Author Topic: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.  (Read 9883 times)

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Offline jr2

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If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
EDIT: Update on 3/18/2011: The instructions below still work, however, I would now recommend that you try the free programs Smart Defrag 2 and Game Booster 2 (which can defragment game directories), both by IObit, to do this for you instead.  Link to download page here.  They also have several other good programs, some are free, some are not, however the free versions are reduced functionality versions of the product that do work quite well (such as Advanced SystemCare Free, which I highly recommend).  No I don't work for them. ;)

Slow FS2 loading or lags during gameplay can be caused by fragmented files in your FS2 directory.  If you don't want to take the time to defrag your whole hard disk (sometimes it can take 4-6 hours, depending on how large the drive is, and when you last did it!), you can use Contig (short for "make Contiguous") to defragment just your FS2 directory and subdirectories.
1) Download Contig from Sysinternals (Microsoft) <- click this link for some more info if you're wondering why Sysinternals is now going Microsoft.
2) Unzip Contig.exe where you want it (if you put it in your Windows directory, you won't have to switch directories when executing from command prompt)
3) Download Power Defragmenter GUI from eXcessive Software.
4) Unzip Power Defragmenter GUI.exe to the same place as Contig.exe
5) Create a shortcut to Power Defragmenter by:
a) Right-click on the Desktop, go to New > Shortcut
b) Browse for the location of Power Defragmenter GUI.exe, or type it in, eg:
Code: [Select]
"C:\Tools\PowerDefragmenerGUI.exe"c) Hit "Next"
d) Enter the name you want to use for the shortcut, eg Power Defragmenter Contig
e) Hit "Finish"
6) Open Power Defrag, click "Next"
7) Choose "Defragment folder(s)...", click "Next"
8) Browse for, or type the folder(s) you want defragmented.  (Sub-directories of specified folders are automatically defragged.)
9) Click "Defragment"
- You can also copy or move this shortcut to anyplace you'd like, eg the Start Menu; just open the location in Windows Explorer or My Computer, and press and hold your right mouse button on the Power Defrag shortcut as you drag it to the desired location.

--You can also use PowerDefragmenter on the folder of any program you'd like to speed up.  (Hmm, C:\Windows, C:\Program Files\...)

---If you want to defrage your Hard Disk, instead of using Windows' Defrag, open Power Defrag and select "Power Mode(TM) Disk Defragmentation"

I posted this, because I don't know about anyone else, but I get problems with my FS2 install after installing big new mods, playing for a while, moving them around etc, not to mention my other progs eg FireFox, and my HD takes hours to fully defrag... so here you go!  Have fun!

PS Here are the old instructions, in case you want to run Contig manually from the Command Prompt.

1) Hit Start>Run, type "cmd" without the quotes, then press Enter.
2) switch to the directory where you put Contig.
    Type
Code: [Select]
C: and hit enter to switch drives, unless you're already in the correct drive.  (C: = drive contig was saved to, eg, for drive D it's D:)
    If you saved to your "My Documents" folder, type:
   
Code: [Select]
cd "\Documents and Settings\User\My Documents"   -that is with the quotes included, and replace "User" with whatever your username in Windows is (see top of your Start menu usually its there)... it's easier to save Contig somewhere else, such as "\Downloads" or similar and use that; or, if you unzip it to your Windows directory, you don't have to use cd at all (cd = changedir or change directory)
3) run Contig by typing
Code: [Select]
Contig "C:\Games\FreeSpace2" -s    where C: is the hard disk you put FS in, \Games\FreeSpace2 is the directory you put FS in, and the switch -s is to make sure that all of the given directories' subdirectories are processed.


You can even make a batch file to do this with one click (assuming you don't have batch files disabled)
1) Open Notepad : Start->Run, type notepad and hit Enter.
2) type in the commands as you would if you were at the command prompt.
   eg,
Code: [Select]
C:
cd "\Downloads\FS\Tools"
contig "c:\games\freespace2" -s

3) Hit "File-Save As..."
4) enter the name you want, make SURE it ends with ".bat" (without the quotes); also make SURE the "Save as type" is changed to "All Files"; otherwise, your file will be named "<name>.bat.txt" and won't run. (in which case, you could rename it, but...)
5) Hit "Save"

Now, when you run that file, it will defragment for you!
- You can also put a shortcut to the batch file you created in your StartUp folder, to defragment every time the computer starts up.
-- You can use Contig on anything, eg
Code: [Select]
contig "c:\windows" -s
Code: [Select]
contig "c:\program files\mozilla firefox" -s
Don't worry; contig doesn't take lots of time defragging at each startup; I posted a picture of contig when I ran it on my FS2 dir after already defragging it with contig... it took all of about 2 seconds (actually less) to go through 3.25 Gigs of FS2 goodness and declare that all was well and good.


Update: you can also use PageDefrag to defragment system files that aren't normally able to be defragmented, eg, the Windows pagefile, hibernation file, and registry, among others.

Simply unzip the program to a directory of your choice, then select your options (Defrag at next boot, Defrag at every boot, or cancel a previously scheduled Defrag, aka "Don't defrag (uninstall)") as well as your desired abort countdown time (the time in which you can press any key to cancel the scheduled defrag upon system restart... really only useful with the "Defragment every boot" option).

« Last Edit: March 18, 2011, 09:24:41 pm by jr2 »

 
Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
I was almost going to say you can do this in windows to but now i get that you can defrag seperate folders. can be very usefull.

Another usefull thing is just to start defragment of a disk when you walk away from your computer (towards something you are going to do for a few hours, like working/sleeping) and leave it defragging.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
Another usefull thing is just to start defragment of a disk when you walk away from your computer (towards something you are going to do for a few hours, like working/sleeping) and leave it defragging.
Yes, that's true...

 

Offline Commander Zane

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Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
I'm tempted to turn this thread into a "Upgrade your computer" advertisement. :rolleyes:

"Can't load FreeSpace 2 with all the fancy shillings as quick as it used to before the Source Code? Tired of playing the game at 15 frames per second? Well no more! With money, you can buy the processor, RAM, and video card necessary to play it top notch!"

 

Offline Snail

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Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
"Can't load FreeSpace 2 with all the fancy shillings as quick as it used to before the Source Code? Tired of playing the game at 15 frames per second? Well no more! With money, you can buy the processor, RAM, and video card necessary to play it top notch!"

Terms and conditions apply.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
I'm tempted to turn this thread into a "Upgrade your computer" advertisement. :rolleyes:

"Can't load FreeSpace 2 with all the fancy shillings as quick as it used to before the Source Code? Tired of playing the game at 15 frames per second? Well no more! With money, you can buy the processor, RAM, and video card necessary to play it top notch!"
Contig is freeware.  And part of routine maintainance, like changing the oil in your car.  (except no money required!)  The only difference is, Contig doesn't have to hash through your whole hard disk, when all you want is your FS dir (or whatever other dir) defragged.    :p
Or were you complimenting my excellent choice of a title?  :lol:  If that's the case, please suggest a few new ones; I'll change it if I find a nice one.

 

Offline Commander Zane

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Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
I was just poking fun at the topic title. It reminds me of a vaccum cleaner commercial.
"Tired of having to empty those troublesome pouches? Sick of losing suction? Well the Dyson produces 100,000 pounds of thrust (Something like that) so you never lose suction."

 

Offline Bob-san

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Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
15fps? That's gold for me! I usually play at around 8fps for busy action... if it's something small, like a depot raid, it's more like 60fps... on a GeForce FX5200, mind you!

I'm looking at an upgrade... I want to bargain with my mom for some money...

2 x EVGA GeForce 7600GT in SLI, turn both into Step-Up for a pair of GeForce 8600 Ultras
2 x 1GB Kingston DDR2 667 (PC2-5300) RAM
Asus P5N32-E SLI Plus (nForce 650i Mainboard)
Intel Core 2 Duo E4300 "Allendale"
Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit, OEM
Cooler Master eXtreme Power 500-watt ATX 12V v2.01 power supply
XClio 3060BK Case
Lite-On 18x DVD Burner
NEC 3.5" floppy drive
160GB Western Digital Hard Drive

Um yeah that'd be such a good upgrade... maybe I can secure some extra funds for a new monitor, new speakers, etc? Lol unlikely but it's worth a try.
NGTM-1R: Currently considering spending the rest of the day in bed cuddling.
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Nuke: chewbacca?
Bob-san: The Rancor.

 

Offline Commander Zane

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Re: FS2 loading slow? Getting nasty lags during gameplay?
Random number.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
I was just poking fun at the topic title. It reminds me of a vaccum cleaner commercial.
"Tired of having to empty those troublesome pouches? Sick of losing suction? Well the Dyson produces 100,000 pounds of thrust (Something like that) so you never lose suction."
:p  Fixed it. :p

 

Offline S-99

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
Sounds like an awesome thing to defrag individual folders. Luckily the future of file systems is making them not fragment in the first place. It's not as perfect as i said though :lol: I have fs2 installed on an ext3 partition, i can't defrag that thing at all, ext3 is claimed to not to fragment. But, really all it does is just a really good job at minimizing fragmentation. Hell most of the upgraded linux and unix file systems have this already, but when will ms? Hopefully that new file system included in vista will be what was supposed to be as good as ext3 is at fragmentation (ntfs was designed to minimize fragmentation too, but it does the worst job at it, in fact it seems to fragment data as good as fat32). Defragmenting drives is going the way of the dodo pretty fast, the only reason you do it is because ms file systems are notorious for fragmenting. And even after that, someone besides me with ext3 will be just dying to defrag it for extra performance which wouldn't be much of a gain if your as i said using one of those linux/unix file systems that minimize fragmentation so good that they don't make defragmentors for them(file systems such ext3 that don't have defragmenting programs, probably don't have them because it was unnecessary because of how good per say it handles minimizing fragmentation).

Wish i could give this folder defragmentation stuff a go, unfortunately like i said, it's unnecessary and impossible for my games given the file system they're on. Then again, the folder defragmentation itself is sort of unnecessary as well. It really doesn't take that long to defrag a partition of any size. Just give it an overnighter for defragging the whole drive as your whole entire partition will need it especially if fs2 is fragmenting (fs2 is big, my install with campaigns is 3.2gb). Pretty much this program is only good if your super impatient and want to try defragging fs2 so you don't have slow downs during the day before you can get to the overnighter partition defragging. I bet anyone who has this program will use it once, and if they use it all the time, they really need to defrag their partition/drive (some people have and don't have partitions). What's the point of this program, it doesn't seem to have any outstanding qualities than "use once if impatient" and "after use defrag your partitions when you're asleep" (when people generally don't touch their machines), and if continually used "too dumb to look at the big picture".
« Last Edit: March 04, 2007, 09:43:00 am by S-99 »
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SMBFD

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Offline Turey

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
I have fs2 installed on an ext3 partition, i can't defrag that thing at all, ext3 is claimed to not to fragment. But, really all it does is just a really good job at minimizing fragmentation.

I swear I've seen my Ext3 drive report fragmentation... meh, maybe I'm mis-remembering.
Creator of the FreeSpace Open Installer.
"Calm. The ****. Down." -Taristin
why would an SCP error be considered as news? :wtf: *smacks Cobra*It's a feature.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
:p
http://www.google.com/search?q=ext3+defragmenter

EDIT: although, I suppose its not needed nearly as bad as with other filesystems.

 

Offline S-99

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
Believe me, it's not needed pretty much at all compared to ms file systems.
Every pilot's goal is to rise up in the ranks and go beyond their purpose to a place of command on a very big ship. Like the colossus; to baseball bat everyone.

SMBFD

I won't use google for you.

An0n sucks my Jesus ring.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
...Is it the MS file systems, or is it (in my mind more likely) the MS Operating System or the programs that run on it?  I mean, if you could run Linux on NTFS (assuming you could reverse engineer it), I imagine the FS wouldn't be anywheres near as fragmented as it gets now.
One of my major issues with MS Win, is that sometimes the hard disk is just grinding away, the process list looks normal, but Windows has decided it wants to do something.  Who knows what the stupid thing is doing... but it's pretty intent on doing it.  Drives me insane; I like to know what my system is doing and why (as much as I can comprehend, anyways.)  With Windows 9x, this would stall the defrag process almost indefinitely, as Windows would modify the hard disk every five minutes or so.  Win NT doesn't seem to have that much of a problem defragging while stuff is being modified (it doesn't have to restart).

 

Offline S-99

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
Yes it is do to the fact that ms file systems fragment a lot of data because there's an os constantly reading and writing to various locations, moving files, and modifying them. After that, if you have a partition formatted to fat32, and you move data, modify files, write new files all the time and stuff. You'll have a partition that will eventually be just as fragmented as your windows partition. Like i said, non windows partitions fragmenting really deals with how much you move data and create new files. I move a whole bunch of **** all the time onto my fat32 partition of which windows is not on. The defragger analysis isn't as bad as windows fragmenting, but it was close to being as ugly as my windows partition being fragmented.

Ext3 is not meant to be soley referred to itself as being the infamous fragmentation minimalization file system. A whole slew of linux file systems have similar techniques as keeping fragmenting to a minimum. If you really wanted to defrag an ext3 partition, you'd have to convert it to ext2 to be able to defrag, then convert back to ext3. A little unnecessary considering the fact that it just sounds ****ing crazily unnecessary and well crazy. Converting partitions to other file systems most of the time is clean business, but it happens more often than once when converting a partition it'll screw up and you'll lose your data. But, i'm not emphasizing this right now. If you wanted to defrag a non-defragging file system, you'd have to convert it to another file system that does allow defragging. Like i said, so ****ing tedious, you'd be curious why the hell you even did it, especially when a bunch of linux file systems actually do a good job at not fragmenting data.

After that, you may not be able to defrag some linux file systems. But, you can use fsck to check data integrity and repair stuff...sort of like what windows does automatically if it detects something that might be questionably wrong with the disk if say you had an improper shutdown. Recently ubuntu now does this when booting up if it finds something questionable, it'll fsck the disk and see if any data needs repairing. The only downside to the ubuntu way of checking data integrity, is that any partitions i have in ext3 besides the linux installation, it will always do an fsck scan of my 130gb etx3 partition after 21 bootups into kubuntu. Fsck does a good job at repairing data integrity, but scanning it after 21 automounts whenever i bootup kubuntu is just unnecessary as well. I don't care to modify kubuntu to not do this, i'm never going to get around to fsck my linux file systems ever. And it doesn't take long to scan my 130gb partition, and it has fixed data integrity, but it's had to fix **** once, all this other scanning is purely automated. Then again, kubuntu is apparently programmed to keep after it's linux own, especially other linux file system formatted partitions. That's my only ***** about kubuntu. Ext3 as an alternative to ntfs for data storage and accessing on a non os partition i highly recommend(i've lost more data utilizing ntfs as a storage file system about twice with my 130gb partition(ntfs decides one day that it would get corrupted and lose all my ****), ext3 zilch...and fs2 works purely awesome on ext3). I have no viruses or worms either that would explain the ntfs corruption, perhaps windows should do what kubuntu does and scan other ms file system partitions for data integrity as well, but not in such the fashion that kubuntu does. Ext3 seems to handle data integrity better than ntfs does.

Done ranting. I really need to quit being a broken record player about this.
Every pilot's goal is to rise up in the ranks and go beyond their purpose to a place of command on a very big ship. Like the colossus; to baseball bat everyone.

SMBFD

I won't use google for you.

An0n sucks my Jesus ring.

 

Offline MetalDestroyer

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
Thanks for the tips. It will be very usefull since I don't want to defrag all my Hard drive >_<.

 

Offline jr2

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
Does this sound like a good idea, get a free file manager that supports ext3, and/or a driver for Win XP, stick them on a small FAT32 partition on my external HD, and convert the rest of the external HD to ext3?

 

Offline S-99

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Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
If you're looking for something faster and more reliable than ntfs, and has no file size limitations like fat32. Ext3 is the thing you want. Of course stave away from ever having to convert file systems, it's just not a good idea.

I don't know if the multi-partition mobile storage method will work, but what you said might very well work. Create a partition of like fat32, and on the fat32 partition include an ext3 compatible file manager. This a really good idea to have a more secure mobile storage device. Of course on the fat32 partition you wouldn't be able to get away with an ext3 driver, but there are ext3 supporting file managers yes. After that, the fat32 partition wouldn't need to be very big, just big enough for the ext3 file manager. Then the rest of the drive would be ext3. Of course do yourself a favor and download a file manager for ext3 that ignores access rights (i use an ext3 driver that ignores access rights as well, it makes ext3 as easy to use as any other file system).
Every pilot's goal is to rise up in the ranks and go beyond their purpose to a place of command on a very big ship. Like the colossus; to baseball bat everyone.

SMBFD

I won't use google for you.

An0n sucks my Jesus ring.

 
Re: If FS2 is loading slow or you are getting lags during gameplay, try this.
Power Defragmenter GUI is a frontend for contig that lets you defrag files, folders, or drives...
http://www.majorgeeks.com/Power_Defragmenter_GUI_d4647.html
Just put them in the same folder together.