Trainz Technical and Operational Tips and Tricks

Using the Archiver in TRS2006 and later versions

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As the Archiver feature is useful for backing up content, this blog post will cover how to use it.

Creating an archive (.cmpa file) is a two-step process. All instructions are to be done in Content Manager unless otherwise stated.

Note - Any assets that are archived cannot be deleted, unless you remove the archive reference from the Settings dialog first.

To add assets to an archive

Firstly, find the assets you want to add to the archive. This can be done using the Search panel.

Secondly, select the assets by clicking on them. Hold Ctrl down if you are selecting multiple assets that are not consecutive in the list, or Shift if you are selecting a range of assets. Ctrl and A can be used if you are selecting all items in a list.

Thirdly, right-click one of the selected items, then click Archive. This will start the process.

You will then be asked if you want to include dependencies. If you wish to do so, make sure the relevant boxes are ticked.

Be aware that assets that are open for edit and built-in items may not be possible to add to an archive. Also, be aware of any limits on the filesystem side (for FAT32, this is just under 4GB). Also be aware that Content Manager cannot handle archives larger than 2GB.

Repeat this stage until all the items you want to include are listed in the Archiver panel on the left-hand side.

Creating the archive itself

Once all the assets you want are added, click the Archive button at the bottom of the Archiver panel (on the left-hand side of the window). You will now be prompted to name and choose a location for the archive file. Once done, the archive process will now take place.

The archive may automatically be listed in Content Manager's settings box. See below on how to remove the reference.

Installing assets from an archive (.cmpa file)

To install an archive, you will need to click File, then Settings.

If the Archive tab is not already selected, select it. Click the Add button and select the location of the .cmpa file.

Once it appears in the list, click Save. Content Manager will detect the contents of the archive and will prompt you to install the assets. Click Yes to proceed, then wait for it to complete.

Once it has been installed, go back into the Settings box, select the archive file in the list, then click Remove. Click Yes if asked to confirm. Once done, click Save.

Removing assets that have been archived
To do this, you must do the following:
1.Click File, then Settings.
2.Click the appropriate archive, then click the Remove button.
3.Click Save.

Hopefully this will come in useful to some users. Comments are welcome on this topic.


Updated June 21st, 2012 at 07:22 AM by shaneturner12



  1. Gavan0c7's Avatar
    Hi Shane,

    It looks like you can archive built in items.

    I just created an archive of a route by right clicking the route and selecting archive. Adding all the items dependencies included the built in items.

    I wouldn't recommend this as an effective way to manage archived files but you can do it.

    Thanks for the blog by the way.

  2. shaneturner12's Avatar
    I've noticed that one as well, but I would not advise restoring builtin items if you get the chance to skip them.

    It's OK, anyway - my blog is there to assist users, and that's my intention.

  3. Fabartus's Avatar
    Let me twist the question bit. My one experience with it last year, was to archive something I wanted to disappear from the CMP lists and Surveyor. Let's say UK and German electrified rail stuff. Or tracks I'd never build with. God knows regions are rarely set reliably! If I archive such, can CMP find it if I load a route that needs it. Apparently the answer is yes, checking the manual:

    Sect 17.5.2
    If you already have the assets (parent or child) on the local machine the Download Helper will not download them again. If the asset is in a known Archive (see Importing Content and CDPs Archiving), when you start the download process CMP will get the required assets from the archive.

    So how do I hide stuff of no interest w/o breaking it or something I load which actually uses it? Opening for edit and moving it elsewhere was what I did with 20-25 terrain snippets--multiple multi-baseboard blocks of no track 'routes', but painted and developed with towns and forest and so forth. I'd merged them in extending the layout as needed. When assets.tdx next got rebuilt, CMP lost track of these 'psuedo-routes'. I was happy as they aren't in the list of routes anymore, though I'd created them with a 'z' prefix to get them down the end. Ironically, I accidently imported them the other day telling a fresh install to import content and to include sub-folders from the old install. (I'd just moved the directory thinking I'd overwritten a T'06 asset with T'04 asset that was giving an error. Turned out I'd just removed a loco and a Driver was assigned it.) However I did it, I need to hide them again.