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Uninstalling and Updating UT3 Custom Character Skins

When you install a custom character skin for UT3, you "simply" add the files supplied by the creator of the skin to the correct UT3 folders. However, after you have installed the skin filesUT3 automatically adds some information to the end of your <rootdir>\UTGame\Config\UTCustomChar.ini file. To completely uninstall a custom character skin this information must be deleted from the .ini file. Failure to do so will not break the game but you will see some very strange stuff in the UT3 menus if you don't.

If you get a new version of a skin you already have installed, it is a very good idea to uninstall the old skin before installing the update. Read the creator's ReadMe file. If there is no ReadMe file or if it does not say anything one way or the other about uninstalling, be safe and uninstall the old skin. If the ReadMe file says you can install the update over the old version without uninstalling first, go ahead and do so. You should only 1/2 believe him though. If there is a problem, you will need to uninstall it and then reinstall the update. The usual problem that occurs by failing to completely uninstall a skin before updating is that you end up with the character selection menu showing multiple entries for a single character. For example, in the first picture, in Step 1 below, you might see two or more entries for Samus Aran, instead of one. Similarly, in the second picture, below, you might see multiple entries for each of the six X.E.N.O types.

If you don't know what <rootdir> means, Click Here for information about installing UT3 and custom content for UT3. It will be used throughout the following discussion.

Step 0, Do it the easy way:

Download and use the UT3UninstallCustomChars program here.

0. To install the program, simply extract the .exe file to a folder of you choice and run it. The first time you run the program it will create an .ini file in that same folder.

1. If the skin you are going to uninstall is the skin that you are currently using in the game, it would be a good idea to change your in-game skin before doing the uninstall.

2. Click on the open folder icon on the right side of the 1st box at the top left of the window. In the Open File window that pops up, find and select the .ZIP that you downloaded from the Deviants' website, which contains the character skin you want to delete. This should be the same .ZIP file you used to install the skin. The program will not work correctly unless the folder information in the .ZIP follows the folder convention used in all UT3 custom content .ZIP files that are available on the Deviants' website. Use this program to uninstall skins that you obtained from sources other than the Deviants' website at your own risk — only .ZIP archives are supported — the program is not designed to work with .RAR files or other archive types.

3. Click on the folder icon on the right side of the 2nd box at the top left of the window. In the Browse for Folder window that pops up, find and select your <rootdir>. If you don't know what "<rootdir>" means, re-read the information in the red box at the top of this page.

4. Click the Uninstall button at the bottom left of the window.

5. If you want to see what it did, put a checkmark in the Show details checkbox. Uncheck the box to get rid of the details.

6. Click the Close button at the bottom right of the window to exit the program. If you exit the program with a file name in the 1st box, the program will remember the folder where that .ZIP file was found and the next time you run the program it open to that same folder when you click on the open folder icon in step #1. If you also have your <rootdir> showing in the 2nd box when you exit the program, the program will remember and fill in your <rootdir> for you the next time you run the program — you will be able to skip step #2 above.

7. If you want/need to manually uninstall the skin, read the rest of this page.

8. If you want to have a 15 foot rabbit to have your back, be as cute as Hex.

Step 1, Make sure you know the name of the character you are uninstalling:

In step 3 below, you will need to search for the name of the character you are uninstalling. Make sure that you know the name, as the game knows it, and how to spell it correctly.

Start UT3 and go through the menus as if you were going to select the character you plan to delete as a new character: Settings|Player|Customize Character, then find the character in whichever faction it exists. For example, the Samus Aran character is in the Iron Guard faction, while the X.E.N.O. characters are in their own, X.E.N.O. faction. Once you have clicked on the correct faction name and found the character:

you can BACK out and close the game.

If the name is "complicated," as these two are (they aren't just one word like "Lauren"), what you will want is a distinctive, unique part of the name. Usually the first part is sufficient, i.e., "samus" for Samus Aran or "x.e.n.o" for the various types of the X.E.NO characters. You will be searching for all references to the character (or characters, if the skin pack contains multiple characters, as X.E.N.O does) in a very long .ini file, so you want something that will allow you to find everything without being too specific such that you miss some. For example, searching for "x.e.n.o(male)" would miss all of the "x.e.no(typeX)" references.

Another thing of which you need to be aware is that some skin pack archives contain multiple characters with rather different names. For example, Jessi and Jessica are in the same archive. If you were uninstall all of the files from their archive file, you would need to be able to find both Jessi's and Jessica's names. In this case, "jessi" would do the trick; in other cases it may not be quite this simple and you need to be aware of which character names are installed with a particular skin archive pack.

Step 2, Uninstalling the custom character skin files:


Uninstalling the custom character skin files is simply the reverse of the process that you used to install them. When you installed the skin, you extracted the files from its archive (.ZIP or .RAR) file into the correct subfolders of your <rootdir>; now you must delete each of those files.

If you obtained the skin archive from the DvT UT3 Maps Page (link at the top of this page), finding where these files are located is straightforward: open the .ZIP file (this discussion will assume you are using WinZIP to do so) and look at the Path information:

The folders shown under "Path" are subfolders of your <rootdir>. Use Windows Explorer to go to the appropriate folders and delete the files under "Name" from those folders.

After deleting the file(s) from a folder, if the folder is empty, you can delete the folder as well. In the example above, after deleting UTCustomChar.ini and UTGameUI.ini from the <rootdir>\UTGame\Published\CookedPC\CustomChars\UT3_Model_Xeno folder, that folder will be empty and can be deleted.

If you did not get the archive file from the DvT Maps Page, determining where the files for the skins were installed could be more difficult...depending upon how the skin creator put the archive together for you. The page (linked in the red section above) about <rootdir> has quite a bit of detail about how to figure out where archived content for UT3 needs to be installed. This information, coupled with whatever information is in your archive file, should help you remember where you installed the skins files.

Step 3, Cleaning up:

Once the skins files are deleted, you will need to clean up your <rootdir>\UTGame\Config\UTCustomChar.ini file.

Open this file using Windows Notepad. Do not use a MS Word or some other word processing program that adds formatting information along with the text...or, if you do, be sure that you specify that the file be saved as a text, .txt, file when you are done. Notepad is best and will be used for illustrative purposes here.

If the menu item Format|Wordwrap is checked, uncheck it by clicking on it:

so it looks like this:

Now, either use Edit|Find in the menu, or Ctrl-F, to open Notepad's "Find" window and type the name of the character that you are deleting -- the name that you determined in Step 1, above:

...and click the Find Next button:

You can now click the cancel button to close the Find window. You will use the F3 key to continue searching for the same thing.

After closing the Find window, press the Home key to bring the cursor to the beginning of the line. Now press and HOLD the Shift key while repeatedly pressing the down-arrow key. This will highlight the current line and all subsequent lines as long as you continue to press the down-arrow key. Most, if not all of the references to the character you are deleting will be together, one after another, in the .ini file. As long as you see your character's name in the lines you have highlighted, keep pressing the down-arrow key...holding down the Shift key all the while...until you get to a line that does not contain your character's name:

Note, in the picture above, that the last highlighted line does not say anything about "xeno" ... press the up-arrow key once to unhighlight that line. Also note that while I scrolled down, highlighting lines, the "x.e.n.o" (for which we originally searched) stopped appearing in the lines but some reference to "xeno" did, as can be seen in the top 4 highlighted lines in the picture above.

Now, press the Delete key to delete all of the highlighted lines:

You can now see that the UT3_Family_SamusAran.UTFamilyInfo_SamusAran line (which was above the first xeno line that we found) is now immediately above the Vailias_Corrupt.Mesh line (which was the below the last xeno line that we found).

We should be done, but sometimes not. Press the F3 key to repeat the search for "x.e.n.o", which we entered in the Find box earlier. Hopefully a box pops up that says "x.e.n.o not found." If it doesn't and it finds another occurrance of "x.e.n.o", then we need to repeat the above process until we have deleted every line that it finds with "x.e.n.o" in it. When the 'not found' box does come up, we still may not be done...

Since we noticed, as we were doing our highlighting, that there were lines that referenced "xeno" (rather than the "x.e.n.o" for which we searched) it seems like a good idea to go to top of the file (Ctrl-Home will get you there fast) and press Ctrl-F again to get the Find box back and enter "xeno" to search for that. Again highlight and delete any line lines that are found. Again you can use the F3 key to continue searching (now for "xeno").

Again, it usually will be the case that all of the entries in UTCustomChar.ini for a particular character or related characters will all be together in one place in the .ini file. Thus the additional search usually will not find anything else. However, "usually" is not "always" and you want to be sure to find and delete everything related to the character from the .ini file.

Once you are satisfied that UTCustomChar.ini is clean, do not fail to save it. Close Notepad.

Step 4, Checking that the character is gone

Start up UT3 again and use the menus to create a new character. Of course, what you are doing now is looking to see that the old character is gone and that you are not seeing any "weird stuff" along the way. You should not see the character's name in the faction list now.

"What weird stuff?" I am not going to break my copy of UT3 by doing this wrong just so I can create a screenshot of what I mean here. If, in the future, I do mess up and find myself looking at "weird stuff, " I will get a shot of it and add it to this page. In the meantime, trust me — you'll recognize the weird stuff when you see it. Usually it manifests itself as displaying things that look like


in various places where you know it doesn't belong...like some place you happen to be in the menus. It won't show you the exact text that is above, but it will look something like that and definitely be out of place.

If you do see something weird, it means that you missed one or more lines in UT3CustomChar.ini that should have been deleted. You will need to go back to it and try to figure out where it is. The weird text that you see should give you some clues on what to look for using Find in Notepad.

© Copyright 2009. Clan Deviants and {DvT}JonahHex. All rights reserved.