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Help! A Major FS9 Nightmare!

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I can't believe this happened and that I am writing this. I have never had any major problems with either my current computer or FS9. Just those little nagging problems that involve tweaking this or that, or slight annoyances. Most of my flights are 1 to 2 hours long, but tonight I decided to fly a nice cross country from my home airport in Pennsylvania to Las Vegas in the Eaglesoft CX. I had ActiveSky 6 running with archived weather data downloaded so I could fly the flight as if it was this morning, and FS Realtime activated, and as usual, started FSAutostart working so to shut down all programs automatically to max out as much memory as possible. The flight was going beautifully until a little over 4 hours into the flight while over Brice Canyon and anticipating ATCs call to begin my decent, the sim instantly dissappeared! There is no better way to describe it - it disappeared from memory and there I was looking at my desktop wallpaper! FSAutostart disappeared too, and on my still gray taskbar at the bottom was the ActiveSky button saying FS was terminated. I opened FSAutostart again and restarted FS just to see if it started and it did, but when I closed it I still had a gray rather than a blue taskbar so when FSAutostart disappeared with FS, it never restarted everything as it usually does to return things to normal. I rebooted my system and everything seemed fine. Any ideas what happened and how to avoid this again? I have never had anything major like this happen before, and would sure hope it never does again. I have a P4 2.8, ATI 9800XT card, 1 gig ram, and XP Service Pack 2. Avsim has helped many of us avoid jumping off a bridge before including myself, so I hope you guys can get me out of this one. Thanks. Tom

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I have had that happen on occasion and all I do is reboot and fly again. Cant say it has ever happened twice under the same conditions. Sorry I could be of more help but I just wanted to let you know it has happened to me and only a couple of times.

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agree, annoying. unless you have the situation happen again (and can duplicate the conditions to force a CTD) it is just part of having all of those electrons flying in those tiny computer chips.--

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Hi Lee. Thanks for the help, but FSUIPC 3.70 is what I have right now (registered) so I guess that's not the problem. Thanks. Tom

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Hi,This is no real help, but a similar kind of thing happened to me a couple of weeks ago-changing to a different aircraft in mid flight--so I would suggest the problem might lie in a scenery folder or with a texture of some sort which was brought into play over Bryce and caused your instant exit. It's at times like these I always wish I knew more.Andy.

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Sorry to hear. Pity most payware aircraft don't do inflight saves very well...Hard to nail the problem down. Sounds like a texture problem, but also could be a number of factors such as traffic, weather updating, VC panning etc causing the CTD, which means you won't be able to replicate it....

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Tom:I had trouble getting FS autostart to work. I found an alternative that is called SMARTSTOP. Can't remember where I got it but a search on google may locate it. It seems to work quite well.Hope this helps.RegardsRick

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I too have expeienced this. I did find the problem.....For me, it was due to a double entry in the scenery library. In this case, Orcas Island payware. This mean't every time i fly anywhere near the edge of this scenery, i'd get just what you describe.... no hanging or other 'tell-tale' sign of anything about to wrong..... Just an INSTANT return to desktop!Once i removed the extra entry, all was well. Hope you can get sorted.

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Hi,I've had something similar happen and it turned out to be a program called CTHELPER.EXE that was the probable cause. Since removing it from my startup I've had no repetition of the problem.I Googled CTHELPER and it seems to be one of those programs that once served a useful purpose but is now redundant. If you have it running then remove it from your startup and see if it resolves things.Cheers,

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Tom what does your event viewer say? Control Panel > Administrative tools > Event Viewer > Application > . Look for your latest Big Red Error X and see what it says. Mine usually say atc.dll.

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This has never happened to you before!? You should be very happy instead of mad, I get this all the time usually after I've sat through a whole flight and am now ready to land. They have a forum dedicated to CTD's here, it's actually a very common event from what I can see.Jeff

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Thanks for all the help and advice guys. I have to admit I was a little bummed out last night. As one of you said, right near the end of a long flight is worse to have that happen than at the beginning. Anyway, I reflew the flight today and all went well. One thing I noticed was that last night before the crash, I was wondering why I was at Bryce Canyon at FL 420 and ATC still hadn't cleared me lower. Sure enough, today, they took me down to FL 240 well before Bryce. By the time I was at Bryce they had me down to 12000. Apparantly whatever went wrong started before the CTD. Thanks again for coming to my rescue. I'll check out your suggestions and hopefully it won't happen again. Regards, Tom

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Daryll,I took your advice and checked my event viewer. I never new about doing this, but it didn't say much. There are twp red Xs 1 second apart, Source is blank, Category is NONE, Event is 0, and user says N/A. Does this shed any light on the problem I had? Thanks. Tom

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CTHELPER is for the creative audio sound cards.Usually a CTD without an error message means you have duplicate afcads. scan with scanafd and double check that you don't have any, you can get false positives so go through it thoroughly.

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Is your computer protected with a battery back-up device, so the electric supply is not interrupted, not even for a few milliseconds?? It only takes a couple milliseconds to scramble your system. Maybe when you were out to the coffee pot?

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No, I don't have a backup yet, but I think I will get one for my next system. I was right there when the CTD occured. There was no interruption in power or even a dimming of my house lights. Thanks anyway. Tom

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Alex,You may have something here, since I have downloaded several AFCADS with Ultimate Traffic but am always confused in doing so. I never know what to update and save as new or overwrite if you know what I mean. Anyway, where do I find ScanAFD? Thanks. Tom

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If you googled it...then why didn't you see that it is a program that comes with all Creative Labs sound cards (Soundblaster?). Removing it saves on resources...but it won't solve his problem.

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