Draconious' original TASupport page has bad/missing links.  This is an updated version.


Trouble Shooting Total Annihilation

There are various things that can create problems or prevent the game from working. The primary fix is to simply reinstall the game, and do it correctly (see below). Sometimes reinstalling is not enough, and other problems occur. The following is a check list, that should prevent or solve the majority of problems in TA and other games.

3rd party units, maps, AIs, utilities, recorders, and misc files, are often the cause of the rest of the problems. These often include various files that conflict with something in the original TA, or another 3rd Party files being used. Disable or remove all 3rd party files, if the game works then you found your problem, if not leave them out until you do find the problem.

Installing and Reinstalling Total Annihilation

This is the way I recommend players to install or re-install the game and its add ons. Why the instructions? There are a few simple problems that can arise that will cause annoying things to happen when your done installing.

  • If this is the first installation on this computer go on to the next step.
    When installing any program into windows, its best for older copies not to be on the hard disk. If you are reinstalling the game then you need to first uninstall TA, this can be done ruthlessly or cautiously. If you wish to save any of the files you have added to the game, maps, units, or AIs, then you must first copy the entire folder to a temporary location. You can now go to the control panel and use Add-Remove-Programs to uninstall total annihilation. After the uninstall is ran, you must then delete the formerly working game folders, usually c:\cavedog\totala, but don't delete your temporary back up. You should now be situated were windows does not know TA was ever installed.

  • First install the game right from the main CD. This will install the original 1.x version of TA.

  • Once the CD is done installing download and install the 3.1c patch (ta1x-31c.exe) from Cavedogs old FTP. Or download the 3.1c patch (ta1x-31c.exe) from Infogrames FTP. This will update the installation of the game to version 3.1c. This is a large 8MB file, so do NOT delete it after you install the patch, instead create a save for later folder on your hard drive and put it in there, you WILL have to install the game again someday.
    Because Bone-Yards no longer exists the exe patch with BY in it should not be installed. Also, do not download this patch from any sites you do not trust, there have been some trojans and virus released lately in the TA community.
    If you are getting "can not patch incompatible version" when the patch is run, scan your HD with a virus scanner immediately!

  • Now that you have the game installed and updated, its time to install the official addons released by cavedog, if you have them. To do this, it is better to just copy their data files then install them. When installing the addons they just install an obsolete version of 3.0a or 3.0b, this will add unnecessary files to the game folder and waste space and load time. To install them more efficiently, copy these files from the addon CDs to the TA folder;
    Core Contingency: CCMaps.ccx CCMiss.ccx CCData.ccx (CC-Units.ccx and CC-Features.ccx can be used instead of CCData.ccx)
    Battle Tactics: BTMaps.ccx BTMiss.ccx (BTData.ccx is not required)

  • There are also 6 units that cavedog released that are not in any of the addons or the 3.1c patch. These units are available officially from the cavedog FTP. Just download each of these cavedog files to a temporary folder and double click them to install.
    Fark, Necro, Scarab, Hedgehog, Immolator, Flea  (single file... put it in your TOTALA directory)
    You may also wish to increase the TA Unit limit to 1500 instead of 250 with the unit patch (unzip into your TOTALA folder and run patch.bat).

  • You are done installing an official copy of Total Annihilation, play it once to test that it works. Now is the time to decide if you want to go further then official files, and use any 3rd party maps, units, AIs, or other addons. If you decide to use 3rd party addons, it is highly recommend you back up the TA folder now, before installing 3rd party files, which are known to be rather risky.

Or to keep it simple, install the game fresh, install the patch, copy the ccx files from the addons, and install the 6 newest units.

Further Installation of Total Annihilation

Whatever your reason, there are a few legitimate reasons to by pass the CD usage of the game, this is how I do it. This will change TA to look to the current folder were TA is installed instead of the CD for the game files. This will still play the music off of the TA CD, as well as any other CD you insert into the drive!

First you will need to download my TA-Thing2.zip file. This contains a totala.exe and totala.ini file that I altered to change the CD look-up to the TA folder, and increase the unit limit max to 1500 (I feel its more stable then 5000). Just rename your current totala.exe to totala_ORIGINAL.exe and copy the files in this .zip into your TA folder. Because the game now looks at the TA folder instead of the CDROM for the game files, you need to copy the Totala2.hpi from the main CD to get this to work. If you intend to play the campaigns you will also need the Totala4.hpi file from the second TA CD. For further information on this file please read TA-Thing2.txt .


Just download the cd crack, unzip it into your TOTALA directory, and run crack.exe.

Game not found - Direct play registry settings

Total Annihilation has a direct-play path entry in the registry, which is often not correctly pointing to were the game is installed. This is usually because of installing the game into a non default folder or hard drive which is usually the C:\CAVEDOG\TOTALA\ folder. For example the MS Gaming zone will often say GAME NOT FOUND, when entering the lobby, by changing this to point to were the game is actually installed the zone will find and let you play the game. The registry is not a thing you really want to mess with if your not the sliest bit familiar with windows and a computer, so be VERY carful not to change anything but this registry entry. You can get to the registry by going to the start button, and clicking on RUN, then typing in REGEDIT and hitting ok. Browse the tree structure to find the settings that need to be changed.

PATH: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ DirectPlay \ Applications \ Total Annihilation \

CHANGE: CURRENTDIRECTORY and PATH to both point to were ever you have the game installed, the full drive and path.

If you do not wish to do the steps above, the alternative is to download and run (double click) this file. If you have TA installed on a different disk drive or folder other then the default folder, pick any one of them, and alter it with notepad, change the drive letter and path as needed before running it.


Multiplayer Game Time Out

When trying to join or host a multiplayer game, the Time Out error might occur if one of the players, has a firewall or router setup wrong, needs to install the 3.1c patch, or needs to install or reinstall directX.

If using a firewall or router some Direct-X games require these ports to be open, or forwarded to the IP of the computer that is playing the game. TA will only allow one computer per outside IP to join/host a multiplayer game.
For router or firewall settings or ports, see: my router instructions below . It may not totaly apply to your firewall or router, but the ports will be the same.

If its not a firewall or router, try installing the 3.1c patch again, or correctly, see: my installation instructions above .

It may also be Direct-X is old, or needs to be installed again, you can get that from microsofts directX page . I currently use Direct X 7.0a for use with TA. Direct X 8 works, but has been known to have goofy problems. Also ME users although having the most problems with DX8, are suppose to be able to have multiple players locally on a firewall when using DX8.1a, I have yet to see this work though.

You can also find help at http://www.portforward.com/routers.htm for configuring your router for TA.

TA Through LinkSys Routers

I get bugged a lot on how to get LinkSys routers to work with TA, since I have recomended the linksys router so many times, So this is a few ways to get a linksys router (wireless or other) to work with TA. Although this may also work with other routers this is all in relation to a linksys router with a more recent firmware version. This also asumes you have TA installed and patched properly.

First of all do NOT use DMZ, this opens all the ports to the given computer, not a wise thing to do on cable and dsl connections. Instead you should forward the required ports for the game or application. Either way, until linksys releases a firmware that supports it, only 1 local computer on your lan will be able to play a game with online players. This is because you can only forward ports to one IP, and TA requires the directX ports to be open, so do other games so this will help some of them work too. TA only allows one set of ports, or so this is the popular belief at the time I write this.

The direct X ports are 47624 for DirectX 7, and 6073 for DirectX 8, you may or may not need to open them both (I use 7 and only have the 47624 port open). TA also requires another set of ports to be open, these are ports 2300 through 2400, other sources say to open more, but thats all TA apears to need.

For those that know how to forward the ports on the router your probly all set now, but for those that don't or if its still not working read on.

To forward the ports listed above load your routers advanced options menu. 1 Go to Internet Explorer and type in in the address prompt. 2 Enter your password, the default is name:(leave it blank) and password: admin , if you did not change it yet you REALY should. 3 Click on Advanced, and then PORT FORWARDING, and your screen should look very much like this screen shot. If you have less input boxes upgrade your firmware so you can use port ranges.

4 Input the ports as shown, but the IP should be that of the computer that is going to play TA. To get that ip, on that computer, goto start, then run, then type winipcfg or ipconfig, this will tell u the IP to that computer. If your using DHCP the IP will likely change, one reason I dont use DHCP.

Condensing Total Annihilation

Total Annihilation and the way its many different patches are installed have created many duplicate files in the games virtual folder files. These files on top of the already unused files in the game folders, create a lot of wasted drive space. This wasted space is not enough to worry about with the large hard drives out, but the game has potential to load a little bit faster if it doesn't have to mess with the extra files. The following are steps to compressing your TA folder down a little bit. This is ONLY for the more advanced computer users, don't attempt this if you have any doubt in your ability to do so. This also takes a while to do, depending on the speed of your computer it could take a really long time. You will need HPI Viewer and HPI Packer, or an equivalent program to compress and un compress TAs virtual folders. It is also recommended that CC and the 3.1 patch already be installed (see above: Installation).

  • 1. First you will need to find the following files in the main TA folder.

    • TotalA1.hpi -- File on TA CD or in Game folder
    • CCData.ccx -- Part of Core Contingency
    • Rev31.GP3 -- the 3.1c patch file
    • ARMFARK.ufo -- downloadable unit from Cave Dog
    • ARMFLEA.ufo -- downloadable unit from Cave Dog
    • ARMSCARAB.ufo -- downloadable unit from Cave Dog
    • CORMABM.ufo -- downloadable unit from Cave Dog
    • CORNECRO.ufo -- downloadable unit from Cave Dog
    • CORPLAS.ufo -- downloadable unit from Cave Dog

  • 2. Some were on your HD create a work folder, and in that folder create an empty folder for each of the files above, would be wise to name the folder similar to the name of the file.

  • 3. Use HPI Viewer to EXTRACT ALL of the contents of each file, into the folder you created for it. This is the first time taking step, but the time it takes will depend on your PC power, and program you use to un compress the files, Once they are uncompressed take a look through them and make sure they appear to all be in the right areas and intact.

  • 4. Make a new folder, call it TACompressed or something. This will be the folder in which you will construct a new HPI file to replace the files above. The different files that you uncompressed all contain different versions of a lot of files, the old ones are irrelevant and not used, but the newest ones are the good ones. You will now have to copy or move the contents of the folders into your working folder, but this part has to be done in a special order. And if you move them you will have to extract the files again if you make a mistake, so I recommend you copy them even if it does take a bit more time. As long as they are copied in this order you should say YES to overwritten when asked to do so. Copy the files in this order: 1. TotalA1.hpi 2. CCData.ccx 3. Rev31.gp3 4. ARMFARK, ARMFLEA, ARMSCARAB, CORMABM, CORNECRO, CORPLAS.ufo

  • 6. There are a few files that are not used, broken, or corrupt so they can be removed;

    ANIMS folder:

    • ArmAH_GADGET.GAF -- These GADGETS are corrupt or beta units
    • CORMLV.gaf
    • HUMANS.GAF -- A few OLD files likely from the beta
    • ARMBLDG.GAF -- Textures have their own folder, and this is not it!
    • EXP1.GAF

    GUI folder:

    • ROMAN10.FNT
    • ROMAN12.FNT

    GAMEDATA folder:

    • WEAPONS.TDF -- not used in this folder, its an extra file

    SCRIPTS folder:

    • All .BOS files can be removed if desired, not used in newer version of the game

    SOUNDS folder

    • DRONE1.wav -- these 3 files can be removed to get rid of the droning sounds
    • DRONE2.wav
    • DRONE3.wav

    CAMPS/BRIEFS BITMAPS-French & German & Spanish & Italian etc folders:

    • These folders can be removed if you only use english.

  • 8. Now is the time to make any other changes you might seem to need, just don't alter any of the files or multi player wont work properly. This would be the time to add in the lower resolution sound files for the EMG weapons etc (available on my site as sounds.zip). Or if your making a TC, now is the time to do your stuff. It might be possible to copy the bug fix files in to this at this point, but I don't use bug fix so I don't know for sure, and expect flukes to occur. Another thing you might do is copy the bitmaps folder from the TotalA2.hpi file, I have not tried this because the main TA maps are in the totala2.hpi file. My TA-Gadgets.hpi contents could also be dumped into this as well.

  • 9. Your new folder can now be re compressed with HPIPacker, and named TotalA1.HPI. This will take a long time, even on a fast computer. You can then move the files that this file replaced (listed in step 1 above) to a temporary folder and test the game, with any luck it will still work ;),

You can do all the above, or maybe if I find some NET space, I can upload my already compressed totala1.hpi file and let people download it, after all downloading the around 35MB will actually be quicker then uncompressing and recompressing on cable etc.