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Graphics corruption in FSX - (UPDATE: possible solution found!)

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UPDATE 04/4/2010:******* Altuve (bojote) has discovered what appears so far to be the solution to Issue #4:His original post:http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?s=&...t&p=1745142Further information and clarification from me:http://forums1.avsim.net/index.php?s=&...t&p=1746100We recommend everyone with the issue try the first group of cfg edits (as noted in my link there) and report back - it's been completely successful so far.=====================Original post:=====================Captains,The purpose of thread is to bring the community up to date on the various graphics corruption and crash to desktop (CTD) issues contained within the now nearly two year old thread titled Black/disappearing textures? Some bizarre news... and pursue some new lines of thought with regard to possible causes. I have closed the old thread and all discussion should now take place here.Without further ado, let’s summarize the different issues we believe are happening here – we do not believe that all of the issues mentioned in the first thread are related or have the same root cause.SUMMARY OF THE ISSUES:Issue #1: Black screen, cream screen and/or CTD (can happen while using the menus) – may show up with a dialog referencing uiautomationcore.dll or a non-descript APPCRASH in fsx.exe.This issue appears to be caused by a conflict between the 64 bit version of a Windows system file called uiautomationcore.dll and the Windows Desktop Window Manager. This appears to only affect Windows 7 users. The solution discovered on the Microsoft tech forums has been to actually place a copy of the 32-bit version of the dll from Windows Vista (not 7) into the FSX root folder. The fsx.exe will reference that file then instead of the one in the Windows/System32 folder. I have personally been able to recreate this crash by simply loading any aircraft and then bringing up the right click menu a bunch of times (20+ or so) until the sim crashes. It’s completely reproducible for me. We believe this may be the actual cause of CTDs for a certain subset of users who’ve been led to believe they were getting an out of memory error. It may also be at fault for certain J41 users who see a fatal error upon loading the airplane. On a long flight, the number of uses of the menu system could very slowly creep up, causing the crash to happen seemingly at random. I encourage anyone using Win7 to use the Vista 32 uiautomationcore.dll file as it does appear to solve the issue in the research I’ve done.The 32bit uiautomationcore.dll can be downloaded here.Issue #2: Crashes similar to above but on 32-bit Windows. This is the out of memory error most likely, switch to a 64-bit OS.Issue #3: Corruption of the panel graphics or model during the day to dusk transition or the night to dawn transition.FSX does some very wonky thinks with textures during these times of the day in the sim. Because FS has never had a true lighting engine ala other games, what the sim actually does is load both the day and night textures into the sim at the same time. It then tries to blend between them as the light changes outside.You can disable this behavior by editing a line in the FSX.cfg under the [sCENERY] section:DAWN_DUSK_SMOOTHING=1 – set it to 0 instead.This will make the dawn to dusk texture transition happen more abruptly, similar how to it worked in FS9. We’re not certain this actually fixes the issue, but I would like people to try it and report back to us in this thread.Issue #4: The “skeleton plane” issue - loss of textures and geometry on the external model and VC. This is the issue that’s going to have the most discussion…I want to put forth a new theory we’ve developed on this over the past week or so:I was talking to one of our new programmers about this issue and we stumbled upon something quite interesting. I was mentioning to him how some users seem to have success in resolving the issue via lowering the Windows sound quality setting. This sparked the realization that something all the aircraft we’ve heard of this issue happening with (which includes the Level-D 767, the Captain Sim aircraft, the Flight 1 Super 80, and now most recently the Flight Sim Labs Concorde X) have in common is custom sounds that are generated through an external processor dll and not by the FSX audio engine. We believe that most addons have used a very similar method code-wise for playing these custom sounds back, one which predates the modern Windows OSes and Direct X versions by nearly 10 years. I remembered back to issues we’ve seen in the past with sound crackling while using the 747 and MD-11. Sound crackling is usually the result of something called direct procedure call (DPC) latency. DPC is the method Windows uses to stream real time events like audio and graphics processing across the system bus. High DPC latency backlogs these events and can produce audio and visual artifacts. The proverbial lightbulb went off and we asked ourselves “What if the sound is somehow overloading the bus and this affects the graphics subsystem too?”Acting on this hunch, I’ve had several people who see the issue try disabling the PMDGSounds.dll gauge and then flying to see if the problem occurs. Doing this results in none of the custom panel sounds playing back, just the engines (which sound via the FSX audio engine) but it provides something of a way to test for the effect of the gauge. We’ve had some very promising results from the couple of people who’ve tried it. Both users also have the Flightsim Labs Concorde X and I had them disable that aircraft’s sound gauge as well - it is likely identical to the PMDG gauge since the same person, Lefteris Kalamaras, wrote both of them. Both people reported that they were able to complete numerous long flights without any major issues and that in the case of the Concorde, both were able to see the external model for the first time without it almost instantly disappearing/corrupting upon loading the sim. My theory (I will readily admit I don’t know for sure on this) is that the Concorde may be loading more custom sounds than the 747 or MD-11 do, and this explains why the issue is more prevalent there than it is with the PMDG products.Now, that said, we are not convinced this is all of the story – one of the testers told me he did see a piece of the 747-400 VC (the floor) disappear even with the sound dll disabled – it did not however cause a CTD or any further corruption in the visual model. What this tells us is that we are undoubtedly at least on the right track with this idea that the issue is caused at the root by the system bus getting overloaded with real time data streams. Only certain systems seem to be susceptible to it as well, including systems with much higher specs than some that don’t see the issue, which further complicates pinning anything down. I’ve tried in vain to make it happen on my own system and I can’t, even when running just about every crazy maxed out addon I can throw at it.We’re providing this information in the hopes that it sparks ideas among the whole community (other developers and knowledgeable simmers alike) on this issue – it’s clear that this affects everyone and that this is going to be a problem for almost anyone making complex aircraft for FSX. If the clues we are publishing here can lead to a solution, we will share this information with all developers in order that the entire community benefits from this discovery. Clearly this problem affects more developers than just PMDG, so a solution will benefit everyone.THINGS FOR YOU TO DO:1. Foremost, I’d like more people to try disabling the sound gauges and see if they can get the problem to happen like it does with it enabled. We really need to test this thoroughly to see if it is indeed a substantial part of the problem or if we’re chasing another wild goose.To do this with the PMDG aircraft, you need to go to your Users\(YourUserName)\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\FSX folder and back up the dll.xml file. Just copy it and rename the copy to something like dll.xml.bak.Find this section and delete it from the file, saving it after you do: <Launch.Addon> <Name>PMDG Sounds</Name> <Disabled>False</Disabled> <Path>PMDG\DLLs\PMDGSounds.dll</Path> </Launch.Addon>Be absolutely certain you do not delete anything other than this exact section.Now, go to the PMDG\dlls folder within the FSX main folder and rename PMDGSounds.dll to PMDGSounds.dll.bak or something similar.Launch the sim and go fly as you’d normally do. You won’t have panel sound, but the engines and a few other sounds will still be audible. (You may need to press Q or click focus away from the FS window and then back to get sound – I saw this a few times while testing) Pay close attention to both the VC and external model and report anything that does or does not occur involving these issues.2. Hardware survey:I’d like anyone seeing issue #4 to post their full system specs – I’m going to start a database for it. I’d really like to know the exact type of motherboard everyone’s using and exactly which sound chipset or card is involved. My personal experience with my MSI P55-GD65 board and its Realtek ALC889 sound chip indicates that this may be one configuration that is less susceptible to the bus overload. My previous mobo (a Gigabyte X38 board) had the same sound chipset as well and I never saw it with that machine either. I did see an awful lot of ASUS with SoundMax chipsets in the old thread…3. Q & A:I have a few other questions for people seeing this issue for the purposes of gathering more info about possible causes/factors: (this is for people seeing issue #4 specifically):1. Have you ever seen this issue happen with the PMDG J41?2. Have you ever seen this happen in Windows XP (32 or 64-bit)?3. Have you ever seen anything like this happen in FS9?4. Have you ever seen this happen with a default aircraft or other aircraft you know to not be using custom sound?5. Can you reproduce the issue on a completely clean “vanilla” FSX install where no resource intensive addons other than the aircraft are installed?6. Do you notice any difference between full screen vs. windowed mode as far as this issue’s frequency or occurrence goes? Special note – Daniel Van Os, if you’re reading this, please respond by contacting me at rmaziarz@precisionmanuals.com – I still need to talk to you about your debugging discoveries with the D3D calls at the moment the crash happens and see if we can square what you’ve discovered with this bus overload theory.I want to thank everyone for their patience and time spent testing these issues. With your help hopefully we’re close to at least understanding exactly where the problem lies – if we can get there, we can talk amongst ourselves as developers about a solution and get Microsoft involved on the OS and Direct X side of it.Appendix:Here’s a list of most of the things people had tried in the other thread to solve the issues – if I’ve missed anything, let me know and I’ll add it:1. Lowering FSX sliders to reduce system load2. Using less high resource addons like traffic and high detail airports to reduce load3. Lowering the Windows sound quality at Control Panel > Sound > Speakers > Properties > Advanced > Default Format > 16 bit, 8000Hz (Telephone quality) or through the sound driver. (may not be possible on all cards/chipsets in Vista/7)4. Switching to Windows XP x645. Using various [bUFFERPOOLS] size settings in the FSX.cfg file.6. Using the Creative Labs Alchemy Open AL 3D sound wrapper if you have a Creative Labs (Audigy, X-Fi etc) card.7. Running in DX10 mode.8. Uninstalling various types of HDMI audio devices present in Device Manager.9. Running FSX in compatibility mode with DISABLE VISUAL THEMES and DISABLE DESKTOP COMPOSITION checked.10. Setting SoundQuality=0 in the FSX.cfg [sOUND] section.


Ryan Maziarz
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For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

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I find it weird that I have never had any of these problems yet it seems to be a pretty big one. By the way, you might want to pin this so it doesn't get lost in the old posts.EDIT: I just did the right click menu 35 times and no crashes and I even bumped up my settings to maxium. I even did it in window and full screen and I have windows 7 (64bit) as you stated.

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Guest 413X3

I believe this fixes the loss of textures, skeleton, day dusk smoothing issue... from the large bufferpools thread:

Aproximately two months ago, I discovered that changing the initial render states on the common shader file (from Wrap to Clamp) completely SOLVED the dissapearing texture problems for me, I originally posted the fix on the PMDG forums and later on this forum. The 'downside' to this 'change' is that OLD FS2004, ported A/C will stop working. Since you can not even complete one flight, you don't have anything to loose! so, I suggest you try this 'shader tweak' and report back to the group your experience with it.The 'only' thing you need to do, is go to the ShadersHLSL folder in your ROOT Flight Simulator X directory, and locate a folder called Common, inside that folder you will find a file called Common.fhx (make a backup of that file so you keep the original) and change the following line:
dword State_TextureWrap			  : STATE_TEXTUREWRAP			  = D3DTADDRESS_WRAP;

to look like this:

dword State_TextureWrap			  : STATE_TEXTUREWRAP			  = 0;

after doing the change, you need to DELETE the shader cache located in C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Microsoft\FSX (just delete the folder called shaders) and then restart FSX. you'll never have a corrupted texture problem ever again... also, MAKE SURE you don't use the 'Bloom' option inside FSX, if you 'use' Bloom in FSX you don't need the above FIX, because bloom changes render states appropiately. Why I have not created a new post for this fix? because, I've only tested it for two months, BP=0 I've been using it for a full year... the shader tweak is NO related to BP=0, its purpose is to fix the 'black texture/dissapearing texture' problem.

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I believe this fixes the loss of textures, skeleton, day dusk smoothing issue... from the large bufferpools thread:
not quite. It actually triggered mine after a long hiatus...

FAA: ATP-ME

Matt kubanda

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Guest 413X3

what other settings have you changed?

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Guest 413X3

Interesting, maybe a landclass issue? Did you ever bring it to their attention? That would explain the out of memory errors I get when flying around their airports

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Out of memory errors can be fixed by simply installing 64 bit versions of windows.

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Interesting, maybe a landclass issue? Did you ever bring it to their attention? That would explain the out of memory errors I get when flying around their airports
This particular issue, no.. I've not, I'm not using their sceneries any more. Besides, I tried to contact Umberto for other issues and he's been ignoring my messages, so, feel free to bring the issue to their attention, and good luck ;) you will probably receive a lengthly, highly technical reply explaining you why the 'missing' textures is not a problem ;)

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Guest 413X3
Out of memory errors can be fixed by simply installing 64 bit versions of windows.
I have win7 64bit, but apparently the OOM errors were caused by the data execution prevention application conflicting with addon scenery dll files like from fsdreamteam and aerosoft

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Anyone try the sound dll stuff yet? I'm really wanting to see if people have the same positive response with that that my small test group did.


Ryan Maziarz
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For fastest support, please submit a ticket at http://support.precisionmanuals.com

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Guest 413X3

I don't have enough time to fly to try something like that. Unless you can come up with a quick test that takes 30 minutes, my issues usually appear only after flying for over an hour

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Ryan,Thanks for the update. Glad to see that PMDG is willing to work through this, even if only a small percentage of the users are seeing issues. A true testament to getting what you pay for. I too had the disappearing textures during dawn/dusk under both Vista and Win7 64 bit editions. However, this only happened to me after upgrading to an Asus board. Needless to say, I went back to WinXP 64 and all is well now, but I saw that you mentioned in the other thread about it possibly being Asus specific. I too wonder...


Allan Burek
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I have mostly issues 3 and 4. Here are my specs for your database.Hardware:Asus p6t deluxe v2,Onboard soundmax chip - default driversi7@2.66mhz,12 gb ddr3,GTX 285 1gbRaptors x3 and FSX on a OCZ 30gb ssd,Saitek proflight yoke, throttle and rudders,Go Flight MCP Airliner AutopilotTrackIR 4,Eizo 301w monitor ( 2560x1600 ),Mimo usb 7'' touchscreen for FMCVista x64Add-onsPIC737 with soundpack and checklistREX 2Horizon photoscenery UKFSpassengers XCaptain Sim 767 727PMDG J41UK Scenery - EGSS, EGLL, EGCC, EGAA, EGPH, UK airfields#1Aerosoft Scenery EGLC, LONDON X, LEMD, LEIB, ELLXGEX EuropeChris Farrell


Chris Farrell

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I find it weird that I have never had any of these problems yet it seems to be a pretty big one. By the way, you might want to pin this so it doesn't get lost in the old posts.EDIT: I just did the right click menu 35 times and no crashes and I even bumped up my settings to maxium. I even did it in window and full screen and I have windows 7 (64bit) as you stated.
+1

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