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(Re)installing Morrowind, Pt. 4

Continued from Part 3, or start at the beginning.

Now that we are through tinkering with the Morrowind Code Patch, it’s time to install some regular addons. We’re going to start with some important bug fixes, but first I’ll explain general addon usage, along with my suggestion for an ideal way to keep everything organized.

Addons (or mods) include one or more of the following:

– A file ending in .esp or .esm
– Folders for the resources (like graphics) used in the mod
– Optional .esp files that act as different versions or components of the mod

These files and folders must go into the Data Files folder in your Morrowind directory. Most addons are packaged as an archive (like .zip or .rar) and you must make sure they’re extracted correctly. If the mod is compressed into its own Data Files folder, it is meant to be extracted directly into the Morrowind folder, as having “Data Files” inside “Data Files” will not work. Always open and view the archive of a downloaded mod so you can see whether to copy it into Morrowind or directly into Data Files. Personally, I almost never extract directly into any folder; I much prefer to drag and drop from the archive.

Now is also an excellent time to make a folder for all the instructions and readme files that will be included with most addons. Just create it wherever you want (mine is called “Docs and Readmes” and is in the Morrowind folder) and teach yourself the habit of keeping your readmes organized in there. If you have to, rename the files to be descriptive of which addon they belong to (many mods’ readmes are just called “readme.txt”). This can be tedious and annoying, but later on you will be very happy you did it. You should even make folders inside this folder for readmes that include multiple files (this is another “Best Practices” type thing that took me way too long to start doing).

Sample Directory Structure

This is how my non-Steam Morrowind directory is set up. I’ll explain point by point, and you can decide on a system that works for you. If I skip a folder in this description, it’s not relevant right now.

Sample Morrowind Directory StructureLocal Disk (D:) – Remember we don’t want Morrowind inside C:\Program Files. Don’t get confused about me having a D:\ drive; that’s just because I’ve partitioned my hard disk so I can try to leave C:\ mostly just for the OS. Personally I don’t put anything on C:\ at all unless Windows forces me to. If you only have a C:\ drive that’s fine, just don’t install in Program Files!

D:\Morrowind Addons and Utilities – This is where I keep all the archived mods I download, in case I need to reinstall. They’re all organized into folders as well according to the type of addon they are.

D:\Morrowind Game of the Year Edition – My .iso files (yes, I do own the game legally— several times over, in fact).

D:\Program Files – This is just a folder I made on D:\ because I was so used to having games and such in a “Program Files” folder. You don’t have to do this. You can just put the Morrowind folder straight onto C:\ or whatever drive. Just not into C:\Program Files— C:\Morrowind is fine, or wherever else you like if you also have a partitioned hard disk.

D:\Program Files\Morrowind – The main Morrowind folder. You might be tempted to create a Bethesda Softworks folder if you play all the Elder Scrolls games and the idea of having them all “organized” appeals to you, but don’t bother; Skyrim and TESO both install straight to their own folders anyway. You can override this, of course, and do it how you want, but I don’t feel it’s worth the hassle.

D:\Program Files\Morrowind\Data Files – This is where Morrowind stores the files it needs to create the game world. There will be plenty of other folders in here, along with the .esp and/or .esm files that function as the “main file” of each addon. Many of these folders are self-explanatory; just make sure you don’t end up with another “Data Files” in here, as any mods installed in the second “Data Files” will be completely invisible to the game. If this happens (and if you pay attention while installing, it never will), you can fix it by opening the second “Data Files” in a new window and dragging everything inside it into the main one. Allow it to merge and overwrite if prompted.

D:\Program Files\Morrowind\Docs and Readmes – This is the folder I mentioned before, where I keep all the instructional files that come with each mod. Some of them come with multiple documents and get their own folder inside here. Do not neglect this; if you have problems later you’ll be happy you kept this organized.

Continue to Part 5, in which we install our first regular addon and fix yet more bugs.

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