adding rig to premade mesh?

i want to use a rig that was already made for a mesh i have but i cant get the vertex groups to work at all.

first i import the model with the rig skeleton i want, and then i delete its model but not its skeleton.

then i append the model i want the rig to be parented too, and i ctrl+p them with empty groups.

this usually adds the correct vertex groups to the model, but when i check them, they dont work at all.

is there a proper way to add a pre made mesh to a pre made model? the reason i ask, is cause i have a slightly edited version of the model, and i need the rigging to be the same as the original version.

Using the “Empty Groups” option sets up vertex groups named for your bones, but assigns no vertices to the groups, that’s why they are “Empty.” You either need to use Automatic Weights, which bakes a set of values for the vertices in each vertex group, or use Weight Painting to assign vertices and weights to the already-named but empty Vertex Groups. You can also assign vertices to the empty groups in Edit Mode using the Vertex Group panel tools.