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Cactus521

Crashes in 2k2 - some thoughts

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I'd say most of us here have been running very well in 2k2. Yet I happened upon a thread in another forum which was very familiar--the user wanted to know why 2k2 was always crashing. Below was my response, which I thought I'd share here in case it could help:____________________________Crashes in 2k2 are a devil to troubleshoot..... I've never had a crash while just flying using only the joystick, even after a long 12-13 hour session. But I can "get" 2k2 to crash when switching views to or from panels with some custom gauges... How often? Not enough to break a sweat--I'd say once out of every 50-60 hours of simming, and using a standard panel, perhaps never. This "type" of crash was fairly consistent whether my system was equipped with my older Voodoo, and still remained with my current Nvidia card.I consider my crashes a user problem (caused by my affair with some non-standard gauges) as opposed to a 2k2 problem.But that leaves a wide range of other problems, experienced by other users. Here's a set of givens about 2k2 crashes which may not fix the problem, but will help diagnose why they happen so often:1 - I've run system monitor against 2k2's memory usage, and it uses more memory than any of MS's previous sims, and more memory than any other sim or game I run on my system. When one suspects that "all other games run fine", remember that memory being taxed at a higher rate could introduce new problems.2 - Dump the junk. Use Adaware to remove spyware, and scour the system startup vectors for applets that load at bootup. Enditall may remove applets, but sometimes the process of an applet loading in the first place can hinder the system later on, even if the applet is closed down. One example of an applet which came with an hp I bought years ago was a keyboard "manager" which worked in conjunction with an enhanced keyboard, which had a volume control and other odd shortcut buttons. But the applet itself was a resource hog, and caused a pronounced "stutter" in the system.A good junk test is a scan of the system tray--if you have more than the volume control (and you're not running on a laptop), chances are good that there's something running that 2k2 may not like.3 - Shuffle IRQ's. Sometimes simply unsharing IRQ's is not enough. Some cards are very stubborn when it comes to the IRQ assigned to them. 4 - Keep it coooool.... 2k2 drives the CPU and graphics card 100 pct..., and RAM and the HD are close as well. Heat can make the cpu unstable, RAM unstable, a graphics card unstable. A cheap solution--a good 'ol desktop fan blowing towards the case.5 - USB. No advice, but I've heard many lockup complaints from folks running USB periphs. Having said that, I have a Sony MZ-N505 minidisc that uses my USB. Then again, I'm not often using it while flying.6 - Ghost display drivers.... This is a devil to explain. I best describe it as multiple display entries "stuck" in the registry, even after a driver has been removed. Happened to me when I upgraded from an old ATI to a Voodoo 3. Kept getting odd lockups, then happened to find that some (not all) of the ATI files were loaded in RAM. Finally traced it down to the display driver entries in the registry. Cleaned it up, and the problems were gone.7 - The AMD factor. Perhaps there are more AMD users here, but I seem to hear of lockups more from the AMD side as opposed to the Pentium side. Take that comment with a grain of salt...8 - Equipment failure. One fellow at Avsim had random lockups, and discovered that the fan of his graphics card had failed.9 - Third party add-ons. To troubleshoot, dump the add-ons, then test for stability, adding each back until you find a point of failure. As I hinted at the top of my post, this includes aircraft with third party gauges. If you suspect one, make sure the sim starts with a standard A/C, then move from there.10 - Test the unexpected. Try the sim with a new keyboard, or a new mouse. Something may be stuck and firing too many messages to 2k2.... This is especially true for those who report that 2k2 does random view switches....I could write more, but I'll leave it others to add what I've missed..-John

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This is great, John!!! Thanks for the easy to understand "thumbnail" troubleshooter. I just printed it out for quick reference.I'd suggest an addition. A quality power supply is often overlooked as a possible culprit in system lockups. I installed an Enermax 430W PSU in my system 5 months ago, and I've been able to get a bit more performance system wide without a loss of stability. I believe a quality PSU is a must have for this sim.Thanks again,AMD Athlon 1.4 @ 1.5Ghz (143 FSB)ASUS A7M266512 MB Crucial PC2100 DDRGainward GF3 Ti200 @240/500Maxtor 40 Gig 7200 rpmCoolermaster ATC Aluminum Case w/ Enermax 430W PSUCoolermaster Heat Pipe on CPUCreative CDRW and CR-ROM100 MB Zip DriveTurtle Beach SoundThrustmaster Cougar HOTAS #4879 and CH Pedals

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At the risk of incurring flames, I'd also add:11) Get a real OS. Something based on NT (Win2000 or XP) is *much* better at handling resources and resisting crashes.I've been running some version of NT for nearly 10 years now, and over the course of that decade can count system crashes on one hand, even while using *very* intensive programs (such as 3D Studio Max) and/or running so many programs at the same time everything I did forced a memory swap.

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Haven't had a problem running under 98SE (2k2 failed in the manner I mentioned, but did not cause the system to lock with it), but I'd agree that Windows 2000 and XP are better and improved in the area of stability. But people need to weigh the improved OS's against driver support for them. In the beginning, a fair number of XP users had lockup issues even with XP, and same held true when 2000 was in its early life cycle. I always suggest waiting a few months before jumping on any O/S bandwagon. In the case of my WAN, our team waited almost one year before moving forward with the Win 2K deployment. It took that long for our software vendors to catch up and fix issues--which I suspect were related to the "cheats" and shortcuts many software vendors take to tweak their software, as opposed to being faithful to the Windows API and its calling conventions.-John

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