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LaunchBox v11.9 & ALL Custom Theme issues on EXFat Removable Drives.


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I've tested this out today on 5 x 5TB external drives. So this is a real bug with LaunchBox and EXFat Partitions and drives.
It started off with the "LaunchBox" folder being inside several other sub-directories and worked fine as it should incl all themes for the basic version.

However, To make my folders go at the top I do what I always do and wrap them either in "[ ]" or "[# launchbox #]"
On launching i get several errors about path issues mainly from .XML files cannot be found, and the custom themes stop working an default back to normal.
I remove the special chars in the path names and everything works fine again... Now here's where things get really bizarre.

I have 2 identical 5TB drives external. 1 of them is EXFat 1 of them is NTFS
The NTFS drive when right click shows the "Security" tab while the EXFat doesn't

Both drives on the ROOT of the drive F: Retro and K: Retro have the same copied and pasted "LaunchBox" 
The one on the NTFS partition shows the custom themes no problem. However, the one on the EXFAT drive throws up so many errors.

NONE of the custom themes extract on the EXFat drive the following, but they do perfectly fine on the NTFS drive.

F:\[LaunchBox\Core\LBThemes\Nosh On This Twice LB Black\Images\platformfiltertext-bg.jpg <--- this folder never shows up as the error states inside launchbox.
K:\[LaunchBox\Core\LBThemes\Nosh On This Twice LB Black\Images <--- this folder on the NTFS drive/partition shows up and the theme shows fine.

Now this isn't an issue with the Nosh theme I've tried all 11 custom themes, all have the same error on the external drive that is EXFat
Whatever this is and populates with "Core\LBThemes\[Theme Name Here]\Images\" <--- this folder doesn't ever show up in this location on EXFAT drives.

On 90% of the other themes it breaks the GUI that bad you cannot even see the drop down menu to go to settings,
so you have to edit the XML to put the theme back to using default to even get the program to open again.

I cannot provide screenshots of the error due to being so many white boxes popping up with all kinds of errors in on top of each other,
But I can tell you the first line says it cannot find part of the path F:\[LaunchBox\Core\LBThemes\Nosh On This Twice LB Black\Images\platformfiltertext-bg.jpg

And once again, this identical copy/paste to the NTFS drives this has no problems at all. 

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The issues with themes and external EXFat drives is known. It is not recommended to run LB.BB on external drives formatted to ExFat. I have not read up much on it since this post below. But this is from one of the beta releases last year where Jason mentions this. NTFS is recommended.

On 9/1/2020 at 11:13 AM, Jason Carr said:

Hey all, the first 11.5 beta is out now with the following:

  • Improvement: Better theme compatibility for installs that don't support symbolic links (such as on network drives or external drives running the exFAT file system). Not all themes are supported in this scenario, but theme support should be much improved. We still do not recommend running LaunchBox or Big Box off of a network drive or an external drive with the exFAT file system.

  • Fixed: Logging out of Origin was not always working correctly

We may end up working on more fixes for a bit before diving into new features, but we'll be focusing on the remaining poll items here shortly.

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I've re-wrote this a few times now trying to not come of a jerk. But, I don't know how to express what I'm feeling about this tbh.
So your saying just because I'm on a ExFAT partition, or drive I can't use LB to it's fullest because it can't extract a "images" folder to another folder?

All the other folders, files gets placed, and, or linked to correctly except the "images" folder. So your saying because it's ExFat you can't fix it to extract 1 folder correctly to the correct place?
If I can manually copy the folder files via explorer or DOS to the right place then there's no reason regardless of partition type that you can't make this app do the same surely?

ALL External Drives 2TB and upwards now come as ExFAT as standard. This is best as multiple OS's can read/write to this type of partition type
So, to be-able to purchase this program to be-able to use it correctly I have to A.) Risk loosing a 5TB drive full of data to convert it to NTFS, or B:) Buy another drive to format that then copy this drive's contents to that one?

I really don't find this a suitable answer, or reason as to why just because it's ExFAT I can't use LB correctly all because of 1 image folder not being linked, or extracted correctly.
Everyone buying a drive today right now will have it shipped as ExFAT and not NTFS

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@graphix2004 Would it be possible for you to do the following on the exFat drive with any theme:

1. Launch LaunchBox and ensure Debug logging is on (Options/Debugging)
2. Open Big Box
3. While Big Box is open, open file explorer, go to \\LaunchBox\Core\ and tell me if you see a "Themes" folder
4. Close Big Box
5. Look in the \\LaunchBox\Logs folder and send me the most recent log file generated

Have a good idea what is going on but would like the log files to confirm I'm on the right path.

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16 minutes ago, C-Beats said:

@graphix2004 Would it be possible for you to do the following on the exFat drive with any theme:

1. Launch LaunchBox and ensure Debug logging is on (Options/Debugging)
2. Open Big Box
3. While Big Box is open, open file explorer, go to \\LaunchBox\Core\ and tell me if you see a "Themes" folder
4. Close Big Box
5. Look in the \\LaunchBox\Logs folder and send me the most recent log file generated

Have a good idea what is going on but would like the log files to confirm I'm on the right path.

Ah wait... I see now you are having issues with LaunchBox theming, not Big Box. Though I am curious, do you have the same issues in Big Box themes?

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So I don't have GREAT news for you but I do have a way to at least make your set up work for you. The BAD news is because of how WPF works there just isn't a great way to let the theme's know with a relative path WHERE their resources are. That is why we create the symlinks on startup, to get around that limitation. Unfortunately that work around doesn't function with exFat partitions. the GOOD news is I have a work around that SHOULD.

You will need to do the follow:

1. Make sure LaunchBox is CLOSED

2. Copy the LBThemes folder to \\LaunchBox\Core

3. Mark the \\LaunchBox\Core\LBThemes\ folder as readonly (when Windows asked if you want to push it down to all the files say yes).

Let me know if that resolves the errors you are seeing. It is important to note that if you do this, moving forward if you download a LB Theme you will need to play it in BOTH LBTheme folders, not just one.

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