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Guest tmetzinger

FS9 scenery loading error

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I'm going to cross-post this to the FS9 forum, but figured the experts here would have some good insights.When I start flight sim 2004 and try to place my aircraft at one of the airports where I have add-on scenery, the "loading scenery objects" window comes up, and then the computer seems to thrash for a very long time, with the hard disk chattering over and over in the same pattern. Eventually the scenery starts to load, and goes quickly, followed by the terrain, and then the thrashing will happen again for a shorter period while "loading air traffic control" is displayed.The problem is NOT consistent with any one scenery. Once the scenery is loaded the thrashing stops, frame rates are good, and flying is normal.It's not hardware, as full disk tests have been done, and backups/restores run smoothly. So getting data to and from the disk isn't an issue. (it's a WD Raptor 150)Running performance monitor shows a lot of bytes being read every second, with the read queue steady at 1 while the thrashing is going on. Then when it smooths out, the read queue bounces between 0 and 4.The disk has been defragmented with Ultimate Defrag, putting all the bgls, bmps, r8s, and agns out on the fast portion of the disk.I've run the ScanAFD application and haven't found any duplicate AFCADs except the normal ones in some payware that have multiple files for the airport, then the taxiways, and signs.I thought maybe there was a missing or corrupt texture file, but the scenery (once it loads) looks fine, and I don't get any error messages. And doing copies and reads from the disk also work fine, so it doesn't seem to be an issue with the state of the NTFS filesystem.Sure would appreciate any insight into what happens when the loading process starts, and any known causes of long load times.-Tim

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Hi Tim,you didn't mention whether the issue occurs anywhere in the sim world or just in specific locations.Usually, the only add-ons that require very long load times are large photoreal sceneries. However, maybe something is wrong with your scenery library.Thus, I'd start with a scenery.cfg check using Steve Greenwood's utility available here: http://home.earthlink.net/~smgreenwood/downloads/ (fsscenery.zip).If that doesn't bring up any major errors I'd then temporarily deactivate all add-ons in the scenery library menu to test whether the issue is with the default setup or with one or more add-on(s).Another option is to run Filemon on the side http://www.microsoft.com/technet/sysintern...es/filemon.mspx set to only log read errors on your FS drive. That might indicate missing or corrupt FS files that lead to additional HD activity.Good luck with the hunt!Cheers, Holger

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Thanks, I'll give both a try. The problem doesn't occur everywhere, but it doesn't occur consistently at an add-on location. For example: Last week starting up at EWR was smooth, this week, after adding some scenery (nowhere near newark) EWR is not smooth anymore.But I think the filemon may help. I did have a problem with FlightZone Portland and FlyTampa Seattle that I think I've fixed (by pulling out the FlyTampa mod to the scenery/namw that conflights with Flightzone.I'll keep you posted - thanks again!EDIT: Your link to the scenery manager/checker doesn't work. Any chance you know of another link or could email me a copy?-Tim

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OK, some new data:Using MS' Procmon tool, I can see that what is happening is that when the scenery loading starts FS9 is repeatedly loading all the files from my various addon sceneries. This loops over and over again, with no errors found reading the disk. So it's not that a file is missing, or that it doesn't read properly. For whatever reason FS9 just loops.So I deleted all the scenery.dat files, scenerystatus.dat, set all the add on scenery in the scenery.cfg file to Active=FALSE, and reloaded FS9. Once the new Scenery.dat and scenerystatus.dat files were built, the loading process went fine.So, working hypothesis is that something, either in one of the scenery directories, or in the way scenery is layered, is causing the system to constantly reload scenery files. I'm going to try enabling one layer at a time and see if I can pinpoint when it happens.Any advice welcome!-Tim

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Hi Tim:The symptoms you describe are very strange indeed.Have you run Steve Greenwood's scenery config utility yet?I have yet to see a specifically scenery.cfg related issue it didn't resolve (within the parameters it is designed to address).3 possible causes of such scenery configuration problems to one's installation (and ones time troubleshooting):1.) Manually editing the scenery.cfg file itself rather than using the scenery library check box user interface (RISKY; 1 goof and FS mysteries abound!).2. Copying and/or moving scenery folder chains in FS without first deleting the scenery.dat file in each involved folder so that FS can properly re-detect and re-index the scenery.cfg file.3.) Inheriting (and forgetting to check/delete) a foreign scenery.dat file from a scenery author's own system mistakenly included with a "zipped folders" type of distribution package.Be sure that you are checking, testing, and running Steve's utility on the CORRECT scenery.cfg file located in Windows XP at "C:Documents and Settings{USERNAME}Application DataMicrosoftFS9SCENERY.CFGHope this helps!:-) GaryGB

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ummmm... is scenery.cfg in the directory with fs9.cfg? And if so, why doesn't it update when I make changes to the library in FS9?The scenery.cfg file in the root FS9 directory does in fact update when I make changes.I just wonder if I'm running the applet on the wrong file, as the date/time stamps on the one in my FS9 root and the FS9 config directory (C:documents and settings....) don't match.-Tim

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More info. I believe I've got it down to a bunch of Frame-Rate-Friendly Scenery ( I have about 6 different areas done by Bill Morgan/FRF, and just added the new PANC). When I make them inactive, the problem is greatly reduced. I'm wondering if there is a conflict among them or with other scenery.What I'm going to do for now is only enable the scenery I need for the flight, and then I'll try reinstalling the scenery files from the original source, and re-enabling them one at a time.What I can't figure out is if there's any way to determine optimum priority, or if it just doesn't matter as long as I keep any add-on landclass below the add-on scenery.

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One final update - the problem appears to be due to the latest version of FRF's KJFK, KDFW, and PANC sceneries. Adding any one of them causes the repetitive seeking behavior. The more I look at it, the more I think it may be due to new libraries (one of them in PANC is 20 MB =:-0) that are larger and more complex and require many many read operations to operate.So, it's back to previous versions of PANC (works fine) and a look for new scenery for JFK and DFW. I'm going to drop William Morgan a note and let him know what I've found.

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Hi Tim,that's an interesting finding. Thanks for letting us know.It's possible that model libraries are involved especially if the issue occurs across different scenery products.Cheers, Holger

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Hi Tim:If your sceneries in question have even 1-LOD13 quad tile of photoreal "custom" scenery in either an older FS2Kx format, or the new FSX "BGL+Imagery 1-Piece Package" format and you do NOT yet have FSX SP1 update installed, it could also contribute to your symptoms.However, Holger's mention of scenery objects raises questions about some other pertinent possibilities too. I believe these symptoms might also occur when a texture file for a scenery object is missing, damaged, in the wrong compression format (or not compressed at all), or if it does not have MIPs.Perhaps you could try out one of these interesting utilities to trace your scenery file configurations and dependencies:http://library.avsim.net/search.php?Search...=root&Go=SearchOf particular note would be the functions of "MH's FS Library Scan V1.1"Good Luck with the troubleshooting!:-) GaryGB

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>Of particular note would be the functions of "MH's FS Library>Scan V1.1"FSLibScan 1.1 does not run on my system (XP SP2, FS2004). It may be that my installation directory doesn't match what's expected (H:program filesmicrosoft gamesfs9) or some other error.Again, this isn't FSX... it's FS9. FSX is not (yet) installed on my system, so perhaps that's the problem.I don't think it's a missing texture file, as the procmon shows no failed attempts to read any files. And I've done clean re-installs of the three sceneries in question.As it is, I've installed a bunch of other new sceneries, and no issues.I think what I'll try later today is to disable all the OTHER working scenery and just enable these areas, and see if I can confirm the problem returns.

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