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Scanbuffer Size

 
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stomperz
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 4:51 pm    Post subject: Scanbuffer Size Reply with quote

DB I'm trying to get better speed in my memory scans. (sloooow)

I have 2 gigs of 400 MHz DDR.
What is the best Scanbuffer Size for 2 gigs of memory.

Is there any other tips I can use?
I have turned off everything in CE that I don't need on.

I probably need to do a fresh system install on another drive.
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Dark Byte
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

try a scanbuffer of 16, or a scanbuffer of 1024

and try to get the hyperscan working, I nopticed it fails to initialize when the debugger is attached, so enable hyperscan before attaching the debugger

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Last edited by Dark Byte on Wed Nov 16, 2005 7:02 am; edited 1 time in total
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Dark Byte
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 15, 2005 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Also, scan in a smart way, the first scan is always the fastest scan there is, next scans are slower. So when scanning for 1 and 0 always start with 1 instead of 0 (there are just too many 0's)
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Zhoul
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 12:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've noticed that a scan buffer size larger then 4096 *really* slows down scanning, so aye, reguardless how much mem you have, go with the 1024 buffer size.

Here are things I do to help scan speed greatly.

1. Close all programs I possibly can. When I boot up, I only have about 15 things listed in task manager/processes. I have cut down on a LOT of the 'filler BS' that XP auto-installs.

2. I use MaxMem from www.analogx.com
http://www.analogx.com/contents/download/system.htm
I set 'aggressive' to 98% of RAM. While it won't actually clear up 98%, it will surely clear out all that can be cleared.
*NOTE* Make sure you close maxmem before starting the game or CE , as it will continuiously try to free memory, and in the middle of the game/scan its HORRIBLE!! Smile
After I use maxmem to clear up as much RAM as possible, I kill MaxMem, and believe it or not, EXPLORER.EXE!! Yes!! On both my console and my remote desktop sessions. From there, I use task manager to launch applications. This gives an extra 30 megs of RAM, and ensures that explorer.exe cant grow and shrink, thus fragmenting memory more.

3. Before I launch the game, I launch CE. This seems to be one key step. If CE crashes (due to something I did heh) or I have to restart it, I restart the entire process over again, simply because CE seems to run better if it was launched before the game.

4. Don't use kernel/stealth mode if you don't have to. This usually puts a +2x modifier on my scans (when enabled that is)

5. I cant stress enough the importance of making sure you don't fragment memory as much as possible. i.e. loading the game, then CE, then Internet explorer, then something else makes scans super slow.
Why? When a program defines its memory space, it only asks for so much at one time. When it needs more 'space' it will use the next available physical space available. If other programs have taken physical space just after your game, then the game grabs more, it will get physical space *past* the 2nd program. That = fragmentation (very very very similar to how hard-drives get fragmented).

Mem fragmentation is also the reason why CE scans seem to take longer and longer, as the 'session' goes on.

Hope that helps...

- Z
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stomperz
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 4:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Z
I have been doing much of what you have posted excepted for MaxMem.
I'll have to give it a look!

Not being a traitor to CE, but I have been using CheatEngine in combination with MemHack to do my general value scans.
The speed is awesome it SCREAMS!!
DB is there any way that you could incorporate the "post-flushing routine" or whatever Spiro uses to get such fast results? http://www.memoryhacking.com/index.php
I noticed he uses your dbk32.dll & dbk32.sys.
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Zhoul
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 6:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Something I forgot to mention about all this memory fragmentation jazz.

Since I now use two machines, Game on Computer 1 and a remote desktop session from computer 2 , to computer 1, I've noticed something Wink The scan speeds usually stay 'better' for much longer, compared to when I used to tab out to CE, using only 1 PC.

I finally realised why this is Smile

Lets say...
- You started CE and /random_game on PC 1.
- You load into /random_game, load a save game
- You tab out to CE
*bam*
Right there, your game automatically starts paging what it can to the swap file.
As soon as CE goes to access "all" game memory, its going to start hitting the page file pretty hard, to 'dig out' what the game threw in. This also 'helps' to fragment memory (not a great thing heh).

What can be done to prevent this?

1. If you have 2 PC's and your main PC is XP Professional, then check out this thread. http://forum.cheatengine.org/viewtopic.php?t=4056
As the topic subject states... it's an even better solution to using CE over a network connection.

or

2. Setup scan hot-keys in CE (in CE, click "Settings" then "Configure Hotkeys").


One last suggestion...
Settings > Code Finder > Use Debug Registers (aka hardware breakpoints)
Settings > Assembler > Use Hardware Breakpoints

This will only help out the debugging side (find out what reads/writes/access), but it will also save memory, thus, less fragmentation in the long run.

- Zhoul
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stomperz
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:50 am    Post subject: MemHack Reply with quote

I have done the 2 PC's with good results. Mainly hiding from being detected.

Not to rap CE but give MemHack a try.
I thought it was bringing bogus results because it was so fast!

It brings up more results astonishly faster. I checked the results buy adding them to CE (Add address manually) and all the copied address's given by MemHack were correct.
CE was just missing them.
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Dark Byte
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ever tried hyperscan ?

if not, what errors did you get ?

oh, and to get the extra results of memhack in ce, also enable mapped memory scans in settings and readonly memory
you my have noticed that those extra results are usually not usefull

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stomperz
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:49 pm    Post subject: typo Reply with quote

Dark Byte wrote:
ever tried hyperscan ?
if not, what errors did you get ?


"and try to get the hyperscan working" (no debugger is attached)

Yes, (hyperscan) but most time it does not work. Not busting your chops but most times it freeze's my computer.

Quote:
oh, and to get the extra results of memhack in ce, also enable mapped memory scans in settings and read-only memory
you my have noticed that those extra results are usually not useful


OK after trying I agree.

Not trying to "Piss in your Cherrioes" but in comparison to MH it's slow.
I hope your not taking offense to my writings,
I'm just trying to mention things to improve a already great program.


Last edited by stomperz on Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Dark Byte
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 23, 2005 5:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

No, it's just that when hyperscan is working, you'll have a amazing scanning speed.

but next version of ce should have it able to work more often.

edit: Also wanted to ask, what exactly is failing? Does it just wait a second and then say it failed to initialize? does ot compltly mess up the target process, or doesn't it give the right addresses? Or something else ? (the things I just wrote down are fixed in next version)

and you say it freezes your comp, does it freeze the whole comp, or just the target and ce itself ?

(sorry, for asking so much, it's just that I hardly ever get good bug reports)

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Zhoul
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 3:03 am    Post subject: Re: MemHack Reply with quote

stomperz wrote:
I have done the 2 PC's with good results. Mainly hiding from being detected.


I didn't even think to ask, but are you doing the '2 PC's thing' , via CE's network client? or a remote desktop session? I too had a terrible time with the network client, for CE's more powerful features (searching worked fine, but doing things like 'find out what accesses' etc would inevidably crash the game, CE or both).

Using CE via a terminal service session, is even better then alt+tabbing Wink

[quote=stomperz] Not to rap CE but give MemHack a try.
I thought it was bringing bogus results because it was so fast! [/quote]

Ok, DB, I will admit that Memhack does seem to have blazing speeds over CE for simple searches, but then again I've never gotten Hyperscan to work either (reguardless how I start CE, The options version of hyperscan always stays checked, but on the main page, it won't stop unchecking itself). However, If all I was trying to do, was re-hack games each time I played them, this software would be great!...

It's interfaces however, are scattered across multiple screens and in a VERY non-logical format.

Lets take a look at some of the 'extra features' in memhack.



One of the first things this screen is missing, is the ability to 're-align' data on the page. The columns force you to view from the 0 offset (i.e. 00400000) and again, this greatly hinders eyeball scaning of live memory. In CE's mem viewer, When I 'goto' an offset, it re-aligns the data, making it so much easier to simply pluck 'interesting' memory out.


And then theres this.... thing.... *cringes*



I give credit where it's due, in that it shows multiple 'variations' of the same memory space. But... You don't get to see a big enough chunk of data, *and* it makes one lazy.

Just looking at live memory now with CE, I can uber-quickly scan massive amounts of data with my own eyes, and in doing so, I've learned what data types look like, and add them to CE's list of offsets, with 96% data type accuracy.

I don't use the word n00b often. I hate the word. But that was surely designed by an Interface n00b. The layout is horrible! In mem hack, I need 3-4 x screens to match that of CE's "Memory Viewer" window and to top it off, I'd have up to 5 different windows peering into the same memory space, which isn't a good thing Wink


Lets look at CE's Mem Viewer.



I was flat out amazed when I realised that the rows will expand in sets of 8. This is REALLY helpful when eye-scanning through memory, because it does indeed have a certain structure/pattern that can be read by the human eye, much faster then is possible in Memhack. You also would never really have a chance in memhack, to expand rows out to 32 bytes a row.


It does have some interface +'s over CE however, like the copy paste features, but it's surely not enough to make me switch.

I love the integrated 'quick-n-easy' trainer maker with CE as well. Which brings me to my next point.. Hot-keys.

CE gives us the ability to define certain hotkeys for various scanning functions, on top of the hot-key support in the trainer maker. This is one of the most useful features imho.

Memhack is also too powerful a tool to just distribute to the masses, where as a trainer is much safer. I personally don't talk about CE outside of CE club (i think thats in the rules somewhere.. kinda like Fight Club). Sure, you can use memhack values in other trainer maker software, but CE's is quick-n-simple. All the other trainer maker software's i've tried are tedious. If I wanted tedious, I'd just make a visual basic trainer (ooh wait, I already did! heh).

In short. Memhack isn't really a development tool... more-so a twitch gamer "I havnt learned how to really use pointers yet, or bang out some ASM" kinda thing. CE's rugged design almost 'forced' me to begin learning these things, and as lazy as I am, I wouldn't have learned near as much as fast, using memhack (as i'd still be re-searching my values every time I play /random_game).

Memhack has it's rightful place in this world. Maybe with some interface logic implemented, it could rival CE. But until that happens, CE is the way for me.

- Zhoul

p.s. I'm always game for a good debate! Wink don't take this as a flame. If anything, I hope you have a great retort that will open my eyes to what I may be missing here.
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stomperz
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:18 am    Post subject: Hyper Scan Reply with quote

Some of the problems I have had are due to poor system maintenance.
(Big dust problem-lots of clogged cooling vents)
All cleaned up now Wink
I should have logged the errors. (taught they were cause by my computer)
I'll keep better records from now on.
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Dark Byte
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That 5.2 you used, is that that beta that was downloadable on my site, or compiled using the cvs source? (and if compiled, do you have the cehook.dll compiled as well?)
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stomperz
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dark Byte wrote:
That 5.2 you used, is that that beta that was downloadable on my site, or compiled using the cvs source? (and if compiled, do you have the cehook.dll compiled as well?)


Compiled using the cvs source and yes with the cehook.dll compiled.

I also noticed that when the Hyper Scan is enabled, if you check SpeedHack
it will open, but you are not able to set Speed. (grayed out)

edit: Forgot to mention that when trying to use Hyper Scan on smaller programs it seems to work.

It does not work from the default setting, it needs to be rechecked and tried again.
It works fine then.
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Dark Byte
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2005 2:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

enable by default bug: fixed it now

oh yes, when you test out the hyperscan, make sure you don't mix old ce versions with the new one. Once a app has loaded the cehook.dll of ce 5.1.1 and then close ce and then use ce5.2's hyperscan, the target process will still be using the ce 5.1.1 dll (which as quite an annoying bug)

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