CTD in FSX related to hard drive spinup

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I just got back into flight simming after a 10 year break, and wow, the community is more dynamic and bigger than ever.  I had no idea.

Well, I purchased FSX Steam last week and have been having a consistent problem where my second hard drive, D:, (internal, SATA, WD Green) occasionally spins up for no reason at all.  This causes FSX to freeze for 15 seconds while I hear the drive finish spinning up, then I get the "FSX has closed" message and it crashes.  Very aggravating after finishing a 1-hour flight in my LD 767.

For the time being (last night) I have tried turning off indexing on that D: drive, but I have no idea if that will help.  I wish I knew which process is accessing that drive or why, if it's FSX, a service, or something else.  I wonder if anyone has heard of this or has suggestions... I Googled around and found nothing.  But it DEFINITELY is tied to the secondary drive spinup problem.

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Seem to recall reading somewhere that the "green" variety of HDDs tend to stop & start in order to save power, hence the "green" tag.

Have always found WD Velociraptor or Caviar Black HDDs  the better choice if using traditional hard drives.  A bit more expensive but great performance.

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check your power management settings. depends which version of windows you have to find the exact spot ...but if you search 'power' in the control panel you should find it. in the advanced page you can open, there is an option to prevent drives from turning themselves off. 

the thing is, that probably shouldn't cause a crash so it's a little weird anyway. but it may be an acceptable workaround. indexing really only happens very occasionally after the first run so it's unlikely that would cause chronic performance problems.


-andy crosby

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Welcome back to AVSIM and flight simulation.  Not sure what you mean by your HDD "spinning up".  Do you mean thrashing as if there's a lot of activity?  One cause for thrashing in FSX is the loading of photoscenery such as MegaSceneryEarth stuff.  I remember trying to load 40 US States once.  My HDD was thrashing like crazy trying to load the scenery.  Photoscenery is different from default scenery in that photoscenery loads whether you will be using it in your flight plan or not.  So, if you are flying in the US but have European photoscenery enabled, it will load taking up valuable resources.  If you have a lot of photoscenery you HDD will begin thrashing a lot until all of the photoscenery is loaded.  I have never seen it doing this for default or Orbx scenery.

Page 7 of the AVSIM CTD Guide provides instructions on downloading AppCrashView and running that program to see what the faulting module was (if any).  It also shows you images of the Event Viewer and what to look for in the Viewer and shows you how to copy the error (event), and paste it here in this forum.  The more we know about what might have caused the crash, the more likely we can resolve your problems. 

Since photoscenery and some other eye-candy airports and scenery take up a significant amount of resources, I think you probably ran out of virtual address space (VAS).  Windows only gives FSX 4GB's of VAS for each application.  Loading of scenery and aircraft can take up a lot of resources in a short period of time and, when you run out of VAS, FSX will crash.  Lowering of settings and reducing the amount of scenery being loaded can help.

See my signature for a link to the AVSIM CTD Guide.

Best regards,


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