Trainz/Setting up your Trainz

Fundamentals for Trainz Trainees

Introductory Trainz — page by page instruction
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Setting things upEdit

Taking control of your Computer's resources
This article is about tweaking Windows for Trainz.
This Trainz Tutorial image is:
How-to configure Windows for displaying multiple folders in separate processes.
* This setup and skill is necessary to maintaining Trainz assets, and repairing faulty content when one must frequently refer to other content folders contents (files) to fix a similar non-updated asset.

Trainz can run under sub-optimal conditions, but setting your version(s) up for maximum efficiency will pay big dividends in the time you don't wait for things to happen. For starters, you don't want to install Trainz on the same drive as Windows. Or at least, not on the same drive that Windows and other applications use for caches, swap files, and virtual memory. If you are stuck with only one hard drive, then you can't do anything better until you can add a drive or two. These things can be examined in several ways, but the easiest is to use the CMD mode and the SET command. Type ⊞ Win+R then C+M+D+↵ Enter. You should get a command (pseudo-DOS screen API) open with the prompt reflecting the directory folder Windows thinks you are in.

  1. For practice, type CD \+↵ Enter and Windows will put you in the C:\ (root) directory; the prompt should now be different.
  2. Next, enter SET (i.e. type SET then press ↵ Enter). Your astonishing aptitude and diligence will give you a whole screenful of information.
  3. Of interest, are the environment variables: PATH, TMP, and TEMP; the last two often point the same directory.
  4. Getting ahead of needs, instead of writing those thing down, enter 'SET...> SET-VALS.txt', where the periods ('.') each represent a blank space (padding for the next step)
  5. Now type 'Notepad' F3, and line will show 'Notepad SET-VALS.txt', and if it does, then hit ↵ Enter. You can now study the output of SET in the fairly useless Notepad.exe window that just opened on your computer.
  6. ALT-TAB back to the CMD window and then Enter 'DIR'
  7. The C root folder will show mainly other sub-folders, but this is a skill you'll want.
  8. Type [F3] then add /b ... see the difference? The later switch lists only names, and like SET, the '>' operator can be used to output listed data to a text file.
  9. If you're daring, try entering 'DIR /s' or 'DIR /b/s' (but prepare to be waiting a bit) [Ahem, obviously THAT ONE needs to be targeted a bit better! We'll get there later.]
  10. When back to the CMD window prompt, Enter 'EXIT'... the CMD window should close.

What you have learned is two fold:

  1. The PATH variable shows folders where you can install a utility such as the PEVtools or FNR.exe that will aid you in your Trainz asset maintenance.
  2. The TMP and TEMP storage are indicating a drive you should avoid setting up Trainz on.

Why? Because drive to drive file transfers are about 20-50 times faster than moving data on the same drive. When you swap applications windows, if you've too little RAM memory, Windows will swap out applications memory blocks, and that will go far faster if the application and the TEMP folders are on different drives. Trainz is a memory hog, so switching from Trainz to something else, such as browsers or email, a spreadsheet, etc. is a foregone conclusion. You want to set up so that slows you down as little as possible.