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Il2dcg.exe Performs Strange Asset


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#1 bweiss

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Posted 09 March 2017 - 04:38 PM

Okay now someone straighten me out here. I must have gotten ahold of some bad coffee or something...

 

So now after using IL2DCG since...forever, a funny thing just happened. I was twiddling around deleting my IL2DCG folder in Windows 8.1, in Program Files (x86) and reinstalling the new beta 349.10. I opened up the "Select DCG Campaign Folder" under the Files tab, and noticed a folder named IL2DCG348. I went to my program manager and looked in Program File (x86), and there was no folder for IL2DCG348. Now to appreciate this incident, one must know that the folder being seen had been deleted for months and months after I began to use the new 349 betas. Ruh Roh!

 

It gets better... I then opened up DCG again, went back to the Files tab, chose "Select DCG Campaign Folder" again and looked over the entire Program Files (x86) folder and found not only other old previously deleted folders and files belonging to DCG, but also old program folders and files for utilities not even associated with IL2 or DCG? All of these folders/files, had been previously deleted and did not show up in Windows program manager. So I deleted them through IL2DCG by right clicking on the mouse for indexed options. Upon doing so, nothing showed up in my recycle bin. But, doing so did delete the folders and files in question.

 

Now, I know that manually starting a campaign without replacing DCG causes a campaign folder to be placed in IL2DCG's main folder which cannot be seen in Windows 8.1's program manager. For all intense and purposes it is invisible to Windows, but DCG see's it and I presume IL2 also since it works.

 

So my question is, how or what is DCG doing to not only create the invisible campaign folder for manual (non-DCG replacement) generated campaigns, but how in the world is DCG seeing previously deleted "admin" authority placed folders and files in Program Files (x86)? And yes, each folder/file which DCG had spotted that was previously deleted (most had been deleted for months), were originally placed in Program Files (x86) by using Admin Authority in Win 8.1.

 

Yes yes, I know that conventional wisdom says place DCG either under C:/, or inside IL21946. But for me, (other than this oddity), it works just fine in Program Files (x86), as a 32 bit exe file and I've had no issues with that placement. But all that aside, how in the world can DCG pick up on and see previously deleted folders/files that Windows Program Manager cannot see? (Note also that I have set my file views to include the ability to see hidden files so it isn't that). Those folders and files had been deleted using Win 8.1, deletes with Admin Authority.

 

I'm sure this is something everyone knows about and its just no one told me but at this point I'd really like to know what other little surprises might DCG be used for aside from playing IL2 1946?

 

I mean, it did help me clean out the old folders and files that I had deleted ages ago and which were no longer visible through Windows.... I need some more coffee. Anyone wish to clue me in on what is happening here?

 

Thanks Gentlemen



#2 Lowengrin

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 06:10 AM

I have never heard of this phenomenon of DCG and invisible/deleted folders before.  In fact, I'm fairly certain that when I delete a campaign folder from the DCG folder, DCG can't access it again.  Which makes me wonder if it's something particular to your Windows configuration.  Do you have an automatic backup of your hard-drive and some synchronization thing happening?

 

Also, do you clean out your recycle bin?  Or are there deleted files in there from months ago?  (Although I just deleted an old campaign into the recycle bin, but I can't see it in my DCG folder using open menu when I select "Select DCG Campaign Folder".)

 

Sorry, I can't be more helpful, but it's nothing I've seen before.



#3 Lowengrin

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 06:18 AM

After doing some Googling...

 

Do you have an external hard-drive that syncs?

 

 

I have an external Seagate hard drive.  The software the comes with it will Synch with my documents and settings.  I would delete the items off of my desktop and whenever the hard drive would synch up, it would see those files were deleted and then replace them back to my desktop.



#4 idefix44

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Posted 10 March 2017 - 07:18 AM

DCG is really magic! Isn't it? :rolleyes:



#5 bweiss

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 01:54 PM

I'm pretty certain at the bottom of this is the Windows file management or perhaps its Admin Permission management process. It just so happened that using DCG was the only way to see the folders/files in question. To answer your question, no I do not have an external drive that syncs and all of this took place on my internal drive. I use an external for storage only, but nothing more than that and I don't have my Program Files (x86) backed up to it. And no, there was nothing in the recycle bin after I deleted the folders/files using DCG through the "Select 3rd Party Campaign", right clicking to use the Windows index "delete".  

 

DCG does this on my system (I assumed it was for everyone however), when I manually create a campaign in IL2 1946 "not" using a full DCG replacement method. Once I've selected the manually created campaign through the DCG Globe, pick it in IL2 1946, then "alt" out to DCG and select "Off Line Career", and then generate a mission, the campaign file DCG creates shows up in DCG's folder if I use "Select 3rd Party Campaign", and is visible but only to DCG, it is "not" visible under Windows Program Manager... Something I've scratched my head about but figured it was normal. And because DCG under "Select 3rd Party Campaign", is looking for a "squadron.dcg" file, it cannot see just ordinary files in the folders it detected, only a squadron.dcg file, but using a right click index for Windows, I viewed the properties of the old deleted folders seen by DCG and Windows properties reported files in the folders even though they could not be seen thorough DCG.

 

 Interestingly, the old IL2DCG348 folder properties reported files in the folder. Meaning, there could possibly arise a conflict between an older version of DCG files hanging around with in the same folder directory where a newer version was placed. Not to mention other program files hanging around after deletion... Now, all this took place only within Program Files (x86) folder. DCG see's nothing anywhere else, including under C:/.

 

The only guess I have is that as most folks know by now, Windows (post version 7), does some very odd things with 32 and 64 bit file management and Admin Permissions. Each of the folders and files seen by DCG and not by Windows Program Manager were installed manually, or in the case of one Battlefront game, (a 64 bit but using the Windows installer) it loaded it into Program Files (x86), where I uninstalled it through Windows (many months ago) to place it under c:/. The entire thing was gone from Program Files (x86) according to Windows, but not according to DCG. Where, the old folder for Battlefront was clearly still there, though the files had been deleted apparently in that instance according to DCG and Windows properties. And yes, all of these (about 4 or 5 total), folders/files, were deleted at least months ago and were not visible except through DCG. Otherwise, I would not have even known they were there where I had looked many times via Program Manager since they were deleted.

 

Well, deleting something doesn't actually delete it, but I'm not an IT Engineer so that's about my level of expertise on data imaging. So DCG is seeing something Windows 8.1 can't or won't allow, and that's what got my interest is in how it is doing that? They are obviously left over images of past deleted stuff, but why were they there and why did DCG see them and not Windows Program Manager.

 

I guess you can put this down a "bump in the night", and as an added benefit of using DCG. It can do a post deletion sweep of the Program Folders to ensure old and conflicting stuff actually got deleted.



#6 bweiss

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 03:28 PM

I'll see sometime if I can duplicate the underlying issue, but I'd bet that the folders in question were ghost images from an old restore point or some such Windows technicality. I've deleted other folders in x86 since then, and DCG didn't see them?

 

However, there is an aspect of seeing invisible files that DCG does perform that can be duplicated as I mentioned above. Let me ask you this; is it normal for DCG to create a campaign folder inside the IL2DCG folder when using the Off-Line Career Mode while NOT replacing DGC after manually creating a campaign and mission?

 

When I do this:

 

"In order to start an IL2 DCG campaign in Forgotten Battles using the Auto-Generation Career mode while not replacing DGEN, use the following steps.

1. Run IL2 DCG.
2. Turn off the off-line Career (Auto-Generation) Mode.
3. If starting a new campaign, click the "Globe" icon.
4. From the drop-down box that appears, select the campaign.
5. Click on the "Start Button".
6. Make any other changes such as squadron, plane, weather, etc.
7. Generate one mission by hitting the DCG "Generate Mission" button.
8. Run IL2 Forgotten Battles.
9. Start a new career with the Nationality you want to fly. DCG should appear as one of the options. Select it.
10. Return to the Main Menu and minimize FB by Alt+Tab (or Exit FB altogether).
11. Turn on DCG's off-line Career (Auto-Generation) Mode. Press the "Generate Mission" button
."

 

...at this point, DCG creates a campaign folder inside the IL2DCG folder and which cannot be seen by Windows Program Manager. Only by DCG. All the Windows Program Manager sees is the files inside IL2 1946 under the Nationality Campaign, but Windows does not see the created campaign folder inside IL2DCG's folder. In the IL2 1946 Campaign (DCG) folder are lose campaign files but no campaign named folder as such, and then inside the DCG folder is an actual named campaign folder invisible to Windows.

 

Is that the way it is supposed to work?

 

If so, then that is the same thing that happened with these deleted files. So then my question is why DCG can see that campaign folder it places in the IL2DCG primary folder but it cannot be seen by the Windows Program Manager?



#7 Lowengrin

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Posted 11 March 2017 - 10:48 PM

I wonder if it does have to do with your admin permissions.  Since DCG is creating the folders, maybe only DCG can 'see' them...?



#8 bweiss

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Posted 12 March 2017 - 02:15 PM

I wonder if it does have to do with your admin permissions.  Since DCG is creating the folders, maybe only DCG can 'see' them...?

 

Good point Lo, well entirely why I placed this in public discussion and not technical support. I rather doubt DCG is a culprit in this, rather I'd put my money on Windows somehow interacting with DCG in unexpected ways. And I'm surprised no one has quipped "this is why everyone says not to put games and game related 3rd party software in the x86 folder!!!"

 

So along your line of thought, it may have to do with admin permission and placement of DCG in the x86 folder. How strange, then again probably no stranger than the Intel drivers that everyone is finding in their MS updates that either don't particularly work or don't load correctly. Ah but I digress.

 

I'll play with this issue a bit and see what I can come up with. There is also the possibility that Windows believes the addition of DCG's manually generated campaign is a "system" file and that's why only DCG can see it was spawned by its parent program. Something like that.  

 

Well thanks Lo, I'll look into this further as I get time and will let you know what, if anything, I can figure out. And yes, I'll wager you will still be updating this in your 80's when the kids are all buying the new flying cars! LOL.



#9 sniperton

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 12:23 PM

Yes yes, I know that conventional wisdom says place DCG either under C:/, or inside IL21946. But for me, (other than this oddity), it works just fine in Program Files (x86), as a 32 bit exe file and I've had no issues with that placement. But all that aside, how in the world can DCG pick up on and see previously deleted folders/files that Windows Program Manager cannot see? (Note also that I have set my file views to include the ability to see hidden files so it isn't that).

 

All this is probably because since Win7 user-created files (configs, savegames, etc) are removed from the program folder by the OS and placed under Users/Documents/... and are only available to the application software via hardlinks/symbolic links referenced in the OS registry. In contrast to recent software, neither Il-2, nor DCG was designed with this working of the OS in mind, and, on the other side, Windows can't fully keep track of your changes due to the 'old-style' working of these applications. This is why the conventional wisdom says you should never ever place anything related to Il-2 under Program Files. Simply create a C:/Games/Il-2 folder and copy everything there and you'll regain full control of your files. 



#10 Lowengrin

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Posted 18 March 2017 - 05:26 PM

 

C:/Games/Il-2 folder

Ah, this is exactly what I do so have never run into this issue.  Thanks!






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