Applies to both GTAIV and EFLC with the exact folder paths valid for GTAIV
Q) I really don't appreciate the text arts, do you have a video for me?
A) Yes, Dr. John13 prescribes this for your condition.
Q) What is xliveless?
A) xliveless is a Games For Windows Live (GFWL) wrapper that
a) Removes the need for GFWL (good for people who don't play in MP, disables achievements, bypasses possible GFWL issues).
b) Moves the savegame folder to "My Documents" and allows loading of downloaded savegames.
c) Acts as a loader for various asi and dll plugins. Hence, if you already have some loader installed remove it before installing xliveless.
d) Up to and including patch 5 for GTAIV, it disabled RGSC as well so you didn't need that crap running in the background all the time, also presenting a possible cause for various issues.
e) Basically, xliveless can improve performance in some cases.
Q) Where can I get xliveless?
A) HERE. Note that the latest version supports all previous game versions and with each new update you will have to wait for listener (a big thanks and loads of cookies to him) to update the wrapper.
Q) How do I install xliveless?
A) Simple. Open the RAR archive you downloaded (if in doubt, for archiving purposes you can use 7-zip) and extract the xlive.dll file only into the game directory, that is the directory where the game and the launcher executables are located. For GTAIV that dir would look something like
C:\Program Files\Rockstar Games\Grand Theft Auto IV\
or for Steam
C:\Program Files\Steam\steamapps\common\grand theft auto iv\
For EFLC it should be similar. these paths are valid for 32 bit OSes, for 64 it should be similar.
Q) Where can I get GTAIV savegames?
A) You can get them HERE. Big thanks and another pile of cookies for Fabio206 for creating these.
From recent development, it has come up that it may be very well possible these don't work on patch 7 and consequently patch 6. When I say "don't work" I mean "they fail loading from the savegame menu." xliveless will still work in junction with your own savegames on any patch version, but there seems to be a problem with patch 7 and these downloaded savegames. Thanks to miromiro for pointing this out, however there is probably more room for testing and determining what's going on in the background.
Q) Where do I get EFLC savegames?
A) There are some here, thanks to GTA 1911 for the link.
From my personal experience, I can confirm these do work on patch 22.214.171.124 (a patch 7 equivalent) as I have used them succesfully on my (Steam) version of TBOGT.
Q) How do I install the savegames?
A) If you need to get hold of your own savegames first, you will find them here
|Windows XP SP3 - C:\Documents and Settings\<user>\Local Settings\Application Data\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames|
Windows Vista - C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames
Windows 7 - C:\Users\<user>\AppData\Local\Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames
Change the system driver letters accordingly. These paths are valid for both 32 and 64 bit OS versions. For EFLC the paths should be similar.
Now, to place the savegames in the proper directory, you can go by one of the following two procedures
a) Create the following folder structure in the "My Documents" folder manually
|Rockstar Games\GTA IV\savegames|
for both 32 and 64 bit OS versions. For EFLC it should be similar.
b) Simply start GTAIV, create a new game from the menu and save the game taking the first opportunity. Now you can look for the folder in "My Documents" and drop any savegames you have there.
You can go play now.
a) if you used any other xlive wrappers (like rick's wrapper) remove all xlive.dll files you had installed to make sure thing go smoothly.
b) any savegames created with xliveless will not work without it anymore so you will not be able to import them back into GFWL. I'm not saying this is impossible (maybe there is a tool out there), but the solution is not self-evident.
c) sometimes the "My Documents" folder can be tough to find if you moved it or if you changed your username so be careful.
d) If anyone contributes EFLC specific paths, I'll add them no questions asked
e) xliveless supports all versions up to 126.96.36.199 English and 188.8.131.52 Russian. Thanks to aligar for testing this.