flash-key has greatly speeded up my HTPC

Soldato
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Just thought Id share this to the HTPC buffs out there:

Win7 32bit, Windows Media Center.

Using a flash-key or RAM to store the TempRec files when watching hdtv/hd film files, has improved the video recovery time when pausing/picture searching etc.
Video recovery time = picture searching through videos (WMC does this by 30second increments).
When using the hard-drive before (even quad-raid) there was a slight delay after picture searching & with a single hard drive this is worse.

Using a 16gig flash-key to store the temp video data has reduced this slight delay to zero! Plus will be reducing wear on the hard-drive.
Alternatively, system RAM could be used, but early testing has shown WMC using upto 2gig temp space. Although the 40min buffer can be changed.

If using system RAM, then ramdisk software must be used to create a RAM-drive. Such as QSoft_RAMDisk, Free Ramdisk.

Oh, I bought the PNY 16gig flash key from a local store for £28 & its reported to have a 10mb/s speed but testing has shown it to be able write at 29mb/s ? huh...

Ps. darn, I just noticed a 16gig flash-key is cheaper at ocuk lol.
 
Soldato
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Thanks for the tip. Generally ReadyBoost makes little noticeable difference in normal conditions but looks like you might have found a use for it. ;)
 
Soldato
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Might help out my EeeBox which has trouble seeking in W7MC under Windows 7 32-bit I guess I can test it with a somewhat smaller memory stick to start with, it won't play HD content anyway.

How do you relocate the TempRec anyway?
 
Don
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this isn't readyboost, I've read about it before

care to share the link with us mate? always looking for ways to improve Media Centre
 
Soldato
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Ive learned a lot about WMC from this site:

The command to use another drive as a TempRec path is:

Open a command prompt as administrator by typing “cmd” into the start menu.

Now enter the following commands:

cd C:\Users\Public\Recorded TV

then

mklink /d temprec D:\ (replacing D:\ with the location of your new RAMDisk drive)


To revert back to eg C:, first cd where the current temp path is then mlink.


I use 32bit for compatability, eg extra visual effects when playing music in WMC + 64bit is not required for the minimul tasks of WMC unless using system RAM as a ramdisk.

Ive just started to notice a problem whilst watching hdtv, as the picture freezes for a second every few minutes, which has started since using a flash-key, so I presume theres a glitch with the data-flow to the flash-key. Ive tried formatting the key with different cluster sizes etc but the problem still persists.
Maybe its my particular flash-key (rated 10mb/sec) or using the USB interface?
I may try an external hard-drive as a comparison...
 
Last edited:
Soldato
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Think I found the hdtv freezing problem:

When the key is used in a front USB slot theree was 1 freeze in 10min, compared to 1 freeze every 3 mins in a rear slot before.

As the only other device in the front USB port is an IR receiver (low bandwidth), I presume the flash-key requires as much USB bandwidth as possible?

Now Im getting the best out the USB slot its time to test different filesystems / cluster sizes.
 
Soldato
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Yes thats the article :)

As far as I can tell, picture searching hd mkv videos seams faster.

The TempRec folder seams to be storing 498mb / 997mb tmp files when watching tv, upto 5gig Ive noticed so far.

Later today i'll test if these tmp files are 'in use' when playing video files, as this will proove if the flash-key is being used as a buffer when playing video files.
 
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