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Moving Content Files on the Hard Drive

Please Note: The tone of this article is very different and does not reflect the professional tone in our other help articles.  This is intentional as you should not be moving content or application files manually on your hard drive!  This article is not intended for new users, but for experienced users.

From time to time, a customer will ask for how to move content files on the hard drive directly, that is 'by hand.'  The customer may want to do this in order to have a customized arrangement of content in the 'Content Library' Pane in Studio or in the 'Content Library Panel' in Poser.

It *is* possible to do this.  However, I strongly urge most users to reconsider, especially new users.  The consequences of doing this incorrectly are very bad and there is no easy solution.  In fact, more often than not, the solution is to uninstall the application, the content, delete the relevant folders, and then reinstall the software.  Even *then*, it is still possible that it will not work. You may have to reformat your computer hard drive!  It can really be that horrible.  We do not support custom manual arrangement of content for this reason and others.  DAZ 3D Customer Service does not have a sure-fire solution for this and will not throw hours of support at attempting to resolve this for the intrepid soul who chooses to do it.  So, to put it briefly, the user assumes all responsibility for attempting a custom arrangement of content on the hard drive in this manner.

It is possible to have a custom content path--that is something entirely different and DAZ Studio and Install Manager are geared to support this.  This is still very different from moving files around by hand.  If you choose an invalid custom folder and install content to it, you still have several options to redeem yourself.  You can use the uninstaller for the content (Bitrock), use Install Manager to uninstall the content (if you used IM to install it in the first place), or simply delete that particular custom folder.  I recommend that anyone who wants to have a custom arrangement use this method, ie, using a custom content folder.

And even if you re-arrange the files in a manner that is not unacceptable to the application software (Studio or Poser), you still have the issue of uninstalling the content.  If you decide you want to remove such and such content or even have to remove it to trouble-shoot an unrelated issue, you will have to remove the files manually.  If you don't remember where you put them or are not able to use a file list from the readme, then you are out of luck and will not be able to remove that content product from your hard drive, unless you delete the whole content folder and start over again installing your content.

Okay, you've read this far because you are hell-bent on moving files around by hand on the hard drive.  While I can't condone most of you in doing this and have no magical power to undo what horrible, irreparable harm you will quite likely inflict on your content, here's some helpful information. And please don't tell me it's confusing. I *know* it's confusing. That's why we don't support it!  These statements also assume that your files are already in the correct, default location to begin with. Additionally, this is all hypothetical, because DAZ 3D doesn't support manual moving of your content files on your hard drive.

You should have a basic understanding of DAZ Studio and Poser Content Formats.  You should also understand the principles of folder hierarchy which as far as this article is concerned are the same on both platforms (Mac and Windows).  Finally, you should understand the concept of file type and file extensions.  If you don't understand these, please turn back now.

First, find your content folder.  The default name of this folder is 'My DAZ 3D Library.'  Peek inside and you will probably see many folders.  If you have any amount of content installed here, what you see should include these folders.

Do not move anything out or into these folders






In other words, if you have a this file runtime\happy, it *must* stay in the runtime folder.  Poser and DAZ Studio will most likely disown the file if you put it into a folder where it is not expect it.  So, do not move files out of or into the above folders.  In other words, don't move a file or folder from 'aniblocks' into 'data' or a file from 'data' into 'runtime.' Likewise, if you have a folder in My DAZ 3D Library\My Neato Stuff, you must not move it into 'runtime.' Uh, uh, no, no.

Most everything inside of the 'runtime' folder is POSER FORMAT Content.  Most everything outside of the 'runtime' folder is DAZ STUDIO Content.  If you're observing the above commandment not to move files between these folders, then you won't be mixing these two types of content.


Do not move non-user facing files
There are many kinds of files in here.  Some are user-facing files and some are not.  A user facing file is a file that you see as a user in the 'Content Library' Pane in Studio or in the 'Content Library' Panel in Poser.  For example, the Genesis.duf.png file is a user facing file.  It is in the same folder as Genesis.duf.  The .obj or .jpg files used for geometry and textures or the .dsf files used for Genesis are not user facing. You cannot see a .obj file or a .jpg file in the content library.  Do not move the non-user facing files.  These are files in the background.  You can't see them directly in Studio and you gain no benefit moving them.  In fact, if you move them, you'll break the content product in abominable ways.  If you're not sure what is a user facing file, keep in mind that there are several file formats.  As a general rule, a user facing file has a neat little .png companion file with it in the same folder.  The names will be the same, except for the file extension.   If you don't see such a file, then what you're looking at is most likely not a user facing file and you should keep your hands off of it.


The user facing file and the accompanying .png file must be kept together
If you move a .cr2 (figure) file to a different folder, then you must move its accompanying .png file with it.  If you don't move the .png file, your chosen application (Studio, Poser, Carrara) will not have anything to display for it and you'll see a generic icon.


Let's look at some Poser Format User-Facing files.  Some may ask why they would want to move Poser Format files if they are using DAZ Studio.  If you are one of these people, you should probably leave this article right now.  DAZ Studio uses both DAZ Studio and Poser Format files.  In the runtime folder, you can find the user-facing files here:

...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\camera (cameras) .cm2
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Character (figures) .cr2
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Face (faces or expressions) .fc2
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Hair (Hair) .hr2
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Hand (Hand) .hd2
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Light (Poser Format Light Presets) .lt2
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Materials (Materials) .mc6
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Pose (Poses, includes injection morphs and Mat Poses) .pz2
...My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Props (Props) .pp2

Each of these folders is strictly reserved by Poser Format standards for the given file.  So, a .cr2 file is a figure file and may only be inside of the Character folder or a subfolder of Character above.  

Do *not* move these Poser format files files outside of their respective folders.
Files in each of the above respective folders (camera, Character, Face, etc.) *must* remain in that respective folder.  The .cr2 files must stay in the 'Character' folder and so forth.

Let's look at this commonly used set of content files:

My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Character\DAZ People\Victoria4.2.cr2
My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Character\DAZ People\Victoria4.2.dsb
My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Character\DAZ People\Victoria4.2.png

You could move this set of files (.cr2, .dsb, .png) to another folder within 'Characters' and reasonably expect it to continue to work properly.  Not all .cr2 files will have an accompanying .dsb file.  For example, you could make a folder like this:

My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Character\Human Figures\Female Figures\Victoria 4

Then you could put the three files into the 'Victoria 4' folder.

You could then put another folder here:

My DAZ 3D Library\Runtime\libraries\Character\Human Figures\Female Figures\Victoria 4\V4 Clothing

You could put a .cr2 and its accompanying files into the 'V4 Clothing' folder.  Since they are still inside of the 'runtime\libraries\Character' folder, you could reasonably expect that this product would still work and you'd have it in a custom folder that may be easier for you to find.  Please note, that while it may no longer be in its original subfolder, it is still inside of the 'Character' folder.  

This principle applies to .pz2 files (Pose). You can move the .pz2 file and its accompanying .png (and .dsb, if it has one) to another place *within* the same 'pose' folder and you can reasonably expect it to continue to work correctly.

Studio Facing Files
Studio Facing files are a bit more lenient, but for this reason, a user could be off of his guard and still screw it up.  If you follow the above commandments, you probably won't screw up the files. Probably.

Final warning
Manually changing files in the file hierarchy can permanently break content.  Even if you observe the above rules, you may still experience unintended consequences. The adage, if it's not broken, don't fix it applies.