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razorseal

This makes me want to cry

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Error returns are captured and reported by the OS, but it is up to the application programmers to insert the code that generates those returns into the application. If no code was inserted, the application will terminate (usually) and it may do so in such a way that the OS doesn't have any idea what happened. For various technical reasons it is not always desirable or feasible to insert all possible error reporting code into an application. Even when that code is inserted, however, it is not always possible to trace back into the program and really see what happened if the error can't be recreated on the developer's computer.CTD's can be, and are, caused by several errors within FS. The most common cause, as Psolk has pointed out, is missing textures or an error in the code that handles texture mixing. One of the main problems that many users encountered in the original release of FS9 was fixed in the FS9.1 patch and was related to the way that certain textures were handled during seasonal change periods. Another frequent cause is an error in a third party gauge.Obviously, FS9 is not a perfect program and with the release of FSX (which has it's own share of problems) it never will be. In the end it's up to the user to decide if the occasional aggravation is worth it. I must admit that it is worth it for me.DJ

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Well put DJ and well worth it to me as well. I accept the CTD's, OOM's driver crashes etc and it is just part of simming. -PPrimary RigLiquid CooledIntel C2D E6600 @3.2 gigsAsus P5N32SLI-Plus2 gigs Corsair XMS PC6400 4 4 4 12 @810Dual OC'd XFX 8800GTX @ 2 gigs24 inch Widescreen LCD 16XAA/16XAFDual 19 inch LCD'sRaid-0+1PCPower and Cooling 1k Quad SLIhttp://home.comcast.net/~psolk/3monitorsa.htmlBackup RigAMD 4000 San Diego @ 2.72 Gigs Kingston Corsair XMS CL2XFX 7900 GTX Raid-0psolk.jpg


Have a Wonderful Day

-Paul Solk

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>>CTD's can be, and are, caused by several errors within FS. >The most common cause, as Psolk has pointed out, is missing>textures or an error in the code that handles texture mixing.>One of the main problems that many users encountered in the>original release of FS9 was fixed in the FS9.1 patch and was>related to the way that certain textures were handled during>seasonal change periods. Another frequent cause is an error in>a third party gauge.>>Obviously, FS9 is not a perfect program and with the release>of FSX (which has it's own share of problems) it never will>be. In the end it's up to the user to decide if the>occasional aggravation is worth it. I must admit that it is>worth it for me.>>DJThis would make sense since I'm sure that their are many texture changes during the change of seasons in FS9. I remember reading somewhere that FS actually updates the season textures every month on or about the same time of the month. As good as the FS9.1 patch was I doubt it got rid of all of these texture problems.It would be interesting to find out if most of these unexplained CTDs are caused within these time frames.I agree with you that the few instances that I've experienced these mysterious CDTs are outweighed by the hours of uninterupted pleasure I get from FSJohn M

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DJ,First, thanks for the reply.Very easy to understand, the way you put it in you post.I guess my original thought was:If FS9 has run for months without an error(s) ... why CTD all of a suddent. Latent software issue? or, I truly have a hardware/software problem with my pc (and others also). Given, that it only occures in MSFS9 and noware else, ever, ... my pc is OK, IMO.Also, (remember, I am not a software guy) the OS is MS Windows and the program that terminated without error is a MS product (FS9). I (wrongly assumed, I suppose) assumed MS would be able to trap why its product, MSFS9, terminated.I could understand better if we were not dealing with MS products.No doubt, my lack of programming experience plays a role in understanding this part.If it was a product from xyz company I would "suspect" xyx had the problem ... not MS/MSFS. Another wrong assumption ... probably.And, this CTD with FS9 has been around with the native and updated product (9.1) and has not "gone away".I understand that FS9 (obsolete) is not getting changed/patched by MS but the CTD problem should have been fixed long ago.How does a software company find problems with a program (beta) before it is finished if the OS cannot tell them what caused ther error during their debugs? Whatever way they use I figured they could use the same thing to fix the CTD long ago.>Error returns are captured and reported by the OS, but it is>up to the application programmers to insert the code that>generates those returns into the application. If no code was>inserted, the application will terminate (usually) and it may>do so in such a way that the OS doesn't have any idea what>happened. For various technical reasons it is not always>desirable or feasible to insert all possible error reporting>code into an application. Even when that code is inserted,>however, it is not always possible to trace back into the>program and really see what happened if the error can't be>recreated on the developer's computer.>>CTD's can be, and are, caused by several errors within FS. >The most common cause, as Psolk has pointed out, is missing>textures or an error in the code that handles texture mixing.>One of the main problems that many users encountered in the>original release of FS9 was fixed in the FS9.1 patch and was>related to the way that certain textures were handled during>seasonal change periods. Another frequent cause is an error in>a third party gauge.>>Obviously, FS9 is not a perfect program and with the release>of FSX (which has it's own share of problems) it never will>be. In the end it's up to the user to decide if the>occasional aggravation is worth it. I must admit that it is>worth it for me.>>DJ


Best Regards,

Vaughan Martell - KDTW

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Assume you have a bad gauge or scenery file.Would it be wrong to assume that MSFS9 would CTD on every similiar flight through that area/region.It seems hit and miss. One day perfect flight, next day CTD.Same software mix, no changes but you get CTD.If software was wrong I would assume it would continue until you removed the bad stuff.


Best Regards,

Vaughan Martell - KDTW

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>>...I doubt it got rid of all of these texture problems...<< I suspect that you are correct. Most of the CTDs (not all, of course) seem to be reported in the Spring and Fall seasons, I noticed an increase in reports in this forum as Spring began and the season isn't over yet.DJ

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The assumption that the app would CTD on every similar flight is an interesting one. I think that 'similar' is the key word - by its very nature, software requires a certain exactitude in the situation causing the problem; in general, similarity is not enough. If you consider the number of variables at play in FS9 at any given moment (wind, lighting conditions, time of day, month, year, barometric pressure and the changes thereof, the load sequence of various textures and ground polygons, altitude, airspeed, cloud conditions, exact position in three space, cpu available, memory allocations, graphics card performance, sound card performance, etc... just to name a few)you can see that a situation that looks similar to our indiscriminate naked eye is not similar at all from the perspective of the program. If I take all these things into account, I have to say that I think it a miracle that the program runs at all!Your comment about the removal of the bad stuff is very valid. Were I a Microsoft developer (and be assured, I am not!) with unlimited time and budget, the approach that I would take would be to install a fresh copy of the OS and supporting files (DirectX, graphics drivers, sound drivers, etc...) and a fresh copy of FS9.1 and see if I could reproduce the problem. If I could not do so, within whatever problem conditions were supplied to me by the offended user, then my only recourse would be to shelve the exercise until I got more data - if the user is running a single add-on, then my general response is that it isn't my problem because I'm not in the business of debugging other folk's software. Harsh? Perhaps it is, but there is no way that I, Microsoft, or any other developer can handle or create the number of combinations of hardware and software that the user base has in use.So, what can a user do? First, go back to the basic conditions that a developer sets up as outlined above and run the program. If you don't have a CTD at any moment of the year (yes, you have to go through every single moment, weather condition, etc...) then you know that it isn't FS9 at fault. Add the addon of choice and do it again... repeat until you have them all or until you get a CTD. If you get a CTD, remove the last one you added and repeat... you get the idea, I'm sure... brutal, isn't it?As you can easily see from the very simplistic outline that I've written, debugging is a complex (and frequently tedious) business. Those of us (developers in general) who have a feel for it, and who are good at it, generally get big bucks and write expensive books for the folks who are not so good at it.In your case, you mention VATSIM and I have to imagine that you were running Squawkbox (at least) so the very first thing I would do would be to pull SB, run locally, and see if the CTD recurs - I have read of others who have had problems in that regard. Just a thought...DJ

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DJ,Once again, thanks for the great reply.True about addons running and with the mix, it is a wonder you leave the ground!I run WindowsXP, FS9, Level-D 763, CH Yoke, ActiveSky ver 4.5, GoFlight (USB modules), Squawkbox, Servinfo, GoFlight Level-D switches program (DLL I think), RealTime Clock and TrackIr.The potential for a problem is there!Now, just talking about MSFS9, fresh install nothing else installed.Using all MS software for the moment.Does MSFS9 CTD with just MS WindowsXP and MSFS9 running?How about MSFS ver 9.1, same question?


Best Regards,

Vaughan Martell - KDTW

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That sounds like a pretty typical mix except for GoFlight which is maybe not so common - still, I haven't heard any particular screams about it. I run XP SP2, FS9.1, Level-D, PMDG everything, ASV6.5, GE, UT USA and Europe, and the RXP gauges. The last CTDs that I suffered were in the Fall of last year and I cured them by going in to the terrain.cfg file and setting MaskClassMap=0 everywhere. This has been discussed at some length in most of the common FS forums; it apparently has to do with the way textures are handled, but I'm not clear on all the details. Whatever works... The big thing is to make sure that you have installed the FS9 patch.We know that FS9 has seasonal CTD problems and will CTD with no addons at all. We are told that those problems have been fixed by the patch. On the other hand, my installation was patched and still suffered some problems - when Fall began I couldn't fly to any of the US eastern central airports until I modified the MaskClassMap variable as above - that seems to have taken care of the problem and I haven't had a CTD in more than six months now. The most prevalent problem that appears on various forae these days seems to be the dreaded OOM issue with various addons. Psolk can talk about those at some length - I suspect he has done more research than most anybody on that one.DJ

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Thanks again,Your comments are from experience and software knowledge I know..Anyway, my thought here was very simply.If you start with a program that is running error free then the problem you are currently having is "your" problem and the source of the problem is the software you just installed. True.But, if the original wrapper FS9/9.1 has the problem, the vendor finger pointing is never ending. You could never be sure if it was MSFS (original problems) or the stuff you installed recently.Normally when a new program/module/scenery is installed it is checked out for errors in the first flights. If problems, remove it and tell the vendor. It gets patched and you try it/test it again.If MSFS still had issues after 9.1 they should have taken care of them .. bullet proof came to mind here.I do not have your vast software experience (todays stuff, C etc.) but I have worked with computers since my Navy days 1966 (ship's missile mainframes). Owned a computer repair company, on site repairs, bulit them .. Novell networks etc., taught machine language programming (back when we finger polked the the machine language instructions into an led front panel), SUD, LAPed, and Linked (compiled) it to 5" floppy disks. We had to do our own de-bugging and we had to program exit routines to trap errors ... all real basic stuff, I am sure you remember the old methods.It just is amazing ... todays stuff!But, there really should be error traps that have look back capability in todays software world. The OS eg should be able to at least tell you this thread (name /routine eg) is causing xxx?So, if I did not misread your post. MSFS 9.1 still had CTD problems. Any addons we do only compound the CTD problem. There is no fix.


Best Regards,

Vaughan Martell - KDTW

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At this point, you're quite right - there really is no comprehensive fix for whatever problems do remain in FS9/9.1. That such problems do exist is without question, although there really don't seem to be many of them that most users notice most of the time. In truth, that is pretty much the state of the art in software development at this point. I have never seen or used a program that is bug free (100% guaranteed that is...) but I use many that are adequate to most tasks for which they are designed, most of the time.Like you, I am a graduate of the 'old days' - I've done my share of machine language, assembler, and low level debug work, etc. The reason I've stayed in the field all these years (the money and an aversion to the elements that I aquired in the Army aside) is the incredible growth of technology that requires me to learn at least three new things every day! One area that I got interested in, years ago, is the formal theory surrounding software testing methodologies. After months of study I walked away amazed that anything worked at all, since by definition I can never prove that there are no bugs in a program; one can't prove a negative universal assertion of that sort since it involves virtually infinite testing and you can quickly prove there isn't enough time or computing power in all the universe to walk that road. So, we settle for doing the best we can within the time and budget that we have to work with.The one thing that I can recommend, that is quick and easy, is for you to make a backup copy of your terrain.cfg file (in the main FS directory) and go through and change all instances of MaskClassMap=X to MaskClassMap=0 in the active file and see if that solves your immediate problem.DJ

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DJ,I heard every word of that!Thanks for the additional feedback.I will do as you suggested and "go with the flow".I to have not yet seen the "patch no longer required" package either.If it isn't on thing its another.As for CTD with MSFS9/9.1, maybe they ran into a brick wall after extensive testing and ... ran out of budget, time etc. also ... as you said is sometimes the case.Last question. What does MaskClassMap=X to MaskClassMap=0 do?Does it like make mountains disappear or what? Or like prevent MSFS from loading new ones?


Best Regards,

Vaughan Martell - KDTW

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No, MaskClassMap=0 just suppresses certain types of texture mixing around airports in particular and probably in other areas in general. You probably won't notice any difference in looks, but it may make your CTD go away (or not?)... worked for me, anyway.DJ

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OK,Thanks.I put a text file into main folders before changes are made and I wanted to incluse a note on what the bit change does.I searched, found mostly 3's, fewer of the 0,1, and 2's.Anyway, I will have Norton search/replace after I make a backup and then give MSFS some testing.


Best Regards,

Vaughan Martell - KDTW

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