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martinlest2

Tip for testing bgl files

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This is so simple it's almost not worth posting... but it may save some folks a lot of time!

 

In FS9, as you will be aware, you have to close down the sim and restart it to show any effects from changed bgl files. With all my AI a/c it was taking a full two minutes to load up each time: testing out bgl files could take half an evening!!

 

So, I renamed the main FS9 'Aircraft' folder to 'AircraftXXX' and created a new folder called Aircraft containing only the default Cenna 172. Now, when I restart FS9 it takes literally just a few seconds to be up and ready.. a great difference and a huge time-saver when you have to do it a dozen or more times to locate a problem bgl file.

 

Well, not rocket science but I thought I'd post it anyway - some people may (like me) have been waiting ages for FS9 to load up again at each restart!! My only question now is why I didn't do this sooner. (Age???).

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Nice trick.  I wonder if a substitute scenery.cfg file with just the default scenery would make it even faster?

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Hi. Glad the post is helpful! I nearly didn't bother as it is so simple!

 

Yes, I also use a default scenery cfg file, and if you have a lot of addons it does indeed help, but it's loading the AI a/c that takes so long.. in my incarnation of FS9 anyway.

 

M.

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Can I ask what you are specifically checking regarding the .bgl files ?  If it is to ensure a new repaint has been added correctly and displays correctly, you might do better with using the freeware version of FS Repaint.

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Hi.

 

No, bgl files define scenery, not aircraft. There may be files which cause problems at airports or contain features that one might want to change. For instance, today I decided that one (payware) airport I have has the ugliest tarmac textures at the apron. These turned out to be not in the AFCAD file but part of the scenery itself. By removing groups of bgl files from the scenery folder (basically trial and error - designers don't always use user-friendly file name for their bgl files!), one can identify the file which contains the information and it can then be edited using a programme which converts the bgl files to a text-type file suitable for editing, removing (or changing) just the parts one wants to exclude (or modify), leaving the rest of the information intact. You then recompile the text type file to a new bgl file, which now contains all the information about terminal buildings etc. you want to keep, but no longer has (in this example) the blurred tarmac/concrete textures - the tools to do all this are all available online as freeware.

 

Or, as another example, sometimes the sim crashes when you try to load an airport (often a faulty landclass or exclude file): again, by moving groups of bgl files out of the scenery folder and then back in bit by bit, one can identify the problem file and exclude or edit it. Any number of such reasons... removing static aircraft from a bgl file is another useful example.

 

I have done this on dozens of occasions over the past several years - waiting for the sim to reload was the biggest obstacle. Then I had the idea I posted here and it has speeded up the process by a factor of ten...

 

Hope that explains it!

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If your installation has a lot of AI traffic, you can reduce loading time by setting traffic to "0".

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Thanks Martin. It's elegant, and like you wrote, so simple.

 

I have a handful of fs9.cfg and fsuipc.ini for different hardware configurations but I never thought of applying similar reasoning to the Aircraft folder or scenery.cfg to save time. (There's little that's more frustrating than spending 2 minutes doing nothing while the startup screen stares back at me... my fridge only holds so much beer).

 

D

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:P   Yes, you can of course just set the traffic to zero but then FS still has to load all the 3rd. party FS9 aircraft in the folder - I have hundreds! (if you look at Process Monitor, you'll see that all sceneries and aircraft load up at FS9 startup), so in practice I find that the method I mentioned, plus a bare bones scenery.cfg file gives by far the fastest load time.

 

I am one of those people who spend as much time tweaking, creating VB scripts to run a series of FS stuff and so on automatically, as I do flying. I find it really satisfying. I may perhaps upload some of my more worthy batch/VB scripts to the AVSIM library...

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In similar vein, I have several "sim within sim" possibilities, best explained by the folder structure:

 

folders.jpg

 

Inside the aircraft folders are various assortments of aircraft.

I just rename the required folder to "aircraft" for that session. 

 

If AI is called from traffic files for non-existent models, it does seem to slow down the startup, so I do the same with scenery/world/scenery folders, renaming as appropriate.

 

Scenery loading delay seems to be specific to the location rather than startup, so I haven't tried a simplified scenery.cfg, but sounds like a good idea to have a vanilla one for certain troubleshooting scenarios.

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I am working abroad for two years at the moment (in Sri Lanka) and have brought my old Dell XPS gaming laptop from the U.K. rather than  transport my main FS PC here. Because the XPS is ten years old now, I only add aircraft and scenery to FS9 (I haven't installed FSX onto it!), other than the defaults, as and when I want to fly them. In other words, I have a store folder on the same partition and simply drag scenery and aircraft into the FS9 folder as and when I want to fly them, copying scenery.cfg file entries from the full cfg file in the store to the much smaller one in FS9. (I never add scenery using the FS interface, always via the scenery.cfg file: in any case I reached my maximum number of scenery entries in FS9 years ago and half of my sceneries do not show up in the FS9 interface - even though they are in the scenery.cfg file and work just fine). This isn't necessary on my PC, but helps a lot with performance when I am using the laptop here.

 

It is certainly the case, at least from what I have read here and elsewhere, as well as from observation, that FS9 and FSX will search for certain files continuously if they are not found in the expected location and this can impact performance and cause a drain in available memory.

 

Again, Process Monitor shows this very clearly: I sometimes filter the results in PM to show only the files that are not found but which the sim never gives up trying to find. In extreme cases, where the file search goes on and on as long as FS is running (there can be dozens of attempts to locate the file every second), I have found that creating a 'dummy file' of the same name prevents the search and stops  memory drain, even though the file is just a txt file renamed and given the appropriate extension.

 

There are also many instances of registry entries not found, but they do not seem to have any effect on performance. Even so, when I have seen literally tens of thousands of search instances in PM, I have sometimes added a dummy entry to the registry to put a stop to it: not sure if it is just cosmetic in that case, but in the case of file searches it definitely helps preserve system memory resources.

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:P   Yes, you can of course just set the traffic to zero but then FS still has to load all the 3rd. party FS9 aircraft in the folder - I have hundreds! (if you look at Process Monitor, you'll see that all sceneries and aircraft load up at FS9 startup), so in practice I find that the method I mentioned, plus a bare bones scenery.cfg file gives by far the fastest load time.

 

I am one of those people who spend as much time tweaking, creating VB scripts to run a series of FS stuff and so on automatically, as I do flying. I find it really satisfying. I may perhaps upload some of my more worthy batch/VB scripts to the AVSIM library...

 

Hi Martin:

 

It would be interesting to see what your VB scripts might do to help other FS9 users, if you would be so kind as to make them available.  :wink:

 

It is certainly the case, at least from what I have read here and elsewhere, as well as from observation, that FS9 and FSX will search for certain files continuously if they are not found in the expected location and this can impact performance and cause a drain in available memory.

 

Again, Process Monitor shows this very clearly: I sometimes filter the results in PM to show only the files that are not found but which the sim never gives up trying to find. In extreme cases, where the file search goes on and on as long as FS is running (there can be dozens of attempts to locate the file every second), I have found that creating a 'dummy file' of the same name prevents the search and stops  memory drain, even though the file is just a txt file renamed and given the appropriate extension.

 

There are also many instances of registry entries not found, but they do not seem to have any effect on performance. Even so, when I have seen literally tens of thousands of search instances in PM, I have sometimes added a dummy entry to the registry to put a stop to it: not sure if it is just cosmetic in that case, but in the case of file searches it definitely helps preserve system memory resources.

 

Would you please post some commonly seen examples which others may wish to remedy via the creation of Dummy folder / file paths, and Windows registry entries ...for FS9 ? :Thinking:

 

Thanks ! :smile:

 

GaryGB

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Well, I will have a look through what I have Gary (several dozen I imagine) and see what might be useful, but most will be relevant to my sim only. Others would also need to download software like Batchrun (which basically allows you to run a sequence of scripts, but more than that - a really great utility) and XXCopy. They would also need to have the FS9 folders and files set up exactly as I have for the files to be found - so I doubt many would work on other folks' PCs to be honest.

 

I have previously uploaded a few of them to the AVSIM library, like these:

 

http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004misc&DLID=182088

 

http://library.avsim.net/esearch.php?CatID=fs2004scen&DLID=146000

 

As for an example of the dummy, I kept getting messages like this for PSS a/c:

 

PSS%20B757.jpg

 

The installation didn't create such a folder, but I stopped getting the annoying error message every time I wanted to fly the PSS 757 by creating an empty folder D:\pss-b757\texture... No more error messages.

 

The same can work with files - you have to be pretty sure that the files FS9 is looking for (as listed in Process Monitor) are not genuinely missing, but it's usually clear what is genuine and what is spurious. In the latter case I just create a text file and rename it, with the requested extension, to the file name the sim can't find. This has stopped memory drain in the past, though I can't recall (a case of human memory drain!!) which files exactly now to give you a precise example.

 

I suppose the above will give you an idea anyway. (if anyone posts back telling me that the above error message is genuine and PSS should have installed a texture folder as described, I'd be glad to know what is in it. I had to make similar dummy folders for the PSS Airbuses too, so something odd is going on).

 

M.

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FYI...

 

Here's an example of FS9 searching for non-existent files, between the hours (milliseconds!) of 22:43:34.341... and 22:43:34:368... 

 

Fx_1.jpg

 

and so on.. No wonder FS9 gets exhausted!!!

 

I added two dummy files of those names, and the searching stops. I don't think in these cases FS9 bothers to much what the file is, so long as one of that name is there! been running FS with these 'dummies' for ages, and certainly no ill effects...

 

M.

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