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Old 20. Jan 2010, 12:33 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 64 bit multi-threaded file manager

I'm curious if there is such an animal as a 64 bit Windows file manager that's both multi-threaded and free. I've been using FreeCommander for quite a few years but it has noticeable lags when running on Vista64. The author explained that it was implemented in 32 bit Delphi. For that reason the likelihood of porting to 64 bit is just about zero. I'd love to find a freeware that is similar and multi-threaded.

So far all the free 64 bit file managers I've tried are not multi-threaded afaict. I've tried Q-Dir, explorer++ and a few others with no luck. For example, copy a multi-GB file from one tab or folder pane to another, and while that is going on, try to do anything else. All the ones I've tried hang until the copy is complete or the UI freezes and requires DTaskManager to kill it off.
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Old 20. Jan 2010, 07:00 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by MilesAhead View Post
I'm curious if there is such an animal as a 64 bit Windows file manager that's both multi-threaded and free. I've been using FreeCommander for quite a few years but it has noticeable lags when running on Vista64. The author explained that it was implemented in 32 bit Delphi. For that reason the likelihood of porting to 64 bit is just about zero. I'd love to find a freeware that is similar and multi-threaded.

So far all the free 64 bit file managers I've tried are not multi-threaded afaict. I've tried Q-Dir, explorer++ and a few others with no luck. For example, copy a multi-GB file from one tab or folder pane to another, and while that is going on, try to do anything else. All the ones I've tried hang until the copy is complete or the UI freezes and requires DTaskManager to kill it off.
Well, the 64 bit version of Q-Dir does consist of 2 threads (+ multiple OS threads) when started but beyond that you'll probably be looking, like me, to a shareware solution. You might inform the author of FreeCommander that the Delphi compatible IDE Lazurus can be linked to 64 bit free Pascal to port existing 32 bit applications. I done this will many of mine but it is a fair bit of work.

To be honest, copying files with Windows has never been a deep joy, and things took a major turn for the worse when the Vista and Server 2008 kernels were merged at Vista SP1, since server OSes have different i/o requirements than workstations, especially if they're running Exchange or SQL Server. Anyway, much of this damage has been undone in Windows 7, thankfully, which explains why file copying, especially across a network, seems faster. For large file copying tasks under Windows 7 I use ROBOCOPY from a command prompt, which can be forced to use multiple threads, or the 64 bit shareware file manager that I have.

One other thing worth considering would be Teracopy. Available as a 64 bit application, free for home use, it can replace the default Windows copy functions and is considerably faster. Whether this holds true if you kick off a copy and try to carry on working I'm afraid I couldn't say.

Regards,

Rik Mayell - Category Editor, Best Free Windows 7 / Vista 64 bit Software
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Old 20. Jan 2010, 09:59 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Not free but xplorer˛ has a 64-bit version which works great. Unfortunately its paid. xplorer˛ 32-bit is the next best option and has a free version too.
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Old 20. Jan 2010, 11:38 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I tried TeraCopy. I used it quite a bit in the past. It offloads Q-Dir fine, but it has its own quirks. Do an operation, the window opens as expected. Start another operation, an autominimize button is shown with a count-down. You have to click "Start Now" button like a video game before the thing minimizes. Too distracting to use with a file manager. A lot of complaints on the TeraCopy blog about it.

I tried the same scheme with KillCopy but that doens't work in 64 bit. Tried SuperCopier2 and man was that slow!!! Even upping the buffer from 64 Kb to 1MB and it only copied at 27 MB/sec when explorer would do the same operation twice as fast.

I also tried CopyHandler. It's 64 bit but way too quirky. If you use the small progress window it insists on being right above the tray, messing with my RocketDock, and gives no speed inication. If you use the big windown to get the speed read-out, it takes up half the desktop.

Seems like there ain't a good one for 64 bit freeware wise.
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Old 20. Jan 2010, 11:41 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Not free but xplorer˛ has a 64-bit version which works great. Unfortunately its paid. xplorer˛ 32-bit is the next best option and has a free version too.
I looked at that. I used a free one to get a feel for it and I really didn't like it. Seems like I could get by with Explorer drag & drop if I had an Auto Docker that would stick the windows side by side or something. It's a shame TeraCopy has that lame minimizer timer. If not for that it would be quite usable.
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Old 21. Jan 2010, 06:20 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I guess for now TeraCopy free is the best I can do. FreeCommander is supposed to be completely rewritten. There are some screen shots from 6 months ago on the forum. I'm not sure if it's supposed to have a native 64 bit version or what the deal is there. Contributors only get the betas to play with.
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Old 21. Jan 2010, 12:06 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I guess for now TeraCopy free is the best I can do. FreeCommander is supposed to be completely rewritten. There are some screen shots from 6 months ago on the forum. I'm not sure if it's supposed to have a native 64 bit version or what the deal is there. Contributors only get the betas to play with.
Well, like you say TeraCopy is a 'solution' sort of. The paid version of Xplorer2 is pretty good but frankly I barely use the functions it has.

If there is going to be a 64 bit version of FreeCommader that would be great.

Moving to 64 bit from a development front I've either used the 64 bit version of Free Pascal or moved to Visual Studio 2008, C++, MFC, or ATL, and all that. And yes you can generate 64 bit code from VS2008 You just have to know how... Or of course you could try MingW...

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Old 22. Jan 2010, 08:54 PM   #8 (permalink)
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And yes you can generate 64 bit code from VS2008 You just have to know how...

Rik
I take it that's with the Pro version? I've messed around with C# off and on since 1.x Standard edition, then using the Express freebies. To me though, there's nothing like that clean stand-alone exe of a real compiler. I can generate 64 bit apps with AutoIt3 but I really don't want to. Trouble with the Linux ports is you have to learn some other windowing/framework gizmo and it's a lot of slogging.

Too bad they never just did the equivalent of Delphi 5 but 64 bit(I do have Lazarus installed on my 64 bit PC but it doesn't feel the same. Plus background painting on forms has a washed-out look like the colors are faded somehow.) There's a lot of Delphi stuff that would still look cool if you just took the corners off the windows and added some glass.

edit: btw, now that I've messed around with TeraCopy free version a bit more I see it's not so bad. The AutoMinimized instances will copy/move without intervention in sequence. In fact that's better for my purpose. They get out of the way and I can just queue up large file copy operations. I don't think I'll be using Q-Dir all the time but for occasional use it's nice. Hopefully the multi-tasking will be beefed up in the future. I hope the author will continue to improve it.

Last edited by MilesAhead; 22. Jan 2010 at 09:49 PM.
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Old 23. Jan 2010, 05:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I take it that's with the Pro version? I've messed around with C# off and on since 1.x Standard edition, then using the Express freebies. To me though, there's nothing like that clean stand-alone exe of a real compiler. I can generate 64 bit apps with AutoIt3 but I really don't want to. Trouble with the Linux ports is you have to learn some other windowing/framework gizmo and it's a lot of slogging.

Too bad they never just did the equivalent of Delphi 5 but 64 bit(I do have Lazarus installed on my 64 bit PC but it doesn't feel the same. Plus background painting on forms has a washed-out look like the colors are faded somehow.) There's a lot of Delphi stuff that would still look cool if you just took the corners off the windows and added some glass.

edit: btw, now that I've messed around with TeraCopy free version a bit more I see it's not so bad. The AutoMinimized instances will copy/move without intervention in sequence. In fact that's better for my purpose. They get out of the way and I can just queue up large file copy operations. I don't think I'll be using Q-Dir all the time but for occasional use it's nice. Hopefully the multi-tasking will be beefed up in the future. I hope the author will continue to improve it.
You can actually generate 64 bit code from the Express version of C++ as the tools used to generate the final EXE are part of the SDK, not Visual Studio. Achieving this requires a hack which has been posted on line. Personally I'm not entirely sure it's legal

I have used AutoIt a couple of times to produce simple 64 bit solutions. At the time it did the job required, a useful tool to have.

64 bit Delphi; what a thought I doubt we'll ever see so in the meantime I use Lazurus back ended by the 64 bit version of Free Pascal. Almost 64 bit Delphi I've converted a fair bit of the Delphi stuff I have to Free Pascal without too much of a problem, despite the fact that the code extensively uses the Windows API. One choke point though is trying to display the new style Vista / 7 dialog boxes. Not the end of the world.

As I think I've already said I have a license for xplorer2 and do use it now and then. I have to admit though that Q-Dir is a light weight alternative that might replace it. To be honest most of my file manipulation is done from the command line so I rarely use a GUI file manager. I'm not suggesting we all do that though
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Old 23. Jan 2010, 09:23 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I got pretty dependent on FreeCommander just because it was convenient to set up commonly used programs in the toolbar. Highlight a file or folder and click the icon and it took the file or folder as param. You could even substitute TeraCopy as the file copy/move engine with some .ini file settings. But I don't really have big demands on filed manipulation. I did a custom install of Windows7 and decided to copy the Windows.old folder over the Lan. The only free thing I found that would do it is the MS RichCopy tool(about 206,000 files in a big lump.) I don't think I've used it since though. I got a Vista 32 bit PC before SP1 and the shell copy was slow. That prompted me to start investigating things like KillCopy just to get rid of the "calculating time remaining" hanging dialog. Vista64 SP1 though the shell copy often outperforms TeraCopy 64 bit.

The next thing on my wish list is USB 3.0 support and USB 3.0 docking stations. With that throughput I can forget about doing stuff like hard drive drawers(or whatever they call those quick slide in adapters.) I have USB 2.0 docking stations now. Very convenient. If the speed got up to snuff it would be great. I'm just waiting to see how the first user reports shake out.
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