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Neil Pate

NI Stuff takes up too much space on my SSD

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So the ProgramData\National Instruments directory is getting very big on my disk, approaching 80 GB with the Update Service and installers (MDF). This along with with 40 GB in the NIFPGA directory is getting a bit silly.

 

My primary disk is a nice fast SSD, but it is not huge. As such I want to move as much of this stuff off the c:\ as possible.

 

I have moved the Update Service stuff onto bigger (mechanical) HDD, this is possible by changing the preferences of the NI Update Service. I don't yet know if this has actually worked, as I manually moved all the files after changing the preferences.

 

Does anybody know if it is possible to move the NIFPGA and ProgramData\National Instruments\MDF somewhere else?

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I have the same situation. I moved the MDF and Update folder to a secondary drive and have not noticed any problems so far. That was about 2 months ago. I left the NIFPGA, since in place since I figured it was used for compiling.

 

I just looked at the ProgramData\National Instruments\MDF\ProductCache and it's sitting at 800MB, as opposed to the 15GB it was before, so it seems to be repopulating.

 

Anyone know what the MDF folder is for?

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I have the same situation. I moved the MDF and Update folder to a secondary drive and have not noticed any problems so far. That was about 2 months ago. I left the NIFPGA, since in place since I figured it was used for compiling.

 

I just looked at the ProgramData\National Instruments\MDF\ProductCache and it's sitting at 800MB, as opposed to the 15GB it was before, so it seems to be repopulating.

 

Anyone know what the MDF folder is for?

 

I think the MDF directory is used when you build an installer which needs additional components. LabVIEW first looks in the MDF directory to see if a copy of the other component installer is there.

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I think the MDF directory is used when you build an installer which needs additional components. LabVIEW first looks in the MDF directory to see if a copy of the other component installer is there.

I always wondered where this additional installer stuff was located.  Thanks for the info, I think I may blow my MDF away at some point since it looks like it has all kinds of additional installers for versions of LabVIEW I rarely make builds with.  For comparison my NIFPGA is 30GB, but my MDF is only 15GB.  LabVIEW 2011 - 2014 installed.

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I converted C:\ProgramData\National Instruments\MDF (and other large folders that don't need to be on an SSD) into a symbolic link that points to a folder on a HDD. That way, the files don't take up space on my SSD, but programs can still find the files if necessary. No configuration required.

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/en-au/library/cc753194.aspx

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Wow, Microsoft finally reinvented the symlink - amazing!

Shame it only "Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista"

Vista? Seriously?

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Great idea, I will give it a try.

 

I think this also supports Win 7 even though it is not mentioned.

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Oh, you're right.

I was looking for the mklink.exe, which doesn't exist because it's built into cmd.

 

And it appears to be working as long as you're admin

Edited by ThomasGutzler

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Wow, Microsoft finally reinvented the symlink - amazing!

Shame it only "Applies To: Windows 8, Windows Server 2008, Windows Server 2012, Windows Vista"

Vista? Seriously?

 

Actually NTFS supported symlink like features since its early inceptions, but there were only a few very obscure Windows APIs that allowed to create them properly. Recent NTFS versions improved on that a bit and Microsoft also added support for them into the shell.

 

For all practical purposes support for symlinks in anything earlier than Windows 7 and 2008  most likely isn't of any interest anyhow since they are all unsupported OSes by now.

 

The remark about supported OSes for a certain functionality is anyhow often misleading in MSDN. For one the documents tend to get outdated (notice the absence of Windows 7 which is more or less simply Vista but in a usable form) while on the other hand Microsoft tends to also update the documentation regularly changing support information to only mention the latest versions, even though that API or functionality really existed already much earlier. Most Windows APIs on MSDN claim to be supported since Windows 7 by now even if they already existed in Windows 95.

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The remark about supported OSes for a certain functionality is anyhow often misleading in MSDN. For one the documents tend to get outdated (notice the absence of Windows 7 which is more or less simply Vista but in a usable form) while on the other hand Microsoft tends to also update the documentation regularly changing support information to only mention the latest versions, even though that API or functionality really existed already much earlier. Most Windows APIs on MSDN claim to be supported since Windows 7 by now even if they already existed in Windows 95.

 

The strange thing about the mklink document is that it mentions Vista, and 8, but not 7 which clearly sits in between the two. Surely just a documentation error I think?

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Just be careful with Symlinks.  Many Microsoft tools don't realise that these aren't real file or folder locations.

 

You can force MSBackup to its knees by putting a recursive NTFS symbolic link from C:\Randomfolder to c:\  The backup program will keep indexing the files until you press cancel.  At least this was true of all versions I had ever used, I haven't tested in Win 7 or later.

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I always used Junction back in Windows XP days to have symbolic paths.  I had forgotten about that tool until now.  Glad to see it is part of the OS.

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I have this type of setup too; my C drive is a 160GB SSD, and my D drive is a 2TB HDD. Understandably, I store the vast majority of my files on drive D. And for me, the NIFPGA folder appeared on drive D without me having to do anything. I did install LabVIEW on that drive; did anyone here install it on their SSD?

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I have this type of setup too; my C drive is a 160GB SSD, and my D drive is a 2TB HDD. Understandably, I store the vast majority of my files on drive D. And for me, the NIFPGA folder appeared on drive D without me having to do anything. I did install LabVIEW on that drive; did anyone here install it on their SSD?

 

I install everything on my SSD (240 GB). Especially LabVIEW; I switch between quite a few different projects in many different versions of LV, so I really like it to load nice and snappily. I would definitely prefer to offload the NIFPGA directory somewhere else though, as the SSD is not helping at all for that stuff.

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I have this type of setup too; my C drive is a 160GB SSD, and my D drive is a 2TB HDD. Understandably, I store the vast majority of my files on drive D. And for me, the NIFPGA folder appeared on drive D without me having to do anything. I did install LabVIEW on that drive; did anyone here install it on their SSD?

 

Yes I installed all my LabVIEW versions into the C: SSD. But then I got a 500GB SSD Mini-PCI card in my notebook besides the 500GB hybrid HD  :lol:

 

Sorry guys, but couldn't let this pass!

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Yes I installed all my LabVIEW versions into the C: SSD. But then I got a 500GB SSD Mini-PCI card in my notebook besides the 500GB hybrid HD  :lol:

 

Sorry guys, but couldn't let this pass!

 

Pah that's nothing..., my Oculus Rift dev kit should be arriving soon so I will soon be able to code in one more dimension than you  :P

 

(I wish...)

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At my previous company I was "upgraded" to a 64GB SSD drive.  This was when standard sized SATA SSDs were quite expensive.  That puppy was always on the brink of being full.  I had something like 6 different versions of LabVIEW installed at once, and for fun I wrote a batch file that would launch them all at once.  It was something like 4 seconds to be at the getting started screen on all versions.  It was glorious.  Later I was upgraded to a hybrid drive and enjoyed the extra space.  

 

The job market has been going towards laptop only for a while now.  I think the last work desktop I used for my main development work was 2006.  Now you get a laptop and you install all you need on that HDD.  That is unless you have a mini-PCI slot like some elitists.

 

EDIT:  No SSD now but I have been touting a I7 with 16GB of ram for the last 2 years.  The power brick is huge.

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