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Cruachan

Something curious has happened....

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Hi,Couple of days ago I attempted to start FSX and, after 20secs of loading, was greeted with the "MS FSX has encountered a problem and needs to close, etc, etc," message.This occurred quite out of the blue and after months of successful loadings.I tried again several times, without rebooting, and the result was always the same :(As we know, the first load of the day always takes longer, in my case around 30secs to get to the initial screen. Subsequent loads without a reboot take about 8secs, which is great when you're tweaking and testing.I tried everything I could think of to track it down:1. Filemon - stopped when the message appeared but nothing helpful, to my eye at least, other than a bucket full of Dr Watson entries.2. Event Viewer - clean3. Examined the created diagnostic file 'dxdiag.txt' and all appears well - no errors detected and all registry entries okay.4. Nothing new in the other created diagnostic files - 'fsx.CFG.txt' and 'scenery.cfg'. The 'fdr.dat' was only 1KB in size and appeared to be empty, or rather I couldn't reveal anything in Notepad.5. Deleting and rebuilding 'fsx.CFG' - still no joy! The only entries created were a couple related to sound at the head of the file.6. I ran a diagnostics on my SB Audio 2 ZS and all tests passed. (Tried FS9 and no problems - never had to reinstall since I first bought it several years ago - even survived a computer upgrade! Correction, I did reinstall it to re-establish the registry entries and then deleted the folder before using my original install as the foundation for the rebuild of the sim with all my addons.)After many fruitless attempts I decided to shutdown, waited a couple of minutes and then rebooted. Still the message appeared around the 20sec mark! By this time I was becoming resigned to reinstalling/repairing the sim the following day, so I shutdown and went to bed thinking about all I needed to do to ensure a clean uninstall - works like a charm - like counting sheep..LOL!The next day I booted up and fired up the sim for one last time before the grand reinstall. You've guessed, it loaded!!! Throughout the rest of the day FSX loaded and reloaded umpteen times without a glitch. I was flummoxed, but shrugged and got on with my life.....until today.....when the same thing happened again!!!FSX again was refusing to load with that dratted message appearing at around 20secs.This time I simply shutdown the system, waited a minute, rebooted and then reloaded...and it did!!! Moreover, it continues to load/reload without incident. What is going on?!Does anyone have any theories? I'd appreciate your input.Thanks.MikeEdit: I'm always forgetting to add my specs to posts such as these :(ASRock 939Dual-SATA2, AMD Athlon 64X2 4800+ (2400MHz)(Toledo), 2GB Crucial PC3200 DDR400 Ram 3-3-3-8 (2T)(Dual Channel), (PCI-E)Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 512MB (Catalyst 7.1 WHQL), Hyundai ImageQuest Q17 17" TFT LCD 20ms Digital Monitor (1280x1024x32), SB Audigy2 ZS Platinum (Drivers version 5.12.0001.1196 WHQL), WD Caviar SE16 250GB (WD2500KS) SATAII + Hitachi Deskstar T7K500 ATA133 UDMA-6 (320 GB), ASUS DRW-1608P2S Optical Drive, Antec P150 case with NeoHE 430W PSU, CH Products USB Yoke, Pedals and Fighterstick, Plantronics Headset and Mike combo, TrackIR Pro ver. 4.1 (build 29), Logitech MX1000 Laser Mouse, Windows XP Home Edition (SP2), DirectX 9.0c

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There are many little things that can cause such problems, so while it might be possible to list 'em all, that'd hardly be useful.However, that said, let me state for the record! that the very last thing anyone should ever do is to "uninstall FS and then reinstall." The vast majority of the time folks do this the same problem they had will still be present!Why is this? Because MOST of the time, the problem lies in a config file somewhere. Here then are the "diagnostic steps" I take whenever confronted with this type issue:1) Open the fsx.cfg file and delete the "SITUATION=xxx.FLT" entry. Try to start FSX. If you have a corrupted "default flight file" this will prevent the sim from starting. If the sim starts, load your C172 a/c and save the flight, making sure to check of the box "Make this flight the default flight?"2) Rename the fsx.cfg file and start up FSX, allowing it to build a new fsx.cfg file from scratch. If the sim starts normally, exit FSX and carefully copy-paste the config entries from your renamed fsx.cfg file to the new one, particually the entries in the "Trusted" section, and any custom "tweak entries" you've made.If neither of the above will allow FSX to start, post a question here stating the precise circumstances and wait for replies. Do NOT continue to make efforts to "fix things" until at least one or more folks have replied and their suggestions have failed. :)Just to underscore the significance of this advice, consider this:Since installing FS9 shortly after its release, not ONCE have I had to "uninstall and reinstall" FS9!Likewise, with FSX since its release, in spite of having installed/uninstalled four SP1 beta versions and then the final SP1 RTM version... :)For what it's worth though, my current "best guess" based on your reported experience would make me suspect that its a "heat releated problem..."

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That's a handy tip, the first one Bill. I would have never thought of this, i think. I bookmark this for if i ever need it. Thanks.

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Hi Bill,"my current "best guess" based on your reported experience would make me suspect that its a "heat releated problem...""Thanks for your advice. Next time it happens I'll certainly try again using your helpful "diagnostic steps".Couple of comments, if I may:1. I doubt whether heat is the issue here for the following reasons:Before running FSX,a) Normal idling environment temp = 42-45

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Hi Phil,"You've disabled Catalyst AI? And reverted drivers?"No to both. Catalyst AI is on 'low' as it has always been since installing the Catalyst 7.1 WHQL drivers. These drivers have proved to be rock solid on a rig that is not devoted exclusively to simming.Mike

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We have determined that the crash in atiumdag.dll is due to Catalyst AI, and disabling it makes the crash go away.

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"We have determined that the crash in atiumdag.dll is due to Catalyst AI, and disabling it makes the crash go away."Correct me if I am wrong, but I think this file is found on Vista systems. I have XP Home (SP1) and a search for this file turns up empty.Mike

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"A little googling can be real helpful"Hey Phil, steady on! LOL! I was not referring to Catalyst A.I., I was referring to the driver file atiumdag.dll and I can assure you that it isn't present on my system - XP Home (SP1) and, yes, the search engine is configured to show hidden files and folders.I did Google "atiumdag.dll" before replying and the only references on the first page of results appeared to be related to Vista systems, hence my speculation.The main driver for my Sapphire ATI Radeon X1950 Pro 512MB PCI-E is "ati2dvag.dll". Perhaps you are using a different ATI GPU?Catalyst A.I. is configured in ATI Tray Tools at the default "low" setting. I have not changed it since installation of the 7.1 WHQL Cats shortly after they were released. Mike

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Ok. And interesting. It wasnt clear from the reports that this was a Vista only issue. Its worth trying it completely off, just to eliminate it as a variable in the equation.

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I'm having the same issue.I have occasionally been having a BSOD when accessing menus in the startup screen of FSX. Otherwise, the system has been stable in all other programs and use of FSX. Not a single software or hardware crash other than when I try to access a menu at startup.My system is an E6600/DFI InfinityX/G/EVGA 8800 GTS 640 OC/2GB Kingston HyperX 800 MHz ram/10K Raptor 150GB. I'm using the nVidia 165.01 drivers. The system is overclocked to 3.34 GHz (FSB 370 MHz) with the memory 1:1 divider at 742MHz at 5/5/5/16 (normally runs at 4/4/4/12 at 4:3 divider). SP1 is installed. System CPU temps have been around 45C with FSX at full blast and Google earth running, too. Max Northbridge temp is around 59C.Up to this point, no problems. Tonight, I was accessing the change aircraft menu and I got a BSOD/reboot crash. When it came back up, I now get a window saying there is an error in activation, and I should reinstall the software or call support. I didn't notice it at first, but my system time was also reset to December 2002 11:37pm or so by the crash. So I reset this. I checked the registry entry and it already says PartMgr. This installation has been running since February, and successfully went through an SP1 upgrade. I was just really starting to have some fun with it.I'm talking to tech support now.I tried deleting the FSX.cfg file. That didn't work. Any thoughts on what to do?Thanks!Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Ok, I spoke to tech support. Their solution was for me to reformat my disk, reload the operating system and everything else, and then reload FSX... Stupid.There has to be a solution for this. Some file or registry entry is corrupt and needs to be replaced. Why can't I just reactivate the software with a separate program, without having to reinstall the whole package? We are talking hours and hours of work here. Why would any sane person go through with that?Phil - Please continue to keep people working on this. Looks like I'm out of action with FSX until this problem is solved. And I'll be strongly warning people about this problem.Do you want me to send you my box so you can look at it?BTW, the system is aircooled by a Zalman 9700. I'm going to look into cooling the Northbridge better.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Hi Phil,"Its worth trying it completely off, just to eliminate it as a variable in the equation."Okay, I'll keep that in mind should the problem rear its head again. Meantime, another night has passed, I've cold booted and the sim has loaded again without any issues. Fingers crossed!Certainly a strange one :-hmmm Thanks.Mike

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Hi Thomas,Just a thought, have you tried running a repair on the sim and then reinstall SP1 before attempting to reactivate? Be sure to backup what you can't afford to lose first.I totally sympathize with your reaction to the advice you were given by tech support. I sometimes wonder just how skilled some of these guys are, and it's not exclusively a MS problem either. In the past I have found their approach very blinkered and is clearly dictated by protocols they have to follow. It gives you the feeling they are just not interested as you listen to them delivering the mantra. Having said all that, I have come across one or two who do make that extra effort and, when it happens, it is certainly appreciated.Mike

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It's not the fault of the tech guys. Could you imagine trying to support as many software packages as they have to support? And, despite the "gobs of money that MS makes", MS as a company can't afford to pay these people $200,000/year or more or have them spend 50 hours with me testing various things that may be unique to my machine alone. And then to do it over the phone or a chat?So there really is not choice as a tech guy but to relay the known solutions. Problem here is that there is no "known" solution. And to exacerbate it, I don't know, but I imagine that MS did not write the code for the activation security, so there is the problem of the "it's your fault, - no it's your fault... no we won't give you the source code, how can we fix it then?" issues.I just hope they get this figured out.Imagine if I went through the whole rigamarole and then had a similar crash again? Ouch.I hope this doesn't count as a thread hijack. It seemed like my problem was similar enough to yours that I could include my experience here, too.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Oh, and to exacerbate the problem, I've installed FSX on 7 computers now (and I have 7 copies of FSX, 8 in fact as I have another copy I bought which I haven't installed yet). But I didn't keep track of which copy went with which computer. I recently removed and installed a copy on another one of the computers. And I've had to reactivate another couple along the way and have had to resort to phone activation a couple of times now. I wonder if, combined with the clock change in the crash, there is now confusion on the MS side of the activation database?But at this point, I don't even know how to bring up the activation window without doing a reinstall, and I'm afraid if I reinstall, that this will not fix the problem and I'll have to go for the disk wipe. No joy there!Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Hi,I have solved my problem (5 hours of work later, though some of it was spinning wheels reading things trying to understand what was going on).1. I removed installed addons that might be affected by repair.2. I backed up all other changes I have made (changes to aircraft mostly (new skins for real airlines, etc.), gauges, effects).3. I tried to run the install repair. It failed with error 1722.4. I downloaded and ran the error 1722 fix.5. I rebooted the machine.6. I ran the install/repair from disk7. I started FSX. It showed a window saying it was activating, and then the window went away and FSX was running.8. I ran the SP1 fix.9. FSX is now running and I didn't even have to reactivate the software.10. Now I've got to go back and reapply my changes.Well, I am happy it worked, but unhappy I've had to spend basically a day recovering.I'm thinking next time, rather than go through the repair route, first, I will try to run the error 1722 fix and reboot before I do anything else.Hope this gives somebody else confidence that the problem can be overcome. At least I am learning how to set up my changes for quick reapplication. For example, I've created a zip file which when unzipped will reapply all my changes to the default aircraft. I've installed all addon aircraft to the FSXAircraft directory, so that I can keep track of them and not have them interfere with the default install. I've created separate directories containing all the gauges and effects and sounds that are added to the system for these addons. I still put the gauges, effects, and sounds in the main directory, but I'll also put copies of all added gauges into these other directories (Actually, I use an awesome program called Winmerge to find the difference between a copy of the default gauge directory and the main one). This will also help me to install new systems later. So this isn't all bad.Thanks for listening!Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Thomas:This occassionally happened to me in FS9, after I would uninstall something, and was caused by a registry error / corruption. I would suggest a registry repair. There is an inexpensive utility out there called Registry Mechanic, that will detect and repair registry errors. There also used to be utility, put out by one of the third-party aircraft vendors, was it PSS? that would re-detect the FS9 registry entry. Don't know if a similar utility exists for FSX. Just a thought.http://www.my-buddy-icon.com/Icons/objects/red_3d_plane.gifAlex ChristoffN562ZBaltimore, MD

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Well, I know that the default directory registry entry was fine, the install tools were able to find my original installation, which is not in the default location. I may have other registry issues, however, so I will look into a registry repair tool.As I noted above, however, my activation problem is now fixed and I am only now working on getting my system back to its previous configuration.Thanks!Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Hi Thomas:I found your information on setting up FS changes "for quick reapplication" and use of "Winmerge" very interesting, and believe that this information could prove to be helpful to many FS users.: Just looked at the Winmerge website: http://winmerge.org/ :-lol Would you elaborate further on how you do this, perhaps posting a detailed tutorial in a separate thread here to give the subject the additional attention it may merit?I think we all might benefit from periodically learning about new ways to get our customized FS installations back up and running after maintenance, testing and re-installation.System Restore, backup software packages, as well as many generic established backup and restore routines simply do not provide a comprehensive means of implementing some of the specialized procedures we follow to "individualize" our FS installations when we are recovering from a problem with FS.Thanks for your input here too, and here's hoping to learn more about your "FS recovery" procedures!:-) GaryGB

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Hi all.I find it a bit disturbing that these different computer systems would have FSX files corrupted, and would require an FSX repair at all.That indicates to me there is a hardware issue in some of these cases. No file images on a disk drive should fail, unless the drive is faulty. FSX does tax the disk handling of PCs, so it may be uncovering a potential hard disk failure.Just a thought.Dick

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Hi,It's happened again!!! :(Cold boot (rig had been off for approx 10 hours today), checked e-mails and visited Avsim (my normal practice before doing anything else), started up FSX and that fateful message reappeared at 20-22 secs: " MS Flight Simulator has encountered a problem and needs to close, etc, etc" - just as on previous occasions.I tried again and no joy.I then tried disabling Catalyst A.I. and still no luck.Tried several times without success.So, again, as on previous occasions, I performed a shutdown, waited 2 minutes, rebooted and then loaded FSX...Success!This is becoming a pain and is all the more frustrating because the content of the 'dxdiag.txt' file appears to indicate that there is no problem and no Registry errors! As ever, when the message appears I have a look at the details and, as ever, fail to comprehend what I am seeing :( Nothing stands out, however, to my uneducated eye. SMART data on my main drive appears normal.I tried again after 15 mins and FSX loaded fine to the 'Free Flight' screen in 8 secs.This appears to be the same pattern of events every time.I'll try running a Chkdsk /f /r on my D: partition and see if anything turns up. However, if there is file corruption, why does shutting down and restarting resolve the issue, albeit temporarily.Mike

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Well, I have a feeling I didn't have to do the reinstall. I probably could have just run the error 1722 fix. I'm pretty sure that the license file got corrupted and needed repair.I don't know enough about caching and disk writing operations to assuage your feelings about file corruption. But you can imagine if the machine suddenly shuts down in the middle of an operation, something not going to get finished being written.I think I read somewhere the license file is being accessed once a minute (huh?? seems overkill to me). 'Course, in that case, why would it be writing to the file? Wouldn't reading it be enough?Oh well.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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Have you tried running the error 1722 fix? Maybe you have a small corruption. Have you run a defrag lately? Maybe your license files are split, or got put on top of a going bad disk area?Maybe somebody from ACES could pipe in and talk about any dangers associated with running the error 1722 fix program. It's scary doing things like that.Thomas[a href=http://www.flyingscool.com] http://www.flyingscool.com/images/Signature.jpg [/a]I like using VC's :-)N15802 KASH '73 Piper Cherokee Challenger 180

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