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Guest JonP01

DxDiag screwed FS up?

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Today I was going to fly a long haul with 767 PIC: ESSA-KEWR. Everything worked like a dream until reaching 15-16,000 ft, when ZoneAlarm told me that DxDiag wanted to access the internet. "Huh?!" I thought, since DxDiag had never asked this before, well, certainly not while running FS at least. So I denied DxDiag to access the internet, and FS crashed with the usual error-reporting routine.Since it wasn't long into the flight I restarted back at the gate and everything worked like a dream once again - until I passed 15,000 ft. DxDiag wants to access the internet. Double huh?! This time I granted access, but once again FS crashed.Since I'm a good person, I use Autosave. ;-) So I loaded the last saved flight, saved just above FL150 in the climb. Once again FS crashed, but now no mention of DxDiag.I tried over and over again with roughly the same result: Sometimes FS would crash even before the flight had loaded completely, and sometimes after a few seconds of flying. Deleted the FS2002.cfg and tried again... same thing.Does anyone have an idea why this happened? I ran DxDiag last night just to check some things, and it was the first time in... well, in a long while that I had used it.Perhaps it isn't even DxDiag's fault? The only new change was that I installed the Project AI traffic last night, but I don't actually use that traffic.bgl, and the AI traffic seems to work without problems, so I don't think it has anything to do with that.Well, this long haul got ruined. Perfect flight plan and all... :-(But I hope someone can shed some light on this...Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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It is possible you were getting one of those "report the error to Microsoft" dumps, hence the internet access request.Since FS2K2 required DirectX to run, the odds of DX screwing up FS vs FS screwing up DX are rather slim ;-)Anything going on at FL150? New cloud layer kicking in etc?Ray

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>It is possible you were getting one of those "report the >error to Microsoft" dumps, hence the internet access >request.Probably, but I think it's a little odd that it asked to access the net at that time when it had never done it before...>Anything going on at FL150? New cloud layer kicking in etc? Nope, but I think I have nailed the cause: AI. My guess is that it's one particular AI flight, or something like that, that got into my "sector" at that moment and messed everything up. That would explain why the same thing happened when I started over and took off again, and why there were no problems when I loaded the flight later but with AI traffic disabled.Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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You don't mention your OS, but you might want to check your Windows Disk Cache (nothing to do with the cache settings in FS2002 btw). If you don't have a third party utility to set the amount of cache, you can check it by opening up the system.ini file - it is under the "Vcache" stanza. If your Disk Cache is set too high, this can trigger the symptom you mentioned.

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Hmm, there is nothing under &l;vcache&r; in system.ini - it's just blank and then the next "section".Can it happen regardless of the amount disk space available? I have a few GB left on that partition.Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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The problems with vcache generally only occur on machines that have more the 512 Megs of ram installed, but with a large enough AGP aperature, you could also cause it to happen as stealing from the top of the address space will have the same effect as adding more memory ...http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?...b;en-us;Q253912It is specifically related to Windows 98 and earlier, so it may not apply to your system if you are not running these OS's... capping vcache so it doesn't gobble memory is a one line fix, although you can snag some shareware called 'cacheman' if I remember ...Ray

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Hmm, I think this is getting a little too technical for me. But anyway, I have 256 MB RDRAM. Does that mean the limit is set to 256 MB or that I should set it to 256 MB?Fortunately this isn't a very frequent FS problem though. (But problems will always pop up when you've planned a long flight that you are looking forward too. :-()Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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Should not apply to your machine at all ... but grab a copy of Cacheman from http://www.outertech.com/, it may help close a few other oddball leaks ... it can't hurt to try it, and any changes made by it can be quickly undone if you don't like the effects.You have nothing to loose and possibly something to gain ;-)Ray

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Hi Martin,As Ray will probably attest, over the last couple of weeks I've been playing around a lot with cache settings while trying to work out optimum vcache and HD requirements for FS2002. From what I understand (but this only from personal experience), if you don't have a vcache stanza in your system.ini file, then it means Windows is automatically working out the settings for you because you never specified any in the first place. If you get the stuff Ray mentioned (I personally use Memturbo), you can set the vcache parameters yourself. Incidentally, on my system, Windows seems to allocate a vcache of it's own accord much bigger than I actually need to run FS2002. A bit of a pain in the butt because other apps need quite different settings. For example, all my other apps run best with a very high disk cache setting - perhaps because the physical memory requirements of the apps themselves aren't that taxing to begin with, at least compared to FS2002.When I was playing around with vache settings, once I set it past a certain amount of memory, I started to get the dxdialog errors you mentioned. Then I reduced the vcache and the problem went away. I suppose the problem here could be the vcache is stealing excessive physical memory from the application itself (the vcache being data from the HD stored into physical memory). With 256MB RAM, you are just within acceptable limits of the adequate memory needed to run FS2002 reasonably fluently - so you would have to watch all your settings carefully.I know Noel was doing some experiments where he found you only needed an 18MB vcache to run FS2002. But that was his sytem and his setup, so everyone could be different. I use a much higher setting, but my setup is different and I was mindful of getting the best performance from several apps - not just FS2002.

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Thanks for the advice guys. I downloaded Cacheman, and tweaked the settings a little using the wizards, but I haven't seen much difference. (The error frequency in FS is about the same as before. :-))The vcache is now set to max about 60 MB and min about 8 MB. Is that a reasonable setting or should I go with the default (which was a max of 40 I believe).Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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I'm still unsure what your OS is, so it is hard to recommend an exact figure. I would suggest trying much lower figures, otherwise you won't be able eliminate this as the cause of the problem or not. You can actually temporarily set it to a very low figure as so to maximise the amount of physical memory used by the application itself. Try a minimum of 16Mb, max of 32Mb. This still should be OK for FS2002. Also make sure your swapfile is at least 256Mb and that everything else is shut down before you run FS2002. If it is still falling over after this I would think it could be the FS2002 code itself falling over rather than your system. However, when I say that, I mean not because it has a bug in it - but perhaps it doesn't like some add-on or change you have made to FS2002 (like scenery or the AI flight you mentioned, for example).You might also like to experiment with AGP aperture settings (through the BIOS). I use 64Mb aperture with a 64Mb Geforce 3. IF your board supports 128MB, give that a try as well if the other things haven't helped. btw, if you find any of these changes help, you might want to consider buying more RAM.Also, the ubiqitous suggestions still apply - that is - experimenting with drivers, getting the latest Via drivers if you run a Via chipset, re-installing directx, etc.

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It seems most of the time when FS crashes, it's due to "FS related" problems, rather than "system related". For instance I'm working on a panel, which showed up correctly, but when I had resized the radio altimeter to a smaller size, it crashed FS. Finally I changed to another (not as good looking :-() altimeter.I will try setting the max to 32 and min to 16 and see how it works.One thing though, Cacheman doesn't appear to have some kind of "reset to default" option. The reason I'm asking is I changed some settings, and now some programs give error messages, but then continue to run normally. (I assume it has something to do with the setting to "optimize" the wait period before Windows shuts down programs that are not responding. I changed this setting just now and will see if it makes a difference...)Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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I forgot to mention, I'm running Windows ME. Other specs are: Pentium 4 1.7 GHz, 256 MB RDRAM, 60 GB hard drive, GeForce 2 Pro 64 MB.It came to my mind that the "Initial Settings" profile in Cacheman must be the way to reset it to the original settings, and I'm actually doing that now... I shouldn't be messing with things I don't understand enough of anyway (especially not if the messing isn't essential :-)).Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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Thats why they have a revert to initial settings ;-)Can't offer much help with ME as I skipped that OS and landed on Windows 2000 ... I believe it's got some autotuning stuff built in that may be messing with you behind the scenes but I don't remember what it was called ... some kind of file optimizer that pads the file sizes ...Sorry I can't offer more help :(Ray

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No problem Ray, as I don't have any problems really. :-) At least I got a heads-up on all this with cache and RAM settings - things I never thought about before. It seems the default settings work best - perhaps other settings would work but they all seem to be too specialized for only one type of use (i.e. gaming, or working with files). As I do a lot of different things on this computer I found it best to leave them at default.Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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Martin,I actually am running FS2002 on both 98Se and ME. I bought two copies of standard edition and I use the ME version of the install for development work, weather downloading (my 98SE simming machine is not connected to internet) and general "stuffing around" with new downloads, etc.Both installs are working without any problems. Just looking at my Memturbo settings in WinME, I only have my vcache set at 8Mb minimum and 12Mb maximum. But this WinME machine only has 128MB so I wouldn't want to set it too much higher.One thing I did do in WinME was to disable some "bloatware" features that I just didn't want. When I built this ME machine in May last year, I wanted Win98, but that OS was obsolete, so I went for ME. I setup the ME install to be as much like Win98 as I could get it. I used a utility called System Restore Remover Pro (www.definition-software.com). Whilst it's title might suggest it just gets rid of the restore features, it also gets rid of other things as well. Some people have said using it causes them a lot of problems, but with me it worked without any problems at all. Overall, I am extremely happy with ME, and for me it is now a rock-solid and very reliable OS (but only once I had set it up the way I wanted). I do believe MS have acknowledged some sort of memory leak problems with WinME, but that is why I run Memturbo in the background so as to plug any of these potential leaks. Looking back in my notes, I also see I had trouble with the Winmgmt process that runs in the background of WinME. Some applications simply seemed to hang when this process was running. So I chnaged some registry settings to disable it (I wouldn't recommend this except on a single user machine). The side effect of disabling it is possible problems when using the WinME in-built help system and a few other problems as well.

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Thanks very much for the information. I don't think I should mess with anything I might regret later. I might try fiddling a little more with the vcache size though.I've actually had to use the restore features quite a few times, so I don't want to get rid of that.I'm also happy with ME, and I don't generally have any problems, except when I simply tax the system resources too much (which I have a tendency to do :-)), or when I've downloaded something unstable or incompatible for FS.BTW, is Memturbo shareware?Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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Hi Martin,Yes, Memturbo is shareware (I got my copies for $20 US each). I still think the program is worth the money, though. Agreed, fiddling around in your system isn't probably a great idea. Even on my system, I only found out in the last two days that disabling ACPI in the BIOS and re-loading Windows got rid of all my other minor WinME problems, such as winmgmt, etc. So we never stop learning or experimenting. I guess you could spend endless days guessing at the problem or bite the bullet and completely uninstall FS2002, re-install it, and add your mods one by one until you can reproduce the problem.

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