1. Install a retail copy of Oblivion, ideally the PC DVD version. (If you have the Steam version, find the Nehrim readme.txt online before you install from the .exe file). I’m assuming you’re gaming with an Nvidia graphics card.
2. Ensure Oblivion is patched to the latest patch version 1.2.0416 (Oblivion_v1.2.0416English.exe). Nehrim cannot install/run unless you have the lasted patched version of Oblivion installed.
3. Download the English version of the full Nehrim installer (currently: NehrimInstall_126.96.36.199_EN.exe).
4. You may also wish to download:
* Qarl’s Texture Pack 3 – Redimized for speed-optimised hi-res textures. Although you may already have this if you manually bring over the Oblivion textures folder (see point 10, below).
5. The Nehrim installer will auto-detect your original Oblivion install directory, and offer to make a Nehrim-based duplicate of it, and a desktop shortcut to play Nehrim. Make sure you have 6Gb of empty space on your main hard-drive for the new Nehrim directory (ideally 10Gb+, if you later have to manually bring over the original Oblivion textures folder). By default Nehrim installs to C:\Program Files\SureAI\Nehrim\Data. I suggest installing to: C:\Nehrim instead, because otherwise the launcher probably won’t be able to save the data it needs to launch the game.
Note that the readme.txt suggests that Nehrim should not be installed to C:\Program Files due to Windows security checks. If you did end up with it here (it’s easily done, since you only get to read it after you install — durh), you will need to uninstall, delete any remaining bits of the Sure AI directory, and start all over again.
6. Do NOT uncheck the “Run Nehrim Launcher” in the window that pops up just after installing. If you do uncheck it, and you’re a newbie to Oblivion, then you will probably be completely lost after this, even when consulting the readme.txt
Allow the NehrimLauncher.exe to launch (this is not the same as what happens if you click the link that’s been placed on your desktop). Once launched, NehrimLauncher.exe has a prominent button named “Data Files”. You’ll see a long list of the mods you were loading with your original Oblivion. You’re going to need to individually click (twice) on each and every one of the check-boxes to clear them. Bad luck if you had 100+ mods loading, but you should only need to clear them once. For English users, you need all three data files checked, thus…
7. Then, click the cunningly bland ACCEPT button (which doesn’t even look like a button), rather than the enticing X in the top right of the NehrimLauncher.exe window. Clicking “Accept” should save your data files preferences. If NehrimLauncher.exe was sitting in C:\Program Files\ then Windows security probably wouldn’t let it save this vital information.
8. You can now use the desktop shortcut to Nehrim to launch and play the game. Start a new game.
9. After the intro video (make sure you’re getting the English subtitles) you will find yourself at the bottom of a large mine. And after selecting your character name and other attributes you will meet a lad called Celebro and pick up a basic weapon from a slain enemy.
10. At this time you may notice missing textures and that the cave is far too dark (even if you lift the gamma in the video options). If this is so, it’ll be the fault of the textures. Copy the Textures folder from your original Oblivion install, and then merge the lot with C:\Nehrim\Data\Textures. If there are any filename clashes (I had about 120 of them), then do not allow overwrites. In my case doing this took my final Nehrim install up to a chunky 10Gb.
Now you can finally see what you’re doing in the caves, and you can play! You’ll need the original Oblivion DVD in the disc-tray to launch.