Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Astrid Kaufmat

how to run second life from a Ram disk and get some speed without expensive upgrades

Recommended Posts

Posted (edited)

In this quick guide I'll try to show you how to set up a ram disk for second life. I hope that this helps those who are telling me that now rezzing in world is somehow slow. This guide supposes that your  pc has enough ram to do it. Remember that now windows 10 can use almost 3GB ram so you need at least 8GB ram even better a system with 16GB ram ( that is now the standard for most pc's of middle range).The size of the ram disk for SL and maybe cache of your browser( this is another chapter not discussed here) is just 2GB more and less.

I also recommend you to disable windows automatic update for graphic drivers and stuff Keep just the updates for patches and security but don't make your windows mess the drivers of your boards and pheripherals(this might be another reason what some people can see a sudden slowness in windows 10 after updating it: it has the bad habit to update drivers of your boards too without asking you ). Windows 10 after  Vista is the  dumbest piece of software ever written, they made it too much automatic, forgetting always that computers are powerful but dumb, it's the brain behind them making them useful and smart.
I recommend you to follow
this guide here to mitigate a few this iussue that can mess up your graphic driver and other drivers of your boards and peripherals. 
have you ever been in your office and been screaming because a fax and a printer and other stuff all of sudden stopped working with an update of windows 10? Well that's the reason.Another hint is when you install graphic driver for your card just avoid all that useless stuff, if you don't use it drop the telemetry and audio drivers included in graphic drivers package, run a custon installation instead. For Nvidia I never install all the useless stuff but just graphic driver and physics.

Many people now have already got the m2 ssd that are superb comparing their performances to the classic SSD ( Slc ,Tlc, Mlc).
However their price is not always affordable , not all the residents have an hardware supporting it or just want to keep their heat away from a small case.
In all of these cases to speed up your programs you can use your ram and a handy trick by then by Xp times and that still now has very decent scores.

To do this first of all we need to use a program to create a ram disk if in windows. If you use linux ambient then it's a way easier : you don't need external stuff. Just follow the guide here

For windows we have a few softwares that can do the trick you can choice the one that you like the most among these.

I like a lot soft perfect ram disk (however it's no more free). To use the free version you must download an older version from this site. Bear in mind that it works great with windows 7, but with windows 10 because of some changes now you can allocate no more than 4 GB per each ram disk(which is still more than enough to run SL from it).However among the ones showed in the site I proposed are very good to be free, that you can download from here as older version.

To create your ram disk it's very quick and intuitive most of the proposed programs above have a short guide and a very intuitive interface.Just remember when you create it to use an NTFS file system .

Here I leave for you a visual example of  configuring a 2 GB ram disk, using soft perfect ram disk. Anyway more and less all of them have such a simple and intuitive interface.Select the letter of your ram disk, select the size, select the file system and click ok.Then the new ram disk appears among all the other disks.The pc won't make any difference with the others but the write/read speed would be so far faster than SSD, as you can also see from the benchmarks posted in the site I linked above.

softperfect-ramdisk.png.5b78963ee589e00fec6db1d0ee194f60.png

 

 

Once created the ram disk we need to move to the step two which is making a portable app of our SL (this works good for all the viewers like the classic SL viewer and others that don't force you to download the files using the executable. in that case you can still avoid to install them tricking their pity way to get installed using a virtual machine and then copy the files, but this is another chapter).

So download SL viewer and use a free software like 7zip to unpack it to a folder .Done this you can even customize that folder copying in its paths the xml files for windlight or some fonts that you might miss in the classic sl and want to take from other viewers. Alright done now you have it customized and ready to be zipped again to be kept on your disk as a "portable app" to copy to your ram disk any time you create it.

Before we launch SL we don't want it to make mess in our folders either, like for many other programs you can move the settings folders elsewhere too.

To do this we use a trick that comes handy with any other painting software or 3d software or games :we are going to use a Junctions. This is a way to decept our windows system and let it belive that the folders are still on our main disk while truly they're located on our scratch disk.
 
Ok let's start our deception
Sl has some folders located to this path

C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Roaming
C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Local

If you don't see those folders it might be because your system is not showing you hidden folders. Enable it from your folders options in control panel.
here is one of the ways to do it

now it's time to create our new paths for our sl settings folders. This will help to keep the OS disk (especially if it's an ssd clean and not fragmented).

Let's imagine that our scratch disk is named M:

Fine let's create in our M disk a folder that will allow us to keep handy all the files we'll move and call it whatever you like for instance mysettingsl. now within this folder (mysettingssl) we move one after another the  sl folders that we have in our C:...Roaming and in our C:...Local folders.

How to?

My hint for you is to have visible  the  adress bar in your windows folder. If you don't follow this 
1) Open File Explorer. Click the View tab on the ribbon. You’ll see the the Options button on the right-hand side. Click it to open the Folder Options dialog.

2) Click the View tab. Locate and tick the checkbox named “Display the full path in the title bar

 

Now open a Note and keep it on your windows ( in this note we will copy and paste the original and the final locations of our folders, just to keep them handy). So move to the path
C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife

From the adress bar of the window copy the adress and paste it in your note.
Now cut the folder "SecondLife" located in
C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Roaming\
then
Paste it in the folder of your M: scratch dsk that we called (mysettingssl)
in your M disk navigate to the SecondLife folder just pasted there and from the adress bar copy it's path

it will look like something like this

M:\mysettingssl\SecondLife

Now time to get our hands dirty a bit with the command prompt (launch with administrator rights).
mklink /J “C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife” “M:\mysettingssl\SecondLife”

Here is where the Note where copied and pasted folders locations from the adress bar will come handy now; instead of typing them all you just paste them when you run the mkdisk command

The syntax and the logic is always the same anytime you want to use this command so:
mklink /J "C:\the original path" "M:\the new path"
where M can be any other of your disks for scratch or partitions (or even a ram disk if you decide to move there also those folders and save the whole ram disk created as an iso to launch each time avoiding to use a scratch disk for settings too).

If you did the command well you will read in your command prompt something like this:
Junction created  for C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Roaming\SecondLife <====>M:\mysettingssl\SecondLife

and in your folder "Roaming" located in  C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Roaming\ you will see the icon od SecondLife folder appearing with the short curvy arrow meaning itìs now a junction.the system still belives that it's there, but physically it's not there.

Now repeat the same steps also to move the second life folder that you have in in your 
C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Local

in your scratch disk M go to the folder you created and named "mysettingssl" within it create another folder named like "Sllocal" or whatever you wish and move there with the Junction method I showed above the SecondLife folder that you see in  C:\Users\your_pc_account_name\AppData\Local.

In our Ram disk let's create a folder and call it for instance cache (or whatever you like for SL cache).
Done now we just need to move to our Ram disk ,once created it , and copy there our zipped "portable secondlife app"
then unpack it in our ram disk.
 Assuming that you call your ram disk something like N:

Make a link of your SecondLifeViewer.exe (that is in your second life folder unzipped in your ram disk) by right mouse click menu and paste it somewhere in your ram disk. now right click on the file you just pasted named for instance "SecondLifeViewer.exe - link"

go to properties and where you read "destination " we will specify some paramethers to force the cache to our ram disk most of those commands are shown in the wiki page of sl that you find here. In our case we just neeed a simple string like this.
--set CacheLocation N:/cache --set NewCacheLocation N:/cache
(if the ram disk you created has a different letter change N with the chosen letter for your ram disk

paste this string after the SecondLifeViewer.exe in the destination path of the secondlife.exe - link properties window, that you just created.

That destination pat in that window will look like something like this

N:\Second_Life_6_2_4_529638_x86_64_Setup\SecondLifeViewer.exe --set CacheLocation N:/cache --set NewCacheLocation N:/cache

(don't forget the space between  SecondLifeViewer.exe and the string you created to force your cache there and to specify cache paths in parameters use the slash instead of backslash, like in the example above).

If you want as a trick to not repeat this anytime you start your pc you could move to your ram disk also the  settings folders that in the example above I showed you how tomove to a scratch physical disk. Then save the whole ram disk as an iso file to load by your ram disk program.
bear in mind each time you update sl viewer you may need to refresh the iso putting there the new version of your "zipped portable sl".

Now you're running your second life and its cache and settings from a ram disk.

Ok the short lecture is done I hope you didn't fall asleep. Coucou

Edited by Astrid Kaufmat
  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only part of the viewer worth putting on a faster device is the viewer cache. The viewer program itself doesn't need to be installed on RAM disk.

You can put the viewer cache where you want it from the Avatar->Preferences->Network and files->Directories menu.

Putting the viewer cache on a solid state drive speeds up texture loading quite a bit on machines where the main disk is a rotating hard drive. You need 10GB of space,  though. So doing this with a RAM disk takes a lot of RAM.

Also, if you put the cache on a RAM disk, you have to reload every texture and mesh when you reboot.

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 8/25/2019 at 9:45 PM, animats said:

The only part of the viewer worth putting on a faster device is the viewer cache. The viewer program itself doesn't need to be installed on RAM disk.

 

This is half true half false. Agreed in the past with XP and previous verion of Windows having a ram disk was worth to use it as a space where to move the browser cache to load faster . Now Games too get the benefit to load files they need quicker and faster from a well written ram disk software.

A ram disk now can allow you to load not only the cache faser but aso the files that your game needs as it's shown in this image that is made to explain how a ram disk used in steam community works.

howitworks_dd.png

you could read more about it here

After all many high end gaming mother boards are now giving this options in a few msi mother boards that I mounted on clients pc's I saw their ram disk software and was a nice thing. In the previous list of ram disk that I posted you can see also an asus and an asrock suit. While the asrok is made to work only with their branded motherboards, you can test , as said on that blog I mentioned above, the asus suite similar to dimmdrive, that is a quicker way to set up without to many commands to use and move to a ram disk all your game files and cache and of course programs like photoshop too.

 

On 8/25/2019 at 9:45 PM, animats said:

 

You can put the viewer cache where you want it from the Avatar->Preferences->Network and files->Directories menu.

 

 

Of course you could just create the ram disk ad move just the cache there using second life properties.

Don't you think it's useful to move to a ram disk (if you use an ssd) the applications that are updated more often?Of course you get benefits moving there other applications and their cache too especially graphic softwares if you don't have a scratch disk or if it's not fast enough. About SSD there were so many flase myths like the taboo of using defragmentation tools. Now it's well known that you can defragment them, however for how they're built it's always better to defragment them less than a rotating one and use more the trim.

On 8/25/2019 at 9:45 PM, animats said:

.

You need 10GB of space,  though. So doing this with a RAM disk takes a lot of RAM.

Also, if you put the cache on a RAM disk, you have to reload every texture and mesh when you reboot.

 

Like MR President would say here: No here I disagree you're fake news.

1)for SL ram disk you don't need more than 2 GB ram disk. Nowadays compurer have a lot of ram. A middle range pc come with at least 8 GB ram and a decent low cost gaming pc has at least 16 GB ram if you are buying or building an architecture that lasts a few years .So nothing to worry about. We had ram disks with XP when the maximum ram on a pc was 2 or 3GB (hence it didn't see more than 3 if run in 32bit)

2)about reloading it everytime you reboot it's not completely true either. As I said in the bottom of the guide you can save your created ram disk and it's folder , before rebooting or shuting down the machine ,on a secondary drive or a pen drive as an iso file.When you turn on the pc again you have just to launch the ram disk application and load the saved iso file (where you could even keep not flushed the folder of your cache files, if you need).Done.

You would just have to overwrite and update the iso you saved before shutting down and when you update your SL,bt that's not a big effort.

Edited by Astrid Kaufmat
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Doesn't Windows automatically use unallocated memory for cache, essentially rendering the RAM disk redundant? As I understand it, if you have enough memory for a RAM disk, your SL cache is probably going to be in memory anyway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 hours ago, Astrid Kaufmat said:

as it's shown in this image that is made to explain how a ram disk used in steam community works.

SL doesn't work that way. There aren't that many game assets in the viewer when it's installed. There are a few built-in assets (the wood texture, the standard avatar animations, a few standard sounds) but not many. Everything else comes in from the network and is saved locally in the viewer's cache. This is different from games where the game assets come with the game install.

4 hours ago, Love Zhaoying said:

Just use an SSD. Works great.

Agreed. I added an SSD and texture loading improved drastically.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The only people that benefit from "defragging" an SSD are … uhm, wow.  I don't know of any.  I guess maybe people that like watching the defragmentation program run?  ZERO benefit since there is no seek time to be saved.  Saying it helps speed up prefetching is telling us you wasted even more performance by forcing prefetching enabled for your SSD hosted volume, overriding the knowledge and experience of many system-level programmers.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, bigmoe Whitfield said:

you decided to post in black text,  those of us that are using the dark theme the forum here has,  have a bit of a time reading what you have posted.

It's no worse than when dark-theme users post in white text. So, nothing to see here, move on. LOL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Alyona Su said:

It's no worse than when dark-theme users post in white text. So, nothing to see here, move on. LOL

Or the white theme users who decide to make the background white for whatever reason

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, NiranV Dean said:

Or the white theme users who decide to make the background white for whatever reason

I suspect those are the forward-thinking people trying to ensure their text is readable on both themes. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

I suspect those are the forward-thinking people trying to ensure their text is readable on both themes. :)

Quite the opposite. If you change the text background to white you make it unreadable in the dark theme because the text defaults to white wheras it defaults to black in the light theme. So if anything if you change the text or background you are always making it unreadable for one or the other.

If anything you have to change the background to white and the text to black but then you are making it hard for dark theme readers again because the stark black/white contrast in the dark theme is really eyestraining to read. That begs the question why are you even changing any color at all. Just leave it as it is and it will be fine for everyone.

Edited by NiranV Dean

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, NiranV Dean said:

the text defaults to white

I thought you meant after they change the color. In that case they are just being @$$Hats and "griefing".

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 minutes ago, Alyona Su said:

I thought you meant after they change the color. In that case they are just being @$$Hats and "griefing".

Well some people dont want their text being read apparently.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...