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jjjallen

Windows 8 Controller Dropout Topic

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SkyPilot software is currently working on implementing a joystick dropout fix that seems to be most prevalent on Windows 7 and 8.  The issues seems to be related to Mircrosoft favoring the XNA gaming interface in the OS over DirectX.  

 

We think that we have accurately identified the issue and are working on a possible solution.

 

Stay tuned for FSXAssist build 1.08.

 

Regards

Jim Allen

SkyPilot Software

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Any chance this fix can be enabled without also using the performance tweaks in your product?  Say just a checkbox for each option so people can decide which features to use?  I definitely suffer from this issue as my Saitek Cessna Trim Wheel almost always disconnects in use.  

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Yes - simply set your AffinityMask and Priority settings to the defaults which are all cores and Normal.

 

Regards

Jim Allen 

SkyPilot Software

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On the other hand - Crash detection must be enabled for this fix to work.

 

Regards

Jim Allen 

SkyPilot Software

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On the other hand - Crash detection must be enabled for this fix to work.

 

Regards

Jim Allen 

SkyPilot Software

 

why in the world would we want that? ;) 

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For all of you techies out there here is a rundown of the situation:

http://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/windows/desktop/ee416310(v=vs.85).aspx

 

Regards

Jim Allen 

SkyPilot Software

 

So howcome this happens to FSX but not FS9 in win8? (I have both, and I didn't start using FSX until almost 3 weeks ago) I've NEVER had this problem in FS9 on win8 

 

Its happening A LOT today; some days it doesn't happen at all, some days once or twice other days its pathetic. 

 

I can use my stick even when FS9 is in the background and still manipulate things in the game, this works in FSX as long as I don't lose the connection. 

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Basically it has to do with how Windows 8 handles Directx calls since it was designed to work with Windows App Store applications. You hit the nail on the head however and it seems that FS9 is using deprecated DirectX calls while FSX is using more current ones OR FS9 has a mechanism in place to reconnect lost controllers.

 

The fix for FSX, as we see it is to trick the Directx API and force all controller activity to persistent across all applications. This can be set with a simple flag once the controller is connected and established. The caveat is that your controller will then be controlling ALL applications using it even if they are running in the background. This is counter to the behavior used for mouse operations.

 

Our experience jives with the MS Dev documentation - IOW a task switch will cause the controller to drop out of the switched app (FSX for example) and FSX has no built in means to reestablish the connection once it once again becomes the foreground application. FSX simply confirms that the connection has been lost as you can witness in the controller UI.

 

IOW MS has made all input devices function as the mouse did in the past with Windows 8. This functionality was implemented to handle touch screen devices such as phones. The problem is that Joystick devices fall into a special class. They were always designed to be fulltime connected devices but unfortunately break under the new Windows 8 input default behavior.

 

Once again your question regarding FS9 is a good one. The answer then probably lies in the dll builds that FS9 uses since they are many years old. MS probably made the decision to exclude these older applications from the new behavior or as noted FS9 can actively reconnect a lost controller.

 

Finally, some have referred the joystick dropout behavior as a BUG. Actually it has to do with joystick drivers which all need to be updated in our opinion to work in the new windows 8 infrastructure. (and no we don't work for MS)..

 

Regards

Jim Allen

SkyPilot Software

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then WHY can't MS fix this?! This is starting to drive me INSANE some days it works better than other days... I just completed a full dead stick landing the stick wouldn't come back at all after takeoff. 

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Another good question. Here again it will take some involvement from joystick builders to work in the new driver framework.

 

This same situation has occurred in the past and usually takes a few years to work itself out.

 

In the meanwhile SkyPilot hopes to have something in place to fix this issue shortly.

 

Regards

Jim Allen

SkyPilot Software

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Another good question.  Here again it will take some involvement from joystick builders to work in the new driver framework.  

 

This same situation has occurred in the past and usually takes a few years to work itself out.

 

Regards

Jim Allen

SkyPilot Software

 

 

They should have seen this one coming, yes I can see having problems initially but waiting until its too obvious and too glaring is not the answer. 

 

The thing is this is going to be a serious problem especially for a serious simmer who uses 3rd party add ons that require focus outside of FSX is going to be unavoidable.  Maybe logitech has an answer? 

 

Thanks for working on this project in hopes this could provide a fix for now. 

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Chapeau if you can fix this one Jim, I'll finally be able to reinstall W8!

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After further testing we have found that the controller dropout / reconnect issue is related to FSX specifically and not Windows 8.  In all test cases FSX refused to reconnect the controller (after it was plugged back in to the USB port) while it was always available in the Windows 8 controller application.  Our only conclusion is to force FSX to reconnect via the FSX SDK which we are working on.

 

Thought that you may want to know.

 

Regards

Jim Allen

SkyPilot Software

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After further testing we have found that the controller dropout / reconnect issue is related to FSX specifically and not Windows 8.  In all test cases FSX refused to reconnect the controller (after it was plugged back in to the USB port) while it was always available in the Windows 8 controller application.  Our only conclusion is to force FSX to reconnect via the FSX SDK which we are working on.

 

Thought that you may want to know.

 

Regards

Jim Allen

SkyPilot Software

 

 

I read elsewhere FSX isn't the only one having the problem, there are some games having this issue only on win8 but I remember telling you that FS9 works fine and never loses the stick so your findings reaffirm that yeah this can't possibly be a windows issue. 

 

Would be AWESOME if Microsoft would come back and do a small patch for FSX for this and save us the headache (or maybe you like this idea, and again I thank you kindly for your efforts). 

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