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Unmanaged Vanishing Post-Cleaning



Hello, STEP team. I'm really frustrated and I could really use some help.


I am attempting to repeat the entire STEP process because I messed up at some point when I was doing it the first time but couldn't determine where, when or how. However, after reverting Skyrim to its vanilla state and reinstalling everything from the beginning, I find that I'm having trouble right out of the gate and I'm about to uninstall Skyrim out of impotent rage and just go back to WoW (frightening, I know).


All I'm trying to do is clean my master files. I cleaned the Update.esm with no issue and made a new mod in MO via the Overwrite folder just as I did the first time. When I attempted to do the same for the Dawnguard.esm, the Unmanaged: Dawnguard "mod" disappeared from the left pane in MO. This is important for two reasons:

1. This didn't happen the first time.

2. The STEP instructions tell me to place the Clean ESM under the Unmanaged/Non-MO mod. If it doesn't exist, how can I accomplish this?


It may be worth mentioning that the first time I did this, I merged the cleaned masters in one "mod" in MO without any issues, seen here. I have also noticed that xEdit is not placing a backups folder in my Data folder this time either.


Am I doing something wrong? Am I freaking out for no reason? Please, somebody -- anybody -- help me before I lose my mind. All I want to do is kill dragons in lush forests and shout bandits off scenic cliffs with a trusty sidekick whose AI has been vastly improved.

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If the unmanaged master is gone then it is in the overwrite folder as it was modified. MO is quirky this way. You should just copy the one master you are cleaning to the overwrite folder, clean it and then make a mod from the overwrite folder. This way your original will stay in the data folder for steam verification and the cleaned one will be in MO for the game.

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@GSDFan I want to make sure I am understanding you. I should:


1. Copy the dirty master file

2. Paste in MO's Overwrite folder

3. Clean the dirty master file

4. Create a new/clean mod


I think I am misunderstanding because it sounds like I will still be missing an ESM from the Data folder. Which, if I am being honest, doesn't make sense to me if I am understanding the STEP instructions correctly. Skyrim is currently installed on an SSD drive. According to the instructions, the cleaned master should be in my Data folder after cleaning them. Is it possible this part is outdated or does this only work if MO is also installed on a SSD?


EDITED: Also, could I not just drop the cleaned master file back into the Data folder and skip the Overwrite step altogether?


Thank you for taking the time to assist me and I apologize if I seem dimwitted; at this point I'm just trying to make sure I understand everything clearly.

Edited by jessieca
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You generally want to keep the vanilla DLCs in the data directory and the cleaned version stored as mods in Mod Organizer (named something like Cleaned Update, Cleaned Dawnguard, etc.). The reasoning for this is that this keeps the data folder as pristine as possible and Steam may one day (when you least expect it and without warning) decide to revert any files back to the original Steam versions.


The last time I went through this process (when STEP 2.2.10 was released), Mod Organizer 1.3.11 behaved well and placed all the cleaned masters in Overwrite as expected. I do know you may get one of two behaviors with this process and nobody really knows why: 1) The dirty mod stays in the data folder and the cleaned mod is created in the Overwrite folder, or 2) the cleaned mod ends up in Overwrite and the dirty mod ends up in a backup folder in Overwrite for some reason. In the latter case, you'll need to manually move the dirty mod back to the Data folder.

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