Upgrading Cougar Display

Periodically there are updates for Cougar Display. You can upgrade automatically by following the prompt during start-up (which launches CougarAutoUpdate.exe), or download the various packages from the webpage.

Advantages of the Auto Update

Cougar display persists quite a bit of information and this could get deleted/lost if a manual upgrade is performed.
The main areas to preserve are:

  • Database (Explorer_DB.mdb) – containing:
    • Missions – information about the current missions within Elite
    • Fleet Carriers – information about the current status / crew / services and finance
    • Bookmark Notes – information you may have entered about each system (Commander’s log)
    • EDSM – Locations cached from various FSD jumps
  • EDSM\bodies – a cached copy of the systems visited and looked up via EDSM
  • Cache\Loadout.json – The current ship build and configuration (cache folder)
  • Cache\_shiplocker.json – Odyssey materials (cache folder)
  • Cache\_backpack.json – Odyssey backpack materials (cache folder)
  • SAPI.ini – Speech synthesis and COVAS/NPC/Police voices
  • *.mfd - custom display panels
  • speechEvents.json - customised speech text (optional)
By running the Auto Update utility in the current folder, the above files and database tables are preserved.

Files not preserved during auto update

It’s also equally important to know that upon every update, some files may get replaced. Whilst some of these are regenerated, or can be imported, others are simply replaced and any custom values will be overwritten. Future versions will try to improve this situation.

Custom Files which may get overwritten:

  • MFD layout customisations with key bindings and colours (MFD_Layout.xml)
  • MFD icon layout templates (MFD_Iconset.xml)
  • MFD custom panel templates (*.mfd)
  • Layout of the MFD displays and custom panel assignments (MFD.ini)
  • Global application values (MFDCougar.ini)
  • Audio – (Nasa_script.txt, ATC_script.txt)

The Auto update utility automatically makes a backup of the above files.

Manual Updates

It is possible, of course, to extract files from any downloaded MFD Cougar package. The application can run from any location because all the files are self-contained. However, it is recommended to always update/run from the same original location to preserve as many of the customised files as possible (see above for the main areas to preserve).

A manual upgrade involves the following steps (as a guide line)

  1. Download new package and extract into a temp folder
  2. If a new database file (DB\Explorer_DB.mdb) is in the ZIP package – follow the Database upgrade procedure (before replacing any files)
  3. Copy/paste ‘core’ folders and files from the temp location into the master folder
  4. Open and inspect INI files, and merge changes
  5. Open and inspect XML files and merge your current values/attributes into the new files, then copy the new files into the master folder
  6. Ensure you have either merged or copied all files in the package

Note: ‘Core’ files are considered to be binary files (.wav, .exe, .dll, .xga, .glsl) and would be the contents of the folders (root folder, bmp, FX, Shaders)

Database Upgrade

To preserve as much as possible from the database, it’s recommended to export data before replacing the database with the upgraded file.

Manual Database Export

Launch the application with a command-line parameter. The easiest way is from a command prompt, or create a shortcut and then modify the properties with MFDCougar.exe /E
The application will start up, export database files as XML into an export folder, and then exit.

Manual Database Import

To import the exported database files, simply place them into an Import folder (or rename the export folder). When the application starts up, it detects the presence of the files and imports them (deleting the imported files as it does so).

After Upgrading

After performing either a manual or auto upgrade, you should consider performing the following tasks:

  1. Use the Commander’s Log and re-import the journal files
  2. Use the Mission Explorer and re-import the files from EDDB
  3. Re-run the Quick key bindings in the Layout Editor on the main application form (see page 5 – Key Bindings)

Note: The re-importing tasks are only needed if the database file (Explorer_DB.mdb) was replaced during upgrade.