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Guest abulaafia

FSX goes 'Not responding' for 7 minutes and then resumes?!

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Hi fellow captains!I have a very frustrating problem when flying online on IVAO and I tried getting help in there but unfortunately no one could help me and I was told probably the problem is somewhere in my Windows installation rather than in their online pilot client so now I'm taking my chances that someone in here might be able to help or have experienced the same problem.What happens is that all of a sudden during a flight FSX will simply freeze on me and I get the small circle you get in Vista when a program is not responding and the FSX window either goes dimmed or all white with the message 'Not responding' in it's title bar. Then it stays like that for about 7 minutes and then all of a sudden once again FSX resumes just like nothing has happened and all is fine again. Also worth mentioning is that when this happens the rest of my PC and all other applications etc continue to work just fine. Normally this happens once or sometimes a couple of times during a flight and as you can imagine it's very annoying especially since you're online and not alone in the sky...Personally I'm pretty positive this must have something to do with IvAp (the pilot client used on IVAO) because I have NEVER seen this problem when flying offline but only when flying online with IvAp running. I have also tried different aircraft, not starting other applications like ASX, FS Realtime etc but that doesn't do any difference - I keep getting this problem somewhere along almost all flights but only when flying online with IvAp running.Is there any way I can activate some kind of debugging mode or similar in FSX or Windows which could help find out what is actually causing FSX to enter this 'Not responding' state and what is going on "behind the scenes" during these approx 7 minutes it usually takes before FSX resumes again? I have checked all event logs etc in Windows when this happens and I have also checked in Task Manager and Performance Monitor but haven't been able to find anything related to FSX hanging like this for a couple of minutes and then all of a sudden resume like nothing happened. Looking at the runnings processes in Task Manger when FSX hangs like this FSX uses no CPU time and the Idle process somewhere between 95-100% so my computer in no way seem to be over-stressed.I'm running Vista Ultimate 64-bit SP1, FSX SP2 and the latest version of IvAp and I have also seen this problem before when I was using the 32-bit version of Windows so it doesn't appear to be a 64-bit related problem and I had this problem right after the clean install of Windows Vista 64-bit so I don't think a bad Windows or FSX installation is the cause.Thanks in advance for any help solving this!!

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"Is there any way I can activate some kind of debugging mode or similar in FSX or Windows which could help find out what is actually causing FSX to enter this 'Not responding' state and what is going on "behind the scenes" during these approx 7 minutes it usually takes before FSX resumes again?"I would try Process Monitor: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb896645.aspx or Process Explorer: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/sysinte...s/bb545046.aspxJim

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Hello!Well! I have observed the same problem with my FSX. I do not fly on-line, so from my perspective, IVAO may not be the issue. In my situation, I have had a couple of instances where FSX just freezes (the whole computer freezes) for several minutes and then, magically, things resume on their own. I have a quad core processor and when this has happened and I have done the "Ctrl/Alt/Del" and taken a look at what's going on with the processors, 3 processors are like totally free, and the thrid processor is like pegged to 100%. Obviously FSX does not take advantage of multi-processors, so it looks like one of the cores is taking the brunt of the load all the time.My rig is a Pentium Quad Core 2.6 - overclocked to 2.84GB of RAMNviDia 8800GTX with 500mb of video ramI've learned to live with this issue since my FSX is so customized that starting over is out of the question for me.Hope this helps!Sincerely,Dennis D. Mullert

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Web/Dennis, I am guessing you have on-board sound or graphics that are helping to overload the CPU. Can you post or email me the top 1/3 of a DXDIAG report? If you don't care to do that and you know you have one, or the other (on-board sound/graphics) then you probably already know how to fix it?Probably it's sound related. Vista has a completely new sound API and it's not anything like XP was. In general terms you are better off adding more expensive hardware, and with audio that means a sound card that has a very small CPU requirement. Most of the cheaper Sound Blaster cards hit upon the CPU heavily. Having on-board video would be even worse.Having said that have you fallen into the trap of listening to gamers on how to set the page file? At one time one of the leading gamers websites even suggested turning off the page file. Ridiculous! If that's the case the simple fix would be to turn it back on. Minimum size should be RAM size times 1.5 and maximum should be RAM size times 3. You can always give it more, but remember it takes hard drive space for the page file.Also, it is never a good idea to have a full hard drive. In fact, your hard drive should be at least 1/2 empty for best performance. Anytime it starts to spread over the half way mark regularly, it's time to get a bigger hard drive or a second hard drive.Since, you expressed regret over starting over with installing FSX, (as a person that has 100 GB devoted to FSX I sympathize) then I should tell you that you can use a migration tool like Acronis Migrate Easy to copy your entire partition to a larger drive.Well, I hope your answer is somewhere on this page. Let me know if none of this is pertinent.Smooth Air...

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Hi Jim and thanks for your tip!Actually I used to have both those programs you mention but if my memory serves me I belive I had trouble running them in 64-bit Windows but maybe there are special 64-bit versions - I will try to find that out and give them a go if I find any version that will run on my 64-bit installation.

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Hi Dennis,I know what you mean by not be willing to start all over with FSX again once you have it all set up and configured the way you want.However I'm not sure if we have the very same problem since you say in your case the whole computer freezes because here when this happens my computer continues to work just fine...it's just FSX that goes either dimmed or all white and stops responding for a couple of minutes - all other applications work just fine during this time.Thanks anyway!

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First of all, thanks for your interest in our problem!As for the paging file like you said there have since as long as I can remember always been a debate on how to configure the page file in Windows. Currently I've been using a fixed 4 GB sized pagefile located on my D: partition and I also have 4 GB RAM installed so guess I should add another 2 GB to the page file to follow the recommendation of 1.5 times your physical RAM. Do you see any problem not having the page file or a part of it on your C: partition (where Windows is installed and also FSX in my case)? Another thing I've been thinking about now after I already have FSX installed is if it would have been a good thing to have FSX installed on my D: partition instead of like now when I have FSX on the same partition where I have Windows but guess it's very hard to change that afterwards changing the paths everywhere?Then about the sound/graphics cards...for the sound I'm using an integrated card but only for TeamSpeak to communicate with ATC then for everything else I since some time ago changed from a SoundBlaster Audigy II I belive the name was to a new sound system from Altec Lansing called FX5051 where you don't need any sound card...you just plug it in using USB and then it pops up in Windows like a 5.1 sound system and I'm very happy with it since the sound is great and I don't need any extra sound card...but now after reading what you say I wonder if this sound setup having a USB connected 5.1 setup maybe could cause any problem with heavy CPU load etc...?

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Absolutely! I tested a lot of setups when I first moved to Vista 32 and then Vista 64 (which I use today and prefer). The Sound Blaster Audigy II was better then the USB headphones (I think mine used CMedia), but both use far too much CPU. If you insist on sticking with Creative they do have a sound card that uses very little CPU, but it is a little more expensive. I am talking about the XiFi Fatality Titanium or for even less CPU the BlueGears bEnspirer or the very least CPU user is the high end Xonar by Asus. I got a little miffed with Creative for the lie that their card was a true 24 bit sound card (not the one I listed but a lower end Audigy), and the one I was using not only crashed Vista regularly, but was proven to be a mere 16 bit. So, I bought the bEnspirer which is a true 24 bit card and has much better sound quality then any Sound Blaster. A short word about sound and Vista: You may have gone looking for the hardware acceleration slider in Vista and discovered it is gone. Sound in Vista is a very different animal, so you have to be careful about the drivers you load. In fact, if you switch out devices you may leave behind a form of time bomb. You definitely want to use a driver cleaner anytime you change sound drivers in Vista (especially if you have an NVidia chip set). The same goes for video drivers. Concerning video: Always get your drivers from the manufacturers web site and NOT Nvidia themselves. If you have an eVGA video card go to eVGA for drivers. NVidia updates their drivers on a generic basis and have and will optimize their drivers for the benefit of newer cards and ignore the effect upon older legacy cards. When removing older sound or video devices always remove the device, clean the drivers, and then install the new device and drivers. It's never a good idea to remove device add device and move on. Vista will have problems after that. Concerning page files: I read everything that was said on the web about page files and Flight Simulator. I could not believe what I read! Especially from people that are supposed to be hardware and software experts! So, if you want to know what the best way to approach page files is, then go straight to Microsoft. That's what I did and how I came up with my recommendation. I highly recommend that you go through your active services and shut down the ones you don't need (blackviper.com is a good resource for services information). I could go on and on about security and other issues that may be tying up your CPU, but this is a great start and more then most people care to read. I hope that helps you.Smooth air...

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WOW, thanks alot for your very thorough reply with lots of good info!!One follow-up question, is there an easy way for me to find out how much CPU time is used by my sound system? It wasn't that long ago I bought this new sound system and at that point I found it very nice I wouldn't need a separate sound card so honestly I'm not that tempted to buy a new one if I'm not certain that is the only way to solve this problem I have with a non-responsive FSX from time to time.What I find strange is that when FSX hangs like this no CPU time at all is used by it when I checked in Task Manager so for that reason I honestly don't understand why having a sound setup that uses CPU time would be related to this problem or what am I missing here...?

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You can look for the sound process in Task Manager (ctrl-alt-del and then click on Processes tab). Sort the Processes by CPU usage (arrow head pointing down), so that the highest usage is at the top. Start FSX and window it (alt-enter), so that you can see the Task Manager (I suggest using a saved tower view with lots of AI running, but cockpit view will work also). While FSX is booting it should stick to about 48% CPU usage, but will go higher once it starts. Usually, FSX settles to about 82% usage while in flight, which is bad once you realize that some sound cards (programs in case of USB devices such as yours) will go as high as 28%. The bEnspirer I use typically uses 0% of the CPU, but I don't think that's possible with a USB sound system.Now, what you should look for are other problems. Is SideBar running? Bad, bad if so! If you see an application process that is running that should not, then you need to find out why that is happening. Are you running anti-virus apps that are hanging, printer services that don't unload, etc.? Processes that are using 0% are not likely to be a problem. Open browsers may contribute to CPU loading if you are accessing a page that automatically refreshes like Drudge or has running animation advertisements like AVSIM. They may lower your frame rate but should not cause the program to hangup.You are sure you aren't using AMD are you? AMD has a multi-core issue that can be patched.

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I know how to use Task Manager to look for processes using up alot of CPU time but thanks anyway. What I've done now is I have created a Data Collector Set in Reliability and Performance Monitor and I will then start it before starting a FSX and when I encounter the problem next time I will make a note of the exact time and then go back to my Data Collector Set and try to find any info for that specific time when the problem occured. Talking about CPU utilization is your theory regarding this problem that it might be caused by the CPU utilization reaching 100% and that this might cause FSX to enter the 'Not responding' state?And no...I don't use AMD and I don't have the Windows Sidebar running ;-)Will keep you posted on my progress trying to solve this problem and will do my very best to succeed because this problem is really bugging me!!

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I'm thinking your sound program/driver is reaching for more processor when it's not available causing FS to appear to be dormant when it doesn't have any execution room. I'm guessing that as you are changing traffic controllers or hearing nearby traffic (additional audio tracks) while also getting weather/terrain changes the problem results, so it appears to be random to you?

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I haven't thought about my sound devices taking too much CPU until you mentioned it, however in this case I still think the culprit is the IvAp client. I posted this question over at my VA's forums as well and one guy there said:"Although not a big user on IVAO I had that same problem. Moved back to Vatsim and problem has now gone away. So will wait for next version of IVAP before trying again on IVAO."Also lately I've been flying mostly in South America where there hasn't been that much ATC around and I've still seen this problem many times and also I have all ATC sound handled by my built-in soundcard and all other FSX sound handled by my USB connected speakers so they are separated. And...I ONLY see this problem when flying online, I guess if it had to do with my sound devices I would at least have seen this problem some time also when flying offline but I haven't.To say the least this is a tricky one but it will be interesting to see what happens on next flight now that I've created a 2 GB page file on my system partition and also still have the 4 GB page file left on my D partition and I will also start logging using the Data Collector Set I created and see what I can get from that info if the problem happens again...which I'm pretty sure it will.

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Well, actually the additional load of network traffic could make a difference, but let's hope for the best.Smooth air!

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You mean the additional load of network traffic when you're flying online?What I find strange is that there are so few people reporting this problem, it's just me and a couple of more people who seem to have this problem and there are thousands of people flying online on IVAO with the IvAp client every day without this problem so obviously there is something in our setups that are triggering this problem...just have to find out what it is and that is much easier said than done...

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