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Virtual Memory and/or Cache Clearing

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OK. I think I've just about got FS9 tweeked. However, I think that my virtual memory is filling up and causing my freezes when I approach my destination. With Win98Se, is there a way to insure that the cache gets emptied in a timely manner and doesn't continue to fill up with textures? (I let Windows 98Se manage the virtual memory). I've removed my Landclass from the Scenery/Base/Scenery folder after reading that it may cause the freezes. I can't try these new tweeks until tomorrow morning but it I can just keep my virtual memory from filling up it may be that I've got the sim to work for my system. (Still need a better video card as I continue to have some stutters -- GeForce Ti4200 128Mb 8X AGP).Any ideas would be appreciated.

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>OK. I think I've just about got FS9 tweeked. However, I>think that my virtual memory is filling up and causing my>freezes when I approach my destination. With Win98Se, is>there a way to insure that the cache gets emptied in a timely>manner and doesn't continue to fill up with textures? (I let>Windows 98Se manage the virtual memory). I've removed my>Landclass from the Scenery/Base/Scenery folder after reading>that it may cause the freezes. I can't try these new tweeks>until tomorrow morning but it I can just keep my virtual>memory from filling up it may be that I've got the sim to work>for my system. (Still need a better video card as I continue>to have some stutters -- GeForce Ti4200 128Mb 8X AGP).>>Any ideas would be appreciated.>>Steve,I run Win98SE, but I think you could approach the problem from a slightly different angle. There is no reason to be so much concerned about the vcache becoming too full as it is to be concerned about using the swapfile. The vcache as you know, is fast memory, so any data in there that can be used is going to make your applications run much faster. It's when the swapfile itself starts to be used that things will dramatically slow down. So what you need to be doing is setting your vcache size in such a way that it does not become big enough so as to result in the swapfile being used. But any size up to this point is fine because it means you will minimise the amount of data that needs to be read on an ongoing basis off the hard drive. So long as you have enough main memory for your OS and running the sim itself without impeding upon the swapfile, then in my experience you should be making the vcache is large as you can. Once FS2004 has enough memory and your OS has enough memory, you might as well use the extra memory for something.The way I did it was to start with the same vcache settings I used for FS2002. With those settings, I had them adjusted in such a way that the swapfile never got used, but that the vcache was as large as possible. Of course, FS2004 uses more memory than FS2002 (about 80 odd megs on my setup), so with those old FS2002 settings, my vcache was indeed getting too large and the sim / OS was starting to use the swapfile as it had no other memory available. So, using Sysmon and checking when the swapfile was last updated (via Explorer), I gradually began reducing the size of the vcache until the swapfile was no longer being used. I was reducing the vcache in about 16Mb increments and it took about 5 such reductions before I had found the optimal setting.The way I look at it is that so long as you have enough memory to run your OS and applications - plus a "safety" buffer (about 24 megs in my case) - then you should allocate the rest to the vcache - otherwise the memory could sit there being wasted.In the end, these are the settings I came up with for my system.ini file:[vcache]MinFileCache=65536MaxFileCache=245760ChunkSize=16384(it used to be three hundred and something for FS2002) because FS2002 used less memory.and for the [386enh] stanza:[386enh]PageBuffers=32ConservativeSwapfileUsage=1This is based on a machine with 512Mb memory running Win98 Lite "Chubby" (it needs "Chubby" because FS2004 requires the My Documents shell extension - not the "imitation" one used in the Sleek and Micro versions.Just remember these settings won't work for you, because it depends upon what programs you run and how you use your machine. There is no way in the world, for example, that I'd run those settings above for my office machine - it would just slow down to a crawl or even fall over with heaps of apps opened at once. It's just that because I have a dedicated simming machine, I have the luxury to adjust the settings specifically to FS2004.

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Steve,With a system spec as good as that you really should consider installing Windows XP (Home). It manages memory and programs so much better than Win 9x.The stutters are not being caused by your 128Mb graphics card but by the relatively poor way in which Win9x handles memory.Cheers,

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Mischa, Thanks for the information. I looked into my system.ini file and found that it still contained some information that I had inserted when I was attempting to get another 512 Mb stick of DDR333 to work. Those were: {VCACHE} MaxPhysPage=40000 {386enh} MaxFileCache=524288 I did not have the ConservativeSwapFileUsage=1 setting under {386enh}, however. My virtual memory (cache?) set by Win98Se is 51,569 Mb. I have removed the MaxPhysPage=40000 and MaxFileCache=524288 from the .ini file and added ConservativeSwapFileUsage=1. I'll fly and see what happens. If I am still encountering the freezes, I'll try your fix to reduce the size of the MaxFileCache. Thanks again. :-waveSteve

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Ray, I actually had a copy of WinXP Home in my hand last night at Wal-Mart. I know that I have to upgrade. I have an additional stick of DDR333 sitting here ready to install but I can't get it to work in Win98Se. I am going to go ahead and buy it but I hesitate only because of Roxio's Go Back v3.0 which I have installed on my computer. I ran an upgrade analysis off of Microsoft's web site and the first thing it says I have to do to upgrade is to remove Go Back. That program has saved my bacon more than dozens of times. The other thing I'm wondering is how I can clear everything off my PC and do a clean install myself. I've never done that and if I have my local PC builder do it, it will cost me around $75 more.... I am even thinking about purchasing another HD just to do a swap and use the new one for a clean install of XP. That way, I would have my old HD with 98Se on it and everything installed. Actually, I have 4 extra new HDs here: 2 20Gb and 2 13.6Gb. I suppose I could install one of those and install XP on it and have a dual boot system. Does that make sense? That wouldn't cost me anything extra.

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Hi Steve.... I've been following many of your posts/problems, and like you, I'm running FS2004 under Win98SE. To be very honest, Windows 98SE has been rock solid on my machine from day one, which is why I have not gone to XP yet. I'll most likely buy a new system, and then go to XP at that time... However, I've been trying many tweaks to get this sim running smoothly, and I think I'm starting to have some success. To be honest, all the tweaks that I've seen posted have not helped me at all. The only thing helping is by adjusting my sliders down...Many sliders are mid point, but I'm at the point where I can maintain 17.9FPS at Canadian airports, with ATC at 100%, and 3D clouds. I'm running only a 1Gig AMD with a Geforce 3 Ti 200 video card (30.82 drivers) with 512Mb of RAM. With FS2002, I had all my sliders maxed except for terrain mesh which was at 80% and I had 20 FPS locked, and getting 20 FPS. Can't do this with FS2004, but didn't expect too either... PS: AT KORD, my FPS drop to 9 FPS in FS2004, and I have to reduce ATC to under 40% to get up over 11 FPS....Here are my settings....Good luck... RJ

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Hi Steve,I would avoid the dual-boot if you can. Once you have XP installed there's no way you would want to go back to the ancient Win9x.If I was starting afresh I would install 2 hard drives - one containing just the OS and the other all my applications. I wouldn't bother partitioning the OS drive but depending on the size of the 2nd drive I would partition it into 10-15Gb partitions.If you have a recent IDE CD-ROM drive and your BIOS supports CD booting you can install the new HD and do a clean install of XP onto it. A clean install is quite important. The XP CD is bootable BTW.Having installed your OS configure the 2nd hard drive as required and install FS2004 onto a separate 10-15Gb partition.You will have to backup all your data files for other applications and having installed those programs afresh copy the files to the MyDocuments folder creating sub-folders where required.Once you have a bare-bones system up and running you could add the extra memory and XP will pick it up and use it properly. Win9x can't really handle more than 512Mb RAM.You won't need GoBack with XP which has its own System Restore facility and has helped me on a couple of occasions. With your FS2004 install being quite new it won't have much customising so it's an ideal time to make the change. You won't be disapointed and doing it is easier than trying to describe it.Cheers,

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Hi Steve,Glad to see you're now able to do some flying finally. Just thought I'd throw in my 2 cents on this XP issue.Most retailers here in the States sell the Home version for around $200.00. Newegg.com offers an OEM version (not boxed and without phone support) for less than $100.00 when you buy something else from them. This is the way I went. I bought some other computer hardware doodads and ordered Home OEM... it all cost me less than $150.00. I'm just thinking that you could order a second stick of 512Mb of memory that matches the one you recently purchased and get a Home OEM disc with it for less than a reatil version of XP Home.XP Home OEM works just fine. Mine came with SP1 on the disc ready to go. I've had no problems with it. My wife bought a retail version, and tried to call one night seeking support. It was a fiasco. They wanted her CC number, and informed her there would be a minimum charge of $35.00... for support on a new product!!! The OEM disc is just the same as a retail version, only without paper docs (don't need that... most of it is advertising and marketing anyway) and their outstanding phone support.It's the pits having to migrate over to a new OS, but I'm sure you know that it's inevitable for you. Might just as well try to lessen the financial pain.http://www.newegg.com/software/

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Try turning off your ground shadows, has cleared up 90% of the problems people have experienced of slowdowns / freezes on approach...Joel

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Steve.... I take back my comments about getting FS2004 running smooth.... After several weeks of testing, tweaking etc, I've come to the conclusion FS2004 is a FPS hog and no matter what you do, something in the FS2004 engine is flawed.Because my system is on the low end, every frame per second counts for me.... I was shocked to discover today, that if I open up the radio stack I loose like 4 FPS... Sitting on the running with 17FPS, when I open up a default radio stack, my FPS drop to 13FPS. This is with the default aircraft. I don't remember FS2002 doing this.... Testing FS2002 shows no change in FPS. So why is their such a frame drop in FS2004???I give up....

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After spending 4-5 hours today attempting to get FS9 "tweeked" I've come to the conclusion that I GIVE UP. I've gone back to my set up of yesterday but I now get freezes on take off. I lifetd off the active in St Louis today and the video froze at 100 ft. Nothing else froze. The mouse could move, the fps counter said 25.4, ???? When it came out of it I was back on the runway and off I went again just to freeze again. After playing with it a little more I now get 2 seconds of flight followed by 1 second of pause. 1, 2, pause, 1, 2, pause. And this is in the default 737 not some of the FS2002 a/c I was previously trying to use. FS9 is just totally unusable for me. I am getting stressed out from all of this. Had what I thought was a severe tooth ache yesterday and luckily got in to see my dentist. He looked, he prodded, he hammered (on my crowns). He finally told me that nothing was wrong with my jaw teeth but asked me if I were clentching my teeth! :-lol I told him that, yeah, I might be doing that! My wife told me to take it back for a refund! Gee, honey, I can't do that. So, back into its little tin box it goes. I am not, and can not, shell out additional money for Windows XP Home for $200, add another 512 Mb of DDR333 SDRAM for $100, and buy another sound card for $150. I already spent over $1,000 to upgrade my PC in March to improve FS2002 and, I hoped, be ready for FS9. Haa! What a load of cr*p. My old PC (AMD900Mhz) ran everything else just fine. This upgrade was solely for Flying. I can't believe that my PC is that mis-configured. I have Autogen OFF, I have shadows OFF, my sliders are just mid range. Any further to the left and I'd be flying FS98 again........... I have read every tweek and tip in the AVSIM Forum as well as the the FlightSim.com FS2004 Forum. I just can't get this thing to run on this PC. :-fumeI'm going back to FS2002 tomorrow and fly for a change. That's fun for me. Trying to get a Gold release of a new Sim to work isn't worth the stress.

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Steve..... Now you have a more powerfuly system then me and you should be able to run FS2004 with out any major problems (as compared too me)....One question that I ask of you, that I hope will help you...What speed is you're AGP set at?

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SteveThere's this item on MS Knoledge Base. I don't know if it will help because it addresses over 512K, but 512K may be close enough.[http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;253912]I don't know if this link will get posted correctly or not as this is my first try.If the link doesn't work, go to microsoft.com, select the search/knowledge base dropdown at the top and search for Q253912.I hope it helps.

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haha, a good idea would be to use FarCry's Cryengine to render fs2004, its awesome, it can render distant objects extremely well, especially with fog and clouds, look it up.

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"After spending 4-5 hours today attempting to get FS9 "tweeked" I've come to the conclusion that I GIVE UP.":-(

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AGP is set to 4X and for some reason can not be changed in the nVidia set up screen. My AGP aperture is set to 64 Mb in my bios, also.Steve

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To everyone who has helped me in this Quest: I'm going to be upgrading to Windows XP Home this week sometime. Wal-Mart has the Upgrade package for $99 so I will give it a try. My understanding is that this same CD can be used as a clean install if necessary. I also have my extra 512 Mb stick of DDR333 to install after my upgrade. Even though I said that I give up, I'll keep on trying. I'm just going flying in FS2002 tomorrow to keep my sanity.

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Steve - Given what you've been through, I think you'd be doing yourself a BIG favor if you bite the bullet and go for a clean install from the beginning. That will absolutely preclude the possibility that whatever is hosing up the system now will be carried over to the XP install (and a strong possibility at that if it's software-related). Just as a reference, this is an excellent guide to an XP clean install - http://michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html . Good luck with whichever way you decide to go. We're pulling for you.Doug

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