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bojote

Black Screens & Missing Textures in Windows 7? Here's the FIX!

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Before you start reading... 1) IF you have Vista or XP, this post DOESN'T APPLY TO YOU (your problem is not related to what's discussed in this post)2) If you Use Windows 7 with VISTA Video drivers, this post DOESN'T APPLY TO YOUWhy this is a FIX? (Meant for the sarcastic police out there):Windows 7 implemented a new Display Driver Model (version 1.1) that changes the way DX uses available VIDEO MEMORY (read the Wikipedia article if you want all the details) this driver model was implemented on all VIDEO drivers (nVidia & ATI) starting with the 181.71 drivers (nVidia) and ALL ATI drivers meant exclusively for Win7.FSX (a 5 year old application) was developed with WDDM Version 1.0 in mind (Vista), the FSX team also made sure everything worked with the legacy Windows XP-based display driver architecture for backward compatibility.When Win7 makes its appearence, so does a series of problems for FSX users... the main problem, is completely random, hard to replicate and happens to 'some' users, not all. The problem, is simple: Dissapearing instruments, aircraft textures, black screens (with sound in the background), 'crashes' and even 'invisible' cockpits a la wonder woman plane style.I use win7, I do use BufferPools=0 and I consider myself lucky to have a very stable win7 setup, HOWEVER... since I am obssesive compulsive, I decided to stress my FSX setup using an unlikely scenario... that scenerario was:REX2, UT, Ultimate traffic 2 (SP1) with 100% AI, FULL SLIDERS, Level-D, FSDT KJFK & Manhattan X on the ground at KJFK airport at Dawn with fog and rainy weather. 16 AF, 16xQ AA @ 1920x1080.An unlikely scenario, because I DONT USE FULL SLIDERS and fly with lower resolution (1280x720). I just did this to create a situation file to 'replicate' the missing textures, black screen problems. My method of testing? Cycle thru ALL the AI planes, and outside views moving the Mouse in circles to stress Video RAM memory usage.. end result? well.. a crawling mess. 100% of the time I will get: a crash (d3d.dll), black screen or missing texture(s) REGARDLESS of BufferPools setting.If you are a tech guy and paid CLOSE ATTENTION to everything I said, you have the answer :) Question: How DO YOU force Win7 into using the old WDDM1.0 without using a VISTA Video Display drivers? ANSWER: You run FSX in Vista compatiblity mode ;)The above scenario, tested MANY TIMES will not crash, never, ever using Vista compatiblity modeSo, if this applies to you and you are AFFECTED by the problem, go ahead and give it a try... (this will NOT increase performance, if anything it will decrease it a bit) FSX under Vista compatibility mode CAN'T USE WDDM1.1 compatibilty mode is made precisely for backward compatibily with previous Driver Model architectures.Enjoy,

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Bojote, you are a fountain of ideas and information! How do you run FSX in Vista compatibility mode? What do you mean by Vista drivers?Stephen

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Before you start reading... 1) IF you have Vista or XP, this post DOESN'T APPLY TO YOU (your problem is not related to what's discussed in this post)2) If you Use Windows 7 with VISTA Video drivers, this post DOESN'T APPLY TO YOUWhy this is a FIX? (Meant for the sarcastic police out there):Windows 7 implemented a new Display Driver Model (version 1.1) that changes the way DX uses available VIDEO MEMORY (read the Wikipedia article if you want all the details) this driver model was implemented on all VIDEO drivers (nVidia & ATI) starting with the 181.71 drivers (nVidia) and ALL ATI drivers meant exclusively for Win7.FSX (a 5 year old application) was developed with WDDM Version 1.0 in mind (Vista), the FSX team also made sure everything worked with the legacy Windows XP-based display driver architecture for backward compatibility.When Win7 makes its appearence, so does a series of problems for FSX users... the main problem, is completely random, hard to replicate and happens to 'some' users, not all. The problem, is simple: Dissapearing instruments, aircraft textures, black screens (with sound in the background), 'crashes' and even 'invisible' cockpits a la wonder woman plane style.I use win7, I do use BufferPools=0 and I consider myself lucky to have a very stable win7 setup, HOWEVER... since I am obssesive compulsive, I decided to stress my FSX setup using an unlikely scenario... that scenerario was:REX2, UT, Ultimate traffic 2 (SP1) with 100% AI, FULL SLIDERS, Level-D, FSDT KJFK & Manhattan X on the ground at KJFK airport at Dawn with fog and rainy weather. 16 AF, 16xQ AA @ 1920x1080.An unlikely scenario, because I DONT USE FULL SLIDERS and fly with lower resolution (1280x720). I just did this to create a situation file to 'replicate' the missing textures, black screen problems. My method of testing? Cycle thru ALL the AI planes, and outside views moving the Mouse in circles to stress Video RAM memory usage.. end result? well.. a crawling mess. 100% of the time I will get: a crash (d3d.dll), black screen or missing texture(s) REGARDLESS of BufferPools setting.If you are a tech guy and paid CLOSE ATTENTION to everything I said, you have the answer :) Question: How DO YOU force Win7 into using the old WDDM1.0 without using a VISTA Video Display drivers? ANSWER: You run FSX in Vista compatiblity mode ;)The above scenario, tested MANY TIMES will not crash, never, ever using Vista compatiblity modeSo, if this applies to you and you are AFFECTED by the problem, go ahead and give it a try... (this will NOT increase performance, if anything it will decrease it a bit) FSX under Vista compatibility mode CAN'T USE WDDM1.1 compatibilty mode is made precisely for backward compatibily with previous Driver Model architectures.Enjoy,
I'm surprised it's the Windows 7 display drivers causing the problems for you. I'm glad you were able to find a fix. I remember recently when I tried to upgrade my Windows 7 drivers to the latest WHQL version and I accidently downloaded the Vista drivers and my system immediately told me it couldn't install them as the drivers were for an older OS. I still think those who have their sliders set to max are making a mistake as it really isn't necessary and it will cause more problems than tweaking the settings. Thanks for the info!Best regards,Jim

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Bojote, you are a fountain of ideas and information! How do you run FSX in Vista compatibility mode? What do you mean by Vista drivers?Stephen
Thanks, but probably most of the ideas were shared before and discarded for the lack of evidence ;) Just right click on the FSX icon and click Properties, navigate to the compatiblity tab and make sure you click where it says: Change Settings for ALL Users. Then, select Vista (SP2) as the compatibility mode and (if you wish, and while you are here) check the options:Disable Visual ThemesDisable Desktop Compositionand also check the option to run as administrator.... all set.Also, *IF* you wish to avoid 'menu crashes' for UIAutomationCore.DLL (A known Win7 problem), make sure you go to control panel and click the 'Mouse' option and change the scheme from the Win7 default to (None)BTW, it is possible, that running under VISTA compatibility mode solves your problems running BufferPools=0 worth a try.
I'm surprised it's the Windows 7 display drivers causing the problems for you.
It's not the 'actual' driver, but the underlying driver architecture (WDDM1.1) and yes, you ARE right.. people using sensible slider settings will never experience a problem, because they are not stressing FSX :)

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What do you mean by Vista drivers?
In Win7 BETA (and not sure if in RTM as well) you were able to install Vista Video drivers on Win7. This drivers are NOT WDDM 1.1 compliant so they handle VRAM differently. WDDM 1.1 handles Video Ram in a completely new way, making things more efficient.. but also breaking others, WDDM 1.0 is a mature driver architecture. WDDM 1.1 is very recent. The Wikipedia article explains the architecture very well. What I was trying to say in the post is that it won't apply to people that have Vista Video drivers installed on Win7 because they are already using WDDM 1.0

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Bejote,I have the released version of Windows 7-64, upgraded from Vista 64 with 185.50 drivers. Is that a Vista driver?Stephen

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Bejote,I have the released version of Windows 7-64, upgraded from Vista 64 with 185.50 drivers. Is that a Vista driver?Stephen
Funny.. on the nVidia page, (in the archived drivers section) there is no 185.50 driver :) they must be a version specific to your hardware. So I can't tell for sure. May I suggest you upgrade to the latest 196.x and enable compatibily mode for Vista?

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Funny.. on the nVidia page, (in the archived drivers section) there is no 185.50 driver :) they must be a version specific to your hardware. So I can't tell for sure. May I suggest you upgrade to the latest 196.x and enable compatibily mode for Vista?
I installed the latest Beta in my test a couple of days ago and had to switch back. The new driver stopped the GPS from working in the L-39. When I switch back all was fine. Mike said that the last released one caused problems for overclocking software.Stephen

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I installed the latest Beta in my test a couple of days ago and had to switch back. The new driver stopped the GPS from working in the L-39. When I switch back all was fine. Mike said that the last released one caused problems for overclocking software.Stephen
But the BETAs doesn't have any problems with overclocking, in fact, the BETAs were released to FIX the problem with overclocking :) I think they are 196.34 and you can read in the release notes the reference to the previous problems with overclocking software.Stephen, it IS possible, that the 185.50's are WDDM 1.0, if this is the case, there is only one way to test if the GPS problems you were having are related to a graphic driver issue, if you want to completely take out the WDDM out of the equation as the reason why your GPS doesn't work with the 196.xx drivers, then installing them and running FSX in VIsta compatibility mode will be the only way to test. however, I don't see you'll gain anything by doing this, because IF the GPS works, then there is no guarantee that the BP=0 will make any difference to you. so, I suggest you pass on this one ;)

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*******, I just want to thank you for this Great bit of Info. This is the FIRST TIME EVER, I have made a complete flight in the PMDG 747 and not had corupted textures at some point towards the endof the flight.Thanks again,Glen

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*******, I just want to thank you for this Great bit of Info. This is the FIRST TIME EVER, I have made a complete flight in the PMDG 747 and not had corupted textures at some point towards the endof the flight.Thanks again,Glen
My pleasure...

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I can't find a compatibility tab in the properties for the FSx icon. An I missing something?

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The scenario you described is one that many of us fly regularly with all those add-ons and to fully test it you need to be able to fly at least 1 - 2 hours if not more as well as to be able to access the menu system and be able to change into and out of some of those aircraft with out the Black Screen or Missing Textures in 1920x1200 with AA and Aniso etc as well as other high resolutions to fully say that it is "fixed". You are definitely on the right track with the scenario and that you can last longer in Vista compatibility mode can be supported, but that it is a 100% fix cannot.Many others including myself have already tested Vista compatibility though it prolonged flights with no issues it would still always break at some point, for some just as soon as before and others like myself got a good hour of usable stable FSX/views/menus and all, others reported diminished performance as is usually the case in compatibility mode. How much? Don

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I can't find a compatibility tab in the properties for the FSx icon. An I missing something?
So you are 'Right clicking' on the FSX icon, THEN you need to click on the option (at the bottom) that says properties, THEN you'll see the compatibility tab. Weird, should be there..

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I hope this doesnt come accross the wrong wa and that you keep up the good work.
Paul, I totally understand your point. When I post something, I usually provide some 'test case' scenario and support any claims with technical information than can be crosschecked by anyone trying to investigate the issue further and check the facts to satisfy their own curiosity.The post assumes a 'healthy' FSX config. there are so many factors involved in FSX stability that I won't have time to list them all.. IF for example, your video card is slightly overclocked, or your PSU is not powerful enough or your CAS settings are over agressive or your GPU or CPU is not properly cooled you are looking for trouble, because a math calculation gone wrong on the GPU will cause a behavior similar to a 'Black screen' or corrupted textures, so NO MATTER what advise people give you, your setup will fail under ANY circumstance if ANY component is defective, rendering any advise USELESS.Will I stop from offering the advice as a solution when I'm 100% confident it IS a solution to a DRIVER ARCHITECTURE change? nope... however, you are right.. to you, I'm just an enthusiast offering Holy grails :) If I were an ex ACES employee you'll believe me, even if I were talking nonsense. I understand that, I can live with that and its part of being just a mortal on the AVSIM forums ;)

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