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torque2

A way to speed up FSX loading from a cold boot

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Hi All:

 

Thought some of you might be interested in a discovery I made today on loading times for FSX from a cold boot to the 'Free Flight' screen.  I recently upgraded to an SSD for my OS (Windows 7) and FSX.  I, however, have several hundred GB of scenery data that won't begin to fit on the SSD so I have it still installed on a hard drive.  But with the rest of FSX and W7 on the SSD I expected to see a significant improvement in FSX startup times.  I did not.  Maybe 30 secs at the most (3 mins before, about 2.5 mins after).  Why?  The only data not on the SSD is the scenery data.  That must be what is still slowing my startup times.

 

I tried some things. As a first test, I substituted the default scenery.cfg file from back when FSX was installed for my current one, expecting a big difference in startup times:  No!  Barely any difference!  FSX was still reading lots of scenery before the 'Free Fligh't Screen would appear.  Next I tried an empty 'Addon Scenery' folder (moved my current one outside of FSX and replaced it with an empty one, just like FSX newly installed).  Some improvement but still slow (2:22).  I have lots of scenery installed in the FSX folders, not just in the 'Addon Scenery' folder.  So next I moved all those folders (only my payware/freeware folders, not any of the default folders) outside of the FSX folder structure and retested from a cold start:  Big improvement!  Startup time a mere 0:20!!  So it appears FSX scans all the folders within the FSX file structure for scenery on startup, even when there is no corresponding entry in the scenery.cfg file.

 

So next I put back my scenery.cfg file, but modified it with the new locations of all my scenery folders outside of the FSX main folder.  This was very easy to do, just needed to add a "..\" in front of each local= entry for folders that were moved.  Shut down the computer, waited a minute or so then restarted.  My new boot time, with my 'normal' scenery active: 0:35!!  A full 2 minutes quicker than before.

 

I will add that the load times from pressing 'Fly Now' until the cockpit appears, ready for flight, do not change with this technique.  So if you normally fly with most of your scenery active this method will not help you.  But for me, with hundreds of GB of scenery data, and only a small portion of it active at any one time, it made a very welcome difference.  Almost as good as a brand new installation!

 

The only scenery folder I cannot move in this fashion is Orbx.  That has to stay where it is.  FTX have not provided a way to move it elsewhere.   I have 68GB of data in that folder (linked to a hard drive folder).  It is costing me 10 seconds in startup time!  I could move that 68GB to my SSD but that would nearly fill it.  If anyone knows a way to move it so FSX doesn't scan it on startup I would love to know!

 

David

CYXE

 

 

 

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I have my OrbX folder on a different drive, outside the FSX

folder. I have an EMPTY OrbX folder in the FSX folder and then

mount the 'real' OrbX folder (drive or volume) to that empty folder.

 

I do the same thing with my Addon Scenery folder.  You will

need to create disk volumes for each, with all the files/folders

in the root directory. Essentially this new drive(volume) becomes

the OrbX 'folder' or 'Addon Scenery 'folder'.

 

Once you have created the 'external' folders(Volumes) and

created the empty folders in FSX, go to My Computer, select

Manage, Storage, Disk Management.

 

Right-click on the volume for OrbX and select "Change drive

letter or path".

 

In that dialog you then select "Add" then "Mount in the empty NTFS folder"

 

Point to your EMPTY FSX OrbX  folder and click OK.

 

  Paul

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Yes, you're certainly correct about this.

 

In a nutshell, you're allowing FSX to pull from two hard drives instead of one, so this of course speeds up load times.

 

You might also consider adding the DISABLE PRELOAD entry to your FSX.CFG.

 

Hope this helps!  Happy flying!

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1. Or use SimStarter and set up different scenery cfg profiles.

 

2. Disable preload will not do a single thing for startup times. In fact, that option has nothing to do with starting up FSX at all.

 

3. No, it's the fact that he moved his scenery outside of the FSX file structure, not that he has 2 hard drives.

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1. Or use SimStarter and set up different scenery cfg profiles.



2. Disable preload will not do a single thing for startup times. In fact, that option has nothing to do with starting up FSX at all.



3. No, it's the fact that he moved his scenery outside of the FSX file structure, not that he has 2 hard drives.

 

 

Jim,

 

While I didn't go into detail on #2, I assumed the reason to boot FSX was to fly, which is why I included it.  I should have gone into a bit more detail.

 

On #3.... well, you and I will have to disagree on that one my friend.

 

Happy flying.

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Preload actually allows you to fly quicker so don't disable it.

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Jim,

 

Isn't that true only for he Default Flight? 

 

It was my understanding that Disable Preload stopped the Default flight from loading in the background while one was in the FSX Start Screen.

 

I reckon if someone always started their flight from their default airport, they wouldn't want to Disable Preload.  However if they routinely chose different starting locations, I can see why it would speed things up a bit overall.  .

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Dave,

 

Preload will start to load whatever location you have in your Start Screen. If it's your default flight, then yes, that starts to load. But if you change your location or load a flightplan, Preload will also start to load that flight also. If I wanted to, I could hardly ever see the little "loading ......."  status bar because if I wait long enough, when I click Fly Now my starting airport will immediately be displayed with all of MT6 traffic being shown.

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Jim,

 

Isn't that true only for he Default Flight? 

 

It was my understanding that Disable Preload stopped the Default flight from loading in the background while one was in the FSX Start Screen.

 

I reckon if someone always started their flight from their default airport, they wouldn't want to Disable Preload.  However if they routinely chose different starting locations, I can see why it would speed things up a bit overall.  .

 

This is exectly how it works

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Preload will start to load whatever location you have in your Start Screen.

[Main]

DisablePreload=1

 

Jim's correct on his detail; this will prevent the scenery shown in the "Current Location" box loading in the background while the settings screens are in view. The default flight is simply some flight file to load in the absence of one presented to the app in the command line argument (say when double-clicking a .FLT file).

 

After allowing the sim to start up to the user settings screen, and then Fly now, a valid default flight was loaded, then End Flight, and choosing a new location on the other side of the world, waiting 45 seconds, press Fly Now, and the loading box starts at 0%, each time, nothing loaded.

 

After removing DisablePreload=1 from the .cfg, I allowed the sim to start up and choose a new location a long way away, wait 45 seconds, press Fly Now, and the loading screen is already at around 48% each time.

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This is exectly how it works

No,  it will preload any flight. See Steve's post for further proof. Leave the option alone.

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