How to get the shard launcher to stop wanting an update all the time

Discussion in 'Guides' started by Ron Superior, Aug 21, 2023.

  1. Ron Superior

    Ron Superior Member

    Apr 4, 2021
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    The problem

    Recently, several people playing on UO:R have seen the shard launcher prompt them for an unnecessary update every time they open it, without reason. There is no actual update for the launcher, so the update takes time but accomplishes nothing. The prompt to get started looks like this:


    If you agree to the update, it will download the same launcher application all over again (NOT the game itself), and then it will work fine. The game itself will not have been reinstalled, nor your profiles and hotkeys and stuff, so it will all still be there and work as usual.

    But this is a nuisance. The pointless reinstallation of the launcher is not fast. The next time you close and re-open the launcher, or maybe the next day, or maybe the next time you restart your PC, you will have to do it all over again.

    There is more than one way to avoid the problem, but what follows is my way.

    The workaround

    Step 1: Start the launcher, going through the "update" if you have to, until the thing starts once and you see the usual launcher window with the big red button.

    Step 2: Next, start Task Manager. On my system, that's done by pressing CTRL+SHIFT+ESC. If that keyboard shortcut doesn't work for you, try right-clicking your task bar and looking for "Task Manager" in the menu that pops up, and clicking that.

    Step 3: Find the running process named "UO:Renaissance Launcher (32-bit)" and right-click it. In the context menu that appears, there should be a choice labeled "Open file location." Click that. The screenshot below illustrates this step.


    Step 4: Once you've clicked "Open file location," you should see a folder full of DLL files and whatnot, but most significantly a file named "UORLauncher.exe." You need to create a shortcut to this executable file. One way to do so is illustrated in the next screenshot. If you have your doubts at this point as to why this will help, bear with me and keep reading.


    If you clicked "Desktop (create shortcut)" like I did in the screenshot above, then you will have a new shortcut on your desktop with an ugly name like the following.


    Step 5: Use this ugly shortcut from now on (the one above this line; you can rename it if you want, of course). Do not use the nice-looking one you had in your start menu before. That one has the bad juju in it that provokes reinstallation.


    That's it! Just use your new shortcut, and not the old one, and the launcher will never prompt you for a re-install again.


    I don't completely get it, but for the curious, if you go to "Open file location" and check out the file properties on the original (bad) shortcut, you'll see that it's not a normal application shortcut, but an "Application Reference." That's some kind of next-level Windows-fu for a shortcut that checks online for updates before running a program, I think. And that's what, if you've followed my steps, you've just bypassed by creating a normal shortcut to use instead.


    If you're using this new shortcut for the launcher forever, and if someone who could actually update the launcher for a good reason ever did so, you wouldn't get the update (to the launcher itself).

    But I think that if we have future updates to the game client or data (like art files) again -- and this should still be possible regardless of the future maintenance of the launcher itself -- running the launcher this way would still get those updates!

    Other ways to do it

    @Leopold mentioned on Discord that he prefers starting the client directly with a shortcut to ClassicUO.exe, and just bypassing the launcher completely. This is also a way to go. I still like to use the launcher, because of the ease of things like occasionally switching to the Test server. But he's completely right -- you could just start ClassicUO and forget about the launcher and still play. There may be details you need to figure out to get that approach to work just the way you like; I haven't tried it. Maybe someone who wants to talk about this approach more can explain how they did it in a thread reply.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2023
    Venger, hetmasteen, AlexCCCP and 2 others like this.
  2. Venger

    Venger Active Member
    UO:R Subscriber

    Oct 5, 2020
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    I dont need this but its worth a bump
    Ron Superior likes this.
  3. Leopold

    Leopold Well-Known Member
    UO:R Subscriber

    Jul 29, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Great guide @Ron Superior , I'll go ahead and add what I do since you mentioned it above.

    1. Create 3 shortcuts, one per client. If you use test or dev, create another shortcut for each of those. Do the same with settings.json. They have to have unique names.


    2. Go into each setings.json and put the correct info in (it should already be there by default, at least for the live server). Test and Dev will be different.

    For test:

    3. Right click (don't double click) and go to Properties of each of the ClassicUO.exe shortcuts you made, and enter the correct information into the following line:

    In that line, the info will look like this if my account names were Leopold1, Leopold 2, Leopold3 (they aren't):

    C:\UORenaissance\ClassicUO\ClassicUO.exe -settings settings1.json -username Leopold1 -skipupdate
    C:\UORenaissance\ClassicUO\ClassicUO.exe -settings settings2.json -username Leopold2 -skipupdate
    C:\UORenaissance\ClassicUO\ClassicUO.exe -settings settings3.json -username Leopold3 -skipupdate
    C:\UORenaissance\ClassicUO\ClassicUO.exe -settings settings_UORtest.json

    You don't have to put your account name in least I don't think, but I did for some reason.

    I don't remember if Start in is already filled out, but it should look like that.

    I still use the launcher occasionally for updates to the client.
    Ron Superior likes this.

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