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martinlest2

CTDs - Advice on troubleshooting

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I know that this will not apply to every case, but having read many of the posts here over the years, a lot of the advice given seems to be based on presumed display driver or hardware problems. There is also a misapprehension that if you see in Event Viewer that the module at fault is fs9.exe or fsx.exe, that that file is the cause of the problem. It the exe file itself hardly ever is the root cause of a CTD.I just want to say that my very strong advice to anyone getting a CTD during a flight (or loading thereof) is, as a first step, to disable all 3rd. party addon scenery - including all AFACDs - and see if the crash still occurs. If not, then it's not too hard a task to re-enable sceneries one by one (or group by group, if there are many) and eventually track down the culprit to (most times) one particular bgl file in one particular scenery folder - landclass files are notorious for this.Some may post back to disagree - that's the way with forums of course, but I have been a flight simulator 'nerd' (hours on it pretty much every day, designing and uploading scenery files, aircraft, panel objects etc. too)) for over ten years now and in that time have had literally dozens of CTDs: I can honestly say that every single one of them I've managed to trace to a 'faulty' bgl file, which I have either been able to repair in some way or just remove from the relevant scenery folder..If this doesn't stop your CTD then obviously you'll need to look elsewhere, but I would really make this a first stage in troubleshooting the problem.Hope this helps someone at some stage!!Martin :-)


Martin Stebbing, EGLF (UK)

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Guest firehawk44
I know that this will not apply to every case, but having read many of the posts here over the years, a lot of the advice given seems to be based on presumed display driver or hardware problems. There is also a misapprehension that if you see in Event Viewer that the module at fault is fs9.exe or fsx.exe, that that file is the cause of the problem. It the exe file itself hardly ever is the root cause of a CTD.I just want to say that my very strong advice to anyone getting a CTD during a flight (or loading thereof) is, as a first step, to disable all 3rd. party addon scenery - including all AFACDs - and see if the crash still occurs. If not, then it's not too hard a task to re-enable sceneries one by one (or group by group, if there are many) and eventually track down the culprit to (most times) one particular bgl file in one particular scenery folder - landclass files are notorious for this.Some may post back to disagree - that's the way with forums of course, but I have been a flight simulator 'nerd' (hours on it pretty much every day, designing and uploading scenery files, aircraft, panel objects etc. too)) for over ten years now and in that time have had literally dozens of CTDs: I can honestly say that every single one of them I've managed to trace to a 'faulty' bgl file, which I have either been able to repair in some way or just remove from the relevant scenery folder..If this doesn't stop your CTD then obviously you'll need to look elsewhere, but I would really make this a first stage in troubleshooting the problem.Hope this helps someone at some stage!!Martin :-)
That's some great suggestions and it is greatly appreciated but it seems like a lot of work to troubleshoot a simple crash. Disabling scenery one by one through the Scenery Library until the culprit has been found has always been a good suggestion but only with freeware scenery. Commercial developers rarely install a bad .bgl file. I think the commercial developers of scenery have done a great job perfecting their respective sceneries. It's just that many users ramp up the scenery sliders when they install the commercial scenery and that sometimes puts too many resources on a system and the system has trouble reading instructions from a particular .bgl or .dll. Oh! There are some bad commercial designers for sure (I am reminded of the poorly written scenery for KIAD where the the lighting on one runway brought even the most powerful computer system down to its knees) but all-in-all, most are doing a great job. A simple uninstall/reinstall of the display drivers or reducing any overclocking would be a bit faster resolving a crash. I recommend one rename or delete the FSX.cfg then restart FSX and let the config rebuild and that usually clears up many of the crashes. On rare occasions, the Event Viewer will only refer to the FS9/FSX.exe modules that caused a crash but 98% of the time you'll see a reference to the g3d.dll, the aiautomationcore.dll, or some other system .dll.We are always looking for solutions (magic bullets) to crashes as they are frustrating for everyone until the problem(s) has been pinpointed. Many FSX/FS9 users are not computer geeks though so trying to trace a faulty .bgl file or .dll or AFCAD could be out of their league. As technology evolves, I hope the CTDs will eventually go away.Best regards,Jim

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Jim, Thanks for replying. I agree with much that you say, but must take issue with one or two points.Firstly, as I said, I have never, ever, had a CTD due to bad drivers, display or otherwise. Every single one (must be dozens and dozens of them over 10 years or more, as I also said) has been fixed by the method I indicated. I would still suggest disabling all addon scenery first to see if that helps - if you use software like EditPad Lite (free) you can make multiple changes to a text file (inc. cfg files of course) at the click of a mouse - it takes seconds, literally. If you then find the crash no longer occurs (you have to be careful to disable ALL stuff that didn't come with FS9?FSX 'in the box'), you can be 99.99% sure that it is due to a bgl file somewhere in the FS setup. Pointless reinstalling drivers (which is not always a completely hazard-free process!) if the culprit is a rogue bgl file.No, I wouldn't advocate disabling sceneries 'one by one', that would be long and tedious. The way I do it really doesn't take long at all, and there's always a nice sense of achievement when you find you've fixed the CTD!... Again using EditPad Lite (a must-have bit of software for me), once you see that disabling all addons fixes the CTD, you can start again and disable just half of the 3rd. party scenery.cfg entries (changing Active=true to Active=false in the scenery.cfg file - after carefully backing up your original, needless to say!!) - pretty much at one go with EditPad Lite (or do it via the FS scenery library, but it's slower). If the CTD is still there, then the problem must be with a scenery in the half you left active. So disable those instead, and continue halving in this way until you reach the problem scenery folder - and then you do the same with the bgl files in that folder, as I originally indicated. You can then either edit the bgl file to correct the problem, if you know how, or just remove it. (Just occasionally that removes a huge chunk of scenery - in which case you need to learn how to edit the bgl rather than remove it (a simple task really), but more often than not the file is small and the change too subtle to notice)Usually it takes me 20'-30' to locate the problem and fix it (most of that time is spent waiting for FS9 to reload after each change to the scenery.cfg file - in FSX this isn't necessary of course). Sometimes quicker, sometimes longer. Look at the most likely suspects first - if the CTD occurs flting near Athens, look at scenery folders relating to Athens (logical enough!)I agree that faulty scenery is usually freeware - but not always. I have had occasional problems with payware stuff too, but it's true that it's far rarer.You say "I recommend one rename or delete the FSX.cfg then restart FSX and let the config rebuild and that usually clears up many of the crashes". I can only say that that's not my experience at all - deleting the cfg file and letting FS rebuild it even causes CTDs quite often (at least in my etup), as the file contains your display/resolution information, which once deleted can cause the all sorts of problems. But if your experience is different from mine, fine of course..Well, everyone's PC and FS setup is different of course. I just posted this thread as I thought it may point some people in a direction they may not have considered when fixing CTDs..Martin :(


Martin Stebbing, EGLF (UK)

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... links to two other CTD threads I started here, which may be relevant to this one. The second is unsolved - the only way to stop the CTDs is to start the sim first and when you get the opening screen, load the .flt file..http://forum.avsim.net/topic/294413-fs9-error-failed-to-read-from-file/http://forum.avsim.net/topic/283646-why-do-some-saved-flights-cause-fs9-to-ctd/Martin


Martin Stebbing, EGLF (UK)

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I just want to say that my very strong advice to anyone getting a CTD during a flight (or loading thereof) is, as a first step, to disable all 3rd. party addon scenery
I beg to differ. The first step on a CTD is going to Event Viewer and check what DLL file crashed FSX. After that, do what martinlest2 wrote.

In a time of deceit telling the truth is a revolutionary act.

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A dll file crashed FS??? A dll file is unlikely to be the culprit amd how would you find the problem bgl file from that? Maybe in FSX things are different, but in FS9 Event Viewer is almost useless.Well, no matter. I am happy of course for people to take my advice - or ignore it completely :-)Martin


Martin Stebbing, EGLF (UK)

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A dll file crashed FS??? A dll file is unlikely to be the culprit amd how would you find the problem bgl file from that? Maybe in FSX things are different, but in FS9 Event Viewer is almost useless.Well, no matter. I am happy of course for people to take my advice - or ignore it completely :-)Martin
I don't want to argue but my blood pressure is rising rapidly when I see misguided comments like yours above. You need to review all the crashes in this forum again and also look at the Windows 7 forum where several different types of crashes were discussed (aiautomationcore.dll is just one that comes into mind). Those were real crashes with a .dll referenced. And to fix the problem, an investigation of a problem .bgl wasn't required. Please, please understand there are several different ways FSX can crash and a problem .bgl is just one. I'm sure flight simmers will take your suggestion under consideration if and when they have a CTD in the future. Respectfully,Jim Young

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Jim,Please, Jim, don't let your blood pressure rise on my account! - no one can know it all here, we just post what we think is true from our experience. Most of us are happy to learn and if proved wrong, that's fine. Maybe you are right and I am wrong here: if so, I apologise if I have made you angry (bear in mind I was talking about FS9 though - maybe FSX is totally different, I bought it but uninstalled it as I never flew it). But what I said in my original post remains true - there could be nothing quicker than to disable all the addon sceneries in the scenery.cfg file - it takes literally seconds (one or two mouse clicks) with EditPad Lite. Maybe a bit longer with Notepad. If that fixes the crashes, why start looking at Event Viewer and investigating dll files? If it doesn't fix it, fine.I can only repeat that I have fixed every single CTD I have ever had this way - not one came down to a dll file or anything that showed in Event Viewer, I posted here not to set myself up as a guru, but just to pass on advice to others. They will take it or leave it as they like of course. But, yes, maybe I'd have problems doing the same with FSX, I don't know enough about it.Martin


Martin Stebbing, EGLF (UK)

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