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Guest BrianFletcher

Gauge removal utility...........

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Greetings, What is the best freeware utility for removing unused gauges? I just tried a beta version that my friend is working on, but it messed up my whole gauges folder, and I had to restore my computer to fix it. I still need to get rid of my unused gauges, but I don't want any more problems. Can someone recommend the most reliable gauge removal utility please?Thank you,Brian Fletcher

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There used to be a utility called Gauge Cleaner, but I just did a Google Search for it and came up empty, so it may no longer be around.You best bet may be FS Panel Studio which has that capability and is useful to have for a lot of reasons, particularly if you like to customize some of your panels.Hope that's helpful.Ed GreenKCLT


http://www.oncourse-software.co.uk/forum_images/fdc_beta.jpg

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Why do you want to remove your unused gauges?

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I like to keep my FS9 and FSX directory clean. Plus, I can't see a need for having my gauges folder twice as big as it needs to be, especially when I go looking for a certain gauge. I learned that it is easier to find problems with stutters when I keep track of what I have installed and when, having unnecessary gauges around just gets in my way.

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Hello Brian..I like to delete unused guages also. I use the RBS GUAGE EXPLORER...You can find it in FLIGHT SIM or AVSIM..Its a freebie and works quite well..removes unused guages and backs them up or you can delete them..Regardss..TH

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RBS GUAGE EXPLORER or RBS GAUGE EXPLORER .... cant find it in either place.Harold

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Search for Gauge Cleaner in Avsim File Library and you'll find what you're looking for. Google is good, but not that good;-) John M

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It looks like there is a few options between here and FS.com, though out of loyalty I will stay right here. I have found that getting rid of unnecessary gauges, effect, etc, really helps me to keep track of what is going on in my FS files. When the time comes that I need to determine the cause of stutters or other poor performance, I like having a clean directory to work with. Most of the gauges I have removed are only about 30-200 kb, but that starts to add up when you have 100's of unused gauges.

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HELLO...You can find GUAGE EXPLORER..FLIGHT SIM MENU VIEW ENTIRE SECTION MISC PAGE....621---630 File...guageeexp.zip HOPE THIS HELPS....TH

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I've had Gauge Explorer installed but have never really used it. How can I determine which "unused gauges" I can safely delete, or move to an external file, without damaging my FS9 set up? It's late now and I'll search for a post regarding this tomorrow, but if there is a quick easy answer I would appreciate it.Thanks in advanceJohn M

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I like to use the gauge diagnostic utility contained in RanaInside's FlightSim Manager. It will scan your gauge file and remove to a backup any gauges which are not associated with any of the items in the Aircraft folder. Gary

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Brian,As a tip to KEEP your gauges folder clean: as a general rule, don't install addon gauges (.gau or .cab) directly in the main gauges folder, but in the panel folder of the aircraft itself. Works the same.Besides the disadvantage of possibly using a bit more diskspace (if a gauge is used in more panels, but who cares :-) ), the advantages are obvious:1. When you delete an aircraft foldertree, its gauges are automatically removed too.2. You never have a problem with different versions of gauges that might be incompatible (or older versions overwriting a newer one at installation of an addon)3. The panel loads faster, because FS first searches the local panel folder for the defined gauge.Allthough, I admit, that's theoretical since you probably won't notice the difference, unless maybe if you have 10s of thousends gauges in your gauge folder.In fact, I never understood why developpers of addon aircraft (that include gauges), don't do this by default.Cheers, Rob

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Thanks for that advice Rob. I can't believe that I did not know you could just keep the gauges in the panel folder. I feel awfully ignorant right now, especially since I am far from being new to Flight Simulator. Your idea sounds best of all because now I can get rid of the aircraft and gauges in one big swoop instead of having to run a gauge removal utility. Thanks again for that tip, it will definitly help to keep my FS9 directory clean.-Brian Fletcher

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Hi Brian,No need to feel ignorant :-); I guess most flightsimmers are probably unaware of this.FYI: I posted the following about two years ago (thread not searchable anymore):********************************************Placement of gauge files========================Assume the panel.cfg is in the folder:....aircraftyouraircraftyourpanelIf you panel.cfg contains a definition like:gauge** = filename!gaugename, ..,..FS seaches for that gauge in the following order:1. The gauge "gaugename", in file "filename.gau" in folder ...yourpanel2. The gauge/file "gaugename.xml" in folder ....yourpanelfilename3. The gauge "gaugename.xml", in file "filename.cab" in folder ...yourpanel4. The gauge "gaugename", in file "filename.gau" in folder ...gauges5. The gauge/file "gaugename.xml" in folder ....gaugesfilename6. The gauge "gaugename.xml", in file "filename.cab" in folder ...gaugesA few notes===========1. As you can see, with the same panel.cfg definition, you can choose to place your gaugefile (.gau or .cab) either in the ....gauges or ...yourpanel folder. Avantage of ...gauges:- Only one, shared gauge file (saves diskspace)- Installing a newer version of the gauge, you only have to overwrite one file for all panels using it.Advantages of ....yourpanel:- Allows for multiple versions of a gauge.- You never (accidentally) overwrite a gauge with an older version.- Easy maintenance if you decide to remove a plane with it's panel: you simply delete the whole aircraft folder (and panel subfolder) without leaving (potentially unused gauges) in the gauges folder; or accidentally delete a gauge that is still used by another aircraft panel.- Faster loading of the panel, because of the seach order and the size of the gauge folders. Allthough you probably won't notice a difference, unless your main gauges folder contains 10000's of gauges.So you can decide yourself which "strategy" best suites you.2. For XML gauges, you can decided to unpack the .cab file (e.g. using WinZip) into a subfolder with the same name as the .cab filename.Adavantage:- Easy change/replacement of a single .xml or .bmp file, without bundling/replacing the whole .cab file.- Much faster loading of the panel with very large .cab files (because the file needs not to be unpacked first)And these are only the main options and advantages :-)To name three other possibilities:1. You can put gauge files into a subfolder of ...gauges.E.g. gauge** = foldername/filename!gaugename, ..,..when the gauge file is placed in folder ....gaugesfoldernameNot very usefull given the other options, especially since if it's wasn't setup this way by the designer, you have to modify all gauge definitions in the panel.cfg.2. Use panel aliasses, i.e. a common panel folder (with gauges) for more aircraft (or aircraft models). The panel.cfg only needs to contain the line "alias=......", where ..... specifies the path of the actual panel folder (which can be anywhere in the FS tree)3. Modify the bitmap of an xml gauge for a specific panel.Suppose you want to adapt the bitmap of an XML gauge in a .cab file, for one specific panel.What you do: Extract the .bmp file from the filename.cab file, eg. with Winzip, to folder ...aircraftyouraircraftyourpanelfilename and modify it.Now this particular panel will use the modified bitmap and NOT the bitmap from the .cab file.Hope this clarifies a few things.Cheers, Rob Barendregt******************************************

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>2. For XML gauges, you can decided to unpack the .cab file>(e.g. using WinZip) into a subfolder with the same name as the>.cab filename.>- Much faster loading of the panel with very large .cab files>(because the file needs not to be unpacked first)now that's the tip of the day for me, as I have this issue with quite a few planes. Thank you for sharing all those valuable advices, Rob!

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Hi Michael,Glad that helped someone :-)In fact, I had an all-XML panel once with all gauges in a something-like 15 Mbyte cab file, and unzipping the .cab to a subfolder reduced the loadtime of the aircraft from 40 to 15 sec. (on my PC of course).Cheers, Rob

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"They" say there is no such thing as a stupid question, but this may be one. Can I simply delete all the 'unused gauges' that show in my Gauge Explorer or should I be more discrete? Like placing them in a back-up folder....just in case. None of these gauges are showing that they are being used in any FS file. I've never used this tool and any help would be appreciatedJohn M

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>Hi Michael,>>Glad that helped someone :-)>>In fact, I had an all-XML panel once with all gauges in a>something-like 15 Mbyte cab file, and unzipping the .cab to a>subfolder reduced the loadtime of the aircraft from 40 to 15>sec. (on my PC of course).>>Cheers, RobI did this now for the ** B17 II and it reduced the loading time from about 150 secs to about 40 secs - this really makes a difference!

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John, that depends on which tool/version you are using..(I don't use any myself).I did try one such tools two years ago (can't remember which one), but that tool stupidly enough removed also default FS9 gauges that were not referenced in any default aircraft.Now, this isn't very clever, since addon aircraft that are installed later may expect such a default gauge to be present.Even worse, some people also are in the habit of deleting default aircraft; which could also cause default gauges to be removed because they might not be referenced anymore.Again, I don't know how todays "gauge cleaner" tools behave, but realise what you are doing when you really delete "unused gauges" .Rob

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Thanks Rob. I thought that would be the case. I'm a 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it ' kind of guy ,so I not going to mess with this unless my panel loading times start to suffer. The information you posted above is interesting though and well worth a look next time I get into a tweaking mood.John M

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Hi Rob,This may be a dumb question, but understanding with new addons, that gauges can be kept in the aircraft file instead of the simulator "Gauges" file, what if anything, can be done about the planes that are already installed with the gauges installed in the simulator "Gauges" file instead of it's own aircraft file? I have a lot of addon planes installed in FS9 & the gauges have been installed in FS9 "Gauges" per the instructions usualy given. Is there anyway to get the gauges back into the aircraft file?Thanks,Bob Anderson

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Hi Bob,That would be a very cumbersome process, which I would never do (nor advise).Because you would have to investigate each panel.cfg for the used gauges, and then move them to the appropriate panel folder.However, this is very tricky, because you cannot see if a particular gauge is used in other panel as well. Which you have to know before you move it out of the gauges folder.Maybe there are utilities out there that could help with that process, but I wouldn't know which one.Rob

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Hi Bob,What I do is create a temporary folder in my Windows Explorer C drive, giving it any name, to which I download and then open the new add-on, rather than installing it directly to FS9. Then I can see all the files contained in the add-on,including the Gauge files, and ultimately do a copy and paste to FS9 . The point is I have control over where to paste the files, ie, placing the Gauge files in the Panel folder. Or, if you prefer you can still place the Gauge files in the FS9 Gauge folder.Hope this helps.Jack

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Thanks Rob & Jack for your replies.Rob, That is pretty much what I speculated as I hadn't heard of someway of moving gauges back into the aircraft file. It would be an enormous undertaking & probably impossible.Jack, Your suggestion is good & is pretty much the way I install now, to a temporary file & then move from there to the proper locations. I just have not been dealing w/the gauges in the way you mentioned. I may try doing that.Thanks again to both of you.Bob

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