"Operation Not Completed" Troubleshooting

Introduction

It's happened.  You've received what Skyrim Xbox players call "Ghost Space". (I absolutely abhor this term, and I'll explain why further on.)

You're an Xbox Player wanting to play with mods for Fallout 4. You've downloaded a full load order only to realize there are 25 or 26 megabytes still left and you've gotten an error in the in-game manager: "Operation Not Completed".

Or you're a PC Player and use the Fallout 4 in-game manager because someone has moved off Nexus Mods (or another site) to host their mods on the Bethesda platform and suddenly you're now facing: "Operation Not Completed."

I recently had a conversation with an individual on Discord who had this issue and I realized there is misinformation floating around the internet when another player attempted to help. This article covers a few known reasons why "Operation Not Completed" could possibly happen to you and once you know why it happens, you are able to troubleshoot the problem much easier.

Why It Happens

"Operation Not Completed" can occur on all platforms, but my experience is only on Xbox and PC. And guess what? It's probably due to that dreaded term no one wants to hear, "End-User Error."

The thing about End-User Error? In this case, it's pretty easy to fix, and it's also very simple to avoid in the future once you know why it happens.

The other possibilities are bad internet connection or Bethesda server issues.

We have no control over the Bethesda server – as you may or may not have felt during the recent critical systems failure that knocked out modding over the Easter holiday weekend.

As far as the End-User Error, it appears mostly due to either misunderstanding how the website and your Xbox calculate the Reserved Space where mods are located or downloading a mod that has the same name as another mod already in another place in your load order. The former is reserved strictly for Xbox, the latter can happen on all three platforms.

I will emphasize that if you're playing Fallout 4 (or Skyrim) on PC, you have no excuse not to backup your data and saves folder before updating mods. Xbox players do not have that luxury. BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP!

There's No Such Thing As "Ghost Space"

The term "Ghost Space" got thrown around so many times on Bethesda's forums on the Skyrim Xbox side that it has been adopted by Fallout 4 Xbox players and the internet in general, and it drives me crazy.  There is no such thing as "Ghost Space".

Let me repeat this one more time: There is no such thing as "Ghost Space". We even had a discussion on the Load Order Thread for all platforms about it in 2018 or so.

You either get the error because there are external files there that the in-game manager cannot read properly (Remnants) or there's a misunderstanding of how virtual storage works (MB is not the same thing as MiB). Nothing is a ghost. There's no imaginary space. It's not mystical. It's not magical. Digital Storage is, well, digital, and there are multiple ways it's displayed.

Say "No" to "Ghost Space"

Misunderstanding Virtual Storage

Manufacturers like nice, rounded numbers. It makes it easier for them to sell you things. For example, if Microsoft were to tell you that your Xbox Reserve Space is 0.931323 Gibibytes instead of the nice round 2 Gigabytes, the general consumer is not going to know that these are one and the same and someone who has never heard of a Gibibyte is going to wonder where the hell their 2 GB of data is.

I did. I ranted. (I regret nothing.)

It's there. You just now need a calculator in order to figure out exactly how much you can actually download.

Ugh. Math.

Gigabyte to Gibibyte
Digital Storage Considerations: GB to GiB conversion

I go bananas when I see that I cannot fill my 4 TB storage drive in its entirety. The files are not in megabytes or gigabytes. They use digital storage values and not the nice, neat rounded number the vendor wants you to see. The same is said for our Reserve Space. On Xbox, we will never hit the 2 GB mark. So it will look like we have anywhere between 24 to 30 MB of space left. We don't.

"Operation Not Completed."

It took me a deep conversation with Tim-Timman to figure this out a few years ago (Read: Turtle ranted at a programmer friend and programmer friend patiently described at great length Dumb Turtle), and I've been shaking my fist at harddrive and virtual storage space vendors ever since. I made sure to update the Survival Guide with that information and for the last few years, you've been able to read about it under the sections: Troubleshooting, Warnings, and Cautions and Frequently Asked Questions.

Fallout 4 Load Order Survival Guide
Fallout 4 Load Order Framework - A Vault Dweller’s Load Order Survival GuideCategories, Tips, TroubleshootingDesigned to help Fallout 4 players survive Load Order Disorder by emphasizing planning, placement, and maintenance of game modifications.
You can find the link to the Google doc here.

Bethesda was cool though. They gave us the actual values to be able to compute how much virtual storage we'll be using with each download. The Bethesda website lists mods in what's called Kibibytes and Mebibytes instead of Kilobytes and Megabytes.

MiB instead of MB on Wasteland Imports Updated
Wasteland Imports Updated

Note the KiB and MiB instead of KB and MB.

Kilobyte to Kibibyte
Digital Storage Considerations: KB to KiB conversion
Megabyte to Mebibyte
Digital Storage Considerations: MB to MiB conversion

Plan Your Load Order BEFORE Downloading

The Load Order Framework Template is designed to calculate the amount of space you use based on the difference between digital storage values of the website and the Xbox Reserve space. It is but one of the reasons we emphasize planning your load order before downloading. With the Template, you know how many mods you can download, and you know how much space you're going to be using provided you fill in the necessary information.

Overwriting Existing Data But Leaving Behind Remnants

The in-game mod manager is designed to overwrite existing mod files. We know this and see this when updating a mod. You only have one mod slot taken up when you select to update it. A problem arises, however, when you attempt to download two different mods, but they have the same name– and you did not completely remove one before adding the other.

A mod is considered a mod on the Bethesda website if it has a data file, also called "the mod" or "plug-in". Some data files, however, require external assets, such as those containing scripts or textures and meshes. These assets are packaged into game-readable archives called BA2 archives.

Because the in-game manager is set up to overwrite, when you download a mod of the same name, the data file is deleted leaving behind any external files – yes, those beautiful things Xbox players love to lord over poor PlayStation players' heads. The Reserve Space (which is 2GB) then is filled with only external files (Remnant Data) from the old mod but the new mod (which might have been much smaller), cannot download. And thus, the in-game mod manager lets you know that there's an issue.

"Operation Not Completed"

Ported Mods Example

Two mods with the same name could exist for any number of reasons. This is just an example.

Let's say Mod Porter A ported a mod with the file name mygreatemod.esp, and then decided they no longer wanted to play Fallout 4. They did not remove that mod from the website when they left, and the original mod author has no way of contacting them. A few years later, let's say Mod Porter B ported the same mod (but it's an updated version with an archive called mygreatmod - textures.BA2), unknowing that mygreatmod.esp was already on the Bethesda mod site.

We'll say this was due to how Mod Porter A did not set up their description right, and so Mod Porter B couldn't find it using the website search function and the original mod author did not realize it was still on the site.

Now let's further say that the original author decided they were going to host their own mods on Bethesda expecting that Mod Porter A and Mod Porter B were going to pull their versions – but for whatever reason have not and the original mod author did not realize there were now three versions of the same mod with the same file name uploaded to the site.  You come along and start testing and experimenting with mods as you build your framework and –

"Operation Not Completed."

Mods of the Same Name

I've given you an example of what could happen with ported mods, but how about another one?

I know for a fact that each version of Armor Keywords Community Resource and Armorsmith have the same name. I've made sure to include notes on the Survival Guide so that Xbox players know. These have the same names because they are framework mods for other mods to use and the mod authors made multiple copies based on whether or not the player uses the DLC or not – or in the case of Armorsmith, had an issue with uploading because of file size.

When you want to switch between the versions as you Build Your Framework, make sure to completely remove the first version (and return to the Main Menu before exiting the game) before you download the other version. If you do not–

"Operation Not Completed."

PC Mods from different sites

Nexus Mods isn't the only mod hosting site. It is just the largest. Some mod authors choose to use the Bethesda website as one of the places they host their mods.

Let's say that for whatever reason, they've chosen not to keep their Nexus hosting account up to date and the most recent update happens to be on Bethesda. You'd like to use the most recent version so you'll need to use the in-game manager to download it. As noted above, you're going to have the same issue as Xbox and PlayStation players when you download a mod with the same name using the in-game manager without first removing the old plug-in from your data folder.

"Operation Not Completed"

Fix The Error Before It Happens

Now that you know how it occurs, and have one example, you've got the ammunition to stop it before it happens. How do you do that? By completely removing the mod that has the same name from your load order before downloading the new one.

"What?" you ask, "So easy?"

Yes. You just have to know what it means to completely remove a mod. On PC, it's easy: Remove the mod from your data folder and store it temporarily somewhere else as a backup. On console, it's a bit more difficult because we don't have that much control over our file structure.

How to find a File Name

There are five ways to find out a mod's filename:

  1. You can disconnect from the internet mid-game and check your load order while still in-game (you'll need this to check against other Nexus Mods' ports)
  2. You can check and see if I've updated the information on the Survival Guide
  3. You can join Discord and ask me
  4. You can look up the information yourself on Nexus Mods
  5. You can look up the information yourself on Xbox and then on Nexus Mods and then ask me about it on Discord :D

Console players: We'll do what we can to help you, however, if there is no PC version, we're pretty much in the dark. If a ported mod has a change in the file name, that opens a new can of worms best saved for another article or Discord discussion.

To look up the information yourself on the web, it must be a Nexus Mods port. In the ported mod's description, you should be able to follow the link to the original Nexus Mods page. On the Nexus Mods hosting site there is a clickable link under the Files tab that will show you the contents of the download prior to downloading. Simply click "Preview File Contents".

FOMOD for AWKCR
Armor Keywords Community Resource

You do not have to be a member of the site to view the contents, you do not need a mod manager, and you do not have to actually download it.  If the above image is confusing or intimidating, please do not be afraid to ask me or one of the Engineers at the Parent Server. We're happy to help.

Too Late, It Has Already Happened

Alright. So you've already got the error. Complete instructions on how to fix "Operation Not Completed" can be found on Mod Downloading Basics. Clicking the link below will take you directly to the instructions.

Xbox Players

Mod Downloading Basics
Survive Load Order Disorder by knowing how to use the in-game mods manager to download mods on any platform.
Xbox Players: How to fix Operation Not Completed

PC Players

Mod Downloading Basics
Survive Load Order Disorder by knowing how to use the in-game mods manager to download mods on any platform.
PC Players: How to fix Operation Not Completed

Further Reading

Fallout 4 Load Order FAQ
What does “Operation Not Completed” mean?
What? Whyyy?!
Load Order Framework
Fallout 4 Load Order Tips: Survive Load Order Disorder by sorting your mods using these categories defined below.
Category Definitions
Fallout 4 Load Order Survival Guide
Fallout 4 Load Order Framework - A Vault Dweller’s Load Order Survival GuideCategories, Tips, TroubleshootingDesigned to help Fallout 4 players survive Load Order Disorder by emphasizing planning, placement, and maintenance of game modifications.
The Survival Guide

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Photo by Tanguy Sauvin / Unsplash

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