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Dougal

Enough is Enough (for now)

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Aaaaaagh!!! Having reinstalled Windows, FSX and all my addons 3 times in the last 4 months, I'm finally giving up on it, at least for now.

 

I've just uninstalled every addon and FSX from my hard drive! I expect I'm far too hooked to leave simming forever, but if I don't take a break, I might just break something, or someone :O

 

It seems to me the vast majority of my error messages and crashes are caused by addons. Don't get wrong PLEASE, I'm not suggesting they're faulty, as such. It's just the more addons I install, the more frequent and serious the problems become. I think it's more that 'our friends' at MS didn't exactly design FSX with 3rd party addons in mind.

 

I dare not count the number of payware addons I have, but probably now into 3 figures and, it seems almost each one has its own way of 'doing things' in FSX, which is always going to cause problems. I'm a little tired too, of some people who say things like, "well x or y doesn't cause problems on my PC" or similar, when the chance of them also having the other 99 or so addons installed that I have, are pretty small. That in itself is why things are SO hard for many addon developers when fault finding. I feel for you guys *nearly* as much as myself ;-)

 

On the one hand I've been fortunate, being able to buy so many, but I guess if I didn't, then I probably wouldn't have so many issues either. Nice problem to have I supose.

 

Maybe when I install FSX next time, I'll keep it stock, or ONLY install those things I consider vital. Mmmmm.... fat chance I supect :blink:

 

I have a competent PC, but when adding a top notch addon aircraft, to areas like KLAX by FSDT, and Aerosoft US Cities, then it just doesn't hack it.

 

I think it's time for some of my other games to get an outing. None of which give me 'stackhash' or ai_player errors :wacko: Okay, maybe they give the occasional CDT ^_^

 

I'm afraid you lot don't rid of me though, as I'll still be keeping a check on you all to make sure you don't misbehave too badly :Big Grin:

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On the one hand I've been fortunate, being able to buy so many, but I guess if I didn't, then I probably wouldn't have so many issues either. Nice problem to have I supose.

 

Maybe when I install FSX next time, I'll keep it stock, or ONLY install those things I consider vital. Mmmmm.... fat chance I supect :blink:

 

I always only have installed what I actually use. It's impossible to use 99 planes (I think...) so why not, as you say yourself, remove the ones you don't use? I usually have 2 addon planes installed: I don't need (or want) anymore. Add to that OpusFSX, ProATC/X, FS2Crew and one or two scenery addons and I am done. (I also use REX but only for textures so I am only mentioning the addons I actually have to run). I may have some more scenery addons installed but I usually deactivate them until I want to use them again. So all in all my FSX is pretty clean and (specially thanks FSUIPC's anti-crash function) I never have problems.

 

MS did design FSX with addons in mind (otherwise they wouldn't have bothered with backward compatibility) but er... they probably didn't design it to run a few hundreds of addons. (Also don't forget that in the old days a new version would have appeared after two or three years: so by now there are much more addons for FSX then there have ever been for previous versions, I think!)

 

So... when you have reinstalled FSX again coming weekend B) :rolleyes: keep it simple: that way you might actually enjoy using FSX. (Not having to install hundreds of addons saves precious time too!)

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Just install one thing at a time and test it before proceding to the next addon. FSX dosent like to many changes at a time. Slow is the only way to go. Josh

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Just install one thing at a time and test it before proceding to the next addon. FSX dosent like to many changes at a time. Slow is the only way to go. Josh

I hear what you say friend, but with 120+ addons, have you any idea just how long that would take;-)

 

By the way Jeroen, what about what so many talk about as being "the essentials", like Ultimate Terrain, GEX and AI Traffic - do you have those installed?

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By the way Jeroen, what about what so many talk about as being "the essentials", like Ultimate Terrain, GEX and AI Traffic - do you have those installed?

 

I don't have UTX and GEX installed (I do own UTX Europe). I forgot to add that I have MyTraffic X 5.4b (or whatever) but I only bought that one this month so I tend to forget to mention that it. ^_^ I have flown for YEARS without AI...

 

What I install and/or enable depends on how I fly. Lately I've been flying the PMDG 737NGX with FS2Crew a LOT and when I fly that one, I don't care about scenery that much, so I won't use Orbx in that case: default FSX is fine with me! (Specially in the winter when FSX default scenery looks mighty fine imho (if there is snow...)). When I fly the Legacy I do like to enable some addon scenery but then I also don't care too much about AI and ATC so I turn those two down or off. So I do make choices to keep performance okay: I know and have accepted I can't do everything I want with FSX.

 

Obviously all this helps to prevent problems. But even when I do load a lot (every now and then) I don't seem to run into problems, which I think is mainly due to FSUIPC (I use the freeware version for its anti-crash feature). Guess I am lucky with my system.

 

Of course this all has to suit your way of playing the game. If flying a different plane every day is what keeps you coming back to FSX, then my 'tips' won't help... ^_^ As I said: I usually have two planes installed (one airliner, one GA): having three installed is a LOT for me! Having a few hunderd installed would drive me nuts. B)

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I hear what you say friend, but with 120+ addons, have you any idea just how long that would take;-)

 

By the way Jeroen, what about what so many talk about as being "the essentials", like Ultimate Terrain, GEX and AI Traffic - do you have those installed?

 

Hell of a lot less time than reinstalling FSX three times! Be patient..friend. Think about this for a second. 120+ add-ons--how many are you actively using right off the bat? Install your favourite piece of scenery, a couple of your favourite planes and go fly a bit. Relax.

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It's a one by one process and as Josh said, check FSX for proper operation after each addon installed. Nick's (Needham) installation guide stresses a re-boot after each major addition (FSX-SDK-Acceleration). I do that now and so far, so good.

 

My addons in order of installation, checking each one in FSX after it is installed, are:

 

FSX, SDK, Acceleration, SDK-SP1A, OPUS-X, ADE1.5, UTXUSA with patches, UTX Canada with patch, UTX Europe with patch, UTX Tropical & Carribean with patch, GEX-NA, GEX-EU, FSPS, FS Water Configurator, Addon Scenery's (Fly Tampa KBOS-X and about 30 other freeware's), AES, and my most recent, Accu-Feel. After those, I then add my selected aircraft ( 60+) & WoAI (100+).

 

Last night, I had to do a COMPLETE re-format and new installation of WIN7-64 which I did from my HP recovery DVD's. I tried using the Recovery partition on my HD but kept getting a fatal error message involving "SYSPREP". Couldn't resolve it so I was forced to use the DVD's. What a LONG process as opposed to XP. And this was just Win7. Not to mention FSX. Win7 alone took about 2.5 hours. FSX took another 6 or so to get it all back in working condition.

 

Take a breather. Get your wits backs and do a SLOW, addon by addon methodical install, checking each one as you go in FSX for proper operation. We all know how frustrating this program can be but when it works, IT WORKS!

 

Good luck.

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A few weeks ago I made a thread out of complete rage, being in exactly the same situation as you are now. I just uninstalled some ORBX scenery and the whole FSX world became black. I've been going through so many problems with FSX in the past few years that I almost gave up, but I'm glad I did not. Recently, I bought some great add-ons like Opus which made FSX great.

 

I do feel your pain, but I will try to help you.

 

Of course it's always very hard to find the culprit of the problems, and I can understand nobody has the patience to install one add-on (out of your 100+ add-ons) at a time and do flights and flights only to find out your FSX will be messed up again after a few weeks. Most of the time, the culprit to the problems of FSX are not the add-ons itself, it could also be system instability. Default FSX might be able to handle an unstable system, but throwing in so many add-ons might mess it all up. Many times, installing and uninstalling can create errors in the registry which can cause system instability.

 

I will now try to list things that you should all try in case you haven't tried it yet.

 

- Go to add/remove programs, and delete everything you don't need on your PC. Usually doesn't help much, but you never know.

- Delete any leftovers from previously uninstalled programs in your drives.

- In your fsx.cfg make sure you have HIGHMEMFIX=1 under [GRAPHICS], but I guess you already have that.

- Run FSX as administrator

- Run every installer that involves anything for FSX, as administrator

- Run a malware scan with MalwareBytes (freeware)

- Run a full virusscan with Microsoft Security Essentials (freeware)

- Last, but definately not least (actually very important), run a registry cleaner. I have RegClean Pro and it's very good. Sometimes, when I've been iinstalling lots of stuff it discovers like 5000 errors, make sure you also run the Optimize Registry option. Please not this software is payware

 

If this all doesn't work it might be related to hardware

 

- Check your temps of your videocard and CPU during full load

- Run a 12 hour Prime95 test with small FFT

- Run MemTest over night

 

If this all doesn't work, it's just one of your add-ons that is poorly designed regarding FSX's stability. Only install what you need, like: REX, GEX, UTX, Opus, PMDG planes, and a few airports sceneries. Keep it there for a while and then add sceneries of other producers. When the problems start again you can indentify the culprit.

 

I see many people always have an obsession with reinstalling, reformatting, reinstalling, reformatting, etc., but usually this won't help much, especially if the problem is hardware related. All it does is replacing files that were already there, and the only advantage of reformatting is that it sets a clean registry and it doens't have trash on your PC. But some of the steps mentioned above can give you a similar result.

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Just a quick note....we do feel your pain of course....but heeding the advice above about slow and easy for sure....slowly build it back up to where you want it...then....

BACK IT ALL UP, MAKE A COMPLETE BACKUP OF YOUR ENTIRE SETUP.

 

If you ever have to reinstall windows, which I have had several times now...I have my original (on a separate drive) and a backup on other drive AND a default setup on another. All of which allow me to get my FSX up and running with very few problems. There are a few planes that require a reinstall for various reasons but its all those tweaks and configs that can mess you up. With a back up most if not all will work properly for you once you use a registry fix tool to link in your backup or your originals on another drive.

 

My FSX is 385 gigs in size with 583 scenery layers and 987 Airplanes (mostly AI, but many flyable). Last year when my C root drive died, I had a new one installed windows 7 reinstalled and had my FSX up and running (almost in full) that very day. As I noted several planes required reinstall for their modules to work properly. ALL my UTX, GEX, ORBX, FSAddons, Simaddons and their respective configuration modules worked perfectly.

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I feel your pain.

Installed Windows 7 again yesterday

Started format of HDD @ 16:00

Finished Win 7 updates @ 20:00

Installing FSX @ 20:30

Installed PMDG MD-11 NGX and AXE ~23:00

Wife made me go to bed

 

Today 9:00 Install Aerosoft Scenery

14:00 go to work

 

To be continued.......

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I feel for you, Phil. Must be so frustrating, and you have hit on some very valid points i.e.MS, etc. Hopefully, once you have had a good long break away from it, you will bounce back with the same enthusiasm it has been a pleasure to follow considering what you lost when the 'tea leaf..........'

 

All The Best

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120 addons wow! I try avoiding installing anything beyond what I really use and my FSX has been rock stable (touch wood) since the last install on a new laptop a few months back locked at 25 FPS. Essentials in my case being - Orbx FTX regions (almost all), REX, Accufeel, some GA airports and aircraft (RA Legacy, Cheyenne, Duke and a couple more). I am actually impressed by FSX now that it runs smoothly and looks good on non expensive hardware these days (i7, 8 GB Ram, 2 GB Video, no SSD, $800 in all - Dell). So my suggesstion would be the same as Jereon above - avoid too many installations. Keep it simple. Hopefully it works out!

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It seems to me the vast majority of my error messages and crashes are caused by addons. Don't get wrong PLEASE, I'm not suggesting they're faulty, as such. It's just the more addons I install, the more frequent and serious the problems become. I think it's more that 'our friends' at MS didn't exactly design FSX with 3rd party addons in mind.

 

I dare not count the number of payware addons I have, but probably now into 3 figures and, it seems almost each one has its own way of 'doing things' in FSX, which is always going to cause problems. I'm a little tired too, of some people who say things like, "well x or y doesn't cause problems on my PC" or similar, when the chance of them also having the other 99 or so addons installed that I have, are pretty small. That in itself is why things are SO hard for many addon developers when fault finding. I feel for you guys *nearly* as much as myself ;-)

 

One of the main reasons people with a great amount of addons have problems, isn't because there is a problem with an addon, (although that is possible) but how many and how much address space ones which dlls are loaded via the dll.xml file. These get loaded on FSX start up whether you use them or not. Which is a complete waste of VAS, which of coarse is at a premium, when you are using addon aircraft such as the PMDG NGX. To avoid this add or modify the following line in each optional section of the dll.xml file. Leave the dlls you know are used on every flight alone.

 

ManualLoad>True</ManualLoad>

 

Then when you start FSX it will ask if you want to load each dll. Say no to all but the ones you are using for that particular flight. The only time I have gotten CTDs or OOMs were with PMDG aircraft. Since doing this, I haven't gotten one, and I'm still using Vista 32bit, which limits me even more!!!

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Tom, thanks for that recommendation, I had never heard of that before...it makes sense to me that this would be useful.

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To avoid this add or modify the following line in each optional section of the dll.xml file. Leave the dlls you know are used on every flight alone.

 

ManualLoad>True</ManualLoad>

 

Then when you start FSX it will ask if you want to load each dll. Say no to all but the ones you are using for that particular flight.

 

Interesting method, didn't know about that one, but I do it in a slightly other way. I usually fly one plane for quite some time so I disable the dll's I don't need in the fxs.cfg: this way I only have to click on NO a few times when FSX loads and asks if I want to use the dll. The method above requires you to enable or disable every dll and that may become cumbersome.

 

If I would switch planes more often I would probably create seperate FSX.cfg's for them and then create a bat file to make the one I need the active one. This way you can also load specific settings for specific planes (like more autogen and less traffic for GA and less autogen and more traffic for airliners).

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You aint the only one mate. I've had to uninstall FSX 17 times within a month. FSX suddenly crashes when I make a right click and during final approach to any airport in the world. It's

Damn annoying!!! :mad:

 

Honestly I'd pay upto a £1000 for a new sim platform which is stable, takes advantage of every core available, 64bit, etc....

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Dont install FSX anymore, for your next iteration, install P3D its more stable.

 

Also try to avoid addons that have local effect as opposed to global effect, example airports complicate matters etc, but global scenery ok.

 

 

P3D is the answer, its not as stable as MsWord, but does not crash as much as fsx.

 

Addons are definatly the big issue though PFE taxi gauge still crashes my P3D, but only when i am exirting.

 

And if word on P3D 2.0 is true, then we look forward to a much improved sim solution.

 

P3d and less addons

All move to P3D already, last to leave FSx, PS turn the lights out in the forum.

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I have a competent PC, but when adding a top notch addon aircraft, to areas like KLAX by FSDT, and Aerosoft US Cities, then it just doesn't hack it.

 

You're going to have to manage your FSX.CFG and your DLL.XML. I keep many backups (before/afters) these files.

 

I also find SysTracer as a MUST HAVE tool see here: http://www.blueproject.ro/systracer

 

This tool will tell you exactly what has changed after you install any software. You can specify what drive/folders to monitor and even what sections of the registry to monitor.

 

I also have another tool called UltraCompare ... which will show me differences within files.

 

FSX is actually amazingly mod friendly ... far more so than ANY other game/sim I have in my collection. I'm amazed it works as well as it does considering it's 32bit limitations. But there is a real limit on how many add-ons one can have running in FSX, the best approach is to determine what you currently want to do and use only those add-ons specific to that.

 

You may also want to try this tool for managing FSX add-ons: http://www.byteforge.com/products/ap_fsx/index.htm I haven't used it myself, but I know some that think very highly of the tool.

 

Don't give up just yet.

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I've just uninstalled every addon and FSX from my hard drive!

 

Phil,

 

Most of us have done that very thing a number of times. I run in the opposite direction but the farther away from FS I go, the stronger the pull back becomes.

 

I figure I have a huge invisible elastic band around my waist, and at some point the pull back exceeds the power forward, and I am snapped back into line.

 

So the question is "When will you reinstall FSX, sooner or later"? Anyway, I'm pretty certain it's not time to say "Goodbye", but "See you soon".

 

Kind regards,

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Indeed Stephen - you know me well sir;-)

 

I do need a break from it though - its driving me nuts;-)

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Just as Stephen predicted, I couldn't leave it alone, and so started reinstalling FSX and my payware addons, but in a way more closely resembling that as suggested above by most people;-)

 

It's taken days (and nights!) of more or less non stop work and testing. As i've been ill anyway, and not getting much sleep, I just ploughed on for more than 48hrs, stopping only for short periods here and there!

 

Finally, for those interested and those who helped, I have some enlightening information.

 

It seems I've found at least one main culprit of my woes. That is, the addon causing my errors and CTDs. For now though, here's how I reinstalled, and tested everything....

 

Clean Win7 x64 installation and all Windows updates and relevant drivers onto drive C:

 

Clean FSX Acelleration onto a separate drive, followed by a few flights, just to make sure all was well at stock settings. I made NO cfg tweaks at this time.

 

Then came the odd essential utility, like FSUIPC. All my other utility addons, like flight planners etc, are installed on a separate hard drive, or even networked on a client.

 

Next came all my aircraft (payware only) and their relevant updates. All just one at a time, and with flights and PC reboots between each one. Man.... was THAT boring;-)

 

Then I gradually installed my 'global' type addons, such as UTX, GEX, REX and AI Traffic etc. Again, all their updates were also installed, and again with flights and reboots between each one. At this point I ran a defrag using O&O software. I cannot tell a lie - I did get a little sleep at that point;-)

 

FSX ran like a dream in this config. No CTDs, no dll errors, no OOMs. It really was very nice indeed, if perhaps just a little bland. There was no FPS drop whatsoever, until after installing REX Essiantials, than from running stock FSX. So it seems that UTX and GEX have zero impact. At least on my PC. I could run FSX with AI traffic set at 60% and everything else almost maxed, without issues of any kind. Even with addons like the PMDG 737NGX.

Next came the REALLY tedious bit... Installing the individual addon sceneries (payware only). Again, all one at a time, and with all relevant updates installed. Each addon was also followed by a system reboot and a couple of short flights. These were installed in batches of developer, so if a problem appeared and I couldn't isolate it, I'd at least have a vague idea who's scenery it was.

 

FSX was still running well after almost all sceneries installed, and with ZERO issues. The ONLY thing I can say was noticeably different, was the length of time it took to start a flight, compared to the stock installation. Only to be expected though. Even at major hubs, with heavy AI and demanding addon aircraft (NGX and AXE), all I got was the usual 'slide show' with FSX occasionally droping to 9fps. Even so, no CDTs or OOMs etc. All in all - good stuff.

The only addons still not installed thus far, were those of Orbx, which I left until last due to their size.

 

Bingo! After installing Orbx FTX PNW, I got instant problems. Disable it, and the problems go away! Removed and reinstalled it, just to be sure, but 2 issues persist when installed and activated... FSX will *sometimes* crash (CTD) or hang while running, and not necessarily while still inside the PNW area. It does however, always crash on exit with the 'ai_player.dll' error. This is more serious than some might think, as it means that config files are not saved and no FSX 'tidying up' is done. This can cause file corruption, leading to more serious problems.

 

I haven't seen the same issues with any other Orbx scenery I subsequently installed.

 

What a long winded way to say I found my main glitch. I just thought it might help others with ai_player and CTD issues.

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Bingo! After installing Orbx FTX PNW, I got instant problems. Disable it, and the problems go away!

 

Wow, you came back quick! ;)

 

This is why I've stayed away from Orbx ... they don't work well with some of my other add-ons ... which is a shame because Orbx have some REALLY good stuff that I'd like to use but would have to give up other products in order to use them. But I recall reading a long thread about conflicts between Orbx and other 3rd party and it got a little ugly at times (lots of finger pointing, access revoking, etc. etc.).

 

That's why I suggested SysTracer, it'll tell you who does what, why, when, and where ;) (including anything stuffed away in the registry)

 

Glad to see you back and I'm sure your experience will help others.

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Dougal, I use Acronis True Image 2013 and extra 2TB HDD space for Incremental backups extensively. You can roll back clean after every major package install. I can not imagine reinstalling my 100GB+ FSX without using incremental backups.

 

Thanks for sharing your findings, I'm in the process of installing everything on my new system and of ORBX I've installed EU England and Lancair only. That's enough now based on what I see in this thread.

 

OOMs are more intimidating though as with the latest add-on planes and airports we are really balancing on the edge of FSX's 4GB VAS limit.

 

Cheers,

Dirk.

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Bingo! After installing Orbx FTX PNW, I got instant problems. Disable it, and the problems go away! Removed and reinstalled it, just to be sure, but 2 issues persist when installed and activated... FSX will *sometimes* crash (CTD) or hang while running, and not necessarily while still inside the PNW area. It does however, always crash on exit with the 'ai_player.dll' error. This is more serious than some might think, as it means that config files are not saved and no FSX 'tidying up' is done. This can cause file corruption, leading to more serious problems.

 

 

Sorry don't want to hijack this tread but you make an interesting observation. As you may know there was a huge outpouring over at Orbxland forums about CTDs in the PNW and folks trying to isolate the issue. I personally haven't had any and can't find the problem that many folks were having.

 

However, you have me wondering about "ai_player.dll" , what does this module do? Is it the one that controls is responsible for acting on flightplans for AI planes, boats etc.

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A freind of mine bought one of the Solid state hard drives just to use for flightsim. He has his operating system on another drive.

 

He downloaded just the NGX 8-900 and thats all he fly's.

 

His opinion is, you cannot enjoy all aircraft to the full so, enjoy and get used to the one aircraft and then you can fly it professionally because you know everything about it.

The AoA NGX course helps to keep his enjoyment interesting.

 

I think most of us suffer from the pain that, because we bought it we need to use it and have it on our hard drive but, of course, the more you install within flightsim the slower the performance.

 

Food for thought, maybe?

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