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blankseplocked Improve security and stability aswell as eve performance (guide)
 
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Thommy
Posted - 2006.10.01 20:15:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Thommy on 29/04/2007 12:52:21
* PART 1
Guide for fixing problems with eve installations (and some external issues aswell)

I have written this guide to be an extra help for people who experience problems when playing eve.
These problems can be anything from often disconnects (DC's), crash to desktops (CTD's) to (some) mysterious unexplainable lag / long load times and responsive related issues.

Before starting with any of the fixes an proper backup should always be made regardless whatever is actually being performed.
This will help in cases you may experience an bad update or just generall loss of data.

To explain the different parts in this guide below is the meaning of the terms used for describing an specific topic.
ADVANCED means performing actions which may make changes inside registry nad/or perform other actions which cannot give an guaranteed effect.
NORMAL means performing actions which does only affect eve itself.
DANGEROUS means performing actions which can result in losses of complete computer / hardware systems if not performed properly.

For the advanced changes it is recommended to make backups of your registry and create an system restore point (how to's below)
Your windows register
hotlink url: Registry backups
Above URL target: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/322756

Perform an restore point
hotlink url: System restore)
Above URL target: http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp/using/helpandsupport/learnmore/systemrestore.mspx

Backup your complete operating system
hotlink url: right backup lite
Above URL target: http://rightbackup.systweak.com/download.php


For the normal changes it is only recommended to backup your eve game data (how to below)
To make an backup of your eve game data locate the folder named cache inside your eve installation, zip or rar this folder and name the compressed file to the current date like "eve cache backup 1-1-2006" without the quotes.


First we will start with the most logical point, an healthy system (optionally but advised, ADVANCED)
Some systems may become slower over time, this can have nummerous causes like:
- Spy / adware which causes extra load on system resources
- Virus infections which causes corruption in files and / or may serieusly compromise your systems security
- Broken drivers


Removeing virusses, worms, spy/adware and other malware.
This is where special tools come into play like virus scanners and antispyware tools.
Everyone can give his / her own recommendations because everyone has his own oppinion, but on a general note everyone agrees on these things are bad left unattended!
We will start with an antivirus program (note if you are not sure u allready have a tool like this installed make sure to check with someone who can tell you!).
It is very important to keep this program up to date so the prefference here goes to an type of virus scanner which has free updates.
The choice i would recommend is avast (target url: http://www.avast.com), this choice because it is paid for corporate use BUT its free for personall use which means an stronger backbone support since it is financed!
Installation instructions can be found on their site, but make sure you download the free avast! 4 Home Edition.

After downloading, installing and (freely) registering avast you will have updates on a regular notice.
This updates your virus definitions which will identify many different malware programs.
Make sure you run a scan manually on "full system scan" at least once a week to keep your system clean!

However 1 program is not the catch all tool because some others can be missed (especially adware and spyware which is mostly not covered by virus scanners).

Edit: added free backup program & changed topic title

Thommy
Posted - 2006.10.01 20:15:00 - [2]
 

Edited by: Thommy on 01/10/2006 20:19:01
* PART 2

To remove spyware and adware i would recommend hitman pro (URL target http://www.hitmanpro.nl/hitmanpro/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3&Itemid=9)
NOTE hitman pro is of dutch origin but it also has an english setting.
I recommend this program because it includes multiple anti spyware tools and runs and updates them automaticly with the press of a single button.


Another cause that can give problems on an generall eve installation is the useage of the wrong drivers which cause invisible errors which then result in crashes or malfunctions.
These can be related to many circumstances but the most found one is bad drivers.
The advise for the best performance is to update your drivers to the latest version which is supported by your hardware (i will not go into deep detail since there are many different drivers and your computer / hardware manual should cover at least some basics of this).

Also when installing new drivers your old drivers should be removed properly or else you can get many unforseen problems or your OS will not even boot in the worse case.


After that has been done we come to the point of optimising ones eve installation (NORMAL)
- Junk files cluthering your system
- Defragmented disks

Eve uses cached files to store game data for faster access and less server resource consumption.
Just a few of these files are no problem but an large extensive collection can be quite an problem.
Eve will after time have more and more data in the cache directory the longer you play which consists of game (error) logs, avatar data and various other files.
Not only this but the continues patching will also cause unexpected problems.
It also gives even more junk when autopatching since autopatcher stores the whole files inside the cache directory aswell.
You can notice these events by random crashes, long access times when you startup eve, generall poor performance and as an direct result maybe even lag or complete connection loss (DC) or crash to desktop (CTD).

The easy short term fix is just to make an backup of your eve cache directory and then removeing everything except the settings folder (and everything inside it) and the prefs.ini file.
The harder solution is also better, this means going to the download section of the eve online homesite and browsing to the client section.
Now click to download the newest possible FULL client (so you do have an clean installer without any patches).
Before installing make sure you backup your cache folder if not allready done and then you only keep the settings folder (and all contents in it) and the prefs.ini file.
Move this folder to an temporary location before uninstalling the eve client (outside the eve install folder) and then remove eve.
After uninstalling if it is not removed allready remove the eve install folder and run the newly downloaded client.
After it has been installed place the cache folder back inside the eve installation directory.

This should fix most issues, though some issues can remain like slow startup speeds of the client and laggy behaviour (when loading environments).
To improve the response times it is advised to defragment the disk you installed eve on and if possible even your operating system's disk if its not the same.
This will in some cases improve the speeds because some disks can get in very bad shape after long operation times.

EDIT: fixed url

Thommy
Posted - 2006.10.01 20:16:00 - [3]
 

Edited by: Thommy on 01/10/2006 20:30:21
* PART 3
Hardware optimalisations (DANGEROUS)
NOTE that also old / outdated firmware / bios versions can cause numerous problems (these can be updated aswell, but unless you know what you are doing this is better left to someone who has enough knowledge to perform these tasks).
When flashing the bios / firmware of your hardware do note you HAVE to reinstall the OS completely from scratch or else you can have really weird behaviour because of mismatching registry information, changed paths, changed hardware calls etc.

In case you wish to test out to flash your hardware be advised that if something goes wrong while flashing you can end up with permanently destroying the hardware if it doesn't have any safe-guards.
The only things advised for flashing are Routers / modems used for network / internet access and motherboards, other hardware shouldn't be flashed unless indicated otherwise by the company which produced it or when it wasn't working correctly and flashing is the solution mentioned by the producer / reseller of the product.

EDIT: edited the word safe-guards because of strange provinicy filter :)

Thommy
Posted - 2006.10.05 05:35:00 - [4]
 

Edited by: Thommy on 05/10/2006 05:44:44
An extra addition i make because i suspect some additional settings that should be made because of the changes that happened at build 4557 (also see these patch notes).

I suspect that because of higher security settings (inside the client which are non controllable) on how the client handles it's connection and keeps in contact with the server it may be responsible for alot of login problems, increased slowness problems and disconnects.
This might require an "dedicated" port to be open (eve's default port) to work as fast as people where used to (unless you have had problems before).
Because i cannot confirm myself really because i have had no trouble with stable connections, logging in and playing it would be great if people that do have the problems could first go trough the steps to improve their connection (which does mean flashing your modem / router to latest version, this can very well be the primary cause for many people).

WORD OF CAUTION: If you do not know how to flash or think you should better not then go to someone who does know and if you do not know of such an person go to an local computer shop / reseller which provides customer support.
Also be advised when trying yourselve that if anything goes wrong while flashing (powerfailure, flash progress hangs / locks up) it may result in the router / modem being unusable unless it has proper safe-guards.

After this access your router / modem settings and try to do all the mentioned steps:
- Lookup your computers given IP address
This can be done by going to start, run and then type CMD in the prompt box.
After that you get an dos box where you type IPCONFIG and it gives back your IP (example 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.1) Write this down aswell as the "default gateway IP".
NOTE that if you connect directly trough your provider your IP address is the the same address you connect to the internet with which may not have any config options (default gateway is the same as your IP).

- Access the "default gateway" address by going to your browser and typeing in the default gateway's IP (if you have multi PC / Local IP with an router / switch)
This will (if configured to do so) prompt you with an password box (lookup manual if standard passwords do not work).
You will now be an an configuration page (if the router / modem has any, some dont).

- Look for anything mentioning "default lease time" and if possible set this either to unlimited with 0 (zero) or if it states zero to be a 1 day / X hours interval try 65535 or if that is not accepted 32000 as lease time (that should be plenty of time).
Remember this though if you now suddenly get problems after some time after rebooting / restarting your computer a few times it's best to put this back after disabling and re-enabling the router / switch 1 time (to release lost leases so you can access everything normal again).

- After that look for any option that handles port forwarding and do the following:
Enable one port forward and let it forward to your machines current IP address (example 192.168.1.1 or 10.0.0.2).
Then select which protocol you want to forward (the choice is TCP / UDP or both, select both).
After that to forward the proper port for eve you will have to type the eve port number in the appropiate box which is 26000 (twenty-six-thousend, correct me if im wrong).

This may increase your eve online speeds, it also may not because i do not exactly know or can trial and error with this because i do not have any of the problems.

Edit: some minor additions which better explain some options.

Grez
Neo Spartans
Laconian Syndicate
Posted - 2006.10.05 16:57:00 - [5]
 

Hitman pro is just bloatware, Adaware Se and Spybot S&D will get most, if not all spyware.

Milera
Gallente
The Scope
Posted - 2006.10.05 22:24:00 - [6]
 

Grez, I can personally attest to the falacity of that statement. Using Hitman Pro will catch almost everything. In fact, Hitman Pro just installs several different anti-spyware programs. Your statement about it merely shows your lack of understanding of the subject. At any rate, great guide. My only addition would be, "What constitutes an issue?" if a bug appears once for you, it isn't nececarily a reason to come screaming to the forums. if it happens every time you do X, then it's an issue.

Thommy
Posted - 2006.10.06 13:02:00 - [7]
 

Originally by: Grez
Hitman pro is just bloatware, Adaware Se and Spybot S&D will get most, if not all spyware.


It's always better to have more anti spyware in case off anything slipping by the first 2 of choice.
Anyway hitman manages everything like updates and optimal settings automaticly which in my eyes is an big advantage.
You cannot forget about updates, can turn it on when done with computer (and let it shut down computer afterwards) and it does some smaller tasks itself aswell like cleaning up temp files.
It's much safer then manual control where you may hit one or more buttons you wish you never clicked.

Grez
Neo Spartans
Laconian Syndicate
Posted - 2006.10.06 15:00:00 - [8]
 

Edited by: Grez on 06/10/2006 15:03:03
Originally by: Milera
Grez, I can personally attest to the falacity of that statement. Using Hitman Pro will catch almost everything. In fact, Hitman Pro just installs several different anti-spyware programs. Your statement about it merely shows your lack of understanding of the subject. At any rate, great guide. My only addition would be, "What constitutes an issue?" if a bug appears once for you, it isn't nececarily a reason to come screaming to the forums. if it happens every time you do X, then it's an issue.



I know what I'm talking about. You don't need every spyware scanner under the sun to catch things. It's bloatware because it has all those scanners, and it doesn't need them. It's also rather confusing to people who might not know about this sort of thing in general.

Hitman Pro installs several scanners like you say, but it also installs the general guarding protection on every suite, meaning disk access times are lowered, and disk que's highered, which can be a bad thing on someone's machine if it's already preforming sub-par. Installing two is more than enough, although each to their own.

Thommy
Posted - 2006.10.07 05:46:00 - [9]
 

Originally by: Grez
Edited by: Grez on 06/10/2006 15:03:03
Originally by: Milera
Grez, I can personally attest to the falacity of that statement. Using Hitman Pro will catch almost everything. In fact, Hitman Pro just installs several different anti-spyware programs. Your statement about it merely shows your lack of understanding of the subject. At any rate, great guide. My only addition would be, "What constitutes an issue?" if a bug appears once for you, it isn't nececarily a reason to come screaming to the forums. if it happens every time you do X, then it's an issue.



I know what I'm talking about. You don't need every spyware scanner under the sun to catch things. It's bloatware because it has all those scanners, and it doesn't need them. It's also rather confusing to people who might not know about this sort of thing in general.

Hitman Pro installs several scanners like you say, but it also installs the general guarding protection on every suite, meaning disk access times are lowered, and disk que's highered, which can be a bad thing on someone's machine if it's already preforming sub-par. Installing two is more than enough, although each to their own.


True it may be a bit overkill to install all of them with hitman as you are right with the additional protection tools enabled aswell (need to think of the people who barely can run eve alone).
The problem in these cases however often is that some people either forget about updates if it isn't done automaticly or are afraid to touch any of those options inside the antispyware program which may lead to it being used the wrong way and not doing much at all.

This however is the choice of anyone him/her self and affcourse is an prefference to one's own situation.
If you can afford the possible additional load then it's better to go for hitman, else do it on a on case base (i need this option, but do not need that walking trough them slowly).

Kazuo Ishiguro
House of Marbles
Posted - 2007.03.14 08:13:00 - [10]
 

I don't know too much about routers and networks in general, so perhaps someone could respond to this: how is port forwarding supposed to reduce chances of a dropped connection?

Andrue
Amarr
Posted - 2007.03.14 11:47:00 - [11]
 

Disk fragmentation should never be a direct cause of system instability. Handling fragmentation is a fundamental part of what file systems are supposed to do. Suggesting that fragmentation can cause problems is like suggesting that a ship sinks when placed in water Laughing

When processing large amounts of data requiring constant disk access some performance issues might be observed if fragmentation is very high. This is more likely to be an issue for primitive file systems like FAT and less likely with an advanced file based cache such as Windows typically uses with NTFS.

For a game it's unlikely that you'll ever see any significant performance issues relating to fragmentation because no interactive game is ever going to be that reliant on disk I/O. I suppose you might see it if you are desperately short of RAM but tbh the lack of RAM is going to be more significant.

Defragmenting doesn't do any harm on a properly functioning system but the risks of damage increase when performed on an unstable system. NTFS has transaction logging so is quite tolerant of file system operation failures but it's not immune to corruption caused by bad RAM crapping on data held in the cache. There are a number of technical reasons why I (as an ex-datarecovery engineer) would advise people never to defragment a disk unless they knew that the system was 100% tickety-boo :)

Baleorg
Gallente
Guys of Sarcasm
Posted - 2007.03.14 12:44:00 - [12]
 

some more tips&hints (well the original :-P ) can be found here :-P
[gm retrofire "is your clietn crashing" sticky in known issues]

Oblom
Minmatar
Southern Cross Empire
Posted - 2007.03.30 00:49:00 - [13]
 

One of the major problem in EVE is client's design flow that you can do nothing about. It's besides server side delays.

The flow is that it's a sigle threaded application that can't do 1.5 things at a time. Forget about 2 or more. Simple illustration. Try to open market browse window while in flight. The screen freezes. For several seconds. Same with any other operation that requires interaction with the server. Client just stops updating screen while waiting for host to respond. It heppens when you pass through gates or entering areas with a number of other ships.

And it has nothing to do with viruses, spyware or anything else. Client needs to be redesigned to fix it.

Thommy
Posted - 2007.04.29 12:35:00 - [14]
 

Originally by: Kazuo Ishiguro
I don't know too much about routers and networks in general, so perhaps someone could respond to this: how is port forwarding supposed to reduce chances of a dropped connection?


Forwarding the propper ports can help to speed up communications between the eve application and the eve servers (it doesn't need to alternate trough a different port to connect directly).
This means there are less handover steps where something could go wrong, the less actions needed to actually perform an connection the better it is.
This is also true for total connection provided from you, trough several isp / backbones towards ccp, the less there are the less chance something can die along the way.


Originally by: Andrue
Disk fragmentation should never be a direct cause of system instability. Handling fragmentation is a fundamental part of what...


Indeed disk fragmentation itself wont be a cause unless things get really out of control.
Imagine 1 file of 100 megabyte spread up in slips of 1 mb each spread across all sectors and cylinders of a hard disk this could cause increased loading time while the file is prepared.
Because there is much movement for this file it will stress the hard disk more (imagine 100's of files like this).
Not only does this cause a degradation in the time it takes to collect files but if an application is faulthy / bugged and doesn't really handle well after experienceing any kind of lag (eve client is very lag sensitive, once you have had it it will not be performing as good anymore till a session chance happened eg dock/jump).

True defragmentation wont be the direct cause here but the side effects of defragmentation can be a cause of degraded performance.


Originally by: Baleorg
some more tips&hints (well the original :-P ) can be found here :-P
[gm retrofire "is your clietn crashing" sticky in known issues]


Hmm that was posted later then this one so how can that be the "original"? Razz


Originally by: Oblom
One of the major problem in EVE is client's design flow that you can do nothing about. It's besides server side delays...


True the client is not optimal under many circumstances but thats a part we cannot do much against.
There are many little things on the user their end that can be done to improve performance outside of the client though.

Solbright
Advanced Security And Asset Protection
Posted - 2007.05.10 10:42:00 - [15]
 


Deleting IE/Outlook/IM is the other way.


Freya Selene
M. Corp
-Mostly Harmless-
Posted - 2007.05.14 12:21:00 - [16]
 

I wonder if the client is optimised for dualcores or not.....

Solbright
Advanced Security And Asset Protection
Posted - 2007.05.14 22:11:00 - [17]
 

The client only uses one processor.


Thommy
Posted - 2007.05.15 04:54:00 - [18]
 

The eve client is not optimised to use anything else then the basics (that means no 64 bit support, no dual / quad core support and no ultra core high speed buffer CPU support either).

There will be a *test* client at some point that will use 64bit but this one will not have any ccp support as it is an test build (as far as i understood anyway).
The new client they are designing will have support for new hardware aswell as optimised behaviour (use graphics card more often / better) instead of depending on raw CPU.


Plundaar
Gallente
The Scope
Posted - 2007.06.19 15:57:00 - [19]
 

tip for checking drivers status:

http://www.driveragent.com

The scan is free, it'll tell you what needs updating, but it won't give you direct download to drivers without paying for it. So abuse the checking and update from there.


 

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