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  1. #1
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    [INSTALL] New LotRO Installs - One Guide to Rule Them All. . .

    Known Issues With Existing LotRO Installers
    There are currently two official installers for LotRO. The stand-alone installer provided by SSG and the Steam-powered installer. Both, unfortunately, have issues. . .

    On fresh installs of Windows 10, or systems where prior games and applications have not (serendipitously) installed all the prerequisite software that LotRO needs to successfully install, multiple issues will come up while installing LotRO. This leaves many prospective customers with an inoperable install of LotRO (steam installer) or at least one that is working sub-optimally (stand-alone installer).

    SSG (stand-alone) Installer
    • Does not install DirectX runtimes resulting in only "DirectX9" being available as a "Graphics Hardware Level" in the game's video options. DirectX10 and DirectX11 are unavailable.
    • Installer requests/demands .NET framework 3.5 during install despite it not actually being needed and newer .NET installs being present on all modern/supported Windows systems (Windows 7, and newer).
    • Installer prompts for (probably unnecessary) .NET framework install twice, one on top of the other.
    • Installs two separate Visual C++ 2005 packages in addition to the 2010 edition. Only one 2005 edition seems to be necessary.

    Steam Installer
    • Does not install Visual C++ runtime prerequisites and cannot complete installation (silently crashes to desktop) if they are not already present.
    • Does not install DirectX runtimes and the game fails to launch once installation is complete (silently crashes to desktop).
    • Installer requests/demands .NET framework 3.5 during install despite it not actually being needed and newer .NET installs being present on all modern/supported Windows systems (Windows 7, and newer).

    Provided below is the full, detailed procedure for installing all of LotRO's prerequisites, installing LotRO, and cleaning up afterwards, so that your new installation of LotRO goes smoothly.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Problem-Free LotRO Install Procedure - Table of Contents

    1. PC Sleep Settings (during install)
    2. (OPTIONAL) Checking/Installing "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5."
    3. Installing "DirectX Web Installer"
    4. Checking/Installing "Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable" and "Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable"
    5. Install LotRO.
    6. Uninstall Akamai Netsession Interface.
    7. Modify Windows Update Settings.


    Video Guide
    This video covers installation via the stand-alone installer provided by SSG. For a steam-based installation video tutorial, see this post.



    Written Guide
    1. PC Sleep Settings During Install
    You don't want Windows to put your computer to sleep in the middle of the (sometimes long) download of the client.

    1. Click the 'Start' button/flag.
    2. Click the 'Gear' icon along the left.
    3. Click 'System' category.
    4. Click 'Power & sleep' along the left.
    5. Set both 'Screen' and 'Sleep' to 'Never."




    2. Checking/Installing "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5."
    Note (12/21/2017): Testing shows that neither the installer nor the client actually require .NET 3.5 to be installed. Therefore, it is safe to skip this step and cancel any requests made by Windows to install it. However, just in case you want to give the installer what it seem to (unnecessarily) want ahead of time, I'm leaving the below instructions in place. . .

    Both the stand-alone and Steam installer will prompt you to install the "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5." So this step is optional. However, the stand-alone installer has a quirk where it will prompt you to install it twice. For this and just to keep the actual LotRO installer execution as simple as possible, I recommend pre-installing the "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5" yourself.

    1. Click the 'Start' button/flag.
    2. Click the 'Gear' icon along the left.
    3. Click the 'Apps' category.
    4. Click "Programs and Features" along the right side (expand the window size if this option is not visible).
    5. Click "Turn Windows features on or off" along the left side.
    6. The very first item listed is the one we want: ".NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)."
    7. If it is already checked, leave it checked. If unchecked, check the box (the two sub-boxes need not be checked). See screenshot below.
    8. Click 'OK." If necessary, you will be prompted to download the required files from Windows Update.




    3. Installing "DirectX Web Installer"
    To my knowledge, there is no easy way for the average user to check whether the DirectX Runtimes are installed. So, because reinstalling them even when they already exist causes no harm, it is strongly recommended that these be pre-installed prior to installing LotRO. This avoids the problem of absent DX10/DX11 support with the stand-alone installer, and a silent, show-stopping crash to desktop in the case of the Steam installer.

    1. Browse to this Microsoft page.
    2. Click the orange 'download' button.
    3. Uncheck the pre-checked box for 'MSN default homepage & Bing. . .' (sneaky!) and then click 'No thanks and continue.'
    4. Download/Save the 'dxwebsteup.exe' file.
    5. Locate and run the 'dxwebsetup.exe' file. Installation is pretty straight-forward. Just click 'Next' serveral times, etc. However, be careful to uncheck the Bing toolbar offer in the middle of the installation procedure.



    4. Checking/Installing "Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable" and "Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable"
    The stand-alone LoTRO installer from SSG installs these correctly. If you're not using Steam, you can consider this step to be optional. If using Steam, you definitely should continue with this step. The Steam LotRO installer fails to install these and therefore the LotRO installation fails and crashes silently to desktop. The only solution/work-around is to install these manually.

    1. Click the 'Start' button/flag.
    2. Click the 'Gear' icon along the left.
    3. Click the 'Apps' category.
    4. Click 'Programs and Features' along the right side (expand the window size if this option is not visible).
    5. In the list of installed programs, look for 'Microsoft Visual C++ 2005 Redistributable' (note: not x64 version). If not found, download and install it from here.
    6. In the list of installed programs, look for 'Microsoft Visual C++ 2010 Redistributable' (note: not x64 version). If not found, download and install it from here.
    7. Important: Both the 2005 and the 2010 editions need to be installed for LotRO to install and function properly.



    5. Install LotRO
    With all the prerequisite software checked and/or installed above, your LotRO install should now go very smoothly. Make sure LotRO fully downloads, installs, patches, and that you can fully log in to the game. Then. . .
    Last edited by Hurin; Dec 21 2017 at 01:57 PM.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  2. #2
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    6. Uninstall Akamai Netsession
    Akamai Netsession is only used for the initial bulk download of the client installation files. Akamai is not used for patches or content updates. So, after the initial install of LotRO is completed, you can (and should) uninstall Akamai Netsession.

    1. Click the 'Start' button/flag.
    2. Click the 'Gear' icon along the left.
    3. Click the 'Apps' category.
    4. Find 'Akamai Netsession Interface,' click it, and choose 'Uninstall.'
    5. The rest of the Akamai uninstall procedure is relatively straight-forward.



    7. Modify Windows Update Settings
    The Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributables that LotRO requires will likely need to be updated/patched for security issues. Though they are Microsoft products, by default Windows will not download updates for them. You can (and should!) change Windows Update settings so that "updates for other Microsoft products" are detected and installed by Windows Update.

    1. Click the 'Start' button/flag.
    2. Click the 'Gear' icon along the left.
    3. Click the 'Updates & security' category.
    4. Click 'Advanced options.'
    5. Check the box next to 'Give me updates for other Microsoft products when I update Windows.
    6. Click the 'back arrow' in the upper-left corner and then click 'Check for updates.'
    7. Install all available updates (you may notice that the latest Windows 10 cumulative update reinstalls due to the installation of the .NET Framework 3.5 above).
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  3. #3
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    Concise Installation Video for Steam-based Installer.



    The non-steam video is in the first post of this thread. Or you can watch it directly here.
    Last edited by Hurin; Sep 11 2017 at 01:15 AM.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  4. #4
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    This is the much longer, more rambling video I recorded first. I then decided to make the more concise videos linked in the posts above. This video covers a lot more topics than just the steps necessary to get the client installed successfully and could be considered a sorta "Getting started with the tech of LotRO" video. See the hyperlinked Table of Contents below.



    A tutorial demonstrating how to properly prepare your Windows PC for Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO), how to install the LotRO client itself, and clean up afterwards. Along the way, some fundamental concepts are explained, misconceptions dispelled, and hopefully the novice player will understand a bit more about how the client works and why it works the way that it does.

    00:00 - Introduction.
    01:00 - Pre-Installing .NET 3.5.
    02:40 - Downloading and Installing DirectX Runtimes.
    06:55 - Downloading and Initial LotRO Client Install.
    07:30 - "Why not use Steam?" and "Where are my characters stored?"
    11:40 - "Akamai" Explained. (while client downloads)
    15:45 - "Where are my characters stored?" Continued.
    16:48 - Setting PC Sleep Settings During Client Install.
    21:00 - "Why make this video at all?"
    23:10 - LoTRO Client Install Finished - Initial Login and Settings.
    25:40 - Quick Aside about "Avatar Update Visible" Checkbox.
    26:20 - Video/Audio Settings.
    28:30 - Contents of "Documents\Lord of the Rings Online" Folder.
    29:30 - Restoring Old Settings, etc.
    32:10 - Uninstalling Akamai (recommended).
    33:00 - Restoring PC Sleep Settings Back to Normal.
    33:20 - Windows Updates.
    Last edited by Hurin; Sep 11 2017 at 01:10 AM.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  5. #5
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    What can go wrong with a Steam-based install on a pristine Windows 10 computer? Well, here's a demonstration. . .



    This video aims to demonstrate and document the two show-stopping issues with the steam-powered installer for Lord of the Rings Online (LotRO).

    01:35 -- First Show-Stopping Issue (persistent silent crash during install).
    06:45 -- Solution to First Issue -- Install Visual C++ Runtimes.
    12:35 -- Second Show-Stopping Issue (persistent silent crash at game launch).
    14:30 -- Solution to Second Issue -- Install DirectX Runtimes.
    Last edited by Hurin; Sep 11 2017 at 01:13 AM.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  6. #6
    There is a way (of sorts) to check for a DirectX installation: the existence of [Windows]\System32\dxdiag.exe tells some form of DirectX has been installed. When you run it it only reports the highest version found, though. And contrary to what you'd expect, it doesn't diagnose the DirectX installation(s), but rather lists the devices it needs to work with.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by OghranNasty View Post
    There is a way (of sorts) to check for a DirectX installation: the existence of [Windows]\System32\dxdiag.exe tells some form of DirectX has been installed. When you run it it only reports the highest version found, though. And contrary to what you'd expect, it doesn't diagnose the DirectX installation(s), but rather lists the devices it needs to work with.
    Yep. Since it never does harm to just (re)install them, I figured that was best practice rather than guiding the layman through parsing/interpreting DXDiag results.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  8. #8
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    Well done - I hope SSG will sticky this post.
    "You can't fight the Enemy with his own Ring without turning into an Enemy" - J.R.R. Tolkien, Letter # 81



  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hurin View Post
    Checking/Installing "Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5."
    I'm curious as to why so many people say to install the .NET Framework. As far as I'm aware this is not needed at all.

    There was a time that the Launcher used the .NET Framework 1.1, but that was a long time ago and the Launcher was totally remade to not require it after Microsoft deprecated it.

    This makes me especially confused by the advice to install .NET Framework 3.5. The system I'm currently using has 1.1 installed, due to the old Launcher needing it, and 4.7 that was installed in a recent update to all systems and LotRO runs absolutely fine.

    Is there any evidence to recommend .NET Framework installs any more?

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by WBS View Post
    I'm curious as to why so many people say to install the .NET Framework. As far as I'm aware this is not needed at all.
    The LotRO installer(s) (both stand-alone and Steam) request/demand that you install .NET 3.5 if it is not installed. The advice to pre-install .NET 3.5 above is primarily to avoid that interruption in the middle of the installation procedure. Indeed, the stand-alone installer actually creates two requests to install .NET 3.5 duplicated one on top of the other.


    The "spirit" of this tutorial is to give the installer everything it needs to avoid problems. Though, in the case of Windows 10, perhaps the built-in .NET 4.7 obviates the need for .NET 3.5.

    Is there any evidence to recommend .NET Framework installs any more?
    Aside from the installers requesting that it be installed, not that I know of. . . but I'm erring on the side of giving LotRO what is needs (and requests) in this thread. Having said that, I'm now testing and install where I refuse the (duplicated) requests to install .NET 3.5. So far, the install is going smoothly. I wonder if this would be the case on Windows 8.1 or 7. I seem to have a strong recollection that either the installation wouldn't finish or the game wouldn't run when I used to try to refuse the .NET installation on Windows 7.

    --H
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  11. #11
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    Added an all-new video to the first post. It's as concise as I can make it. Indeed, I had trouble keeping up with the action while recording the voice-over!

    --H
    Last edited by Hurin; Sep 11 2017 at 02:22 PM.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  12. #12
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    WBS,

    I have included the following note in the write-up above:

    Note: There is some evidence (and I consider it likely) that, when running on Windows 10, LotRO may not need to have the .NET Framework 3.5 installed at all. Windows 10 comes with .NET Framework 4.7 which seems to satisfy LotRO's .NET Framework needs for LotRO installation and day-to-day usage. So, if you skip this step and skip .NET 3.5 Framework installation whenever the LotRO installer requests it, it is likely that LotRO will work just fine and you can avoid installing .NET Framework 3.5 altogether. Having said that, the installer does request .NET Framework 3.5, and I include (and recommend) the .NET Framework 3.5 pre-installation steps below in order to err on the side of caution by giving the installer exactly what it wants even before it makes the request.

    Thanks for causing me to re-check my facts. I think you're probably right that the pre-installed .NET 4.7 on Windows 10 would suffice. Yet I still think there's some value in pre-installing .NET 3.5 so as to placate the demands of the installer.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  13. #13
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    In hindsight, I suppose this should have been posted to the Tech Support forum. But. . . it's so quiet there!
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  14. #14
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    Added the following (in lt. blue) to original post. The issues with the installer were noted in Cordovan's livestream today. So they are on their radar. Though, I don't make any claim that it was this thread or any others by me that brought the issues to their attention. But regardless, it's good that the issues are on their radar.

    SSG (stand-alone) Installer
    • Does not install DirectX runtimes resulting in only "DirectX9" being available as a "Graphics Hardware Level" in the game's video options. DirectX10 and DirectX11 are unavailable.
    • Installer requests/demands .NET framework 3.5 during install despite newer .NET installs being present on all modern/supported Windows systems (Windows 7, and newer) which would apparently satisfy the installer/client's needs.
    • Installer prompts for (probably unnecessary) .NET framework install twice, one on top of the other.

    Steam Installer
    • Does not install Visual C++ runtime prerequisites and cannot complete installation (silently crashes to desktop) if they are not already present.
    • Does not install DirectX runtimes and the game fails to launch once installation is complete (silently crashes to desktop).
    • Installer requests/demands .NET framework 3.5 during install despite newer .NET installs being present on all modern/supported Windows systems (Windows 7, and newer) which would apparently satisfy the installer/client's needs.

    WBS, thanks again for bringing the nuances of the .NET framwork stuff to my attention.

    --H
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  15. #15
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    Hurin, this guide is fantastic, thanks for taking the time to write it up and post it.

    Cord / Mods -- Can we get this resource stickied somewhere?
    other favorite middle-earth games: The One Ring RPG by Cubicle 7; LotR: The Card Game by FFG; Hobbit/LotR Strategy Battle Game by GW

  16. #16
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    added following for stand-alone (SSG) installer:

    Installs two separate Visual C++ 2005 packages in addition to the 2010 edition. Only one 2005 edition seems to be necessary.

    To clarify, the SP1 of the 2005 edition installs separately from the non-SP1. The SP1 does not upgrade/replace the non-SP1. Only one (ideally the SP1 one, I would think) is actually necessary.

    . . . more of a (minor) annoyance than anything else. But so long as they're considering tightening things up, might as well have a complete list of things that could be improved.

    --H
    Last edited by Hurin; Sep 15 2017 at 12:53 PM.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  17. #17
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    My kid was watching me edit one of these videos and asked me: "Do you think anyone will really use these?" And I said: "Maybe not. But I sorta enjoy making them."

    So it warmed my heart to show this to my kid:


    . . . now my arm is tired from all this patting myself on the back.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  18. #18
    Windows 10 comes with DX 9.0c and DX 12 by default, I never had any problem installing through the stand alone installer from SSG. Since Lotro runs on DX 9.0c it doesn't check for DX 10 or DX 11, those can be manually installed with little to no effort.

    This is a good guide though for people having problems of this kind, thank you for posting it.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Madmanthief View Post
    Windows 10 comes with DX 9.0c and DX 12 by default, I never had any problem installing through the stand alone installer from SSG.
    I suspect this is only the case because some other game or application (or your OEM) previously installed the DirectX runtimes prior to LotRO installation. I have confirmed in about five different ways that a clean/pristine install of Windows 10 (Home, Pro, or Enterprise) requires the DirectX runtimes (understood to be just for DX9) to be installed before LotRO can detect the presence of DX10/11-capable hardware. So, something is missing in the out-of-the-box DX9 included in Windows 10 that the web installer then supplies.

    Since Lotro runs on DX 9.0c it doesn't check for DX 10 or DX 11, those can be manually installed with little to no effort.
    The issue is that LotRO would check for DX10 or DX11 had it successfully installed the DirectX runtimes as it claims it is doing when you fire up the Stand-alone installer. But because that fails, DX10/11 remains disabled in LotRO.

    This is a good guide though for people having problems of this kind, thank you for posting it.
    Though we quibble on the details, I'm glad you like the guide!
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  20. #20
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    Not to diminish your effort Hurin, which is great, but all this and all the FAQ steps and all the troubleshooting steps should be (must be) in an updated Game Documentation.
    The Elruthrim Brethren of Crickhollow, and two on Laurelin
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  21. #21
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    Someone unable to select DirectX 10/11 graphics asked a question about it at the end of Cordovan's livestream today. Let's hope tweaked/fixed installers (both stand-alone and Steam-based) are on the way. I think everyone can agree that the "on-ramp" to the game should be as smooth as (reasonably) possible.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  22. #22
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    Absolutely GREAT guide !!!

    I can't thank you enough for this enormously helpful information!

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mechrophilia View Post
    Absolutely GREAT guide !!!

    I can't thank you enough for this enormously helpful information!
    *blush*

    Glad you found it helpful!
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  24. #24
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    This thread received a shout out today during Cordovan's livestream.
    Installing LotRO -- One Guide to Rule Them All!
    Purchasing LotRO -- Guide to Building Your Own "Lifetime" Account.

  25. #25
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    Thumbs up

    This thread needs to be sticky . . .

    That is all.
    Ogmios ~ Davidge ~ Eriuwen ~ Kainoa ~ Braidfoot

 

 
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