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ghutcheon

Temporary freezes

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My sim has been running perfectly for some time now. I installed Active Sky Next recently and also upgraded GSX by running the full installer to update it.

 

Some time since then I have 3 times now encountered a situation where the sim freezes completely for around 7 or 8 minutes and then resumes as if nothing is wrong. While frozen, sound continues. When it resumes, the clock in the aircraft and the position of the aircraft continues from that point. This has only happened in the PMDG NGX. In all cases this has happened early in the flight while still climbing. After it "unfroze" the flight continued as normal for another 3.5 hours. Thus does not sound like a VAS issue.

 

Some Googling showed that this is not an unknown issue but the advice offered on the internet seems to be only wild guessing. I do not have a virus and my machine is not overheating. Some say it might be an issue with ASN.

 

One thing I have since turned down was the cloud draw distance in FSX menu - was set to the max so I brought it back a little. Also deleted the "experimental" BufferPools setting I had in the cfg. I do not use Affinity Mask. CFG is otherwise set up according to Nick N's "bible". Waiting to se if this stops the nonsense.

 

Cheers!

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Hello Greg,

 

run this tool, starting from when you're on the runway, ready to takeoff:

 

http://technet.microsoft.com/it-it/sysinternals/bb896645.aspx

 

In the Process Monitor Filter (the filter is an icon which looks like a funnel on the toolbar), choose the Process Name,is FSX.exe, then include. The Process Monitor Filter is a window that opens up when you click on that funnel icon. Once you do that, you'll see the FSX.exe in the field below the Process Monitor Filter window, click on the "add" button. This way you are telling the Process Monitor to check on that exe while it is running. After you set the Process Monitor up, start your flight, and whenever you see a freeze, go back to Process Monitor and hit Ctrl+E to save the log. Write down the time FSX froze, and look at the log by looking for what happened during that exact time.

 

I hope this helps you in finding out whatever is making your FSX freeze.

 

Enrico :wink:

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Some Googling showed that this is not an unknown issue but the advice offered on the internet seems to be only wild guessing. I do not have a virus and my machine is not overheating. Some say it might be an issue with ASN.

Wild guessing comes when there is no known solution. Every computer is set up differently with different hardware, motherboards, video cards, drivers, Window versions, Windows updates, different services enabled/disabled, BIOS settings, and then we finally get to the FSX settings, tweaks, and addons. Everyone is seriously trying to help but it is always a hit or miss situation. This is why AVSIM came up with the AVSIM CTD Guide (located to the right of any forum under Hot Spots). Although not a perfect guide, it does provide guidance for troubleshooting your own problems. Start with Page 1 "Actions to take after a crash is encountered" (yes I know you did not have a crash... fsx froze but the same principles apply). You could have a bad tweak so maybe rebuilding your fsx.cfg will fix your problem. It could be one of your modules getting hung up so you might want to disable those in your dll.xml. If you disable them all and the problem no longer exists, then it is most likely one of those modules that is causing your fsx to freeze up.

 

Enrico above has a great suggestion that I have been recommending in the CTD Forum when fsx freezes. Although not in the AVSIM CTD Guide yet, the following is the guidance we intend to add in a future update:

 

Setting up the Process Monitor for FSX – Another investigative tool used to pin down a situation where FSX/P3D freezes, crashes, or stutters/pauses during a flight is to run a utility called Process Monitor - http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinternals/bb896645. During your flight, this utility monitors activity such as calling textures, AI aircraft schedules, ATC, weather updates, and scenery loading. When FSX/P3D stutters or FPS drop dramatically you simply write down the time it occurred. This is important as thousands of entries are made every minute, every second. Continue doing this throughout the flight. Of course, if it freezes, you will know what was going on before the sim froze. This utility will not show you a definitive cause of your issue but it will show you what add-ons were being loaded about when you received the stutter, the long pause(s), and the freeze and you can further investigate by disabling that scenery, that aircraft, or whatever might have caused the event. One member used this utility to determine that My Traffic X, version 5.4c was the cause of a BEX/StackHash/NTDLL.dll crash he was getting. It was easy to disable My Traffic X in the Scenery Library and find that FSX no longer crashed.

 

AVSIM recommends you do not run a flight any longer than 60 minutes as the Process Monitor log becomes quite large. For a 60 minutes flight, expect the file to be at least as large as 8GB’s or tens of millions of captured events. Make sure you delete the log or move it to another drive after you have finished your testing to free up HDD space. Another recommended tip is to make sure you use system time to mark the time of each event and do not use an external clock unless they are sync’d. Going through one minute of a glitch is a massive amount of data needed to be reviewed (it goes fast as thousands of entries just show a scenery being loaded).

 

To run this utility properly, you need to capture only FSX/P3D events. It would be nearly impossible to find a possible glitch if Windows events or other system activities were being logged too. AVSIM recommends opening of the Process Monitor when you are on the active runway and preparing to takeoff to save space on your HDD:

 

Open Process Monitor. Click on the Filter tab and then Filter….

Display entries matching these conditions:

Where it says Architecture, click on that and select “Process Name”

Go next to the blank box and click on that and select FSX or P3D.exe and make sure “Include” is shown (FSX or P3D must be running when you do this!!). Once completed, click on Add and then click OK at the bottom of the form and Go Fly.

 

You can use the utility while in Full Screen mode or Windowed Mode. In Windowed Mode you can monitor what is happening instantly but it is best to run Process Monitor in Full Screen (unless you are seeing freezes in Windowed Mode).

 

When the flight is finished, immediately go to the Process Monitor application and hit Ctrl+E on your keyboard to capture the events (event logging will continue until you do this). Shutdown FSX/P3D and begin your investigating!

 

Hope this helps.

 

Best regards,

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Thanks for the detailed and informative posts Enrico and Jim.

 

Downloading the process monitor tool now. Usually when I look at computer generated errors, log files and reports, they make little sense to me. Hopefully this one will make sense. Gpoing to

 

However, I had some time off today and did two flights back to back in the NGX from TNCM [st Maartin] to SBEG [Manaus] and then onward to SBGL [Rio de Janiero] . That's 2 sectors and just short on 8 hours flying time, over nine if you count the time on the ground also (I did not reset the sim after the first leg) and no crashes or freezes. Maybe it was just my wx distance slider... That should have been a pretty good test.

 

Hold thumbs for me :-)

 

EDIT - I downloaded and ran the process monitor but how can I make changes so it does not dump the huge data file on my C: - are there configurable options? I can't find any. Also, if I don't save the file, does it get deleted automatically? Just worried that my 5 minute test run has generated a log file that is now hogging disk space.

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EDIT - I downloaded and ran the process monitor but how can I make changes so it does not dump the huge data file on my C: - are there configurable options? I can't find any. Also, if I don't save the file, does it get deleted automatically? Just worried that my 5 minute test run has generated a log file that is now hogging disk space.

As stated, you should limit the flight to an hour. Anything longer and you will have a huge log. You can go into the directory where you installed Process Monitor (unzipped it) and remove the log file. An hour flight will take about 8 gigs of your HDD space. If you do not write down the times of the glitches, freezes, whatever, it will be impossible to find what was loading when the problem occurred. It's just a tool. Not perfect. But it helped me find my problems.

 

Best regards,

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