2021 Fix for Battlefield 3 not launching or joining servers due to content "not being installed"

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Spiral0utt
postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
To briefly describe the problem, upon trying to launch BF3, before your browser even successfully opens Battlelog, you will be greeted with a message on the Origin launcher that x  DLC is not installed, and that you must install it before being able to play. Sometimes you will be able to launch Battlelog just fine but you cannot join any playlists that use that specific DLC in the map rotation. The most common one appearing to be Back To Karkand. If you look on the Origin Launcher and game details, it will show that you have that DLC unlocked, but not installed. Which is often not the case, considering this issue will appear out of the blue even minutes after you have just played that DLC, and if you perform a certain workaround (which I will also include in this post), it will actually allow you to play that DLC when it is still "not installed".

A look through the forums will show you this has been a problem with BF3 ever since they removed the premium and standard purchase options, instead keeping the "limited edition", and awarding premium for free with it. It is an issue that has not ever received any permanent fix, and now that the game is so old, has been more or less abandoned.

The issue appears to have nothing to do with the player's install or system itself, but something to do with Origin or Battlelog recognizing the installation on your account.

As mentioned, since this is an old game, support appears to be largely unaware of the issue since they don't come across it frequently, so your first step to fixing should not be to contact support as you will mostly get the typical runaround before digging deeper. I've already been there and done that so let me share a few likely fixes, and these first two don't work, you'll have to contact support to try the last one for you.

FIX #1: CLEAR ORIGIN CACHE


Pretty straight forward, just follow the article linked here to do so: https://help.ea.com/en-us/help/faq/clear-cache-to-fix-problems-with-your-games/

FIX #2: COMPLETELY DISABLE ORIGIN PRIOR TO LAUNCH (temporary workaround, seems to be pretty consistent)

X out of the Origin Launcher, but then go into the Task Manager and hit End Task on Origin and OriginWebHelperService or similar processes. This is what will allow you to play the game without being greeted by a message that you do not have certain content installed, and will actually allow you to play despite "not being installed". The downside of this is sometimes you have to do this every single time you join a new server, but sometimes just on first launch onto Battlelog is sufficient.

FIX #3: CALL SUPPORT AND HAVE THEM MANUALLY REMOVE AND RE-ADD CONTENT FROM YOUR ACCOUNT

Specifically call them, as live chat and email don't appear to really get their attention or have them take the issue seriously, in my experience, and as various forum posts through the years mention as well.

As mentioned before the core of the issue is not that the DLC is not installed or that your system's memory is corrupted, but there is some bug with Origin / Battlelog / EA not recognizing the install through your account. A comprehensive combing of the forums showed me several instances where support simply removed and re-added the DLC or the entire game and all the content, from their account and it cleared whatever bug or miscommunication was happening. This is what happened with me just now as well. There are a few other fixes out there but these appear to be the most common and consistent. If all else fails, this seems to do it.

I already went through the effort of compiling the info any support member should need no matter how foreign to this problem or this game they might be in my original support request, so that they can easily go back and reference old case numbers to see that this indeed work and how to do it. You could share with them my case number as a reference if you think it would help: #73628110

I hope this helps as this issue was immensely frustrating and would have never happened if EA just used a more established game launcher and didn't mess around with all this Battlelog nonsense!

Comments

  • iKeule257
    2 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, CTE, Battlefield V Member
    Thank you very much for this guide.
    I had the same problem and the only solution that fixed it for me was to call them and ask them to remove and add Back to Karkand again.
    After that I was able to join servers with B2K map rotation again.
  • kenshiroux
    13 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
    edited January 23
    EA - Please give a Timeline of when you'll be able to fix this problem as nearly everyone I know around the world is experiencing the same issue. Clearing cache, uninstall and attempting to re-download & install the game, and re-installing ORIGIN doesn't work. We shouldn't have to call your line just to arrange to re-add all the DLCs and main game again. Whether you need to update Origin again or do something to the servers, please let us know your timings.
  • September
    4 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
    the same problem ...
  • rsstvvww
    2 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield Member
    The download button doesn't work
  • iKeule257
    2 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, CTE, Battlefield V Member
    Btw you can get past the downloading issue if you log into origin via your web browser and then click on Battlefield 3 and then "Play on Origin". And if the downloading process is stuck while it says "preparing", exit Origin and kill the OriginWebHelperService with task manager and start Origin again. Then the download should continue. After that you need to click on BF3 in Origin and go to Extra Content and download the DLCs manually. Because Back to Karkand is already included with the limited edition you cannot download it separately. Bad news is that it is very likely that you still won't be able to play on servers with Back to Karkand maps on it, you actually have to call EA and ask them to remove the DLC from your account and add it back again.
  • rsstvvww
    2 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield Member
    Thank you. Follow the instructions above. This is ready to download
  • kenshiroux
    13 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
    edited January 24
    Thanks for the information, iKLeule257.  The download via the web browser method works. Now testing to see if I can log into a game session straight off the download and from restarting ORIGIN. Last time when I restarted ORIGIN, BF3 comes up as "Game Details" instead of "PLAY", and when PLAY did came up nothing worked.

    EA - You still need to overall sort out the situation as people shouldn't have to spend money to contact you to repair a mistake you made. EA, please provide a definitive answer on a resolution this by End of Play Monday as thousands of us or more didn't get the chance to play BF3 all weekend due to this issue. Most likely, this will require an ORIGIN or SERVER update. Regards.
    Post edited by kenshiroux on
  • xxrudeacidxx
    1 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield Member
    Good post, thanks. EA and ORIGIN should pay more attention to the players who like to play the old games instead of the new, we after all are a community and this is a issue who needs to be highligthed more.
  • Dotundweg
    1 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    Samer error, yesterday i could play a few games after x out origin via task manager but today it doesnt work.
  • Kass_Best
    5 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, CTE Member
    Had the same problem, EA support solved it to me. Case number  73808781.

  • zobizoba1
    2 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    Same problem here
  • kenshiroux
    13 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
    Update from my previous post above - I closed my ORIGIN and re-opened it. I pressed the orange PLAY button and it loaded Battlelog (so far, so good). Unfortunately, when I selected to play a game on the server ORIGIN communicated:

    "The game Battlefield 3 Back to Karkand Expansion Pack does not appear to be installed. Please install it or try relaunching the game".   


    My BF3 is the FULL Platinum version plus limited edition. This was all re-downloaded and re-installed and the above message still came up.  

    EA - please fix this problem. 
  • IIPrest0nII
    2580 postsMember, Moderator, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, CTE, BF1IncursionsAlpha, Battlefield V Moderator
    Update from my previous post above - I closed my ORIGIN and re-opened it. I pressed the orange PLAY button and it loaded Battlelog (so far, so good). Unfortunately, when I selected to play a game on the server ORIGIN communicated:

    "The game Battlefield 3 Back to Karkand Expansion Pack does not appear to be installed. Please install it or try relaunching the game".   


    My BF3 is the FULL Platinum version plus limited edition. This was all re-downloaded and re-installed and the above message still came up.  

    EA - please fix this problem. 
    EA Customer Support should be able to fix this for you, feel free to contact them: https://help.ea.com/contact-us/
  • tribekingtim
    1 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    Same here !
    go fix this EA !
  • colombianrazor
    1 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1 Member
    edited January 24
    Hello, I experienced the same problem with BF3 Premium Edition for over three days and tried all the posible solutions many people posted here. I just had a live chat with EA help/support and after they deleted everything there and again re-installed, manually at their end, and then I just hit repair the game everything went back to normal. It took me over one hour with them trying everything but finally solved, in the end it is a problem they are experiencing with old games.
  • SaXoN_UK1
    1 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield, Battlefield 1 Member
    Same problem here, I can only play if I run BF3 from the exe in the install folder. I can't , however, play B2K as I'm getting the same error as everyone else.
  • Convultus
    6 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Hardline, Battlefield, Battlefield 1, Battlefield V Member
    I was able to fix mine with these steps although I was certain that simply restarting my PC was able to fix it. I had just downloaded the game on Steam (thanks EA Play lol).

    - Go to C:\ProgramData\Electronic Arts\EA Services\License and delete all the .dlf files.

    - Untick the "Use plugin-free game launching" from this page https://battlelog.battlefield.com/bf3/profile/edit/

    - Restart your PC
  • kenshiroux
    13 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
    I finished speaking to the rep via LIVE CHAT. Tried all methods with the rep from clearing cache, Resetting DNS, they removed and re-added my DLCs and Limited edition BF3 from my account, nothing worked.  The rep informed that the Dev Team are working remotely to fix the problem as other issues include Origin crashing when you select "Repair" on BF3, and so much more. 

    The Dev Team NEEDS to give us an update, at the very least, on this official forum. They need to let us know that they are working on the issue and will provide an ETA on a potential solution very soon. No doubt, to solve this issue, everyone would need to update their ORIGIN program. 

    Here's hoping the devs will provide a Status/Progress update by end of play today as that is the right thing to do in demonstration of strengthening their credibility and more.. 
  • pazz67470
    3 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
    same problem nothing worked and ea is not helping much they literally tells me if i dont have a problem with origin they cant do anything :/
  • pazz67470
    3 postsMember, Battlefield 3, Battlefield 4, Battlefield Member
    I finished speaking to the rep via LIVE CHAT. Tried all methods with the rep from clearing cache, Resetting DNS, they removed and re-added my DLCs and Limited edition BF3 from my account, nothing worked.  The rep informed that the Dev Team are working remotely to fix the problem as other issues include Origin crashing when you select "Repair" on BF3, and so much more. 

    The Dev Team NEEDS to give us an update, at the very least, on this official forum. They need to let us know that they are working on the issue and will provide an ETA on a potential solution very soon. No doubt, to solve this issue, everyone would need to update their ORIGIN program. 

    Here's hoping the devs will provide a Status/Progress update by end of play today as that is the right thing to do in demonstration of strengthening their credibility and more.. 
    at least they tried for you lol
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