Help installing Daz content on multiple external drives using the DIM

I'm installing Daz Studio on a new laptop, and I'd like to install the majority of my content on one or more external hard drives. I know this is possible, but how? Does anyone know of a good tutorial, updated for the current version of Daz, that they could suggest? Ideally, one that's intended for users who aren't exactly computer people?

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  • namffuaknamffuak Posts: 4,063

    I'm about to head to bed - but if you can wait, I'll update the process I wrote a couple of years ago to match current DIM and Studio options and post it tomorrow (April 3) sometime around 3 PM EST.

    It covers setting up DIM and Studio and some 'best' practices.

  • LaPartitaLaPartita Posts: 401

    @namffuak, that wouold be great - thank you so much!

  • namffuaknamffuak Posts: 4,063

    Took a bit longer than I thought -

    First, the DIM configuration -

    Start DIM and click on 'Work Offline' and 'Start'

    Click on the gear icon, top right, for the Advanced Settings menu.

    Select the Downloads Tab.

    Set your preferred download directory - this is where DIM will download the product files. I suggest an NTFS-formatted external USB drive for this and keep the downloads after installing.  (I use G:/dim-download on my system). DIM can download thumbnail images - define the archive for them as well (G:/dim-thumbnails on my system).

    Scroll through the data types to select what you actually want to see as available downloads - DAZ Studio 4.5+, Install Manager, General, Software, Plugin, Windows (either or both bit levels) are probably what you'll want. Include Public Build if you want to be able to get the Studio beta(s) when they come out.

    Now the 'Installation' tab.

    DIM combines several sets of data into an installation manifest file that is used to track what's installed (and where) and matched against the store at connection time to determine if there are updates. The default is on the C: drive; I prefer to keep them with the downloads and thumbnails (G:/manifestfiles).
    Pick the 64-bit and 32-bit directories you want to install Studio to. Be aware that the final path for the install will be "<32-bit>/DAZ 3D/Studio4" and "<64-bit>/DAZ 3D/Studio4" I'm using D:/bits-32 and D:/bits-64 on my system.

    You can leave the Content Database Base and Port at the defaults - I have over 16,000 products installed and my database is only 6.5 GB. This is used for the 'Smart Content' tab and several other functions in Studio and should be on an SSD for the performance.

    Installation Directories - I recommend at least three. You cannot edit or delete the default  provided until you define a new one - but you do NOT want the main content directory on your C: drive. So, to add an installation directory - click on the '+' bottom left, pick a label, and browse to the path you want. Again, on my system, I'm using gen5 (label) and D:/S4stuff/gen5 (path) for historical reasons. This will be your "My 3D Library" directory. Once you have that path defined you can click on the default path definition and the '-' button bottom left to delete it.

    I highly recommend creating a directory for tutorials, so they don't clutter up the content directory; I'm a bit of a tutorial junkie, so I have them on a different drive - tutorials (label) and G:/tutorials (path) (Most tutorials are video files that can't be handled by Studio - I use VLC to view them).

    I also suggest a directory for content from other sites - sharecg, renderosity, freebbies from various PAs, and any other non-Daz site; this directory isn't usually installed to by DIM, but I define it here anyway - 3rd-party (label) and D:/3rd-party (path).

    You only need to worry about the 'Applications' tab if you have Photoshop, Hexagon, or Zbrush - this is where you tell DIM where they live.

    When you're done, click on 'Accept' and DIM is set -- but you need to tell Studio about the changes.

    Fire up Studio and select 'work offline' and then Edit -> Preferences -> Content and click on 'Content Directory Manager' at the bottom.

    Click the '+' by DAZ Studio Formats to expand the list, then click on 'DAZ Studio Formats' itself; this gives you the option to Add a directory. Click the 'Add' button and browse to your DIM installation directory (in my case above, D:\S4stuff\gen5 - in DAZ terminology, gen5 is a 'content' directory). This will put the directory at the bottom of the list; you'll want to move it to the top - click on it and use the move button. You can add non-DIM directories here as well; D:\3rd-party in my case. Delete the default directory.

    Repeat the above for the Poser Formats group, as some of the items DIM installs (older items, for the most part) are Poser format and will be found by this directory path.

    Click on 'Accept' when done.

    One more item, while in 'Preferences' - on the 'Startup' tab, make sure that 'Show Login Page' and 'Automatically Login' are NOT checked; if you do installs with DIM you do NOT want to do installs from within Studio.

    And that's it.

    Shut down Studio, fire up DIM, and log on to DAZ. In general, I don't do the 'Install After Download' on the Ready to Download tab - I much prefer to do my installation selectively. Likewise, I don't 'Delete Package Once Installed' on the Readyto Install tab - but DO select 'Show Details' and note that the Content Path Shortcuts is a drop-down list that lets you select which defined directory to install to now.

  • Faeryl WomynFaeryl Womyn Posts: 3,293

    I can't be posiitve, I'm no expert, but I think Jay covers that in this video.

  • namffuaknamffuak Posts: 4,063

    Correct - I wrote the first version of this configuration process in January, 2017 as the full 'configure DIM and Studio from scratch' process.

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