folder. Mine is: 'Desktop/Games/Farcry/Backup.' It will take up some room, but it's worth it.]
8:00 pm. July 2nd, 2005. Played in the Sandbox Editor and Single Player of Farcry."
Ever since I installed Windows 2000 on my upstairs machine, I've logged EVERYTHING I've done on the computer. Why? Because if I do something, like overwriting a file, I have a description of what I did and I KNOW HOW TO FIX IT.
A typical entry for me: "4:00 pm. July 2nd, 2005. Started computer. Transferred 502 mb of multimedia files to 'desktop/music/to_be_sorted' Transferred 889 mb of Counter Strike Source movies to '...games/multimedia' Transferred 1 mb of Winamp skins to 'MyDocs/MyWinampSkins/Archive' Started up Winamp 2.81 Started up Sandbox 1.3 Updated levels xxx and xxx. Closed Sandbox 1.3 Updated my .RAR of my custom Farcry Levels '...farcry/myFCC' Started Adobe Photoshop CS Started Paint Shop Pro 9 Did some editing on both programs. Closed both programs. Listened to music on Winamp till 11:00 pm. Powered down at 11:28 pm."
One caveat: Doing many installs of programs/ custom files at once makes it hard to figure out what caused the problems in your system. IE., Don't install MSN AIM, Winamp Music Player, DivX Movie player, and XFire Chat all at the same time. If something goes wrong, it's hard to tell which program is at fault.
My Cure: Install one program a week. Keep updating your log with descriptions of what you did. DON'T rely on your memory. IE., user speaking: "I installed MSN AIM yesterday, forget the log. It doesn't matter, MSN AIM isn't what will cause me problems." Why is that bad to say?
1. MSN AIM may not be the cause of intial problems, but when combined with other programs it could be the right mixture for disaster. Many programs/applications fit the bill in this situation.
2. Relying on memory makes it easier to say, "I'll remember this, and that..I'm not worried." And leads down the path of thinking, "Nothing has gone wrong in 2 months. I don't need these training wheels anymore!" And that will lead you back to where you started, BSODs [Blue Screens Of Death], Crashes, Freezes, Lockup, etc. THIS CAN ALL BE AVOIDED.
I know some 'veteran' Farcry/Gaming people will tell you this is over-kill. It may be, but it will document all that you have done to your computer and programs with in your system. PROBLEMS OCCUR WHEN THE USER STARTS INSTALLING PROGRAMS. Music/pictures/movie files are just dandy, but programs and skins/custom content is where the computer may get a VIRUS [oh noes!] or something nasty. Windows uses 'shared' files. If you want to get rid of a program, most likely it is linked to something much more important, and disrupting those shared files is where many problems are spawned. [The shared files are taken away and the other programs don't know what to do/perfom less than perfect.]
I've not ever crashed or had problems of that nature except for: 1. Sandbox being what it is; barely functionable, it crashes after more than 3 hours of constant use. 2. Windows 2000 being what it is; really worn out after 6 months, needed a re-install and a harddrive wipe. [Nero is God. Use Nero for ALL your backups.]
This my Guide to Avoiding Problems for your computer and Farcry. Don't like it? Don't use it. I've been BSOD/Crash/Freeze/Virus/Lock up free for going on 5 years. [I didn't talk about being Virus/Trogan/Worm free. That's a much larger issue. :D ]
A few things I think I should mention. Sort of an update to this guide. 1.When to Back up? Any Media - After substantial modification/additons have been preformed. When you say to yourself 'it'd be nice to have a backup copy of this,' that's when to backup. I think multimedia: after 200 mb is added to a directory. Ie., 250 mb added to 'Music' folder. You can use Nero to archive folder directories as a whole, instead of individual files, which is a pain to do. 2.How To back up Data? Use Nero burning utility. Get your hands on some Memorex CD-R [Compact Disk Writable. 'Write' as in 'put on data.' One-time 'Write'.] or CD-RW [Compact Disk Re-Writable. Multiple 'Writes' on that disk. I've done re-writes on some discs perhaps 200 times. Very reliable brand. Disk must be 'Erased' if you want to add more data than the Disk allows. Nero has a 'erase' feature, as does most backup utility applications.], or better yet, DVD-R/RW. Hold much more data on a DVD than a CD. If you have a DVD-Capable drive, like a Sony or Plextor, do it. It's easier to have one or two music backup DVDs, than 12 CDs. Best of all the backup medias, DVD-DL-R/RW discs. Currently the best in backup technology. Uses DL, Dual-Layer, technology to store nearly 10 gigs of data on one DVD. Expensive on their own, [$30 for a pack of 5] but if stream-lining is your game, then DVD-DL is the way to go. 3. Programs to use? I worship Nero, but you can also use most any program that comes default with your computer [Alienware gives you good software]. 4. External Storage Devices? I still don't see the big gain of external storage devices. I personally don't recommend such things, but if it's a timed activation, like at the end of every Friday a complete backup is made, then I suppose I could understand that, but if you are a individual just doing his/her thing [gaming, movie editing, game modifications, mulitmedia file storage, school presentations, etc], then you wouldn't need a backup unit. I wouldn't advise against them, but I think there are far less troubling ways of backing up your data. 5. Organizing Backup Discs? This is what I've been doing for a long time, it's worked great for me so I am going to reccommend you do the same thing I do: Get a disc sleeve for your discs. The ones that you can see through, with soft synthetic material in between the discs [holds 2 in one sleeve]. Have a shoebox or an empty drawer. Label the discs whatever, 'Work Data 1/2, Work Data 2/2, Family Pictures 1/1, etc.' Be sure to include that '1/2' [one of two] or whatever number, so if you backed up your directory of data in sequence, reloading the data in sequence will be streamlined. One-Two-Three! Use a fat Sharpie marker to remind yourself what's on each disk. Put them in their sleeves, and put the sleeves in your drawer/shoebox/storage device. All materials are all right there, no fuss or muss. 6. Last pointers? Have a lot of sleeves. They normally come in packages of 100 for $2.00. Well worth it. Have a lot of CD/DVDs. Keep them on their spindles. Have one or two Sharpies. Maybe keep a journal like listed above to remind you what you damaged/screwed up data-wise. Keep all these things in your storage device. Above all, treat the discs with respect and great care. They're no good scratched or damaged, unless you want a frisbee for the dog or a new coaster [good ole' AOL cds!].