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BartEnder

How many aircraft.cfg files FSX can stand?

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Hi there!Does anybody have a maximum, stable number of aircraft.cfg entries in SimObjects? Is there such a parameter? Since I have a terrible experience with FSX hanging, I am trying to solve this no matter what and desperately searching for solution.


Bartłomiej Ender

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Hi there!Does anybody have a maximum, stable number of aircraft.cfg entries in SimObjects? Is there such a parameter? Since I have a terrible experience with FSX hanging, I am trying to solve this no matter what and desperately searching for solution.
I don't have a number for you, but I only keep those addons that I use at the moment in the SimObjects/Airplanes folder. The rest I cut-and-past to a "hangar" somewhere else on my harddrive. If I want to use them again, I just copy them back.

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I'm not sure if there are any real limits. However, I added a couple of lines to my FSX.cfg which point to other directories besides the simobject\airplanes Under[Main]User Objects=Airplane, Helicopter I added: SimObjectPaths.6=aircraftSimObjectPaths.7=SimObjects\AI AircraftSo there are a lot of aircraft that FSX uses but never presents them in the selection menus when choosing an aircraft to fly since these are not listed as user objects.I don't know if this helps FSX cope with a high number of aircraft.cfgs, but it works for me.


Keith Guillory

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My number is approx. 200-250, so this is not the reason for CTD's.Thanks for help, I am going to look for another trace of crashes.


Bartłomiej Ender

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Hello:I don't have a definite number either, but I can say that the more aircraft you have installed, the longer any version of FS will take to startup, and the longer it will take to load up the aircraft picklist at runtime, although this data-loading improves somewhat in FSX with faster multi-core CPUs.BTW: This is also true of add-on scenery areas in the FS scenery library; even if the scenery area is set "inactive" in the library (and thereby in the FS "Scenery.CFG" file), when FS starts up, it still inventories ALL objects referenced in Scenery.CFG, therefore all scenery BGLs, and all mapped effects, textures etc. referenced in the scenery object MDL files.This can end up being millions of file I/O operations when viewed in SysInternals Process Monitor, and the more bloated our Scenery.CFG file, the longer that process takes.FYI: The only way to inactivate a scenery so it is not inventoried by FS at startup is to delete a scenery area from Scenery.CFG via the FS scenery library user interface, "cut and export" using "SCM2004" for later re-import of that scenery area info to the Scenery.CFG file, or choose between multiple edited versions of Scenery.CFG with a batch file before starting FS.http://library.avsim.net/search.php?Search...t&Go=SearchIn addition to FS9 as its target platform, SCM2004 will also work in FSX or even FS8 with a little batch file and REG file trickery, also being sure to put a copy of one's FS9.exe file into the folder containing the active Scenery.CFG file one is editing. :( Another apparent "gotcha" is that FSX covertly seems to use the Internet Explorer "Index.DAT" custom content search engine function to inventory and index scenery files for use by FSX to create the scenery library index files (in Win XP Pro on my system: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Application Data\Microsoft\FSX\SceneryIndexes\Filelist00001.DAT et seq.).The bad news is that if one has lots of scenery listed ("active" or not !) in Scenery.CFG, this MSIE "Index.DAT" engine can be seen using resources even during FSX runtime via SysInternals Process Monitor.On my previous 'older hardware' FS system, I once had thousands of scenery library objects in one big "EZ-Scenery Libary Objects" area layer in FS Scenery library, and the background "MSIE Index.DAT engine" hit would bring FSX to a crawl as it read and indexed every file in that folder chain, even spilling its inordinately long processing time from FSX startup over into actual FSX flying runtime.File I/O is one of the biggest performance killers for FSX during both startup and runtime.Anyway... back to Aircraft management: (sorry for the hopefully also pertinent digression on Scenery.CFG !) :( Rather than physically move aircraft in and out of the SimObjects folder chain (the file ops of which ultimately fragments one's hard drive), one can simply batch rename the Aircraft.CFG files to be "inactivated" to something other than a "CFG" file extension (ex: Aircraft.BAK"), and FSX won't recognize them, inventory them, or crowd the Aircraft picklist with them at runtime.Alternatively, one can use a batch file with various versions of FSX.CFG containing different designated aircraft sub-folders such as "flyerkg" showed in his post above, using separate appended SimObjectPaths.x=[path] statements to point at active and inactive folder chains where one hangars particular pilot-controlled SimObjects.PS: There a few caveats one must consider for this method as discussed here:http://www.sim-outhouse.com/sohforums/showthread.php?t=25742Hope this helps ! :( GaryGB

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Thanks Gery! The scenery deviation lead me to another clue - maybe I have too much (approx 190) entries. Anyway... I get rid of most A/C (loading all variants takes 15-16sec), but still FSX crashes at low altitudes... But it is a story for different topic.


Bartłomiej Ender

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Hello:Many FS hangs or CTDs are due to scenery, such as missing textures or effects etc. causing FSX to search through many folder paths looking for a file referenced in a BGL; sometimes it causes lag, other times it causes an eventual crash.A few questions might help identify the "type" of FSX crash occurring:Is the FSX crash at a particular % on the progress bar when loading up a flight at a particular location ?If at a particular location mid-flight, is it when banking, or when approaching a particular airport at a certain distance out ?If mid-flight, is it when panning around one's viewpoint either inside or outside the cockpit ?Hope this helps ! :( GaryGB

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Rather than physically move aircraft in and out of the SimObjects folder chain (the file ops of which ultimately fragments one's hard drive), one can simply batch rename the Aircraft.CFG files to be "inactivated" to something other than a "CFG" file extension (ex: Aircraft.BAK"), and FSX won't recognize them, inventory them, or crowd the Aircraft picklist with them at runtime.
Excellent suggestion - thanks.

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Hello:I don't have a definite number either, but I can say that the more aircraft you have installed, the longer any version of FS will take to startup, and the longer it will take to load up the aircraft picklist at runtime, although this data-loading improves somewhat in FSX with faster multi-core CPUs.GaryGB
Gary, This is no joke. I recently rebuilt a PC and put FS9 on an external hd. It is no longer back to where it once was before switching to FSX. The aircraft picklist comes up in about 20-30 seconds. However, with my dedicated FSX build-up, it takes quite a while to get from icon to cockpit, easily 15 minutes. The selection of new additional aircraft or changing scenery post initial startup is considerably faster, but still painful. Thank you for detailed information.Keith

Keith Guillory

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Gary, This is no joke. I recently rebuilt a PC and put FS9 on an external hd. It is no longer back to where it once was before switching to FSX. The aircraft picklist comes up in about 20-30 seconds. However, with my dedicated FSX build-up, it takes quite a while to get from icon to cockpit, easily 15 minutes. The selection of new additional aircraft or changing scenery post initial startup is considerably faster, but still painful. Thank you for detailed information.Keith
Hi Keith:In FSX.CFG, do you have this parameter ?[MAIN]DisablePreload=1Also, perhaps a few of these ideas might help ? :(http://forums.simflight.com/viewtopic.php?...&hilit=+SCM[EDITED]PS: For FS scenery areas stored on external hard drives, in the FS scenery library user interface, you may want to enable the option to "cache" the scenery on one's internal hard drive under the auspices of FS rather than leaving the default set at "use this scenery directly" off of the external hard drive; IMHO one will still see faster data throughput on an internal drive than an external drive via a USB cable, whether USB 2.0 or not.Also, one should not allow the option of the cache for that scenery entry to be "deleted" on exit from FS.Furthermore, when the external hard drive is unplugged, then re-plugged, there may be an attempt on the part of the Windows File and Folder "Search" Indexing Service to re-index that drive, as well as an attempt by the covert "FSX file content" indexing engine of MS Internet Explorer's "Index.DAT" file to re-index that drive for use by the FSX scenery library index files as described above.As an additional idea, although there has been some controversy as to how much impact the following “DisablePagingExecutive” tweak imparts, and exactly how it works, I still find performance benefits to using it.If you have at least 384 MB of RAM (and who doesn't nowadays!), Windows users may boost access speed to some files by setting the registry to cache certain Windows system DLL files.The unexpected windfall under ongoing testing is that apparently at runtime, more than just Windows system files become accessible faster during normal operations, and during successive reloads, FS often loads more efficiently and nearly entirely out of RAM, rather than off the hard drive, when this “DisablePagingExecutive” REG tweak is used.The purported ability to use "EnableSuperfetch" under Windows XP has been proven a myth; however other tweaks on this page may merit consideration to see if they might benefit performance under both Windows XP and Vista:http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=815811Remember: YMMVHope this helps ! :( GaryGB

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Regarding "custom" fsx.CFG files....nop need for a batch file here.All one needs to do is make copies of the fsx.EXE file and rename the copies to, say, fsx_Propliners.exe, fsx_Military.exe, etc.When you run one of those renamed copies they will use the fsx CFG file with the same name, so just make copies of your fsx.CFG file, rename them, and customize the SimObject folders that are used by adding/removing the elementsin the "Main" section. An example:

[Main]User Objects=Airplane, HelicopterSimObjectPaths.0=SimObjects\Airplanes//SimObjectPaths.1=SimObjects\RotorcraftSimObjectPaths.1=SimObjects\GroundVehiclesSimObjectPaths.2=SimObjects\Boats//SimObjectPaths.4=SimObjects\AnimalsSimObjectPaths.3=SimObjects\Misc//SimObjectPaths.5=SimObjects\AircraftSimObjectPaths.4=M:\FSX AI AircraftSimObjectPaths.5=M:\FSX Military AI//SimObjectPaths.8=I:\FSX Military Aircraft//SimObjectPaths.9=I:\FSX A6 AircraftSimObjectPaths.6=SimObjects\Propliner AircraftSimObjectPaths.7=ORBX\FTX_AU\FTXAI_AIRCRAFTSimObjectPaths.8=M:\FSX_AI_Aircraft_CH

Paul


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Interesting idea, Paul... I'll have to check that one out ! :( GaryGB

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Hi Keith:In FSX.CFG, do you have this parameter ?[MAIN]DisablePreload=1GaryGB
Gary,Thanks for the advice. I have never used the DisablePreload=1. I have previously created multiple cfg files as mentioned here so that only certain aircraft and or scenery load upon loading MSFS. So if I wanted to fly throughout North America, Europe , or anywhere else, my aircraft.cfg would only have aircraft particular too that area.

Keith Guillory

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