1) Why does add/remove programs list obmm as using 4.5gb+ of disk space?
obmm is installed into the same folder as oblivion, and windows calculates program size by reading the size of this folder. The 4.5gb listed by windows is therefore the space used by oblivion, not obmm. An obmm install is typically about 6mb, plus any extra space for your mods.
2) How do I update obmm?
Updating to a later version simply requires installing the new version of obmm on top of the old one; there's no need to uninstall first.
Occasionally a new version of obmm wont be able to import the save files from the old one. There'll be a note in the changelog when this happens, so ensure you read it. When this happens, after updating obmm, it will forget which mods you have active, omod group information and settings, and all omods appear black or red designating serious conflicts. In this case you need to click 'clean and deactivate all' to remove the conflicting files, and then reactivate any omods you were using. To simplify this task, you can export you active omod list, load order and group information before updating, and then reimport them again after doing the 'clean and deactive all'.
3) If I use obmm, do I need to launch oblivion using it?
No. obmm's launch oblivion option is provided purely as a convenience, and no obmm function requires its use.
4) Will obmm loose my load order if I launch oblivion normally, or via obse/oldblivion or another utility?
No. Like I just said, obmm's launch oblivion option is provided purely as a convenience, and no obmm function requires its use. This includes load order.
5) Can you release a version that does not require .NET 2.0?
Not yet. When mono adds support for the Windows.Forms extensions made by .NET 2.0 then I will release a mono version, but this is not likely to be until mid 2007.
Update: Since it is now mid 2007, I guess I should add to this. mono does now support most of the stuff I need, and I do indeed have a mono version of obmm working. There's still a couple of things missing which I want fixed before I release, but this should be done by the next couple of mono releases.
Update 2: obmm does now run with mono v1.9.1 without requiring any modifications, although there are still many bugs caused by doing so. (e.g. omods containing screenshots crash obmm if selected, the security used on c#/vb/python scripts is flagged by moma as not being supported, newlines in tooltips are broken, highlighting in the script editor is broken, etc.) Hopefully these will be fixed by future versions of mono.
6) Can you explain the load order thing? If I want one mod to override another which order do they go in?
esps/esms are loaded from top to bottom, and if two mods conflict the one below will override the top one. esms are always loaded before esps, regardless of their position in the load order. esp load order is determined by the 'last modified' time stamp on the files, so opening/saving an esp in the cs or something will move it to the end of the load order. There is no such thing as load order for data files; if two mods have conflicting data files, obmm will ask you which one you want to use.
7) What about omod load order then?
omods don't have a load order. When you activate an omod, any esps it contains will appear in the left hand panel, and their order can be modified like normal. If an omod doesn't contain any esps, then load order has no meaning. (See the note about data files above.)
8) Why doesn't the official oblivion launcher display the same load order as obmm?
The oblivion launcher does not sort mods into load order. It appears to have several different modes, and switches between them randomly. Occasionally it will sort mods into their load order, but more commonly it just sorts them alphabetically. You can ignore the order in which the official launcher displays your mods - obmm's order is the correct one.
9) Is obmm compatible with obse?
Yes; There are no compatibility issues whatsoever between the two. In fact, by default obmm will launch obse instead of oblivion if it detects that you have it installed.
10) Is obmm compatible with [insert any utility name here]?
Probably. The only issue I know of is with wyre bash, where you must disable bash's esp timestamp lock feature if you want to use obmm to set load order. The exception to this is if you place obmm into unsafe mode, in which case it will become incompatible with all other utilities that modify anything in the data directory, including bash.
11) Why is obmm so slow?
As you add more and more omods to your collection, obmm can become unbearable slow. On an average machine and with all of obmm's optional bits turned on, performance is generally acceptable up to around 100 normal sized omods, although adding a few monsters like qarl's third texture pack to the mix can soon bring obmm to its knees. If you find obmm is becoming unresponsive, there are several settings you can tweak to speed it back up a bit. Turning off automatic conflict updating will speed up omod activation/deactivation, or completely disabling conflict tracking will further speed up omod activation and provide a decrease in startup time. Make sure archive invalidation is set to BSA redirection, rather than the much slower BSA alteration mode to greatly speed up shutdown time. Turning off 'update unparented esp headers' will speed up the startup time a little. For a much bigger decrease in startup time, you can put obmm into its unsafe mode. (When in this mode, never alter anything in the obmm or data directories by hand.) Finally, to provide a further decrease in startup time and to improve general responsiveness, you can 'hide' omods which you don't intend to access in the near future to stop obmm from processing them. In its fully stripped mode, obmm can happily cope with many hundreds of omods.
12) Why do I get a file not found error when I try to activate my omod?
If the broken omod was created with a version of obmm prior to 0.9.5, the chances are that it contains two files with duplicate relative paths. This generally happens when you edit an omod and add a new version of a file without removing the old one first. Editing the omod and saving it again with 0.9.5 or later will repair it.
13) I have an omod that I'm working on, and I just made a pile of changes to one of its esp's, but when I deactivated the omod so that I could put the new esp in, the esp disappeared. Where is it?
Deactivating an omod removes all files related to that omod from your data directory, and no backups exist because obmm thinks that the esp still exists inside your omod. That's kind of the whole point, really; omods are supposed to make it easy to rapidly uninstall mods, and obmm has just done exactly what you've told it to. Your modified esp is gone forever.
In the future, don't make omods out of mods that you're actively working on. If you really must for any reason, remember that you don't need to deactivate an omod to edit it. (Editing an active omod will automatically deactivate that omod, but not before it has safely packed your new modified esp into it.)
14) Can you add a 'yes to all' and 'no to all' option to the [insert random dialog name here] dialog?
If it's a repetitive dialog, the chances are that there already is one. Simply hold down control while clicking yes or no to get yes-to-all or no-to-all functionality.
15) I just had an error while starting up/closing down obmm and now all my omods are inactive, with black or red colour codes
obmm's save data file has been corrupted somehow, causing obmm to loose information about which omods were active. This usually happens when updating from one version of obmm to a much newer one without passing through the intermediate versions, but can also happen if you kill obmm from the task manager or if it's unable to shut down correctly for some reason.
You have a few options here, of which the forth is simplest and probably best. Firstly you can ignore it; any mods you had installed will still be installed, and will continue to work as normal. If you intend to activate/deactivate mods in the future you may run into problems though. Secondly, you can reinstall your mods. To do this, first export your load order and then click 'deactivate and clean all'. All of your omods should now display green, so activate whichever ones you were using, then reimport your load order. Note that any edits made by omods to oblivion.ini will not be reverted as obmm has forgotten what they were, and so they may need to be reverted by hand. Thirdly you can reinstall oblivion. This is rather extreme, and almost certainly overkill, but it does ensure that there's no gunk left behind anywhere. If you want to do this, first move obmm's mods directory somewhere safe, then uninstall obmm, uninstall oblivion and delete the oblivion folder. Reinstall oblivion, start it up once and close it, install obmm, start it once and close it and then copy obmms mods folder back. Restart obmm, and activate whichever of your mods you were using. The forth option is to just click 'batch actions|Acquisition activate filtered'. That will relink any inactive omods to the files contained in your data folder and mark them as active, without actually extracting anything or running any scripts. As with the second option, changes to oblivion.ini will be lost. This method will also cause obmm to loose any enforced load order that had been set by scripts via LoadBefore and LoadAfter commands.
Edits to oblivion shaders are a special case; because of their importance, (i.e. a corrupt shader package requires an oblivion reinstall,) they are backed up to a separate save file. Activating and then deactivating a shader mod which was active when obmm lost its main save file will restore any shaders edited by that mod back to the originals.
Something else which will be lost permanently is omod group info. This can be exported and restored, so if you've spent a considerable amount of time customizing your omod groups you might want to consider exporting it and backing it up somewhere.
16) I'm using windows vista. Why do my mods not show up in game even if they're active in obmm, why are my omods randomly disappearing, why do I get random access denied errors when activating omods, why is obmm generally being really weird?
Short answer: because you're using windows vista. The best solution to all vista related problems is to uninstall it and get a decent operating system. Failing that, disable UAC. (Do a google search if you don't know what UAC is.) If you're only interested in fixing oblivion, either install it somewhere other than the program files directory, (C:\games\oblivion' is the usual choice,) and make sure that all users have write access to that directory, or right click on every exe file in the oblivion folder and its subfolders as well as any other oblivion related tools you keep outside of the oblivion folder, click properties, go to the compatibility tab and check the 'run as administrator' checkbox. (obmm has two additional exe's in the \obmm folder, so be careful not to miss any.)
The long explanation is that all of these problems are caused by a part of vista's security system called user access control, or UAC for short. One of the features of UAC is that all applications are blocked from writing to the program files directory, even if you're logged in to the computer as an administrator. Oblivion requires mods to be installed to its data directory, so if you have UAC turned on and oblivion has been installed to its default location in the program files directory you're obviously going to run into some major problems using mods.
Also fairly obviously, any program written before the release of vista isn't going to know about this new security, so in order to keep backwards compatibility any time a program tries to write to the program files directory windows tells the program that the write has been successful, even though it wasn't. In fact the file being written to is copied to a hidden folder in you user account. (Known as the 'virtual store') Other programs may or may not be able to see these files, depending on your security settings; if oblivion can't see them then you get the problem of mods not showing up in game even though they're active in obmm.
obmm doesn't require admin privileges, but it does need write access to oblivions directory. In versions previous to 1.1.2, it couldn't tell the difference between when it did actually have write access to the oblivion folder, and when windows was just pretending that it did via the virtual store. Since 1.1.2 it can tell the difference, and will start up in limited user mode if its file writes are being redirected.
Also since 1.1.2, if obmm does have full admin privileges, it will offer to move any files which old versions of obmm have left in the virtual store back to the oblivion folder. This will fix any problems with vanished omods, or mods not showing up in game. It's important that you set other mod tools to run as administrator before doing this, or they may start giving access denied errors too. If obmm doesn't have admin privilages, it wont be able to move things out of the virtual store itself, and will just display a warning instead. In this case, you can still move the files out of the virtual store by hand. On a default windows and oblivion install, the folder you need to move is 'C:\Users\[yourname]\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files\Bethesda softworks\oblivion'. You need to have 'show hidden files and folders' turned on to see the virtual store.
17) Why do I get a 'Could Not Load BSA List' error when I launch obmm
The usual cause of this is trying to launch obmm without running oblivion first. Oblivion generates some of its files the first time it is run rather than when it is first installed. Launching the game, clicking 'new' and then exiting straight away is sufficiant. If you attempted to install any omods which make ini modifications before running oblivion for the first time, these will need to be deactivated and reactivated.