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Ray Proudfoot

UTIL.DLL Crash over NW India - any clues

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I decided on a rare long-haul flight from London Heathrow to Singapore. I left it at 1.00am over central Asia having departed EGLL at 20.30. Aircraft was the Posky 777-200ER with Project Magenta controlling the a/p via WideFS.I wake up this morning to find FS9 has crashed with util.dll reported as the problem. At the time the aircraft was over NW India. Two reloads utilising Pete Dowson's AutoSave utility failed to prevent the problem recurring.I can never remember this type of crash before. Whilst long-haul flights are fairly rare for me I have flown up the east coast of Africa recently in Concorde without problem. But that was before last weekend when a lot of indexes were rebuilt following the clock change in Europe.Searching for util.dll in this forum revealed a possible problem with the 9Dragons scenery which I have but my aircraft is a couple of thousand miles from Hong Kong so I don't think that issue is relevant.util.dll seems to be connected to loading indexes. But what indexes? Can anyone offer any advice on solving this please? Sending a report to Microsoft for a product that is not going to get any more updates seems pointless.Cheers,

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Further to my earlier message the aircraft is actually over NW Pakistan and the crash occurs when a couple of miles from HARPA. This waypoint is on Faisalabad airport.If there is a general scenery problem in this area then the only change from the default is FSGlobal which I've had for years.I'll try a flight out of OPFA and see what happens.

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Taking off from OPFA results in a util.dll crash as soon as the aircraft gets airborne.I'm trying a flight from Lahore - 60 miles east - and heading west towards HARPA. I'm wondering if I might have a bad scenery file.Okay, 6 miles east of HARPA FS9 crashes with the same error. It's looking like this area has a bad file. The scenery looks okay from the air.Any help on what causes util.dll crashes would be appreciated. It's so frustrating that there isn't a way of identifying exactly what is the problem.Thanks.

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Some more info...This crash is restricted to an extremely small area. Roughly a 5 mile radius around OPFA airport. I've just flown from another airport to the north and the crash occured 1 mile from HARPA.I've disabled the Asia and FS Global Asia scenery and it still occurs. The chances of me hitting this problem are very small and it's only because that my EGLL-WSSS plan includes the airway that HARPA is part of.If someone would care to try a flight out of OPFA I'd appreciate it just to establish if this problem is just on my PC or not.Guess I'll have to find another route to WSSS. :-(

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Just out of curiosity - have you tried flying around that area in the default Cessna 172?

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Hi Nevin,I've just tried the Cessna with exactly the same results. CTD just as the aircraft leaves the ground.I notice the runway is quite bumpy affecting both the 777 and Cessna. I wonder if that might be a clue? The terrain is pretty level with no mountains anywhere close.Would you mind trying a departure from Rwy 14 at OPFA and see if you get the same bumpy problem? If you can fly for 1 minute after take-off then you won't get the crash.Earlier I completed a flight from EGLL-EHAM without any problems so this CTD is very localised.Thanks.

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Hi RayAfter reading your posts i decided to try the departure you suggested.On my laptop i have a copy of FS9 with no scenery addons installed And at OPFA I only had the choice of rwy 3 or 21 Tried it any way with the cessna and apart from a rollercoaster ride down the rwy I did'nt have any problemsMark

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Thanks for trying that Mark. I meant 21. It's been a frustrating day. :-(I think I'm going to have to accept defeat on this. I just hope it doesn't happen elsewhere.I have a new EGLL-WSSS plan that avoids that area so I'll try that overnight.Thanks.

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Ray,I've just flown a circuit from Rwy 21, OPFA, in the 172. Aside from the bumpy runway, no issues.I don't have a Rwy 14 listed?

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Dean,See my earlier message. I meant 21. 14 was at another airport in the area.As I disabled the default Asia scenery it doesn't seem likely it's a scenery problem. But unlike atc.dll errors where you know it's to do with ATC and frequencies there's no clue as to what a util.dll error is caused by.I did send the report to Microsoft for all the good hat's going to do.

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I notice the runway is quite bumpy affecting both the 777 and Cessna. Sounds like some addon there might be the culprit. You can go to your scenery settings and maybe disable addons that affect that area to narrow things down. The other way is a bit more "kick the door down"-style but its a quick way to check if some addon is causing trouble. Wont tell you WHICH addon however. I've used it a lot to troubleshoot.Ok try this:1. Backup your scenery.cfg2. Make sure you have backed it up!3. Ok open the scenery.cfg and delete everything except the first three entries which are:--------------------------------------------------[General]Title=FS9 World SceneryDescription=FS9 Scenery DataClean_on_Exit=FALSE[Area.001]Title=Default TerrainTexture_ID=1Layer=1Active=TRUERequired=TRUELocal=SceneryWorldRemote=[Area.002]Title=Default SceneryLocal=SceneryBASELayer=2Active=TRUERequired=TRUERemote=-------------------------------------------------- What you are doing is making a completely stripped-down barebones .cfg. You will see no airports in the sim now and coastlines will look funny but its only temporary so dont worry.Save the scenery.cfg & go and fly in that area again and see how it goes.TIP - you can keep two scenery.cfgs, name this stripped down one scenery.tester while you use the primary .cfg. The tester scenery comes in handy if you need quick reloads in the sim (handy for testing planes)As for the bouncy runway see this discussion:http://tinyurl.com/625h5q

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Thanks Nevin but I'm not bothered about the bouncy runway. I only happened to be at OPFA because of the problem overflying at FL390. I've not seen that bouncy runway problem elsewhere.As for your suggestion to strip down scenery.cfg I have already disabled the Asia and FS Global Asia scenery and it still occurred. The only other possibility is a problem with Ground Environment and it's not possible to disable specific areas.I don't want to over-react to this. The problem covers such a small area that I normally never fly into. If my alternative plan gets me to WSSS then I'll forget it. If it happens elsewhere then I'll think about what to do next and I'll consider your stripped-down scenery cfg.Thanks.

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Hi Nevin,Sadly my second attempt to fly EGLL-WSSS again ended with the dreaded util.dll error. This time a mere 40 miles from Singapore. :-( Having successfully navigated a different route around Pakistan I thought the problem was a single bad file. It seems not. :-(Searching the web for this error produces very few hits so it seems I'm quite unlucky. However, my FS9 install goes back about 5 years and I simply transferred the whole thing to a new machine 8 months ago ensuring the drive and path remained the same - F:FS9.I've thought about trying your suggestion of a stripped down sceenry.cfg but the problem I have is that I have installed Ground Environment and this replaces all the default ground textures. I suppose it won't do any harm to try it and if the problem remains then it does suggest a rogue GE file but then I have the problem of identifying which one and second, how to fix it. GE is probably unsupported now as it was replaced by GE Pro and everyone has moved on to FSX.On top of that I have a significant number of addon airports, FS Global, Ultimate Terrain (Europe and US) and several 3rd party aircraft. Spending time reinstalling everything with no guarantee it would fix things could be a waste of time if I can't identify what is causing the crashes.I think the easiest solution is to abandon these long-haul flights to Asia. They're not something I do anyway but having recently installed the Posky 777-200 I was keen to try something different.I'll stick to Europe and the US for now and hopefully the problem won't reoccur. If it does then I will have to think seriously about what to do. I'm loath to dump FS9 as 1) I've invested heavily in it and 2) performance is great.I think this highlights how useless the error trapping is in FS generally. If a program encounters a problem reading a file then it should just tell you which file it has a problem with. At least then you have a fighting chance of fixing the problem. These "FS has encountered a problem and needs to close" messages are totally infuriating and what's the point in sending them to MS when even with a supported version they just disappear into a black hole without any feedback? :-(

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Ray,I tried the OPFA takeoff and it went OK, no CTDs. It must be one of your add-ons, I would think, just like Nevin suggested. By stripping down your scenery.cfg you will do no harm whatsoever to your installed aircraft, scenery and other add-ons. I also have GE Pro II, FE and whatnot and regularly do a similar thing to scenery.cfg when rebuilding FSFK database which resides on another computer. Simply copy your current scenery.cfg somewhere safe and when you are done testing, put it back. If you suspect GE, you might try and restore default textures, there is a "Restore Backup" function - at least in GE Pro II. But I think GE is not to blame. Textures are few for such a vast area that they are covering, so if one of them was to blame, you'd encounter CTD's all over. Don't give up, there must be a solution! I also have a huge installation of FS9 and don't even want to think about reinstalling! :)Regards,JureEDIT: Just a thought... try and move all non-default .dll's from the Modules folder to a temporary folder and see what happens. I even went as far as making custom fs9.bat and fs9.cfg files for different add-on aircraft. The .bat file copies the required .dll(s) into the Modules folder before starting FS9 and deletes it (them) again after the FS session is over.

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Hi Nevin,I saved my current scenery.cfg and copied your three entries into a new one. I then loaded FS9 and from the Select Flight screen I chose the last AutoSave a couple of minutes prior to the crash.Whilst the coastlines are very jagged the terrain has a lot of detail - autogen, landclass etc. I presume these are the Ground Environment replacement textures.A couple of minutes into the flight I got the same CTD - util.dll.Just to eliminate the Posky 777 from this I switched to a default 737 and saved the flight. I then deleted the Posky 777 folder and loaded the flight using the default 737. Again, it crashed with util.dll so I can eliminate the Posky as the cause.Everything appears to point to GE but the only way to prove this is to rename my FS9 folder and install a virgin FS9 followed by GE. If that cures the problem then I might have found the cause if not the file responsible. Does that sound like a plan?

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Hi Jure,As you may have seen from my earlier reply I tried a stripped-down scenery.cfg but the problem remains.What you say about GE makes sense and I would try restoring the defaults but because I copied FS9 in its entirety to my new computer the Registry entries aren't present to allow GE to run. But as you say, GE is unlikely to be the problem.I also moved all non-default DLLs to a temporary folder and it made no difference. FS9 crashes at the same time when loaded from an autosave. The clock on the default 737 confirms this.It has to be related to the location. The fact that I flew all the way from EGLL to 40 miles from Singapore before hitting this problem today suggests it's location specific. And yesterday's crashes were all within a few miles of OPFA.Time to think about this some more but if you have any more suggestions I'll be pleased to hear them.Thanks.

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Ray,what about X:Flight Simulator 9Sceneryxxxxxxscenery folders? Have you - or better, some installer - replaced one of the .bgl's there? Since this is Asia, concentrate on the X:Flight Simulator 9SceneryAsiascenery. The newest date you should see there is June 6th 2003. If there is anything newer, it could well be, that one of the files was overwritten by something. Also, please check folders Base, Generic and World. There HAS to be one rogue file that's causing this. Have you tried changing the season? It may sound weird, but you never know... Jure

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Hi Jure,In fs9sceneryasiascenery I have 15 BGLs dated 12 Jan 07 and later. I'm pretty sure these relate to the 9Dragons scenery. 6 original BGLs have been replaced by modified ones.This may be a coincidence but of the few hits I had yesterday looking for UTIL.DLL problems one involved the 9Dragons scenery. But this only happened when you started at VHHX and then moved to another airport.Genericscenery also has recent BGLs - one named 9D_VHHX_IGS_Approach.BGL. This, and the ones above will still be getting loaded even if I disable the 9Dragons scenery won't they?World/scenery has some relating to VOZ which I uninstalled a while back but nothing for 9Dragons.It seems the next logical thing to do is to uninstall 9Dragons VHHX and take it from there.Thanks for your help, it's much appreciated. :-)

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Hi Ray,hm... I wouldn't go as far as uninstalling 9Dragons. If you are careful, you can temporarily install original .bgl's back just to see what will happen. That goes for Asia/Scenery. The file for the IGS approach in Generic/Scenery can simply be renamed to something like 9D_VHHX_IGS_Approach.xxx and it will not get loaded. Just to be on the safe side, disable ONLY 9Dragons scenery in Scenery .cfg. Obviously, the files in 9Dragons folders are ok, since you have already tried to run FS9 with stripped down scenery.cfg. Maybe one of the .bgl's in Asia/Scenery is to blame? World/Scenery contains modified files? Or added files by VOZ? I would clean that as well.FS can be weird, generating error thousands of miles away from the actual problem area. Keep us posted. Fingers crossed... :)Jure

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Hi Jure,Firstly, yes, I did try changing the season but it made no difference.It occurred to me that with that minimal scenery.cfg I'm only loading BGLs in WorldScenery and BaseScenery. The asiascenery files are not getting loaded are they?I temporarily moved to another folder all BGLs created after 31/12/2003 from base/scenery and worldscenery but the problem persisted.So I decided to disable the Default Terrain entry - sceneryworld. I got a message about a non-existent folder but was able to load the flight.It's stopped the error! :-) Now the tricky bit. Finding the rogue file or files. Is it going to be a BGL or one in the worldtexture folder? The problem is I have 34,399 files in that folder.It contains 4164 AGN files, a VOZ bat file, 30,231 BMPs, 1 txt file, 1 .db file and 1 .zip - original water textures. Is yours a comparable size?Got any ideas on how to proceed now? I think I have some remnants of VOZ remaining but not sure if they're responsible and how to identify them. Can bad texture files cause a CTD or is a BGL still likely to be responsible?Thanks.

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Hi Ray,you are right, if you disabled everything in the scenery.cfg, then Asia files would not load. So you kept only World and Base and got the CTD again? My Worldscenery has 100 files, but a few are extra.Worldtexture has 26,751 files, but that includes texture files for Project Canarias photoreal scenery.Here's an idea: rename your Worldscenery folder to something else and install default .bgl's from your FS9 disk to a brand new worldscenery folder. If you get a CTD, then do the same with the Worldtextures folder. I would say that a .bgl is to blame (and easier to debug because of lesser volume of files), but I am no expert. I keep a clean install of FS9 just for such purposes on one of my hard disks.Maybe it would be worth checking the main FS9 folder for extra .dll files? Although I do not know how a .dll file could cause such a localized CTD...Hopefully, someone else will chime in if this doesn't work. Jure

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Hi Jure,Thank you for your continued help with this exasperating problem.you are right, if you disabled everything in the scenery.cfg, then Asia files would not load. So you kept only World and Base and got the CTD again?That's correct. Disabling the World (terrain) entry stopped the CTD.Here's an idea: rename your Worldscenery folder to something else and install default .bgl's from your FS9 disk to a brand new worldscenery folder. If you get a CTD, then do the same with the Worldtextures folder. I would say that a .bgl is to blame (and easier to debug because of lesser volume of files), but I am no expert.Is it possible to copy files from the CDs without running setup.exe? If so then I'll do as you suggest and only bring in default BGLs followed by default textures.If I can't easily find these files or copy them I'll rename my FS9 folder to FS9CURRENT and install a virgin FS9 to FS9. Then I'll rename that new FS9 folder to FS9VIRGIN and my original back to FS9. That stops the registry getting wrong paths and gives me a virgin FS9 albeit without the 9.1 patch which hopefully didn't include any files from these folders. To be on the safe side I should probably install the patch though.Then I'll rename worldscenery in my original install and copy the virgin one over. The I'll do the same with worldtexture if necessary. With perseverence it should be possible to identify which BGL is responsible.Before I do any of this I will check the FS9 folder for any DLLs. I'm not sure if those get loaded or not but checking and renaming any is a simple action.At least the problem has been whittled down to one of two areas. I've closed things down for the night so I'll try this tomorrow.Thanks.

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Hi Jure,I'm afraid I'm like a dog with a bone. I decided to install a clean copy of FS9 plus the patch. I copied my test flight over and ran it. No problems. Good.Next I renamed sceneryworldscenery in my original setup and copied the virgin one. Still got the crash. :-(So I put the original sceneryworldscenery back and renamed/copied sceneryworldtexture. Ran the test. Bingo! No crash.So it's something in that worldtexture folder. Trouble is my original has 34000+ but the default has 3880 or so. I also have the Canarias scenery.I need to try copying blocks of files over and test each time. It's a royal pain but at least the problem area has been identified. I'll continue with this Monday evening and report back.Yiu've been a real help with all this. I'm reasonably proficient with FS9 but the key was your suggestion to use a barebones scenery.cfg.That's all for tonight.:-wave

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Hi again Jure,I took time off work to sort this out. I thought I'd nailed the offending file - 008b2m11.bmp - as FS9 was okay without it but crashed with it. Surprisingly it was an original from 2003 so I copied the one from my virgin install.Sadly it didn't fix the problem. I think it may have something to do with Ground Environment textures so I've restored worldtexture back from where GE backed it up.Good news! That's fixed the problem both at OPFA and also 40 miles from WSSS where I hit the problem again. :-hahHopefully installing GE textures will not bring the problem back. I'll find out later tonight or tomorrow. Whenever I can pluck up the courage.Thanks for your help on this. Couldn't have done it without you! Have a beer on me :-beerchugCheers,

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I bit the bullet, installed Ground Environment and loaded my test flight to check for the UTIL.DLL error.Watching the second hand on the 737 clock was nerve racking as the moment approached. A couple of brief pauses gave me palpatations but the fight continued and no errors! I guess the pauses were files being loaded. This time FS was happy with them. :-)I also tried a take-off from OPFA and that too went without a problem.I think I can put this to bed now. Hopefully there'll be no further crashes. Fingers crossed!

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