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Thread: MSTS Install on External Drive?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
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    oklahoma city, ok, usa.
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    Default MSTS Install on External Drive?

    Hi All

    What's the result of installing a (second) copy of MSTS on an external drive? I just got a 1.5TB unit for storage and got to thinking about the possibility running MSTS on it - no worries that way about file size or number. Is anyone doing this?

    sooner

  2. #2

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    G,Day sooner, yes it can be done and provided your system is USB2 you should do fine.
    Just put msts there and make your short cuts and you are away, if you want to edit or install things you will need to change the registry setting but route riter can do that for you.
    If you use train store you could have problems as it is tricky using two installs with train store, but mini routes might be the go.
    I would be inclined to put less demanding routes on the usb drive as mini routes and retain the more demanding ones on the main drive using train store.
    Regards
    Barrie

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by gremlin1812 View Post
    G,Day sooner, yes it can be done and provided your system is USB2 you should do fine. Just put msts there and make your short cuts and you are away, if you want to edit or install things you will need to change the registry setting but route riter can do that for you.
    If you have a copy of MSTS on an external USB-2 HD then you have to make sure that the drive letters allocated to it are always the same so as not to confuse it's Desktop Shortcuts for MSTS and it's editors like these, drive letters/ paths changed to suit:



    Changing the MSTS path in the Registry is not required, other than when creating a new route with the Routes Geometry Extractor.

    However, data transfer from external HDs is slower than with internal ones and you will find that stuttering when driving in some routes will increase.

    O t t o
    Attached Images Attached Images

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Bloomington, Indiana
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    Default

    Depending on your pc's configuration, you may see a performance penalty in MSTS because of the cpu-intensive nature of USB. On my own system I see up to 25% cpu activity when reading large files or groups of files from any one of my external USB 2.0 drives.
    - FTLDave

    "Research is what I'm doing when I don't know what I'm doing." - Wernher von Braun


    "A software suggestion is not a valid answer to a configuration/troubleshooting question." - Timelmer

  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks, guys. Sounds feasible but in the end not worth it for the performance penalty.

    soonr

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Bay, Ontario
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    Sooner
    Just to let you know, I am using external sata drives in raid1 mode on my laptop to run Msts and you cannot tell the difference from the main hard drive. The results are fantastic and my drive starts up with the same drive letter every time. USB2 drives are way to slow even as storage. When you start to get to a few million Msts files, USB2 does not work very well for even for that. Esata is also available for towers if you are interested.

    Denis
    Last edited by tecknoden; 02-04-2010 at 01:04 PM.

  7. #7

    Default Data Access Speeds? External HD is slower.

    I have tested MSTS on two types of external drive, 1, a 4 GIG flash drive (Sony $35 8 months ago) and 2, a 1TB disk, A Hitachi 1TB USB 2.0 with Turbo-Boost ($80! two weeks ago)
    No problem running from either type. The Hitachi is faster access than the 4 gig flash drive! Almost as fast as my internal drives with the Turbo-Boost program active as compared when writing a ~1.5 gig zip file (my route) to either the internal or the external drive which I run every night. (I store backups on both drives)

    The problem with an external USB connection is it's data rate. It's slower than the internal HD speed especially in a RAID array configuration. The Turbo Boost software, (it's a ~200Kb executable) really does boost the external drive data rate.

    External or internal does not affect the running of the Sim, only the speed at which it loads in the Tiles as the train moves through the 'world'.

    That's the stutter you see when loading tiles. The 'stutter' is much more noticable when using an external drive because of the slower data rate of the USB interface. The external has absolutly NO performance hit running the Sim except the loading tile 'stutter'.

    What really would enhance the Sim loading is having the Sim installed on a SSHD (Solid State Hard Drive). The prices are coming down ( I saw one last week, an 80 Gig unit for $100) but the capacity is not up there in the multi gig range just yet. These SSHD's are lightning fast with data rates in the 100-200 Mb/second range which probably would reduce the tile load stutter to where it would not be noticeable.
    But I'm not ready to walk that particular 'bleeding edge' just yet.
    Soon tho'.
    If you are considering a SSHD be SURE to buy one that has been well tested by the various geek magazines. There were BIG, huge differences actually in data access speed depending on the type of internal controller the SSHD was using in tests I saw several months ago. Just a word to the wise!
    ............Vince ..............
    ...... Author NECv4 .......
    .... LIRR BUILD PHOTOS ....
    .............LIRR VIDEO.............
    ...... Eschew Obsfucation ......

    On the The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor there is a Tablet. On it is written:
    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  8. #8

    Question External SATA? How's that done?

    Quote Originally Posted by tecknoden View Post
    Soonr
    Just to let you know, I am using external sata drives in raid1 mode on my laptop to run Msts and you cannot tell the difference from the main hard drive. The results are fantastic and my drive starts up with the same drive letter every time. USB2 drives are way to slow even as storage. When you start to get to a few million Msts files, USB2 does not work very well for even for that. Esata is also available for towers if you are interested.
    Denis
    You say you use an external SATA? What interface does it use?

    I ask because I am only familiar with USB or Firewire as an external connection.
    ............Vince ..............
    ...... Author NECv4 .......
    .... LIRR BUILD PHOTOS ....
    .............LIRR VIDEO.............
    ...... Eschew Obsfucation ......

    On the The Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor there is a Tablet. On it is written:
    "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
    the wretched refuse of your teeming shore, send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
    I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by tecknoden View Post
    I am using external sata drives in raid1 mode on my laptop to run Msts and you cannot tell the difference from the main hard drive. The results are fantastic and my drive starts up with the same drive letter every time. USB2 drives are way to slow even as storage. When you start to get to a few million Msts files, USB2 does not work very well for even for that. Esata is also available for towers if you are interested.
    That's if your mobo has a socket for an external E-SATA drive like my new one has or you fit an add-on card onto the mobo if it has a suitable free SATA slot for it.

    But with USB-3 being released, I am going to wait for reports which are more compatible with internal HDs as far as performance is concerned and then get one to back-up my computer's 750 Gb drive partitions on it's 4 internal WD Raptors onto it while I am in bed for the night.

    O t t o

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    North Bay, Ontario
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    46

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    Vince
    I am using a Startech ECSATA254 express card to interface to two raid1 Startech esata/usb2 dual drive enclosure on my laptop. The tower is using a Startech PCIESATA2I card. This card adds an internal sata port as well as an esata port. All this hardware is available at frontierpc dot com. The laptop express card is the only one with port multiplier which means you can have two 2TB drives in one case and they can be set up as two drives with two drive letters on only one cable. Of course, you can have a one drive enclosure on one cable. The PCI card cannot do this as it only supports one drive on one cable as it DOES NOT support port multiplier. It sure beats USB2. Go to startech dot com for loads of info and manuals. By the way, the express card on the laptop supports 3GPS transfer rate.

    Denis
    Last edited by tecknoden; 02-04-2010 at 04:24 PM.

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