# A3 :p\ drive setup info

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hi all i see some of you guys have got A3 stuff sorted for the p drive ive tried but failed with the 58 model error we don't have a sticky yet so lets get one done if we can please.

can we get some info for how to set up p drive please so we all know off the bat i use arma2ptool in a2 for my p drive setup but am a bit stumped on the a3 setup as there is no tool out like the arma2ptool yet.

I have unpboed all a3 pbo's to my p drive i have set a folder called a3 and put the folders in there that i have un pboed, i haven't seen a core folder like a2 when looking so don't know were to get the shaders and bin and such so cant get the models showing in bulldozer.

Could one of you guys that have sorted it please fill us in on how its done please the complete setup on what and how you have got models and bulldozer working with a2 exe or even a a3 setup with a3.exe working with the a3 goodness cheers SmokeDog

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Hey smokedog

This thread should have all the info you need to get it set up.

It still is very limited as to the amount of stuff you can do with the a3 models as most of them while they show up in buldozer don't show up in visitor when placed

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1. Copy Arma3.exe to P:\

2. Copy all the files that are in Arma3 root folder to P:\ root folder (steam_api.dll etc)

3. Depbo bin.pbo and core.pbo from A3\Dta folder and replace the A2 pendants on P:\ (backing A2 core.pbo and bin.pbo up in to a separate folder is a good idea) => Remember to do that everytime Steam updates Arma 3!

4. In Visitor 3, simply exchange buldozer.exe to Arma3.exe in System Preferences, rest can stay the same. I use:

5. Create a folder called a3 on your P drive, put in all necessary pbos, unpack them and move them until they look like a3\data_f\xxx.p3d etc.

6. Copy that just created a3 folder to ARMA3 ROOT DIRECTORY.

7. Add objects to the object list and place them on your map like you please. You can also use A2 objects! Just make sure the addons you use are in the island folder when you start the game and you don't change their given path (ca\plants2\... for example) on p:\

8. Import Satellite and Mask, as well as convert them to *.paa (I use a cmdline tool for that purpose). When that is done, copy the whole project folder to ARMA3 ROOT DIRECTORY. If you don't, Buldozer will start but give an error message on missing layers. Still, it will work ingame I noticed.

7. When hitting the exclamation mark in Visitor, Steam gets launched and you are asked for full screen or window, while you should select the latter..

8. Buldozer will open and is usable like in A2

9. Save pew

10. Export world

11. Write an A3 config. Or take mine as an example.

12. Binarize with bin.pbo or cpbo

13. Put into a modfolder and select a starting method you prefer => Remember to put the other addons you might have used (because of the current lack of placeable objects in A3A) there as well

14. Test!

15. Be happy!

16. Be patient if there are error messages and verify your steps - you will succeed!

Maybe some smart person can overdo Arma2p tool to make it easier for all of us?!

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Cheers guys been stressing me all day how to set it up,@Zerog funny you should say about modding the arma2ptool just been trying to editing it with no luck changed all the a2 refs to a3 and paths for steam directory but i may still keep going with it lol

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Cheers guys been stressing me all day how to set it up,@Zerog funny you should say about modding the arma2ptool just been trying to editing it with no luck changed all the a2 refs to a3 and paths for steam directory but i may still keep going with it lol

Lol I was working on that too

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you know what they say great minds think alike m1lkm8n maybe mikero will see this and feel sorry for us and come to our rescue lol

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You can extract all the A3 content to P:\ using Mikeros "ExtractPbo"

Use the commandline....

That'll unpack them all to an A3 folder on P:\

* Watch out! - theres one .pbo in there that's likely to cause an error - I think it's Sounds_f.pbo - it's a huge filesize and, we don't really need it for terrain work, so - CUT your copy out of there - run the ExtractPbo process - it'll unpack everything else, then, drop your .pbo back in place when its done...

B

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I am having a hard time getting this running.

I cannot get the extractpbo.exe to run.

If i press any button while in the open extractpbo window - the window closes.

If I open the extractpbo.exe as administrator - windows tells me that the path is not existing.

Towards the guide from ZeroG:

I dont know what the "a3" folder should be.

Which are "the necessary pbos". How do I know how the corresponding folder strucure looks? Looking into my current Arma folder on my "p" drive which I created by following Bushlurkers guide - I dont have any "a2" folder, nor can i find any "data_f" alike folders.

Also: Shouldnt the bulldozer be able to run without this "a3" folder? Or is the error I get when running bulldozer out of visitor (i relinked the exe to p:\arma3.exe) related to this missing a3 folder?

Greetings!

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I'm not sure about your extractpbo error but i believe the a3 folder structure is set up so when imported p3ds onto your map I.e. structures or whatever when it comes time to binarize they point to the correct path.

You can create an a3 folder in your p drive then unpbo all the pbos you need like the trees, buildings, ect. And drop the folders minus the a3 folder it creates into that a3 folder.

So if trees_f Unpacked looks like a3/trees_f just drag the trees_f folder into that a3 folder you created

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I cannot get the extractpbo.exe to run.

ExtractPbo is a DOS utility... You can run it within a DOS window and add the commandlines that way, or run it via the more convenient Windows Start Menu "Run" option...

Use the "Browse" button to navigate to ExtractPbo.exe and then in the path window in the Run Dialog you can add in your commandline...

The final thing might look something like this...

D:\Mikero_Tools\ExtractPbo.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3\Addons" P:\

Then you click OK and ExtractPbo should do the job...

B

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ExtractPbo is a DOS utility... You can run it within a DOS window and add the commandlines that way, or run it via the more convenient Windows Start Menu "Run" option...

Use the "Browse" button to navigate to ExtractPbo.exe and then in the path window in the Run Dialog you can add in your commandline...

The final thing might look something like this...

D:\Mikero_Tools\ExtractPbo.exe "C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\Arma 3\Addons" P:\

Then you click OK and ExtractPbo should do the job...

B

Sure take the easy way :)

B

To avoid extractpbo from getting hung up on the sound pbo because of its size it's ok to temporarily remove it before running extractpbo and then just replace it when done?

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ok now I am new to this. I never ever worked with DOS but I managed to get it running^^ Yay!

But I have a question: While starting the process via the "run" command worked fine - I couldnt get it started via the "cmd" (dos) window.

I browsed to the directory where the "extractpbo.exe" is located and typed your commands behind it. It looked like this:

When I tried to run it - it wouldnt do nothing. I guess thats a noob mistake on my side;) Just curious how to start this via the dos window!

Oh and the created folder had not only an "a3" folder in it but also a "ca" folder. I merged the "ca" folder with the allready existing arma 2 "ca" folder and overwrote the old files. I hope this is the correct procedure^^

Also in ZeroG's guide he writes that the "a3" folder once its created on the "p-drive" needs to be copied to the "arma 3 root directory". Now one can understand this as the "root directory on p" or the "root directory of the real arma3 installment".

I took it as the second and copied it into the installation folder. Did I understand this right?

Greetings and thx for the help!

Edited by NordKindchen

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>When I tried to run it

the image above has a typo, there's no underscore in mikeros_tools

and the destination *must* be P:\ not p:\anywhere

>I merged the "ca" folder

bzzt. no cigar. leave it alone

--

>sounds.pbo

extractpbo has been coded to handle huge files, but this one might take a decade (or longer) to extract. giving the impression of a stall

it is quite safe to move it, extract the rest, and put it back

---------- Post added at 23:43 ---------- Previous post was at 23:31 ----------

>ExtractPbo is a DOS utility... You can run it within a DOS window and add the commandlines that way, or run it via the more convenient Windows Start Menu "Run" option...

there's an EVEN easier way <grin>

drag n drop the a3\addons folder ONTO the exe and you will get an addons\a3 folder as a result. Move or copy *that* to p:\

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As for the drag and drop - nice feature! Nice to know!

To the typo - no there is none;) My folder has no underscore in it. Whereas the "neu" folder on the "p" drive will definately have been a problem.

As you suggested I cut the sounds.pbo out of the folder for the necessary time - worked just fine=)

But I dont understand what you mean by "bzzt. no cigar." <- Is this an abbreviation for "nah dont smoke your cigarette"?^^ Sry - as I am no native speaker I am just not used to some expressions ;)

Still - I understand that I made a mistake by merging the folders;) I am undoing this step right now.

Greetings!

Ps: Since I have such an old Arma master talking to me - I want to use this situation to ask you for some guidance. Can you maybe link me to a source where I can find the basics of particle scripting? I have found several small sources of information but not yet one satisfying.

Also - I allready found a promising tool - namely "CSL Particle Parameter Utility" - but sadly it seems to be Arma1 only. Still I found a forum entrance from "Madmatt" from before 5 years where he stated that it would be quite easy to make it work in Arma 2. Best would of course even be Arma 3. I allready mailed him but I am not quite sure if he is still active.

I am really not trying to push your helpfullness - this is only a modest enquiry since I know that you are an old hand.

Best regards!

Edited by NordKindchen

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'no cigar' is, I think, an american expression, for you got it wrong, and hence no prize. ditto, the bzzt, from tv game shows (i think)

I can confifm that sounds_f pbo is huger than huge, gigantic in fact, and, extractpbo has no problems with it apart from the necessarily long extraction time. 3000++ sound files.

You do, in fact, get a 'warning' message in the dos screen that this is happening, but with all the other noisy blurb it's hard to spot unless you

> pipe.txt

if you don't know what above means, dont lose any sleep over it. it's not important at all.

>My folder has no underscore in it

aha! then the 'correct' syntax is

"f:\Mikeros tools\extractpbo.exe" -a ........

if you think about it, the quotes make sense, because raw spaces separate arguments. what you typed was:

f:\mikeros.exe arg1 arg2 .... arg99

for your interest dos has a terrific feature called 'tab completion'

all you have to do is type

f:\mik<tab>

and dos will find what your so interested in

particles?

haven't a clue, have no idea, and i have never, ever, made or created an arma model or script in my life. Sorry

Update:

arma3pBETA.rar will be available shortly on dev-heaven

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Thanks a lot!=)

Exspecially for your excurs into american expressions;)

Best regards!

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I've been asked several times recently about setting up the current BI Tools for use with A3.

A Big Concern, particularly by the more well-established guys who, usually after a bit of a struggle, now have tried 'n trusted Arma 2 P:\ drive setups which work reliably, is - not to screw that up! :D

It's perfectly possible to have completely independant "P:\ drives" for Arma2 and Arma3 which share a common tools install...

Here's how...

Okay!

As we all know, the "P:\" drive isn't really a drive at all - it's a "virtual drive" which basically appears to contain files... in actual fact, the Real location of these files is in a folder called "ArmaWork" which lives in the same folder as your tools install...

Take a look in your tools folder right now... see it?

While you're here - make another! - call it "Arma3Work"

From now on, your precious and hard-won Fully Working Arma 2 P:\drive is out of the picture - it's SAFE and we won't be messing with it at all....

Now we need some contents for our new Arma3Work folder....

If we'd just started from scratch and installed the BI Tools, it would have created some basic contents for it's ArmaWork folder, so we'll start our Arma3Work folder off with the same files...

Look in the little package you downloaded - find the "Default_ArmAWork_Original" stuff - drop all the contents into your Arma3Work folder.

Next...

While you're here inside your BI Tools install folder, make another folder - call this one "Tools_Switcher".

Find the "A2_A3_Tools_Switch.cmd" file from the download and drop it in there...

* You'll notice that for the sake of completeness I also included a couple of desktop shortcuts in the download package... you can refer to these later if you need to, but leave them where they are for now - it's easier if you just make your own...

Now - lets take a look at this "A2_A3_Tools_Switch.cmd" file...

*BE CAREFUL * - because it's a .cmd file, it's an executable... if you doubleclick it, it'll actually run, and you don't want to do that just yet...

Right Click the file and choose "edit" and it'll open in notepad and look like this...

@goto %~1
:A2
subst p: /d
subst p: d:\a2_bis_tools\armawork
@goto EndOf

:A3
subst p: /d
subst p: d:\a2_bis_tools\arma3work
@goto EndOf

:EndOf
pause

Okay... by now a lot of you guys will have twigged where this is going and have leapt ahead, but for the rest I'll explain in a bit more detail...

Basically, this little program is designed to be run by a shortcut on your desktop... if that shortcut has an "A2 Flag" included - the ":A2" section of the program runs, if the shortcut is carrying an "A3 Flag" then the ":A3" bit runs instead...

You can see if you look at the code above that the program is basically two sections - :A2 and :A3...

Look at the line...

subst p: d:\a2_bis_tools\armawork

The "d:\a2_bis_tools\armawork" part is the path to my "ArmaWork" folder - change that part to your path to your ArmaWork folder, wherever your Tools install is located...

Now look in the ":A3" section below - theres another similar path - this one pointing to my new "Arma3Work" folder... Change this path too - set it to point to your "Arma3Work" folder

Now save and you're ready with that!

Now! RightClick on your newly edited "A2_A3_Tools_Switch.cmd" file and choose Send To/ Desktop (Create Shortcut) - go to your desktop and RENAME the shortcut to "A2 TOOLS"

Now - do the same thing again - create another shortcut on the desktop, as before, and rename this one to "A3 TOOLS"

At this point you can refer to the shortcuts I included if you're unsure, but anyone who's modified an Arma shortcut to add a modfolder will follow this next part easily...

RightClick on your "A2 TOOLS" shortcut and choose "Properties" and in the "Target" line add a space and then :A2 to the path...

It should look something like this...

D:\BI_Tools\Tools_Switcher\A2_A3_Tools_Switch.cmd :A2

Click OK and you're done with that one... Now follow the exact same procedure with your "A3 TOOLS" shortcut - add ":A3" to that one, obviously ;)

Finally - that should be you ready... You now have a pair of shortcuts which should switch the contents of P:\ on demand, while still sharing the same actual toolkit (V3, O2, etc)

Try it now - make sure it works... When you're in "A3 Mode" the P:\ drive should just contain the "dummy content" we placed in there earlier... we'll set it up as a true A3 drive next...

This next section on setting up A3 content on a P:\ drive is likely to become completely redundant when the Mighty Mikero's "Arma3P" arrives - if it hasn't already - plus the same stuff is covered elsewhere, so I'll summarise this bit a little more briefly...

We're kindof in "Tools Limbo" at the moment - anyone who was around and messing with this terrain stuff back when OA arrived will remember it well, and probably remember the following procedure too. This involves messing with some of the "system" files on the P:\ setup, which is why it's a very good idea to be doing this on a fresh, new P:\ drive, and not your current precious Arma 2 one...

Briefly then...

Click your Funky new "A3 TOOLS" shortcut, and verify your P:\ drive contains only the dummy content we dropped in there earlier...

Navigate to your A3 install main directory - copy ALL the loose files in here - none of the folders, but for the sake of quickness, just copy ALL the single files, and paste them all directly into your P:\ drive...

While you're on P:\ - look for your "buldozer.exe" - DELETE it, and RENAME "Arma3.exe" to "buldozer.exe"

Back to your Arma3 install folder - look for the "Dta" folder and open it up....

Look for "product.bin" - COPY that file - Navigate to your P:\ drive where you'll find a "Dta" folder - inside that there'll be a "product.bin" file already... DELETE the old one, PASTE in the one you copied from Arma3.

Back to the Arma3 install folder, and inside the Dta folder again... Look for "bin.pbo" - unpack it to a folder - COPY that folder - look to your P:\ drive - there's a "bin" folder already... DELETE the old "bin" folder, PASTE in your new one...

Now - the same thing again - this time with "core.pbo" in the Arma3/Dta folder - unpack it to a folder - copy, go to P:\ - delete the old "core" folder - paste your new one...

And... one more time - this time with "languagecore.pbo" - same procedure - unpack, copy folder, go to P:\.... This time you'll notice there isn't an "old" languagecore folder to get rid of first - that's ok - just paste your one in there and you're done...

Now - when you're switched to this new "Arma3 P:\ Drive" you should be able to run Visitor as before - it'll find all the files it requires... when you want to view something, it'll use the new sneaky "arma 3 buldozer" and it - should - also find all the files that it requires...

For now, this is probably about as close as we can get to an "A3 Tools Install" without risking valuable existing Arma 2 development installations...

The final stage of course, would be to unpack the A3 content to your new P:\ drive - that procedure HAS been covered before, and is also exactly the job that Mikes Tool will also address, so you guys can take it from here....

... as always - backups of backups is always a good idea... ;)

B

Edited by Bushlurker

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Visitor says "Error loading "P:\"... I've been confused ever since I ended up destroying my P drive entirely and restarting a new with a fresh install of BiS Tools...

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Bushlurker, thank you so much for all the help you provide in here. With your guide right above, I managed to load my recently create map for A2 in A3. Already looks stunning :)

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Ok now Im banned from A3-steam and can not join any online server.

I unpacked the core and bin files. ( 3. Depbo bin.pbo and core.pbo from A3\Dta folder)

But I accidently deleted them after! So then I just repacked the files I just unbinarzed and put them back where they should be, game was working fine.... until I jumped online then I get banned/kicked off from all servers I try to join.

Then I unistalled A3, reinstalled it. And Still Im banned from all multiplayer.

Must be that steam checked my players ID when I try to join a server and thought there was a Pirate/hacked version and banned me.

I even try to join friends server and got kicked off.

I really dont know what to do now, Steam must have registerd my player ID as a hacked game and Im locked out from A3 multiplayer.

So now what?

I know.... I just trolled my self FPDR

--------------------------------------------

I try today to join servers and it worked, try 5 random servers. maby steam at last checked and notice my game was fresh installed and legal.

Edited by Mr Pedersen
• 1

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5. Create a folder called a3 on your P drive, put in all necessary pbos, unpack them and move them until they look like a3\data_f\xxx.p3d etc.

6. Copy that just created a3 folder to ARMA3 ROOT DIRECTORY.

Just to note, in steps 5. and 6. it is possible to setup 'System File Links' if your HDD/SSD is formated as NTFS. It is basically like a shortcut to the directory but it acts as a folder working in both directions. The commands need to be run from a elevated command prompt, two of mine are below for example, they only need to be run once.

mklink /D "E:\STEAM\steamapps\common\Arma 3\a3" P:\a3
mklink /D "E:\STEAM\steamapps\common\Arma 3\outback" P:\outback

I have all my a3 .pbo's extracted into the a3 directory of my p:/ and i make a link to that folder in my Arma3 Steam folder, so if i type "E:\STEAM\steamapps\common\Arma 3\a3\map_stratis\config.bin" it is the same as "P:\map_stratis\config.bin"

Should save some time copying files back and forth and free up some space that is used creating a copy of some massive folders.

Edited by pastor399
if the above does not make sense, it is because i posted it at 2am last night.....

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Ok, so I'm pretty new to Arma and modding in general. Can someone please explain why we have to do step #6? Right now I just want to get started making simple addons, modifying a few things so I can get the basics of config editing down. If this is just for making terrains and I'm not interested in that at the moment, do a have to do it?

I've run Mikero's Arma3Alpha2P.cmd and it's unpacked all of Arma 3's pbos into an "a3" folder instead of "CA". Does this mean that when inheriting from BIS content, I should put the .cpp's in "P:\TAG\a3" instead of "P:\TAG\CA"?

It's a little hard trying to figure out how to do this reading from different sources, some of which are referring to previous versions of Arma, and others that are referring to Arma 3.

Edited by Boomotang

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A3 stays in the a3 folder. The ca folder was for a1 and a2.

I'm not entirely sure anymore about step 6 because I haven't updated my a3 exe in my p drive in a bit but initially it was because when using the a3 exe As buldozer it points towards the steam directory. So if those folders where not in the directory when launching a3 buldozer you would get a few different errors.

What I did was have that a3 unpacked folder and my project folders in my a3 steam directory as well as a empty folder that I could place those folders into because when finished I noticed even though not activated as on addon the a3 folder being in the a3 root directory was causing arma3 to crash.

Edit- after typing all that I realized your terrain bit. Lol. It was for terrain editing yes. I'm not sure about o2 if that what you are after as I haven't used it for anything a3 yet. Oops.

Edited by M1lkm8n

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Well that helps me understand it better, and what it's needed for. Thanks.

I'm trying to learn this stuff from a beginners perspective, and it's hard when looking at stuff that isn't necessarily supposed to be a tutorial and doesn't explain WHY we're doing some of these things.

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Yea a lot of the things your seeing for a3 are just workarounds until the actual a3 tools are released.