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Imac

Very Long Flights Fail

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Hi All. Sorry if I've missed crucial posts on this, but I have yet to find anything re my particular scenario. Simply, FSX fails with no warning and no error messages towards the end of very long flights - usually at about the 10 or 11 hour mark, but still in cruise. One moment the flight is progressing normally - then FSX instantaneously minimises and nothing will wake it. This usually means CTRl+ALT+DEL or even a system reset. I have installed the latest graphics driver from Nvidia, run a memory check, closed all AV, firewall, etc., disabled XP's Power Saving options, defragged, moved the page File to a different HDD and so on. A similar failure occurs in FS9.  Examples of failed flights: Hong Kong VHHH to Paris LFPG - fails over Poland or Austria with about 1000 nm or perhaps 750nm to run; also Sydney to Santiago SCEL - fails over the ocean several hours short of the Chilean coast.  It looks to me as though there's some time or memory dependent process involved. Setup is FSX-SP3 and FS9, Core 2 Duo 2.66GHz, 2GB RAM, Gigabyte 8600GT graphics,  Corsair 650W PSU. Six months ago flights like these ran all the way; now they don't, but I'm unaware of any significant change in the system. Does anyone see something familiar in this? Is there an XP equivalent to 'App Crash View' which might help? Thanks for reading, anyway - Imac.

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Is there an XP equivalent to 'App Crash View' which might help?

 

Unfortunately none for XP. But you still have the Windows Event Viewer which will tell you why FSX crashed - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/308427. You do not have very much RAM and I think FSX ran out of Virtual Address Space (VAS). The higher your settings in FSX, the more space that is required to accomplish all the tasks you have requested FSX to do. You only have 2GB of RAM so fsx is going to use may be a little more than 1 GB and the rest of your ram will be used for XP Operating System functions to keep your computer running. You probably should reduce the number of hours flying and run short one or two hour trips and keep your settings near the default.

Setup is FSX-SP3 and FS9

 

What is SP3? FSX has a SP1 and SP2 or Acceleration (not SP2 and Acceleration).

 

Best regards,

Jim

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HI and thanks, Jim. Yes, sorry about 'SP3' - my feeble mind had done a cross-feed between XP with SP3 and FSX with Acceleration.  Anyway, I accept all of your comments concerning RAM and the degree of complexity in scenery, etc., which my old system might be expected to handle. I do run Orbx sceneries and other add-ons such as Tom's A340 and 330 models, Posky Boeings and so on, but this FS setup worked for all extended intercontinental flights in the past. No scenery add-ons should have been involved in the largely empty areas where the failures occurred. I can't find anything which has changed significantly either in FS itself or in my PC. Yes, I've searched Event Viewer's logs for clues but see nothing unusual at about the time the failures have occurred. So, yes, I might just have to stick to shorter flights  .. and ASAP build a new system with more CPU steam, RAM etc.!  But I'll still keep looking for any pesky Windows service or background app which could interfere. Thanks again for your thoughts, JIm. Regards, Imac.

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Hi again, Jim - I neglected to thank you specifically for the link to MS KB info on Event Viewer. It could be that I've missed something there. By the way, although for all practical purposes FSX has hung when it minimises as described, Task Manager shows it as still running. Even so, the system as a whole is usually otherwise frozen and a reset is needed. Occasionally I can restart via Task Manager.  Oh - another angle: can you tell me whether the flight data stored for Instant Replay continues to accumulate on such long flights? If so, one assumes there's a limit. Can the Instant Replay function be disabled, even for a trial run? Anyway, don't trouble yourself too much with this issue - I really do need a new PC for FS, don't I?

Cheers, and thanks again for reading.  Ian (Imac).

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Can the Instant Replay function be disabled, even for a trial run? Anyway, don't trouble yourself too much with this issue - I really do need a new PC for FS, don't I?

 

Hi Ian,

 

It cannot be disabled but it shouldn't be using any additional resources.  I had a similar incident a couple of months ago with AS2012 weather.  I was flying along and suddenly the screen froze.  I went into the task manager and FSX was still running.  I shutdown AS2012 then eventually got back into FSX and the flight continued.  If I used the AS2012 real weather, FSX froze with no error message.  I attributed it to a bad installation of SimConnect (I had recently reinstalled FSX due to a SSD issue).  AS2012 works even if you turn on the default weather as it takes over all the weather functions on your computer.  You have REX and perhaps it does the same thing.  If I enabled real weather in the FSX Settings Page, the flight was without incident.  I'm thinking that AS2012 was trying to contact their server for updated weather and there was a connection problem.  Since I reinstalled SimConnect, I have not had that problem even with AS2012 enabled.  You also have to make sure you do not ask for HD graphics in REX.  Leave the settings at default.  You can change the Texture_Max_Load to 2048 (which I think would be the highest for your computer).  It works best when the FSX.cfg handles the texture resolutions.

 

In a future flight you might run your weather using the one on the FSX settings page instead of through REX and see if this fixes your problem.

 

Best regards,

Jim

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Hi Jim, and thanks once again. I hadn't thought of the possibility that Rex was involved and your several angles of attack on that front are certainly worth investigating. I'll do that, check the SimConnect angle, and look at my weather configuration in both  FSX and FS9 . I must admit I just installed and set Rex to run to my visual preferences and not much else, and it's entirely possible that later experimentation happened at about the time my recent long flights began failing. Something could have changed. Thanks for broadening my thinking, and I'll get back to you.  I do appreciate your time and trouble on my behalf.

 

Kind regards, Ian (Imac)

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Hi Jim & Everyone Reading,

 

Sorry to have been absent for a while, but there has at least been some progress. Following your suggestion, Jim, that  I look at REX, I reduced the load it offers to the system by reducing texture resolutions, etc., but while this did give a slight lift in FPS, it had no effect on the 'Very Long Flight Failures' problem. I therefore embarked on a programmed investigation of the background processes and services running in Windows (XP).  This involved LOTS of flights from Chek Lap Kok (VHHH) to Paris (LFPG).

 

Using GameBoost's free utility (a slightly older version) I first disabled ALL the services/ processes identified by GB as being largely or wholly unnecessary for FS, and tried a flight. If the flight then succeeded, it suggested that the culprit was among these disabled services. And yes, it succeeded. I then re-enabled half of the disabled processes / services before flying again, and so on - each time noting the services and processes either enabled or disabled. This procedure greatly reduces the number of trials needed - otherwise it would have required about 40, ten or twelve hour flights!

 

The last file left in question is one associated (I think) with an older HP printer. The File. HPCMPMGR.EXE might be an update scheduler, but I'll investigate further. So if anyone else has experienced a similar problem, perhaps you could try this process of elimination. Or you could simply use a utility to shut down ALL the services and processes thus identified, but at your own risk. DON'T shut down Windows Explorer' - GameBooster gives a specific warning not to do that.  If in doubt about a service or process, leave it running unless you have expert advice to the contrary.

 

Anyway, Jim, this might might be of interest. Thanks again for your thoughts - I now seem to have both my very long flights back, and a useful FPS lift as well!

 

Best wishes, Ian (Imac) - Murwillumbah, Australia.

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Glad to hear you solved your problem.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

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Hi Matthew,

 

Thanks for your concern. Yes, I THINK I've got it; a check flight is now nearly 9 hours old - not long now before I'll be certain!

By the way, I like your X-Ray cat (or is he a Gamma cat?)  - ours seems pretty heavily sensored-up, too - two days ago he saw (with merely an idle glance) through a tiny crack in our fence an offending local cat and took off after her like greased lightning. Murder was on his mind, not romance. Fortunately someone else intervened before blood was spilt ...  just. Our guy weighs about 20lbs and has real attitude.

Okay, Matt, take care. Regards to you in CA from me, Ian, here is AUS.

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Hi Jim, Matt & Anyone Interested. I believe that it is indeed the previously mentioned HP file which was causing the failure of flights beyond about 11 hours. I narrowed it down to HPCMPMGR.EXE as outlined earlier, then further tested by:

 

(a) Disabling about 40 services and processes identified by GB3, but leaving the HP file active - the flight failed at about 11 hours.

 

(b) Enabling all those 40-odd other services but DISABLED the HP file.

 

This flight continued as planned all the way from Hong Kong to Paris.  From this I conclude that the HP file is the only one out of all the identified background services and processes which failed the flights. The time taken for it to fail the flights varied between about 10.5 hrs and 11.5 hours. Possibly the timing variation is dependent upon how long FS, or the PC itself, was running before the flights were loaded.

Well, it's been a long exercise, but maybe something in the story will help someone else. I don't plan any more testing - I'll trust this result for now.

 

Safe flying, everyone. Ian (Imac)

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Hi Ian,

 

Thanks for the info.  Might be helpful to others.  Actually I am experiencing warnings from FSUIPC that my FSX is running low on memory when I fly from Washington Dulles (KIAD) to Chicago (KORD).  I have FSDT KORD installed and the warnings begin when I get on the glideslope to land.  I have MegaSceneryEarth V2 States installed over the whole route.  I am also flying the PMDG 737NGX.  The flight is only about 2 and a half hours but it seems any flight over 1 hour causes problems for me.  Fortunately I did not get an OOM and FSX did not crash.  I only received a warning from the FSUIPC module.  I had totally clear skies and was also running ProATC-X and XPAX.  I have done shorter flights from St Louis (KSTL) to Chicago (KORD) w/o any problem.  It just seems to be the longer routes.  There could be a memory leak somewhere - http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/dd744766(v=vs.85).aspx and http://www.sevenforums.com/crash-lockup-debug-how/102606-memory-leak-troubleshooting.html.  I have my page file (virtual memory) set to System Managed Size and that has always worked well but now I seem to be experiencing issues with longer flights.  If and when I determine the culprit, I'll post it here.

 

Best regards,

Jim

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One more item that might save you some frustration so near the end of a long haul is to make use of autosave, I believe fsuipc does it. I think mine saves every 15 minutes or so. Some planes are more receptive of this than others as far as saving their panel state.

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