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psolk

A lot of FS9 crashing talk lately... Mods maybe you can...

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I have seen a lot of posts about different FS9 issues lately and considering I spent close to two years troubleshooting FS9 errors I thought I would take a little time to share my experiences. Please read, share, contribute and hopefully maybe one person can be helped by what we write.1. Lets differentiate between the types of errors FS can produce and ethen dive a little bit into the different reasons these errors can occur. I intend for this post to be a WIP as I do not have the time to go through everything in one sitting. It is very important to understand WHICH error message you are getting as different errors can point to very different problems/troubleshooting techniques and resolutions. When posting for assistance please be as specific as possible and ALWAYS include system specs.I have more expertise with some of these errors than others and I would highly recommend the use of FileMon in determining what FS is doing behind the scenes. When used correctly it can be an extremely powerful tool. Like everything else with FS though even FileMon has its caveats... For example, not everything that Filemon displays as an error or missing from FS is really missing or even required. For some reason the "search logic" in FS (if you can even use the word logic) leaves a tremendous amount to be desired. So be careful with Filemon FS is designed to look for non-existent files ;)So what are our actual FS errors? Lets explore together :)A. CTD- Otherwise known as Crash to Desktop. This error does exactly what it says and crashes directly to the desktop. There is no error message or warning one second you are flying the next you are staring at your My Computer Icon.B. Logged Error- Again, this will end your FS session but you will usually hear your CD spool up first and then you get the MS dialog box that FS9 has encountered an error. Do you want to close out and restart? The unfortunate thing with this error is that half of the time (at least) the error that is generated means nothing to us and half the time it isn't even the correct error just what was in use when FS failed.C. Out of Memory Error- This is the one that plagued me for years and proved to be my White Whale. Most annoying about this error is the fact that it appears to be a false message most of the time and FS has not "really" run out of memory. This will sometimes kill your FS session entirely, other times it will allow you to continue but you will lose all textures and if you have a "TRUE" memory leak FS WILL shut down 100% of the time. There are multiple causes of this and again even these are misunderstood from time to time.SKIP HERE IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED IN DEFINITION AND EXPLANATION OF MEMORY LEAKThis brings up another point about the usage of the term memory leak which is one of the most overused and misunderstood terms in simming. Just because you have a memory consumption growth during an FS session does not mean you have a Memory leak or an Out of Memory error and rest assured if you do have an OOM the O/S will let you know. The definition of a memory leak (according to wikipedia) is as follows:From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaJump to: navigation, searchIn computer science, a memory leak is a particular kind of unintentional memory consumption by a computer program where the program fails to release memory when no longer needed. The term is meant as a humorous misnomer, since memory is not physically lost from the computer. Rather, memory is allocated to a program, and that program subsequently loses the ability to access it due to program logic flaws.As is noted below, a memory leak has similar symptoms to a number of other problems, and generally can only be diagnosed by a programmer with access to the program source code; however many people are quick to describe any unwanted increase in memory usage as a memory leak, even if this is not strictly accurate.A memory leak can diminish the performance of the computer by reducing the amount of available memory. Memory allocation is normally a component of the operating system, so the result of a memory leak is usually an ever growing amount of memory being used by the system as a whole, not merely by the erroneous process or program. Eventually, in the worst case, too much of the available memory may become allocated and all or part of the system or device stops working correctly or the application fails.Memory leaks may not be serious or even detectable by normal means. In modern operating systems, normal memory used by an application is released when the application terminates. This means that a memory leak in a program that only runs for a short time is rarely serious.Cases where leaks are much more serious include * where the program is left running, and consumes more and more memory over time (such as background tasks, on servers, but especially in embedded devices which may be left running for many years); * where the program is able to request memory (e.g. shared memory) that is not released, even when the program terminates; * where the leak is happening inside the operating system * where memory is very limited e.g. in an embedded system or portable device * where running on operating systems (such as AmigaOS) where memory may not be automatically released on termination, and if lost can only be reclaimed by a rebootEND of Definition______________________________________________________________________CONTINUE HERED. .Dll errors. Another tough one and the same as the logged error but always pointing to an offender in the Modules directory. Most common offenders are Util.dll, ATC.dll, G2d.dll, g3d.dllE. Blue Screen- This is the famous MS Blue Screen. You know it if you get it ;) Despite the common belief that BS is always H/W more and more Blue Screen errors are now software and specifically Driver related. Many Bios settings can also influence Blue Screens such as Spread Spectrum Controls etc...F. Spontaneous reboot- This means that you are using XP and that under My Computer/Properties that you have a check box placed in the restart on system failure option....OK, So now we have established what the different types of errors, lets dive into why we get them and finally how to resolve them or at least try...A. CTD- Otherwise known as Crash to Desktop. This error does exactly what it says and crashes directly to the desktop. There is no error message or warning one second you are flying the next you are staring at your My Computer Icon.The most common cause I have found for a straight CTD is missing or corrupt texture files. This can even happen after a defrag for some reason. This is why after I defrag I always start/shut down FS 2-3 times to allow it to "find" all its files again. Now the interesting thing here is that certain textures are just not displayed if they are missing (AC textures) but a missing scenery textur or a corrupt scenery texture will always leave you staring at your desktop. Funny thing here is if you do the flight again FS might locate the texture fine and you will be ok. Thanks for that MS. Filemon will indicate a missing texture and will also show the last texture called prior to a CTD in case it is corrupt.To resolve this restore your default FS textures. If you run a program such as GE re-run your setup AFTER restoring your default textures. If others have "definitive" CTD causes/fixes please post here but the only thing I have seen that causes/fixes CTD's consistently is textures.B. Logged Error- Again, this will end your FS session but you will usually hear your CD spool up first and then you get the MS dialog box that FS9 has encountered an error. Do you want to close out and restart? The unfortunate thing with this error is that half of the time (at least) the error that is generated means nothing to us and half the time it isn't even the correct error just what was in use when FS failed.Hmmmm, this is a tough one to paint a broad stroke with as it is going to vary drastically based on the information the error provides. My best piece of advice on this one is to look at the detailed technical information within the error and see if it is pointing to something specific. This can also be like your typical Microsoft message and if you try the same exact flight you will have no issues. Try the flight again and see if you get the same error. If not it could have been a fluke but give it a second shot...C. Out of Memory Error- This is the one that plagued me for years and proved to be my White Whale. Most annoying about this error is the fact that it appears to be a false message most of the time and FS has not "really" run out of memory. This will sometimes kill your FS session entirely, other times it will allow you to continue but you will lose all textures and if you have a "TRUE" memory leak FS WILL shut down 100% of the time. There are multiple causes of this and again even these are misunderstood from time to time.Ah yes, the famous OOM error and one of the most misunderstood errors in FS. OK, the Out of memory error...This can be tricky because the first thing you need to do is determine if you have really run out of memory. This can be done in numerous ways. I use Pertelian which is an external LCD that shows me system stats in real time. For most though hit CTRL-ALT-DEL and see if you are really out of memory... If you have a "True Memory Leak" you will have no physical memory left and your commit charge will be 100%. You will physically have run out of memory just like the error states. This is actually the easiest OOM to troubleshoot as it points directly to a long standing FS bug and another commonly misinterpreted problem, LandClass Files...Despite the common belief that ANY LandClass file associated with a texture folder will cause a leak it is simply not true.A LandClass file with an EMPTY texture folder will cause the memory leak described above and use all available physical memory. A LandClass File with an accompanying texture folder storing required textures for that particular LC will NOT cause a leak.So if you get an Out of Memory and you are physically out of memory then go searching for empty texture folders :) Mind you that this includes your default add on/scenery folder. I have seen add-ons place a LC file in add on/scenery which of course has a texture folder that doesn't contain valid textures for that LC. This will cause a leak.So in summary, out of physical memory well then you have an empty texture folder with an associated LC file. BUT**** Did you get an Out of Memory do a CTRL-ALT-DEL and you still have plenty of physical memory left? This is a false message being generated by FS. You don't really have a "memory leak" but you do have a problem.To be continued....Cheers, -PaulPrimary 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

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OK, So my edit period has expired and I thought I would share some infor from RSANDAZZO at PMDG on the topic of CTD's etc...Then we will get back to the false OOM errors,CTD: RENDER TO TEXTURE:=======================If the following appears in your FS9.CFG:rendertotexture=0You may very likely experience a CTD with almost any freeware/commercial aircraft/scenery addon that has ANY non 32bit textures located anywhere in the product. This seems to be most common with custom cloud packages and weather programs that update the cloud formations to make them look more realistic, but also may be triggered by some scenery packages, aircraft liveries, etc.There is a lengthy explanation for what this setting does- but i'll boil the explanation down to this: If you are going to install ANY ADDON for FS9- you are better served by leaving this box CHECKED in your OPTIONS/SETTINGS/HARDWARE menu. (Note- you must follow the isntructions below to solve the problem....checking/unchecking the box in the menu does not gaurantee the fix will take.)RESOLUTION FOR RENDER TO TEXTURE CTD:->Open your FS9.CFG file (You must have "show kidden folders" selected in CONTROL PANEL, FOLDER OPTIONS. Then look for c:documents and settingsApplication dataMicrosoftFS9FS9.cfg)-> Search for the word: render-> If you find an instance of: rendertotexture=0, delete the entire line.-> Conduct the search again- as if your fs9.cfg is old- it may have more than one instance of this.-> Save FS9.cfg-> Restart FS9.Primary 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

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Again, from the PMDG site...========================We have had reported to us and been able to verify that there are a number of commercial and freeware addons also using I. Lee Hetherington's magnificent TCAS addon.Unfortunately, it appears that some of the freeware and commercial vendors have not established their installer properties carefully- and if you uninstall their airplane, they also delete the TCAS dlls.This renders any other aircraft using the TCAS dll inoperative- and results in a CTD.RESOLUTION FOR MISSING TCAS DLL CTD:-> Go to your root FS9 directory.-> Look for the file: TCAS2V7.dll-> If the file is missing, skip to the last last line.-> If the file is present, right click on it, select PROPERTIES/VERSION. The version should be 1.1.6.0-> If you have the file present AND it is the correct version- this is not affecting you. If it is not present, OR the version is older than 1.1.6.0, then:-> The simplest way to replace the dll is to open your original 747-400 installer (not the updater) and run the installer. Select "repair" from the menu that appears - and it should find and replace that missing dll. Once the installer has completed it's task- repeat the steps in this sequence to ensure you have the correct dll present.CTD: MISSING MSFS TRAFFIC DLLS:================================We have found that a few users machines were missing dlls that are required by FS9 in order to run. We are *assuming* that these dlls awere accidentally removed by a freeware/commercial installer- although we have not been able to identify the guilty installer:RESOLUTION FOR MISSING MSFS TRAFFIC DLLS:-> Go to FS9/MODULES-> Look for the following two files: Traffic.dll and TrafficInfo.dll-> If these files are missing- you will experience a CTD.-> We do not have a resolution for you, as we cannot distribute these files to you... you need to get them off of your FS9 CDs.Primary 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

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Do you have UTUSA installed? See here...http://www.simforums.com/forums/forum_post...?TID=19466&PN=1And the list goes on...-PaulPrimary 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

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An excellent start on FS9 problems. Like to add the following toOOM. Having enough memory to prevent OOM is nothing to do with thephysical amount of memory you have in your machine. You get OOM because of the following restraints in a 32bit OS (ie normal XPand Vista). You defined a page file too small - though if you don't know whatthis then XP will be managing it and you don't need to worry.Limitations of XP memory addressing. A 32bit OS can only addressabout 4Gbyte of memory (physical chips or virtual memory as a pagefile). A single application (FS9) can ONLY have 2Gbyte to itself,regardless of the physical memory you have added to your machine. Youcan ONLY change this by adding a /3G switch within boot.ini file forthe instance of the XP operating system - and only for professionalversions of XP and Vista - and not 64bit. This switch is done forserver machines running DB etc, and is considered unwise for gamesmachines due to lack of support with many programs that flip withthis different OS (McAfee apparently). You can also render yourmachine unbootable with this switch. Don't try this at home folksunless I am stating the obvious in this post.So, in general, OOM errors are normally when you hit the 2Gbyte limitavailable to FS9/FSX. You cannot "fix" this by adding (or removing)physical memory. As psolk indicated, this may be a true memory leakdue to loss of pointer reference in code, or more likely, you justhave too many objects loaded (Ie addon may have too many textures,be it airport or aircraft).Finding OOM not due to a missing texture is difficult and does require filemon or other system tools to find offending things - orjust to see memory buildup where you are flying. I tend to spreadmy addons around the world, so I don't have a large number of objectsin one flying place, and do different flying methods in the differentplaces.Anyway - nice post psolk.(PS : the remaining 2Gbyte of addressable space is used by XP to run,and in particular a shadow of the allocated memory within the graphicschip - so graphics tends to be "problematic" if you use the /3G switch).

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Great addition TOM000, thanks for contributing. I plan to add some more today as well. For the OOM issues I have actually reverted to disabling all sceneries other than the ones I am using for that particular session. In other words instead of having my entire add-on scenery library active at all times I have all of my add-on sceneries disabled. Then prior to my flight I enable the Departure/Arrival airports for that trip and leave everything else disabled. Not only does this make troubleshooting SOOO much easier but in addition I saw ~100 megs less memory usage moving to this model and more importantly I am asking FS to do less... When you are flying something like the PMDG 744 which takes up ~ 3-500 megs of memory usage ALONE on top of FS using 500 megs minimizing what is loaded in the sim becomes critical.I like to refer to this as "de-bloating" FS...As for your last comment about graphics problems with the /3gb switch you could not be accurate. Especially when you have dual 8800's expecting 1.5 gigs of that memory space...Thanks again TOM000 lets keep this going...-Paul Cheers and happy simming...Primary 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

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Hi,My 2 cents on "A. CTD- Otherwise known as Crash to Desktop."As you said missing textures are the likely cause.But there is another frequent cause : Double AFCAD filesYou can use ScanAFD to detect all double afcad files and delete them.

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