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Guest gmorar

Crash to Desktop: I might have found something

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Hi everyone,This is my first post after some years of inactivity. However, I read this forum every single day. I know some people are suffering from the CtD symptom. It has been happening to me since day one, not constantly, buy at least once a week. Sometimes I get the message: MS has encounter an error on module xxxx (ntdll.dll has been a very common one); some other times the sim simply quits and the whole system restarts (incredible uh?); and some other times the sim quits and sends me back to the desktop. This latter happened yesterday, and for the first time I reload the simulator to find out that the sim will quit again after 4 or 5 seconds (never happened before: I used to reload and could fly for hours); I then repeated the process like 15 times. I did all imaginable changes during those 4 or 5 secs before it send me back to the Desktop. Changed aircraft, weather (download a new set, put a default w/ theme); changed time from day to night and from night to day, changed display settings, from mesh terrain to screen resolution, and even cloud settings; I stopped atc; I quit flight following; changed AI traffic to 0%, stopped loading FSNavigator, disconnected sidewinder control, reconnected again, etc. etc. etc. Nothing served. I even changed some parameters in FS9.cfg. Nothing !!! After 5 seconds, I was sent back to Desktop, at the same spot (autosave from Pete Dowson, a great utility). I then did the trick: I changed seasons. From fall (November 30) to spring. And WAO.... finally I was able to fly continiously for 25 minutes before I landed safely at Glacier Park (depart was KSEA). Could this lead to something? Is it a texture, scenery issue related? I have to say that I flew for 5 minutes before I changed back seasons to fall, to find out that nothing bad occured. I did land. One thing I can remember is that before I changed seasons I had a "white terrain" (snow covered?) all over. But when I changed back from spring to winter again, I could see the "white terrain" only ahead and far the sides, but not down where I was flying. Could this mean something?My add-ons are FSNavigator, Ultimate Traffic. No scenery, no textures added except Bill L' water and Chris W. clouds. Thanks for any response, comment, ideas !!!Regards, Gabriel Mora.My specs:Antec Sonata 380W ATX12V TPMoBo: Intel 875PBZ (latest bios drv)P IV 2.8C HTT1gb RAM (Kingston 3500HyperX: 4x 256)80 GB HD (8MB cache)Windows XP Professional (all updates)ATI 9800 Pro, AIW (cat. 3.9)Creative SB Audigy 2 (latest drvs).

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Hi Gabriel,The assumption here is that you have not indulged in overclocking. If so you may have to look at your voltages, but someone else will need to chip in on this one. If you have not already done so it might be helpful to first return your SYSTEM BIOS settings to the recommended defaults. Should be quite easy to do.My initial guess would be Ram instability or a faulty ram module. Before embarking on further agonizing over your installed software, and after restoring your BIOS settings to their optimized default values, I would be inclined to eliminate your ram as being the culprit. I see you have 4x256MB modules installed. Try removing banks 3 and 4 first and try again. If the problem persists, take out banks 1 and 2 and substitute the other two removed modules....you get the idea - try by a systematic process of elimination to islolate the faulty module. If this proves to help then you might try running with either 2 or 3 modules and leave the 4th bank free. Some systems can be a little unhappy with the 4th bank occupied.Mike

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Gabriel,do you have any 3rd party landclass files installed? I had exactly the same prob (100% reproducable) with a lc scenery pack. It might also be that seasons and lc is somewhat related. Finally the seasons.bgl does kind of an interpretation of the landclass.Alex

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Mike, Thanks for answering. Indeed I have not done anything to my bios, nor anything related to overclocking (I'm afraid to "touch" my bios settings). I have a good case (Antec Sonata, 380 W). I live in a kind of cold city, good ventilation, etc. Don't know if that has anything to do with the voltage settings. Regarding the Ram issue, that could be the problem. I'll do some tests by the end of the week to see if something could be found there. Nevertheless, it bothers me to think that some scenery related (apparently) issue has something to do with my ram.Thanks again. Gabriel.

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Alex,I have not installed any 3rd party landclass files, nothing, no railroad textures, no mesh terrain, etc. Only the water textures from Bill, and the clouds from FSW. I still think it has to do with the seasons.bgl or something related to it (not necesarily due to bad code from MS, maybe "a bad luck on some systems"). Thanks for answering and taking your time.Gabriel.

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One program that should help determine if there is a hardware problem, such as RAM, is Prime95 (search the web for it)A lot of overclockers use this to test their system to see if it is still stable after overclocking.It is a while since I used it but I think you run in in 'torture' mode, IIRC the readme file explains usage quite well.Perhaps Mike would like to comment.Rgds

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Gabriel,Yes, you are right that getting this Crash to Desktop is not directly related to addon packages. It can be produced (reliably) using vanilla installations. And in different parts of the sim "world".These Crashes to Desktop seem to be showing up with regularity in the last month or so. There is a suspicion that they are related to the time of season interacting with some of the landclass files. Do we know this to be generally true? (I don't know the answer.)Until we find a common pattern of user abuse, the operating assumption here is that we have a Microsoft "Undocumented Feature." Let's hope we can discover what to do.Mike MacKuen

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I too have been getting alot of ctd's lately. It's too the point that I've just uninstalled FS9 and am going to do a fresh re-install. I do hope M$ gets their act together and address this with a patch. I say patch cause it seems lotsa folks are affected and it does not seem to matter if addons are used or not.

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Yep, Just suffered one myself a few minutes ago. I had a very stable period. No crashes in the last 15-20 flights all over an hour. Just prior to the flight I installed AEU though I am in no way suggesting that this had anything to do with the crash. I've been in the habit lately of saving flights at intervals as I'm always a tad on edge expecting a crash. I'm pretty sure my RAM is good and my sys is nice and cool with a deskfan blowing into the case.Who knows but I can say a crash in COF never comes as a real surprise sadly.Adam

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Same here, for the past week i'm having CTD's every day.Sometimes it ocurs when loading the terrain, so this might be a problem with the season???Best regards,Pedro

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One thing I usually do is reboot my computer before each and every flight. It seemed to be working but hey???!!!

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Vulcan, Thanks for your suggestion. I've found the program, got to do some reading though. I hate to get into this "hardware tweaks". I'm starting to believe is MS' fault, not me. I'm going to wait and consider Prime95 as one of the "final resources".I've been flying for almost 2 hours now without any CtD. Season related, I guess that's the point. Best,Gabriel. PS. I was sure I wasn't alone on this. Thanks to everyone else for posting.

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I believe the issue is with a certain texture that is being used during the transitional period. (Nov 20 through Dec 20 (I believe))During this period the sim uses transitional textures that are a mix between Fall and Winter. CTD's started showing up at Castlegar with Holger's and FSGenesis mesh. Also there were some Sion CTD's with FSGenesis mesh. Also Lago had a forum entry for terrascene users that were also having issues "in the mountains".I believe there is a mountain texture, that gets loaded or misloaded during this transitional period that just kills the box.In the case of the Castlegar problem, removing the "mesh" file fixed the problem, but the mesh could have been using different textures.The Sion problem seemed to be related to a specific texture intermingling with a runway texture. It is probably specific to not just a texture, but a certain LOD level of that texture, because the CTD happens when a person gets within so many miles of the area.It would be interesting what people can find. There would be a lot of Mesh designers who would love to find out what is causing it. In the meantime, we just have to choose a specific "season" and stay away from the mountains in transitional fall-winter time.

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Hithere is an incredibly long discussion about this CtD-problem on a German forum. For those of you that understand German I give the link:http://www.wcm.at/forum/showthread.php?threadid=117269The people there were partly under the impression that it has to do with landclass and/or mesh files. They also seem to confirm the seasonal aspect of this problem. However, reading the posts here, the problem is obviously also present with no such add-on files which would mean that it is a FS9-bug.I had also such crashes to desktop in the last two weeks, mainly when I selected some airports in Switzerland (the crash occured during scenery loading at about 52%) or when I flew to these airports at a certain distance of maybe 5-10 miles.In the above thread (first page, almost at the end) you find a test-file of Jobia with 4 different terrain.cfg files. I replaced my terrain.cfg file in the FS9 root directory with the first test file and after this my CtD-problem disappeared. Very funny......Walter

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Interesting....Walter, which exactly is the file that has the terrain.cfg settings? Or, more specific, what exactly are the changes that needs to be made in the terrain.cfg? I hardly understand german :-rollThks.Gabriel.

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Walter,Great stuff. Do you have enough German to figure out what is going on?A bunch of us are having exactly the same problems. Depending on the setting, a switch from Fall to Winter or from Winter to Fall produces the now common Crash to Desktop (or Crash auf Desktop).Is there further discussion on that thread that explains what's up? (Sorry to say, I have no German. Can anyone else help here?) It seems that their conversation continues on even as we write this afternoon. After such hard work, one hopes that they have resolved some issues about which we are not yet aware.Best,Mike MacKuen

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I always seem to get a crash that refers to facilities.dll after changing the user weather, I don't seem to get other crashes. I am wondering if the crash I get with the facilities.dll is related to certain aircraft as well.Has anyone else had this one.Anthony....

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"I still think it has to do with the seasons.bgl or something related to it"That may explain why I don't seem to have the issue... My default flight always starts up on June 7th, 2003.... Late spring, so to speak.As for Landclass, I've always installed it in its own folder (and have always followed the rule of having only a scenery subfolder for the landclass.bgl and no texture subfolder).... -John

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I had a crash which involved the weather.dll which seemed to be due to not having the winds aloft checked... I had the ntdll.dll crash several times, and someone else is now saying facilities.dll crashing... Going back to 2002 sounds better and better every minute!! At least it was stable as a rock, may not have all the candy, but at least I can fly without it quitting!

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Just read a couple interesting posts over at the FSGenesis forum. After some very careful testing, the problem has been duplicated with a completely virgin FS2004 setup -- no add-ons at all.If that is the case, we seem to be dealing with a rather nasty FS2004 bug. Any bets on when it will be corrected?-------------------Racartronit means something, but I just can't remember what

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here's my theory:There is something called gradient mapping that puts a rocky texture on slopes exceeding a certain percentage. There is something wrong with the early spring and late fall versions of this rocky texture.The reason why it doesn't seem to happen with default terrain (??) is that high-res terrain by it's nature creates more of these rocky gradients.Holger also has a theory about airport property polys that extend beyond the bounds of a flatten poly, and its interactions with rocky texture.I would suspect that this texture perhaps doesn't have the proper mipping charactistics, or something along those lines. If so, it may be an easy fix, but someone will ahve to use imagetool to examine every one of these textures to confirm they have been properly mipped.But, I dunno. Sort of feeling around in the dark like everyone else on this.-------Justinhttp://www.fsgenesis.netHigh Quality Scenery for FS200x

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GREAT find Gabriel.The same thing happened to me.I came home from work today downloaded and installed the new PSS 330 software. I was too happy.When I loaded FS9, I immediately got a crashed at 77% while Flightssim was loading weather. I then uninstalled PSS and even did a last known good, none of which help my situation....Sure enough though, after reading your post, I changed my weather scenery from Fall to Summer and flightsim loaded instantly.I can't beleive it was something that simple..Anyways,u did good, as I was just contemplating reinstalling FS9...Thanks a bunch for saving my lifeTroy

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Yea, it will be corrected in FS2006. But and that is a BIG but, I would write MS and let them know about this as they may well address it. This is something that should be fixed.

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