Installing FS to external HDD

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

I've been contemplating installing fs9 to my WD external HDD. It has its own Belkin power supply, not drawing power off the computer, USB 2.0.

I've been hesitating until now wondering whether the sim would run at the same speed as it does when installed on the internal HDD.

Another reservation would be that some payware add-ons don't allow you to target the installation path but instead simply state that fs9 cannot be found... there could be a workaround which I'm not aware of.

Any pointers, reassurances will be appreciated.

8 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
Bob (Traches) First Officer

I don't know an answer to the question about the addons, but I believe that USB 2.0 can transfer data faster than most hard drives can read it; You shouldn't see any hit in performance from installing on an external drive.

One thing you may want to do though-- Under properties for the drive there's an option to 'optimize for performance'. This sets up the drive so that you'll get better performance at the expense of potentially losing data if the drive accidentally came unplugged, or you were to lose power. (The default setting for windows is a safer option that doesn't use the drive's cache.)

Pro Member Trainee
Joseph Risenhoover (thevoice692001) Trainee

I have all of my FS programs installed either on an External HD or a SATA drive both reasons are for speed. Make sure the External you choose to do this with is a self powered External not one that is drawing its power from your tower. I have not found one add-on that I have not either been able to direct to the FS folder or finds it its-self. I also find it easier to put all my add-ons in a folder on the same drive that I have the programs installed on. This also helps with speed as everything is right in the same place and the computer does not have to look around for the files

Pro Member Trainee
Joseph Risenhoover (thevoice692001) Trainee

Another thing you can do is increase the size of your paging file. Not only on the main HD but on your slaves and externals as well. This really also helps with speed

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Thank you for your replies Gentlemen.

@thevoice692001 - The external HDD is self powered as I've stated in my OP so that wouldn't be an issue. Re the recalcitrant add-ons that just refuse to be pointed to another than the C Drive... could it be that I have (or had) some that you don't? 🙂
But that's not a major issue anyway, besides occasionally my mind tries and succeeds to play tricks on me.
I won't mess with the paging file just yet as I want to see how the default settings work out. When I'm ready to experiment with that, I'll give you a holler.

@Traches - Your statement that USB 2.0 can transfer data faster than most hard drives can read it surprises me because when I copy / paste larger files from internal to external or vice versa it seems to take forever... but again, it's just something I'll have to try and see what happens. I always trust your advice... to a degree Tongue
Which brings me to your suggestion to 'optimize for performance'. I wouldn't mind trying that for an hour or two to see if it makes a difference however, I can't find that Option In the Properties. What I have are the following Tabs:


Losing data due to a mishap wouldn't be an issue as I have everything backed up anyway.
So now I'm just wondering if I could attempt the installation on the external while still retaining the one on the internal... the reason for that might only make sense to me and I think I know the answer to that one: "Why don't you try and see what happens..."

Roger that 😛

Pro Member Trainee
Joseph Risenhoover (thevoice692001) Trainee

My motherboard and setup is different than most. I also use 2 power supplies to run my main computer in the setup.
And it very well could be that you have alot of add-ons I have not had the pleasure of collecting........yet
But I can only speak of what I know. What works for me may not work for others, and some parts of it may for some who knows, to many computers and too many possiblities.
I would love to see some new landing areas myself, Like the middle of the new Stadium in Seattle.

Pro Member First Officer
Bob (Traches) First Officer

So... I definitely just put my foot in my mouth.

Spent a little time with google, USB 2.0 has a raw transfer rate of 480Mb/s, and it seems that most of the decent hard drives on newegg do 3GB/s. Embarassed

Remind me to make sure I know what I'm talking about before giving sage advice... though To be fair, I did only say "I'm pretty sure" 😎

Anyway, as far as optimizing for performance-- I don't have an external hard drive around to play with and figure out the answer, but I found this on a different website:

There are some additional settings under Hardware Device Manager that may improve HDD performance in Windows by enabling 'advance performance option'. You can get to the setting ,by going to: Device Manager expanding Disk Drives, selecting properties of one of the listed HDD, click on Policies and select 'Optimize for Performance'. For IDE and SATA drives you may find additional checkboxes: 'Enable write caching on the disk' and 'Enable advanced performance'.

Let me know if it helps!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Yes Sir, it certainly helped finding those settings. I knew I'd seen them before somewhere way back in murky history but figured I'd let you do the work and put me in the right direction 😛
After reading several articles dealing with the subject I'd rather stay on the safe side i.e. keep the default setting which is "Optimize for quick removal" instead of changing to "Optimize for performance". Apparently you can also lose your data as a result of a blue screen or an incorrectly shut down computer which does happen on the odd occasion. I wasn't concerned about the drive becoming accidentally unplugged or losing power as you originally suggested.

BTW, in the absence of an external HDD for you to play around with, you can use any USB Flash drive, plug it in and then go into those Device Manager Settings - same principle.

Right, time for quotes:

... though To be fair, I did only say "I'm pretty sure"

Now THAT didn't bother me at all, there's always room for error... what I did find alarming was what you REALLY said: "...but I believe that USB 2.0..."
--an indication perhaps that you might aspire to a career in politics? Politicians use that I believe whenever they haven't got a clue what they're talking about Twisted Evil

So... I definitely just put my foot in my mouth. here's a time-tested remedy to get that foot taste out of your mouth 😀

Pro Member First Officer
Bob (Traches) First Officer

Hahaha, And I've always been a believer that we need fewer politicians in this world...

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