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Jay R

Would Windows XP solve my problem?

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Hello,I have a P4 1.7Ghz computer running Windows ME. When I first start FS2002 it runs just fine but it slowly starts to run slower and slower and stutter more and more. Eventually my textures start to dissapear. When I shut down FS2002 everything else I do on the computer does not work correctly. This causes me to reboot my system. I suspect its the horrid memory manager that comes with Windows ME.I tried FS2002 on a friends computer running Windows XP and it never slowed down. He can open and close FS2002 as many times as he wants and it never runs slower. Windows XP has a much better memory manager. I am willing to upgrade if it solves my problems but not sure if it really would help. Chris

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I'm running under 98SE w/256 megs RAM, and don't experience such a slowdown, but I've heard of it. You haven't posted your system specs, so I can't offer much help, but perhaps I can offer a few general suggestions:First, many users early on in FS2002's life cycle "Tweaked" the terrain radius entries in FS2002.cfg, extending them to 10,20 even 30 miles. I discovered this creates an interesting issue--memory usage increases dramatically, and continues increasing throughout the sim session, regardless of the scenery's complexity. With my normal setup, applying the terrain radius tweaks costs 30-40 megs up front. I've removed those tweaks, and memory usage is back to normal and I never drop below 80 megs free.Second--note that I mentioned 256 megs RAM--that should be your minimum installed... If it is, continue on...Several tweaks have been mentioned regarding the Windows swap file. Let Windows manage it if you have 256 megs or greater...Locate and install "Adaware". Use it to scan your system. You don't need a virus to slow your system down--most of the spyware bundled in today's "free" software does that for you. If you've ever downloaded and installed anything from the Internet, I recommend Adaware.I know some don't recommend this, but I really believe in use of Cacheman on pre-XP systems with 256 megs RAM or less. Imagine if you gave someone a "blank check" to spend as much of your money as you want. The default Windows 95/98 file caching model gives the O/S a "blank check" to use as much memory as "it" sees fit. Win 98 is a bit better, but I'd still rather control how my memory is allocated, since swap file activity induced by low memory will really bog FS2002 down.If all else fails, remove all third party FS2002 aircraft, scenery, etc..... See if that is part of the problem.... And if that fails....First back up, then delete FS2002.cfg. Let FS2002 rebuild it...see if that helps. If it doesn't, just restore the backup....These are very general troubleshooting tips--others may have more or may disagree--but in general they've helped others and have helped make my experience with FS2002 a "blissful" one...John, KPHX

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First let me say that XP is a high quality OS in every sense of the word. I've been running machines dating back from DOS 1.0, and XP is a true winner in my mind.Also, I should also note that I'm a big fan of NT (of which XP is an outgrowth): I've been using it as my home OS since 2.0 or so and it's proven itself much more stable in nearly every situation. The biggest drawback to NT early on was its lack of support for a lot of software and hardware, something XP certainly does not share.All that said, my gut reaction is it probably isn't your OS that's giving you problems. I don't have good feelings about Windows ME but it probably should at least support running this one app, and I'm sure MS has tested FS extensively on it. Where an OS like XP shines is handling things like system resources (icons, try stuff, multiple programs swapped in and out of memory, etc): FS doesn't appear to have much of that, particularly if you're running full-screen (which I would advise).If you were running associated programs with FS (like FSMeteo) or other background tasks, or if your desktop is particularly cluttereed (too many icons, too much stuff in your tray) then XP would help, IMHO. Otherwise you might want to try troubleshooting your system completely (as the previous poster mentions) before you take the plunge (XP is a pro OS and differs from ME in many different ways).

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Yeah, I've got to agree with everything Kelleym said. Troubleshoot as much as you can first - may save your pocket a little money. However, I do have friends who swear by Win98SE over ME when it comes to games. Personally, I don't know having never owned ME. I have experienced the slow downs exactly as you describe, in the days when I ran 98, but since upgrading to XP I no longer have this problem and I generally run FSmeteo and FDC at the same time as FS2K2. It wouldn't do much good to go on quoting framerates, slider positions, aircraft/panels in use etc, but I can say that my performance improved quite dramatically under XP with no change of either hardware or FS2K2 display options. I could easily endorse XP, but before making that jump I'd definately read around the various XP newsgroups first - not everyone has had a smooth ride in making the transition! "prepare to fail if you fail to prepare" - or something like that!Abit KT7A-RAIDAthlon 1.2 T-Bird with Thermaltake Volcano7Creative GF2-Titanium 64 DDR512 RAM(I know it's ageing, but it suits me fine!)Best of luck and cheers,Paul

http://homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.haworth/Fortress.gifVoted Best Virtual Airline of 2002 and Best CEO of 2002 by participants in the BIG VA Vote organized by FSPILOT.comVANF "Best" New Virtual Airline Awardhttp://homepage.ntlworld.com/paul.haworth/saint_georgex1.gif

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Your computer slowing down is caused by two things:Having to much programs running in the background, and in system tray.And old files that remain on your HD and regisitry.HD cleaners, and regisitry cleaners only work to a point, and old rubbish needs to be cleaned out manually, but can also be tricky, as you need to know where these old files are in the first place, and what they are called, etc.So when you unistall, and install programs, there are hidden files, etc that remain, so in time the HD is cluttered with usless files.THe only way to speed up, and restore your computer back to full speed is a complete HD reformet by Fdisking your HD.I Reformat every 6 months, and it makes a hugh difference in speed, and bootup times etc.Computers collect rubbish, and like your home, unless you do a spring clean things get a mess.Reformatting maybe a real pain, but is good for your HD and computer and will restore it like new again, as all computers slow down in time due to junk that's collected.And I have also been recommended by my tutor when doing a basic computer course to regularly reformat your HD, and even he does often.If you have backups this is not a problem.

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Trouble is with XP it's an even more memory hog than win 98SE, and is the reason I wil lnot install XP, and the other is I only have a 10 Gbtye HD.I have 256 megs of memory, but would still not install XP, as I feel this is not enough memory to explot XP, and the mini memory XP needs is 128 megs, and feel it needs about 512+ megs before XP runs at it's best, as win98 starts running best at 128 megs+Even though the mini for XP is 128 megs. It would run slow, just like running in 98 at 32 megs. So like win 98, when your running 4X the mini memory specs then your getting into a much faster, and smoother operating system.So think Winows 98 is faster at 256 megs of memory than XP is, and XP would not work all that well with 256 megs. As XP is made to work well with lots of memory. The more memory you put in the better, and more XP works. And feel 256 megs it would be a bit slugggish, just as windows 98 is still sluggish at 64 or 96 megs of memory.

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"THe only way to speed up, and restore your computer back to full speed is a complete HD reformet by Fdisking your HD.I Reformat every 6 months, and it makes a hugh difference in speed, and bootup times etc."A system doesn't have to be reformatted to gain speed--just managed!I've worked as a network and workstation support engineer and instructor longer than I care to admit, teaching and practicing my trade almost everywhere on this planet, and I've always taken issue with the "Reformat every >X< months" rule taught by some tutors and instructors. It certainly isn't part of the A+ or MCSE certification process--but it is "learned" trait that goes back to day one of systems support--something passed from one tech to another long before the days of certified procedures and practices. Reformatting is not required if someone learns how to manage their system, and understands how systems move away from a benchmark, and how to get them back to that benchmark. At my shop, my techs reformat as a last resort--usually only when a boot sector virus is discovered, or physical damage to the HD, both of which are very rare. The type of performance issue cited by the thread's author can have several dozen causes--I agree that too many background apps can be a cause, or "hidden" apps such as spyware. But reformatting? Since we're getting technical enough to discuss a reformat, have you considered coaching the thread's author on rebuilding vmm32.vxd? On running system file checker? I could grab at many such things, but one has to rule out the simpler things first, like spyware, etc...#1 rule of support--start with the simple things first.... Incidentally, it was either 60 Minutes or 20/20 that found many tech shops making a living recommending "gross disruption" such as reformats, O/S reinstalls, and the like, charging their customers large amounts for the labor spent in the process. That is another way the "reformat" approach has evolved, and some instructors teach it because they are influenced by their peers, many of whom are shop owners, etc... Perhaps my approach is different because I've always worked in a corporate IT environment, providing internal services where the least disruptive solution is considered the best.John,Author--Landclass Assistant & Autoland 2001

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I'm with you, John.Reformatting is the *last* thing I'd try (then again, I've only been working with PCs for 20 years or so).

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John,I too have been in the IT field for nearly 2 decades and I agree that reformatting is rarely necessary and only when all else fails.However, the primary problem I have found with all Windows systems is that they are bound to slow down over time regardless of how "careful" you might be with tweaking and workarounds.And the primary culprit is the Windows Registry! Software programmers use and ABUSE the Registry so often by putting so much unnecessary crap there. For example, I have seen plenty of entries in the Registry that are only used during the initial install. Yet they stay there forever! Rediculous!!!!On top of that, the way Microsoft has arranged things, not only is a lot of crap ending up in the Registry but it is also even duplicated 2, 3, 4 times! Every time Windows loads, it reads the entire Registry and accesses it constantly throughout operation. And as the Registry grows it takes longer and longer to find what it needs.What I have never been able to discover is an easy way to truly clean out the Registry. About the only method that is anywhere near reasonable is to just reinstall Windows.I always look forward to a new Windows version because it provides an opportune time to start over "fresh". I NEVER upgrade overwriting the previous version because that just carries the crap over to the new version.If anyone does know of a good way to really clean the Registry, PLEASE tell me!Thanks for the chance to gripe! :)Happy Flying!Bill MolonyAtlanta GA USAUnder the 27L Approach to KATL--the busiest airport in the world :)

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I'm running 384mgs ram with Win98 Standard Edition. (original oem install in 1997) Everything works great. I just recently upped my ram from 256mgs maxing out my old 440bx mobo and it made a hugh difference in the way my system runs with FS2002. I've read that FS2002 uses about 200mgs of ram. I agree with that statement. No framerate increase from additional ram; but frames are more steady always hanging around 20 with max set at 20 and no noticeable harddrive activity. Also, about the only thing that I try to do on an annual basis to tune my system is to go into the startup menu using msconfig and unchecking all the crap that gets left there from previous installs and uninstalls. Uninstalls don't always clear the startup. I just recently unchecked all kinds of crap in the startup and watched as my system went from resources free of 74 percent to 92 percent. Also, always remember to disable the virus scanner in the sys tray before going into FS2002. Just reenable it when your done flying. I also turn my computer off every night and start up fresh every morning. That may not be necessary with XP, but Win98 Standard needs its sleep just like me.

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>On top of that, the way Microsoft has arranged things, not >only is a lot of crap ending up in the Registry but it is >also even duplicated 2, 3, 4 times! Every time Windows >loads, it reads the entire Registry and accesses it >constantly throughout operation. And as the Registry grows >it takes longer and longer to find what it needs. >>What I have never been able to discover is an easy way to >truly clean out the Registry. About the only method that is >anywhere near reasonable is to just reinstall Windows. Bill,I'm going to have to respectfully disagree with you here -- but I don't want this to denigrate into a war. Just for the sake of discussion, let's say that even with today's fast processors I have never seen a case where registry problems caused a slowdown of a machine (with today's processor it becomes even more moot). I'm not saying a registry doesn't fill with crap sometimes (and that using Regedit isn't a good idea).Even under the worse conditions the registry is never very big and (more to the point, which is why us programmers use it so much) the routines for reading and writing to it are built into the OS and are *very* efficient. It isn't as if the system is accessing the registry as it runs -- there would be no point in constantly reading and/or writing there. It all occurs upon program load (and unload) or at key points which in no way could "slow down" any system. This is somewhat akin to saying that having large numbers of fonts will slow down a system -- in that case it actually will, but only when reading the font list (once again, usually on load, but sometimes on display of the font menu list).The biggest problem with older systems (and the reason that installing a new OS or reformatting will help) is the build up over the months and years of differing DLL versions of the same core routines. New programs getting installed on top of core OS routines and using either buggy or older versions of these key DLLs nearly *always* account for these issues. When you do a new install you either don't reinstall some of these old programs or you do so in an order which preserves integrity.And the newer OSs will correctly handle this -- MS has been aware of this problem for some years and each new version had gotten better at dealing with it. I'm not even sure XP will allow this to occur, but I'd sure bet what remains of my IT career (only a couple of years now :>) that it will remain a lot more stable over the lifetime of the machine than previous systems.Just had to get that off MY chest (a programmer who uses the registry).

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This exact thing happened to me not long ago. I could not figure it, out. Although I did narrow it down to Directx messing up. I reinstalled directx but that did nothing. I switched to Windows XP, no problems at all yet after running it for almost a year.Windows ME caused me great stress, so I only use it for certain things (dual boot).The only other thing to do is reinstall the OS. I'm sorry I could not offer any other help.http://www.forefrontgrp.com/jayssig.jpg"There is an art . . . to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss!"

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War????????? Oh, boy, these are definitely war words ! :)Yes, MS has made it very easy and efficient to read/write to the Registry. And that's a MAJOR part of the problem!And don't get me wrong, I think the basic premise behind it is great. It was an outstanding idea to begin with and it remains a great idea today. There definitely needs to be a standard common place and method for accessing certain settings and properties that can vary from system to system, user to user, application to application.And as long as programmers use the Registry correctly, that is the exact place those kinds of things need to be. It sure beats the old fashioned INI files that were a major part of early Windows systems and is a tremendous improvement over trying to put things like that in some kind of database that has a tremendous amount of redundant overhead.But while that is the ideal, that is not the way it turns out. A huge majority of programmers abuse the Registry! And based on a lot of analysis of a lot of systems I would estimate that to be better than 70% of programmers.Because it is so easy, a LOT of trash and temporary stuff gets put there that should NEVER be there in the first place. And more importantly, once something is written to the Registry, very few programmers clean up after themselves and add the code necessary to remove what is not needed. And I am not just talking about removing stuff necessary for an uninstall. I am talking about things that are very temporary in nature.And as for slowing down the system, I assure you that it does indeed do exactly that--maybe not quite as severely as with fonts but not very far away from them as well.You said that "Even under the worse conditions the registry is never very big...." I beg to disagree. It is not unusual at all for a Windows Registry to have tens of thousands of entries. If you don't believe that, run somthing like Nortons Registry Sweep sometime--it will seem to take forever! And 60% or more of that can be duplicate and redundant entries. (Hmmmm, isn't that a redundancy???? :) But it was done on purpose to illustrate and emphasize my point!!!)Sure, it is tremendously difficult to see much change when you are concerned with one single app that you might be working on. You add a few things here and a few there and the resulting slow down is almost impossible to notice--seemingly negligible. But the problem is that EVERYONE does that over and over and pretty soon it all adds up to a tremendous amount of overhead!And I know this to be true from being a Project Manager supervising large teams of programmers and having them actually analyze what overhead their coding has added. Then after having them remove a lot of the crap and measuring the differences under controlled conditions for comparison, the results were no less than phenominal!But unfortunately, few programmers are ever giving that kind of oversight and direction. Oh well, we don't live in a perfect world, do we? So, all that is left is to reinstall Windows so that trash can be cleared out.So there! :) Now I unloaded my chestfull too! :)Happy Flying!Bill MolonyAtlanta GA USAUnder the 27L Approach to KATL--the busiest airport in the world :)

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Let's not get into credentials here -- I've been Project Manager on a 3 million dollar+ system with many many programmers reporting to me. Tens of thousands of entries is not big in any sense of the data world. Measured response from the registry is much much slower than any millisecs you can post (I've just run a registry read/write 10K times and it did it in less than 2 sec on my fairly old system here at work). It does *not* slow down the system -- can't and you can't prove it.Reinstalling windows is *not* the solution (but it's a typical manager's solution, though).But... let's just agree to disagree (I'm *way* too old to go to war, as my grandkids will tell you).

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