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Aevans0001

Best Way to use Launchbox with NAS system

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Ok So I have launchbox locally installed onto my win10 machine and previously had my images and roms set to my D drive.  This was great until i looked at the amount of room the images was taking up.  So i decided to move everything to the nas, which gives me the added benefit to playing games from multiple pc.  The problem is that after setting up launchbox, the image population takes forever.  I have tried maxing out my cache to 4 gb.  It still takes about 15 seconds to change games. Would symbolic links fix my issue?  if so where would i put the links and for what?  

 

Any help appreciated

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I don't think putting images on your NAS drive is going to get you the performance you are looking for, and symbolic links won't help.

Are the images taking up the large amount of space, or is it the roms?  I think roms on your NAS is fine - but I would keep the images locally.

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I'm trying to setup multiple computers.  I would like to have the same setup throughout house. If I have to buy multiple licenses that is fine. The images take up a lot of room!!!! I have found multiple versions of the same image, same size, same everything but named -1 and -2.  no idea why even if I refresh or I scan for images why it would simply create a copy of the same image.

 

I am now testing using Launchbox on nas with roms on nas and images on local computer.

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If it helps, I use a NAS set up.  I realized that whatever files I put on there are going to take some lag.  The approach that I took though is putting ROMs on the NAS instead of pictures or meta data, similar to what you're trying next.  You'd think that that would impact performance of the game and that's the last thing you'd want to put on your NAS, but pleasantly, I learned otherwise! All it does is add a few seconds of initial load time which I don't mind, plus ROMs/games are generally bigger than anything else.  For my main machine, I've kept copies of all images on it and I have LB read pictures off those local files, so performance of LB/BB is well, but takes up only a few GB overall.

I'm interested to see what other NAS setups people use!

 

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I don't use a NAS I have a Windows Server 2016 Essentials machine and I have alot of my ROMs on there and they load great across many different computers. I would 2nd the suggestion of using the ROMs and not the images from your network resource.

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Would this work?  Thinking of having my xml files from launchbox (platforms and whatever else i can) located on my nas drive, that way all my launchboxes would have all the same configs automatically, using symbolic links.  The biggest problem i see, is on this computer i have it installed on the d drive, other computers i would have installed on the c drive.  

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I have my all my launchbox images and roms on my NAS.  I do have a delay but it is only 1-2 seconds, the only real lag is when a large disk based image needs to decompressed.  You have to be very wary of your network components.. I am using an WRT ACM3200 with a QNAP 669L.  I am looking into link aggregation/bonding to speed things up.. not sure if its going to help

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On 1/3/2018 at 2:23 AM, pofo14 said:

I don't think putting images on your NAS drive is going to get you the performance you are looking for, and symbolic links won't help. 

 

Quick question regarding symbolic links....All my image data is on a external HDD, I created a symbolic link of my LB cache to my C drive, which is a SSD. I was under the impression that when I run LB the data is read from my SSD thus speeding up load times. Is this correct? as you state that symbolic links won't help.

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I have a NAS. I use it to consolidate data from the pcs of my house (9 of them) and I use CRASHPLAN as a backup. Most of my pcs have only one SSD and them I map the shares from the drive as letters on windows. I have a windows app to keep everything synced with the server (goodsync).

I am building my Arcade cabinet. I also have a laptop and a raspberry pi with Batocera. So, the way I use here is all the roms within the folders as they are required by batocera. My RPI3b+ access the files from the nas (bios, saves, roms).

So, my cabinet will house the system, pc, GPU and SSD to load the images. All my pcs have acces to my files on the nas, as I have this shares:

Letter Assingment on my pcs (some have all of them, some only a few. This is to keep things consistent). Remember: all of this, most of the time are drives mapped from my NAS. It has 4x4TB drives. Only in some cases I have the files on the pc (lightroom and pictures I have multiple copies in case of theft and loss).

C - OS Drive;

D - Documents - Onedrive, Dropbox, Launchbox + BigBox folder;

E,F (DVD drive, F virtual drive);

G - Downloads

H - Hyperspin (testing it)

I,J, K (usb sticks, drives, USB Drive / card Reader, etc)

L - Lightroom Catalogs

M - Media (mp3, movies, series, animes)

P - Pictures

R - Roms

S - Softwares (the rom folder is located inside this one in the nas).

Z - Backup (to access from my android phone in case i need to backup data and I am lazy to access them from the pc)

So, this is my way of using a nas. I have tested accessing games from multiple sources at the same time and as I use cable to my gaming rigs, the lag is pretty non-existent, as most roms are in the 700mg range (ps1), the gigabit cable can handle it. And the server is an HP Proliant microserver 40l (intel atom, 2 gb of dd3 ram), using openmediavault 4.0, some dockers (crashplan, lychee, transmission, heimdall) and an extra nic.

 

I am using the launchbox/bigbos in the arcade cabinet, syncing the image on my onedrive. So if I need to add something, I can use my laptop and everthing syncs smootly. If i need to travel and I wanto to game, i just set the drive letter of my usb drive to be on R and I can have my roms from there, no big deal (I tested this holiday as I went to my farm for  couple of days (no internet there).

 

That is it. Sorry for any mistakes, My English is not that good.

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@Lukeyboy67 The problem with your setup is that you are still using your external drive to load your images, not your ssd (as far as I understand).  I know that when I tried having my images on my nas it ran really slowly, and not worth the extra time it took.  I also learned from my most recent experience, there is such thing as too many symbolic links. I am attaching some of the batch files i created to automatically create the symbolic links I currently use.  I will include what I use for Launchbox, Rocketlauncher, and MAME.  I also have other emulators.  Basically what I wanted to do was have certain emulators on my D drive on both my Arcade and my regular computer, yet have my settings be found on the nas.  This way both PCs have the same exact  user experience.  Run the files as admin

 

@peterrrjr

This sounds like a great idea for my images, currently I have them in the images directory on my launchbox folder, and I have to manually copy them over to each pc.  How did you setup the cloud service to work the best?

 

 

Rocket Launcher symbolic Links.bat

Launchbox Symbolic Links.bat

Mame Symbolic Links.bat

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3 hours ago, Aevans0001 said:

 

@peterrrjr

This sounds like a great idea for my images, currently I have them in the images directory on my launchbox folder, and I have to manually copy them over to each pc.  How did you setup the cloud service to work the best?

I am using onedrive for it. Got that family subscription so I had one account free, so I created a dedicated user for gaming purposes. So far, it is running smootly, but keep in mind that the way I did, (all the emulators in a folder inside the launchbox folder), the Emulators are syncing configs. This can give headaches as my cabinet has a different GPU (both are using i7 7700k as base system - 8gb on the arcade side)...

I am in the process of creating a share to hold my emulators and point launchbox to this as a drive letter.  So, I can create a folder in the NAS (EG: emulators). Then I can create a subfolder for each machine (laptop, Arcade, desktop) and let each one have its own emulators config. All I have to do is to map the drive letter accordingly and keep everything else the same. (EG: I can tell launchbox that the emulators are in the "Q" drive letter. The Q would be a drive map to the "Nas\Videogames\Emulators\Arcade" for my cabinet and "Nas\Videogames\Emulators\Laptop or Desktop, you got the idea). All the listings, and configs would emais the same.

I will need to have all of it reconfigured for some systems on each machine, but at least these problems will be solved.  Or Nvidia could sponsor me and give me a pair of 1070Tis for my arcade and desktop hehe.

Keep in mind also, while using onedrive, you can only open it on another PC after it have synchronized the changes. If you open it and launch a geme it will alter the counter and if you have the system opened elsewhere, you can get some trouble. For you guys in the 1st world this wont be a problem, as your internet speed is good. Here, I have to copy them to my usb and seed them to onedrive to speed up the process sometimes.

 

 

 

 

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So correctly what I have.

1 Nas (4x4TB) Total 11TB

1 Box account (50GB)

1 Amazon Drive (1 TB)

Multiple computers and laptops with C and D drives

Cdrive is for windows and random emulator user profiles (using symbolic links)

D Drive is for LB/BB, Rocketlauncher, Some emulators, All image files (Boxes, SS, etc), Windows games

Z drive is NAS and I have All Roms, All Videos, All Manuals, All Music, All Configuration files

By not using a backup software to backup my settings, I have no need to make sure that the files have been updated,  it is instant.  

 

Currently I have CEMU, CXBX, Pinball FX2, Xenia, Retroarch, and MAME running from my D drive with the settings being on the Z: drive.

For frontends I use LB/BB and Rocketlauncher (although shortly I hope to get rid of RL and just use LB/BB from the D Drive

I have symbolic links from the default folders to my Nas drive.  For instance I have a symbolic link from d:\games\Launchbox\Games\ --------> z:\videogames\Games also one from d:\games\launchbox\manuals ----------> z:\videogames\manuals

 

This way there is less configuration to do in launchbox, everything is default.  

 

Since @peterrrjr post I now have my images in a symbolic link from d:\games\launchbox\images ---------------> d:\cloud\amazon drive\Launchbox images.   Which automatically backs up to my amazon drive with unlimited photo storage, and in turn also sync to my nas drive under z:\amazondrive and to my arcade to d:\cloud\amazon drive\launchox images.  Which again means less configuration as all pc machines are the same. If I add images to one pc, it will automatically sync to the other pc within minutes.

 

If you would like any of y other batch files, let me know.

 

 

 

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On 1/6/2018 at 5:45 PM, DOS76 said:

I don't use a NAS I have a Windows Server 2016 Essentials machine and I have alot of my ROMs on there and they load great across many different computers. I would 2nd the suggestion of using the ROMs and not the images from your network resource.

i've got some old HDD's and plan to buy some big drives but what type of silo to use for em has been a tough decision.

i've played around with freenas on an old pc but its not exactly plug n play and does have a learning curve to it that can take extra time to get setup. I considered getting a synology 4bay for like $289.

@DOS76  doing a window server 2019 sounds enticing. i'd like to know more about setting something like you're using but i probably wont go as 'godzilla' as you have in terms of footprint (ie prolly not more than a 5-6 old drives that i have)  - would this be something that could be done on the cheap? and what about low power? would it have to have a big footprint? i plan for it to be out in the  main room (not hiding in a closet)  so small and not ugly would be nice. The more drives will be counter productive to 'small' so i may have to let that go to some extent. i guess i just  need to shop for the right case & mobo. i understand there are "nas" cases, rack mount type cases etc that might be what i should look for... appreciate any referrals, tips.

my storage needs would be general backup and storage access for all in the house (would be great to have secure external access as well) and possibly for ROMS though i'm still torn about whether to use a NAS/Server setup for my retro games or just max out the storage on the pc its on &  possibly supplement with external drives.

i was gonna get a 4 bay usb caddy but second guessed that hearing of issues with windows changing drive letter to the drives and thus breaking for launchbox? 

anyway i appreciate further tips or thoughts about what could be a winning combo.

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On 9/4/2019 at 9:17 PM, zoemorn said:

i was gonna get a 4 bay usb caddy but second guessed that hearing of issues with windows changing drive letter to the drives and thus breaking for launchbox? 

anyway i appreciate further tips or thoughts about what could be a winning combo.

I have never heard of this.   Windows doesn't really assign the drive letters to the nas.  You assign them by mapping them to your pc.  Some people have to create a scheduled task to reassign the mapped. drive on every reboot,  but not much of an issue.   Now windows had problems with assigning controllers (joysticks) different Id #s, but that had nothing to do with nas.  I live my little nas device, I have the readynas 214.  I would suggest something a little more powerful for plex and movies, but overall very happy with it. 

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12 hours ago, Aevans0001 said:

I have never heard of this.   Windows doesn't really assign the drive letters to the nas.  You assign them by mapping them to your pc.  Some people have to create a scheduled task to reassign the mapped. drive on every reboot,  but not much of an issue.   Now windows had problems with assigning controllers (joysticks) different Id #s, but that had nothing to do with nas.  I live my little nas device, I have the readynas 214.  I would suggest something a little more powerful for plex and movies, but overall very happy with it. 

Thanks, i've purchased an old server box with lots of bays to serve as a nas though i think i'm gonna try win 2019 server on it first for grins (hopefully grins).  I could prolly have been safe with a USB drive caddy and utilized persistent mapping  in some way.. but theyre kinda pricey! for multiple drive bays on a caddy they were reaching near the same price as a NAS or server box and often with 'iffy' reviews as to quality/consistency  (tho realizing there are pros and cons to everything)

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@peterrrjr With all your roms being served up from the NAS, where does performance/responsiveness/time to load, hit a wall? Do you serve up GameCube, Dreamcast, Wii roms in a timely manner?  Are there some platforms you just host locally?

I have a Lenovo m93p, Intel 4750T with a 256 SSD, 16gb RAM, and Gigabit Ethernet connection to a Synology 918+ with plenty of space.

I prefer to to have hard links (junctions) from my local Launchbox's Game, Video, etc folders to the NAS folders. Thanks for the advice!

Edited by stevebor1

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So similarly, i was originally wanting to have my media on a NAS (win 2019 server in my case) and system install on my gaming pc.  initially it was going ok, i edited xml files and whatnot but when re-importing roms i guess i didnt do it right because LB started pulling the media to the local drive instead of the NAS so i'm rethinking for a simpler process.

So for the simplest setup for being able to refresh media or when refreshing ROMs or importing new systems, would it be better to install LB to the NAS fully, and then install LB again on the laptop i want to actually play from, do the xml file edits to  point it to the LB install that is on the NAS.   So this way, for any rom or media updates i'd do that on the NAS so that the media scraping and game updates are more straightforward?

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how are you liking 2019 I'm thinking of upgrading to it?

 

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I personally keep LB local and just put the ROMs on my server.

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