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I mentioned elsewhere (Kaspers latest ATWC post) that I had been having a bit of fun with the PMDG 737 NGX lately. 

What I didn't mention there is that it has been giving me fits with FSX. I'm going to lay the blame solidly on PMDG's doorstep because nothing else, none of the other planes in my hangar (that I've flown lately) experience the same problems.

Problem #1: Many "not responding" error messages. Fortunately, always on startup. Sometimes takes two or three attempts to get the 737 stable enough to start a flight process. Never crashed during a flight. All of the PMDG suggestions for proper setup have been followed to the letter.

Problem #2: I normally run FSX in the standard screen mode, ie: not full screen. I do this because I often pop out to other programs to do things pertinent to the flight. Eg: read sids, stars, approach plates, etc. while flying. In the 737, if I do this, I cannot recover FSX by clicking on the FSX icon on the lower task bar in Win7. To get the sim back, I've got to load Task Manager and recover FSX by "bringing it to the front". This one is real strange because it's absolutely the first time this has ever happened.

Problem #3: I'm using a Gamepad, because I'm travelling, instead of my usual joystick. This required some changes to the default.cfg file in the controls setup menu. All other planes that I've flown using this Gamepad operate as advertised. The PMDG 737, on the other hand, occasionally scrambles the button assignments. Picture the throttle increasing during taxi when I press the decrease button. First, I increase rpm, to about 30%, to get the plane rolling, then immediately decrease to idle. The plane rolls along quite nicely at very low throttle settings. Last night, I ran across this problem where the rpm increased despite hitting the decrease button. The solution was to use the keyboard commands F1 - F4 to control the throttle. At the same time as the throttle inputs were scrambled, the brakes (assigned to the two "shoulder" buttons) ceased to work. This requires the application of the period to slow or stop the plane. Loading the default Cessna 172 without exiting FSX yields normal responses to these inputs. PMDG specifically mentions NOT to use FSUIPC to assign button commands, so I have not done so.

In fairness to PMDG, I'm using two different pieces of software/hardware than I have used in the past when flying the 737 back at home. 

The first is the Gameboy. I'm NOT convinced this is a problem because it is using exactly the same software (FSX default control menu) as I use with the Logitech Joystick.

The second is a piece of software called "VAInterface Lite" which links the iPad "Virtual CDU" to FSX over a TCP/IP connection. I have not tried testing the PMDG 737 without this software and link. Easy enough to do and if it yields results, I'll report back, here. Don't hold your breath.

I have been very careful NOT to load one session with the PMDG software over another. This is specifically noted as being a no - no by PMDG. They remark that lots of instability will be your reward if you make this mistake. Sequence is: Finish flight, Exit FSX, Restart FSX, Load new PMDG session.

I'm not put out by these issues. I know I'll eventually find the solutions. I am, otherwise, very happy with the PMDG product and have been planning on adding the 777 as soon as I get back to Canada.

That's my $0.02. YMMV 

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with all due respect m8 this is not a pmdg issue otherwise we would all have the same issue. I think you have either got a p.c. fault or a corruption either in fsx or the pmdg files. I think it adviseable to firstly check your hard drive for errors or crosslinked files, If this doesnt produce a repair then i would advise going back over the last few installations and uninstalling them. I did some time ago try to use a game thingy which belonged to my son, I gave up as it caused masses of grief. what I had to do was go into the fsx controls and remove any references to a normal joystick then start again trying to get the various buttons/levers etc to work as i found that sometimes 2 actions were being actioned by 1 movement, in the end before I pulled out what hair remained I aimed the said joypad at the bin.

 

However FSX can throw up some weird stuff I have several fsx's on several hard drives and none of them work the same as another, some give me a warning on start up others dont close down properly with a weird warning, and my main one works perfectly and doesnt drop a frame with fraps yet another drops about 10 frames a second with fraps

 

after checking the p.c see what memory is being used you might be using too much memory with some side program or another however there are so many things that can cause this grief it is sadly a case of wade your way through all the possibles sorry I could not be more help.

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You're likely to be completely right.

 

As noted in the post, there are two interlopers in the loop. One being the Gamepad (an unwelcome necessity if I'm going to travel with FSX) and the other is the FTP/IP link to the CDU.

 

Interestingly enough, I have absolutely no problems running any other aircraft under the Gamepad, so I'm going to discount that one.

 

The FMC/CDU on the other hand, is specific to PMDG 737 and the iFly 737 (both of which I have). I tried a flight without the TCP/IP connection and for a while it looked like that may have been the culprit for Problem #2. Unfortunately, about halfway through the flight the problem popped up again. I'll have to wait until I return to Canada to try iFly because that software is not loaded to this laptop.

 

Not to worry, I'm more than happy with PMDG's software. Just remarking on these issues in case anyone else is seeing the same things.

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"Quote" The second is a piece of software called "VAInterface Lite" which links the iPad "Virtual CDU" to FSX over a TCP/IP connection. I have not tried testing the PMDG 737 without this software and link.

 

Easy enough to do and if it yields results, I'll report back, here. Don't hold your breath.

 

I am using VA software with my tablet and the PMDG, granted it's on my main machine but I am finding the LSK & RSK are not responding to the touch.  So the VA software can be temperamental just like FSX.

 

 
 

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Hi John!

 

Whilst not disagreeing with m'learned friends James and britfrog (I don't believe it's a PMDG issue, either, nor TBH do I think a gamepad is a particularly helpful device when used with a PMDG aircraft in a flight simming context), I do find myself a little short of information if I'm to try and help.

 

Whilst I'm glad that you're "not put out by these issues", let's take your problems one at a time and see we can think of anything useful. Unfortunately, like most techies I'm not noticeably clairvoyant, so I'll probably have to request some more, and more exact, information - but let's see how it goes.

 

So you're "...having a bit of fun with the PMDG 737 NGX lately"? That's a great aircraft, and AFAIK all known issues with it were eliminated some time ago   :-)

 

Issue 1: "Many 'not responding' error messages".

 

You say "Never crashed during a flight". OK, so exactly when *do* they occur; what is the *exact* text of the messages; and what have you tried to do to mitigate this (and with what result)? (What changes did you make)?

 

Issue 2 is simply an FSX-ism. Everyone suffers with this because it's the way Windoze works (it's certainly not specific to anything that PMDG produces). Many people work around it by using a video card that supports additional screens of the same resolution (Google ATI's Eyefinity or Nvidia's Surround, for example - both have worked well for me); or if you are stuck with just one screen then you have to use Task Mangler sorry Manager, combined with clicking on the FSX icon in the task bar until you get back to where you want to be. It's clunky, but it eventually works.

 

Issue 3: "I'm using a Gamepad". Ah. Um. Not something I'm familiar with (or would want to use for vlying an airliner, to be honest).

 

"All other planes that I've flown using this Gamepad operate as advertised". <grin> Well OK, good luck with that one!

 

So I have no idea about this from personal experience: all I can think is that perhaps it's a USB device? In which case you need to be aware that when you plug and unplug USB things ("I'm using two different pieces of software/hardware than I have used in the past when flying the 737 back at home"?), FSX tries to get 'helpful', and reassigns them for you - without asking, and without telling you that it has done so. This can (and does) cause mayhem since, having been reassigned, the device then needs to be recalibrated too. This would explain why it "scrambles the button assignments" and why your "brakes (assigned to the two "shoulder" buttons) ceased to work" - whilst F1 to F4 and the period key still work as advertised.

 

But what exactly is the "default.cfg file in the controls setup menu" to which you refer? (Full path and filename would be helpful, along with details of specifically what you changed, as previously mentioned).

 

> "PMDG specifically mentions NOT to use FSUIPC to assign button commands, so I have not done so".

 

Not so, in fact. With this stuff you have to be *extremely precise*: PMDG's words in that document actually are "...we recommend that you do not CALIBRATE [my capital letters] your flight controllers through FSUIPC". That means that (a) buttons are irrelevant, since you can't calibrate buttons, only axes, and (b) that you can still *assign* (but not calibrate) your controllers in FSUIPC (I do exactly that, having previously unchecked the box in FSX for assigning controllers there).

 

> " I have been very careful NOT to load one session with the PMDG software over another."

 

Good thinking! Often the most obvious symptom is black smoke from the engines.....   ;-)

 

Cheers,

 

Bruce

 

a.k.a. brian747

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Hey, Thanks Bruce,

 

One of the great things about Mutley's - someone actually seems to care when you have a problem. Unfortunately the written word is sometimes not the best path to understanding nuances. Don't get me wrong, I'm not pissed at PMDG or the world in general.

 

I'm trying to feed the AH and FSX "monkey" on my back while travelling in a foreign country. I brought my (high end) laptop with me but could not justify the bulk of the joystick. Therefore the reliance on the Gamepad. See: http://gaming.logitech.com/en-us/product/f710-wireless-gamepad . I'm not convinced that this is part of the problem, anyway, as I've tested it with other aircraft - I'm flying a C-130 in AH with it.

 

Issue 1: "Many 'not responding' error messages". During load, ie: fire up FSX, you get a stock menu that allows you to do stuff like "Free Flight", Pilot records", and FSX setup. I'll come back to setup later. To load a PMDG 737, I select one from the "Free Flight" aircraft part of the menu (always the same one - 737-800WL), then set departure airport and location on that airport, time and season, and weather preferences. After hitting "Fly Now" my screen goes black with a white progress box centred (normal). This progress box grinds along for a few minutes and usually results in my chosen aircraft displayed at the gate (or wherever) and I can proceed with flight planning (FMC/CDU). The "Not Responding" error often shows up on the top line of the black screen. Suddenly the cockpit disappears and the screen goes black displaying the error code "Flight Simulator not responding" in the top line. This sometimes solves itself after a wait of 1 or 2 minutes and the cockpit comes back up. However, often the whole thing gets stuck in this mode and the best solution is CNTL-ALT-DEL and a termination through the Task Manager.

 

This MAY be a display (video card) related issue, but I'm sort of stuck with the NVIDIA GEForce GT330M that the manufacturer installed in this laptop. To mitigate this, I've very carefully followed all of the recommendations in the PMDG setup PDF. Reducing levels or ignoring some features in favour of an easy life for the video card. I've dropped the target framerate to 24, turned off "airplane throws shadows on the ground", "Lens flare" and a host of others suggested by PMDG.

 

As far as the USB feature - I'm careful to always use the same port for the mouse and the joystick (Gamepad). Can't do much better than that.

 

Now back to the stock setup feature: there is a configuration file in (your path)/Documents/Flight Simulator X Files/ called "Default.CFG". This is the file that stores any button or axis information that you may change from time to time in the "Controller" portion of the setup menu. I always save my changes to this file before exiting the setup menu. Forget renaming the file and trying to load different joystick setups for different planes. FSX seems to default (maybe that's why the name) to Default.CFG.

 

I'm going to have to cut this short, for now. I'll pick up on it later, but SWMBO is fidgeting near the door. There's churches and other stuff that we, evidently, haven't seen in this town.

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Hi John..

 

Like the others I suspect it's something in your setup that is the culprit here... Before I reinstalled windows during my holidays I flew the NGX on numerous occasions and had no issues with it. Never did try to fly it on a laptop though...

 

After reading your last reply I'd say you are on to something with regards to the graphics card in your laptop. The NGX is pretty hard on the resources, and the VC-textures, being as good as they are, do require a pretty hefty GPU to work proper...

 

If I remember correctly there is an option somewhere to run the NGX with low resolution textures in the cockpit (but I might be wrong on this one, and since I am at work right now I can't check it either), is this something you've tried to remedy the situation?

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Hi John!

 

Ah the written word, great on the page but so often woolly in its precision! Which was why I asked you about default.cfg, for example— I wanted to be sure you were talking about the real thing and not A.N. Other default configuration file. So thank you for that!   :)  But still, your screen remains a bit fuzzy from here, so I'm afraid that written stuff is all we have.

 

I also well understand your need for a fix of FSX whilst travelling. I spent 20 years or so as a consultant fixing databases in this and many other countries, and saw an awful lot of boring magnolia-painted hotel bedrooms during that time, so I adopted your technique of a high-powered laptop with FSX on it. (I can therefore relate to your graphics card problem, too). I also took a small joystick with me, which once caused a certain kerfuffle when returning through customs when what they saw on the X-ray resembled (to them) a different (but similarly shaped) device. But they were the ones who were subsequently embarrassed, not me.   ^_^

 

Thank you for your careful description of the "Not responding" error. In fact, it is normal for Windoze to think that FSX is not responding whilst everything is loading in, and, as you say, usually it fixes itself when the cockpit appears. If it doesn't though, that does sound as though you could be on the edge of a memory problem, but it's difficult to know what sort. So it's more questions, I'm afraid.....   :(

 

Have you looked in the Events Viewer just after it happens? Are there no other error messages at all?

 

Are you using Windows 7 64-bit? (And if not, what do you have?).   :mellow:

 

Regarding your graphics card, all I can find on the web is that it accepts "a maximum of" 1024Mb: do you know how much memory your laptop's version has? I'm hoping it isn't less than 1024Mb, anyway.....   :cool:

 

Let's talk textures, too. In your fsx.cfg. what value do you have set for TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD in [GRAPHICS]? (Not to be confused with TextureMaxLoad in [DISPLAY], of course).  :whis:

 

In fact, have you optimised your fsx.cfg — either by hand or using Bojote's web site?

 

A few other things to check:

 

•Are you sure you have HIGHMEMFIX=1 in the [GRAPHICS] section of your fsx.cfg?
•Are you sure you have the correct version of Vista's uiautomationcore.dll copied into your fsx directory (but not registered, regardless of what some well-meaning but mistaken folks suggest)?
•Have you set up a fixed ("custom") size paging file — ideally on a disk that doesn't have your fsx installation? (Although that may not be possible on a laptop with a single HDD, of course).
•Have you applied the Desktop Heap Limitation registry patch?

 

It's great to hear that you followed the PMDG recommendations, though. I wish more people would.

 

> I'm careful to always use the same port for the mouse and the joystick (Gamepad). Can't do much better than that.

 

Agreed!  :)  And saving your default.cfg is highly recommended.  Incidentally, do you use the free TweakFS utility for editing your XML files? I highly recommend that, too.  http://tweakfs.com/download/fsx_xml_toolbox.zip

 

That's probably enough questions for one session (sorry about that, but....). Keeping SWMBO happy is always good — I must find the knack, someday.....

 

All the best,

 

Bruce

 

a.k.a. brian747

 

 

 

 

 

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@stu, yes, I've found that menu choice. However, I can't easily see the VC with that setting, so I opted for other ways to cut down on the beating the video card is taking. 

 

I really envy you guys with the high-end computers/graphics cards. Living on a boat for half the year and out of a suitcase for the other half can sure cut down on the equipment available.

 

@Bruce, many thanks for all your trouble,

 

Answers to your questions

 

1. Whats an "events viewer"? Do you mean the little flag icon in the tray? It wants me to change my update settings - fat chance. It does from time to time want to check for solutions to problems, but it never finds one (a solution - problems I can find without its help).

2. Win7 Pro, 64 bit

3. GT330M - Up to 2650MB, turbocache

4. FSX.CFG - TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024

5. Bojote's website and PMDG recommendations 

6. FSX.CFG - HIGHMEMFIX=1, affirmative

7. uiautomationcore.dll is installed under C:/FSX. I don't think it's "registered". I installed it here on the recommendation of the Majestic Dash 8 Instructions.

8. Fixed ("custom") size paging file - No I have not, is this important? Seems to me we used to set these up in WinXP, but I was not aware it was still necessary in Win7

9. Desktop Heap Limitation registry patch? YIKES! What's that? I don't think so, where should I look

10. TweakFS Utility -First I've heard of it. I downloaded it and I'll have a look.

11. Married 43 years, now, keeping SWMBO happy is 2nd nature. I can do it in my sleep. You get to be able to read the signs after the first 10 years. You get the message after 20. We have to talk = you have to listen. There are others. This morning's was the "hover" message.

 

 

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@Bruce,

 

I downloaded and ran the TweakFS Utility - XML Toolbox.

 

It reports that a file called SimConnect.xml is missing. How important is this file?

 

The file exists elsewhere on my laptop, but not in the appdata path where the TweakFS software is looking. The file is located here: (note EFB=Electronic Flight Bag)

 

C:\Users\Passages\Documents\Flight Simulator X Documents Other Files\EFB\Extracted GMAP\Sample SimConnect Files

 

There is also a simconnect.cfg file in the same directory.

 

I believe the EFB software is produced by the same (Australian) company that does the TweakFS series.

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Hi John!

 

OK, let me have a shot at answering your questions...... :)

 

 

1. Whats an "events viewer"? Do you mean the little flag icon in the tray? It wants me to change my update settings - fat chance. It does from time to time want to check for solutions to problems, but it never finds one (a solution - problems I can find without its help).

 

The Events Viewer is the way you find what Windoze is complaining about, deep down. Click the Start Orb and type "event" (without the quotes) into the search bar, then click on Event Viewer. Expand Custom Views (on the left) and click on Administrative Events. DO NOT PANIC! You'll see a lot of stuff that you'd probably prefer not to know about (which is why it's not too easy to find unless you know how), and much of it you may not understand. What you're looking for, though, is an event that corresponds in time to the crash or mysterious silence or..... that FSX threw at you. Look especially at the name of the "faulting module", and also the error code (something weird and hexadecimal, usually) then go Googling....

 

Here's a link for a different view on this: http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/226084-event-viewer-open-use-windows-7-a.html

 

 

2. Win7 Pro, 64 bit

 

That's great! So your VAS for FSX is "up to" 4Gb.  But definitely no more.

 

 

3. GT330M - Up to 2650MB, turbocache

 

Hmm, as intimated above, "up to...." is an advertiser's term. How much have you actually got?

 

 

4. FSX.CFG - TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024

 

That's good, although for a laptop you may even decide to reduce that a bit, depending on what we find. How much RAM do you have? (Not "up to"!).   ^_^

 

 

5. Bojote's website and PMDG recommendations

 

That's a good start, but one Bojote-size doesn't necessarily fit all, so be prepared to tweak here and there (but don't be tempted to change more than one thing at a time, or else you won't know which caused the effect you got).

 

 

6. FSX.CFG - HIGHMEMFIX=1, affirmative

 

OK.

 

 

7. uiautomationcore.dll is installed under C:/FSX. I don't think it's "registered". I installed it here on the recommendation of the Majestic Dash 8 Instructions.

 

OK, but which version is it? (Right-click it, choose Properties and then Details). By "under FSX" I assume you mean in the same directory as fsx.exe?

 

 

8. Fixed ("custom") size paging file - No I have not, is this important? Seems to me we used to set these up in WinXP, but I was not aware it was still necessary in Win7

 

This is  another of those things that is not well understood by simmers. The Paging file is your "virtual memory" - if Windoze (XP or 7, same difference) runs out of the real stuff (hence my question about your RAM, above) then it will start using your paging file (which is much much slower than the real thing). But by default Windoze "manages" the file itself, so it grows and shrinks as Windoze thinks appropriate, with the result that it gradually becomes fragmented all over the disk and so becomes even slower still. To avoid that, it's best to assign a reasonably generous (but not too generous) fixed size file so that Windows can't mess about with it.

 

 

9. Desktop Heap Limitation registry patch? YIKES! What's that? I don't think so, where should I look

 

For this one you need to change the registry, using regedit. If you're not confident doing it, ask someone who is. But if you are:

 

1). Click Start, type regedit in the Start Search box, and then click regedit.exe in the Programs list.
2). Locate and then click the following registry subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\SubSystems Right-click the Windows entry, and then click Modify.
3). Right-click the Windows entry, and then click Modify.
4). In the Value data section of the Edit String dialog box, locate the SharedSection entry, and then increase the second value to 20480, and the third value to 1024.

 

 

10. TweakFS Utility - First I've heard of it. I downloaded it and I'll have a look.

 

I guarantee you'll like it.   :-)

 

 

11. Married 43 years, now, keeping SWMBO happy is 2nd nature. I can do it in my sleep. You get to be able to read the signs after the first 10 years. You get the message after 20. We have to talk = you have to listen. There are others. This morning's was the "hover" message.

 

You're ahead of me by 12 months. But somehow.... I never got the message. Which might explain a few things.   ;)

 

 

Cheers,

 

Brian

 

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Thanks Brian,

Stand by - it's going to take me a while to work through these suggestions (as well as visit some churches).

Any comments on the missing SimConnect.xml (later post).

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1. Whats an "events viewer"...........

 

1. The Events Viewer is the way you find what Windoze is complaining about, .............. 

 

Good resource. Here's an example of the shutdowns I'm experiencing, note that FSX/PMDG is the first and the VAInterface (network FMC/CDU is right behind)

********

Faulting application name: fsx.exe, version: 10.0.61637.0, time stamp: 0x46fadb14

Faulting module name: PMDG_737NGX_2.dll_unloaded, version: 0.0.0.0, time stamp: 0x4c1b5e4f

Exception code: 0xc0000005

Fault offset: 0x25feea9d

Faulting process id: 0x724

Faulting application start time: 0x01cec5c38227d2a7

Faulting application path: C:\FSX\fsx.exe

Faulting module path: PMDG_737NGX_2.dll

Report Id: 4c64d415-31ca-11e3-9493-60eb69b5088e

 

Faulting application name: VAInterfaceLite.exe, version: 2.1.32.0, time stamp: 0x523926a2

Faulting module name: VAInterfaceLite.exe, version: 2.1.32.0, time stamp: 0x523926a2

Exception code: 0xc0000005

Fault offset: 0x00006977

Faulting process id: 0x133c

Faulting application start time: 0x01cec5cbeaa3856e

Faulting application path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Virtual Avionics\VAInterface Lite\VAInterfaceLite.exe

Faulting module path: C:\Program Files (x86)\Virtual Avionics\VAInterface Lite\VAInterfaceLite.exe

Report Id: 8cd6610b-31c9-11e3-9493-60eb69b5088e

***********

 

2. Win7 Pro, 64 bit 

That's great! So your VAS for FSX is "up to" 4Gb.  But definitely no more.

 

2. VAS=Value Added Service? No, I'll bet it means Virtual Address Space - way beyond me.

 

 

3. GT330M - Up to 2650MB, turbocache 

Hmm, as intimated above, "up to...." is an advertiser's term. How much have you actually got?

 

3. This copied from Win Accessories - "System Information/Display" - 

Adapter Description NVIDIA GeForce GT 330M

Adapter RAM 1.00 GB (1,073,741,824 bytes)

 

3. Seems to be a bit of a conflict in information between this and #4.

 

4. FSX.CFG - TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024 

That's good, although for a laptop you may even decide to reduce that a bit, depending on what we find. How much RAM do you have? (Not "up to"!).   ^_^

 

4. This from "Belarc Advisor": - under "Processor" -  

2.67 gigahertz Intel Core i5 M 480

32 kilobyte primary memory cache

256 kilobyte secondary memory cache

3072 kilobyte tertiary memory cache

64-bit ready

Multi-core (2 total)

Hyper-threaded (4 total)

 

4. This from "Belarc Advisor": - under "Memory Modules" - 

3766 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory

Slot 'M1' has 2048 MB (serial number ED85206B)

Slot 'M2' has 2048 MB (serial number C086206E)

Slot 'M3' is Empty

Slot 'M4' is Empty

 

 

5. Bojote's website and PMDG recommendations 

That's a good start, but one Bojote-size doesn't necessarily fit all, so be prepared to tweak here and there (but don't be tempted to change more than one thing at a time, or else you won't know which caused the effect you got).

 

5. OK, Understood

 

 

6. FSX.CFG - HIGHMEMFIX=1, affirmative 

OK.

 

 

7. uiautomationcore.dll is installed under C:/FSX. I don't think it's "registered". I installed it here on the recommendation of the Majestic Dash 8 Instructions. 

OK, but which version is it? (Right-click it, choose Properties and then Details). By "under FSX" I assume you mean in the same directory as fsx.exe?

 

7. C:/FSX is the directory where all FSX files are installed, per optimisation recommendations from various sources.

C:/FSX/uiautomationcore.dll (Properties) - Product Version: 6.0.5840.16386

 

  

8. Fixed ("custom") size paging file - No I have not, is this important? ..........

 

8. This is  another of those things that is not well understood by simmers. .............

 

8. I understand how to get at this. Mine is set to automatically manage the pagefile on drive C: (default and only drive on the laptop) 

 - Current setting 3764 

 - Space available - 166610MB

 

8. I have made no changes to this as yet.

 

 

9. Desktop Heap Limitation registry patch? .......... 

For this one you need to change the registry, using regedit. If you're not confident doing it, ask someone who is. But if you are:

 

1). Click Start, type regedit ...................

4). In the Value data section of the Edit String dialog box, locate the SharedSection entry, and then increase the second value to 20480, and the third value to 1024.

 

4): Here's the current line in regedit:

%SystemRoot%\system32\csrss.exe ObjectDirectory=\Windows SharedSection=1024,20480,768

 

Do you mean that it should be changed to: \Windows SharedSection=1024,20480,1024

(second value is already 20480, third value is 768, change to 1024 ? 

 

 

10. TweakFS Utility - ........ 

I guarantee you'll like it.   :-)

 

10. Loaded and run: reports missing .XML file - SimConnect.xml 

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As far as the video memory I think it might be a case of the GPU having access to the regular RAM as well as it's own, so if it needs to it can access regular RAM when it runs out of it's built in 1 GB.

 

I seem to recall that my last Laptop had that kind of configuration... 

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Hi John!

 

My apologies for the delay in replying, but I had a frantic weekend....   :stars:

 

Well, it's taken a bit of digging, but I think we're beginning to home in on the problem. Let's look at some of the information you've provided, although I apologise in advance if some of the news is not entirely good, and also I'm afraid this is inevitably going to be a long reply, again. 

 

> Faulting application name: fsx.exe, version: 10.0.61637.0, time stamp: 0x46fadb14
> Faulting module name: PMDG_737NGX_2.dll_unloaded, version: 0.0.0.0, time stamp: 0x4c1b5e4f
> Exception code: 0xc0000005

 

OK, what we have here is a classic case of fsx being unable to get hold of enough memory to do what it has to do. The exception code 0xc0000005 typically indicates that fsx is tying to access a memory address which is no longer valid (in this case it looks as though the PMDG dll was unloaded in a desperate attempt to find space *somewhere*), or in which the data has become corrupted. Don't worry about any subsequent associated errors - they will start to happen when fsx falls over and they lose the prop they've been leaning on.

 

But why is fsx short of memory?

 

As you know, your memory consists of two different sorts: real memory (your RAM chips), and virtual pseudo-memory (i.e. your pagefile, which is on disk, so a hundred times slower than RAM. So this only gets used when you, or rather Windoze, gets desperate). According to the information you've found, you have -

 

> "3766 Megabytes Usable Installed Memory" [that's RAM]  You probably have 4Gb installed but, as Mikael suggested, your graphics card is mapping into ½Gb of it, leaving you with the other 3½ "usable". This also makes it likely that your graphics card has only ½Gb RAM on it, incidentally — but this is therefore probably sufficient for whatever screen resolution your laptop has. 
and
> "Mine is set to automatically manage the pagefile on drive C: (default and only drive on the laptop) - Current setting 3764"

 

Er, OK, but is that 3764 the maximum or..... (Custom? Maximum? System managed?)

 

Let me explain. On the Virtual Memory dialogue (oops sorry, dialog, in American) there's a checkbox that says "Automatically manage paging file size for all drives". If that's checked, you get what it says on the tin - Windoze manages the whole issue, on all disks, expanding and contracting the pagefile(s) at will, so that the pagefile gets fragmented and paging slows down even further. Not a good option when speed is important, as with fsx.

 

Beneath that you'll find a list of drives (or perhaps only one, on a laptop) and then three radio buttons -
* Custom size (with a minimum and maximum figure, greyed out if the custom radio button isn't selected).
* System managed size (free fragmentation of your pagefile by Windoze), and
* No paging file. (Not something you'd want to select, unless of course you have multiple disks and have moved the paging file onto one of them, so the rest have no paging file on them. In fact, where it's possible it's a good idea not to have the paging file on the same disk as Windoze itself for reasons which are fairly obvious, when you think about it).

 

I always take the "Custom size" option and set the minimum size to be the same as the maximum size, so that Windoze doesn't mess about with the pagefile and fragment it. The only downside to this is that if you're too conservative, then Windoze will run out of memory, so the usual advice with relatively small (4 Gb and below) amounts of RAM is to allow at least double the RAM for your pagefile size. But the choice is yours....  So with only 3½Gb of usable RAM, I'd suggest setting the minimum and maximum sizes to something like 7 or 8Gb. But YMMV.....

 

Remember, your combined "memory" has to suffice for everything - Windoze, fsx, PMDG, scenery, textures, you name it. Although TBH, John, what really counts is RAM, since virtual memory is slooooow. But if you set yourself up with 7 or 8Gb of pagefile as I suggested above, then with a bit of luck things will improve, at least in the sense that you should see a reduction in the number of crashes owing to fsx running out of memory. (If that doesn't help, set up 10Gb of virtual memory. If even that doesn't work, then perhaps we'll have to look again). A much better (but more expensive) solution would be to slam in another 4Gb RAM - but, as we know, doing that can be expensive on a laptop. However, your processor can handle up to 8 Gb, so it's something to think about....).

 

In this world there's always a price tag somewhere along the line, and the cheap virtual memory solution would mean that you're going to have a greater proportion of memory of the slow variety - i.e. on disk. So it may stop the crashes, but it won't help your fsx performance.....  :huh:

 

And then we find:

> 2.67 gigahertz Intel Core i5 M 480
> Multi-core (2 total)
> Hyper-threaded (4 total)

 

OK, we're dealing with a laptop, which (as I also know, from my peripatetic years) is seldom ideal for fsx unless you are willing to accept a lot of compromises.... As you are probably aware, the "sweet spot" in processor terms for fsx is these days is generally reckoned to be four real cores running at 4GHz or above. Your laptop has a scaled-down processor for laptops which as far as fsx is concerned only has two cores (forget about the two extra hyper-threaded virtual cores — some applications can use them but sadly fsx isn't one of them) running at 2⅔GHz, so you're going to need to run with your fsx sliders near the left in many cases. And unlike people with desktops, overclocking is not usually possible with a laptop (which couldn't handle the additional heat, anyway), so you're almost certainly stuck with 2⅔GHz.

 

The combination of a small amount of RAM and a relatively slow processor is your fundamental problem, I'm afraid. It's one that goes with the territory for laptops, of course, since they just can't cope with more powerful processors because they can't dissipate the heat like a desktop can. So you're going to have to live with that and then tune your fsx accordingly, I'm afraid.   :mellow:

 

Let's also have a look at some of the other things you've mentioned:

> Adapter RAM 1.00 GB (1,073,741,824 bytes)
> Seems to be a bit of a conflict in information between this and ....
> FSX.CFG - TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD=1024

 

The adaptor allegedly has 1Gb RAM (hmm....), and you are opting for textures of 1024x1024 pixels? No conflict. (You may recall, though, that I mentioned in a previous epistle that you may need to consider reducing your TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD as part of your tuning process).

 

> 9. Desktop Heap Limitation registry patch? ..........
>> For this one you need to change the registry, using regedit. If you're not confident doing it, ask someone who is. But if you are:
>> 1). Click Start, type regedit ...................
>> 4). In the Value data section of the Edit String dialog box, locate the SharedSection entry, and then increase the second value to 20480, and the third value to 1024.
> 4): Here's the current line in regedit:
> %SystemRoot%\system32\csrss.exe ObjectDirectory=\Windows SharedSection=1024,20480,768
> Do you mean that it should be changed to: \Windows SharedSection=1024,20480,1024
> (second value is already 20480, third value is 768, change to 1024 ?

 

OK, if you're at all nervous about fiddling with the registry (and no one could possibly blame you!), and are prepared to let Micro$oft do it for you, then look here -
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/947246

On that page you will find Micro$oft's description of the problem, and also a button which claims to fix it for you if you click it. (I've never tried doing it that way, but hopefully.....).

 

> 10. TweakFS Utility - ........
> I guarantee you'll like it.   :-)
> 10. Loaded and run: reports missing .XML file - SimConnect.xml

 

Not a problem: that file is only needed if you are connecting two machines and passing information between them via simconnect. (Unless, of course, you have another machine that you haven't told me about....   :cool:   ). Some addons (weather apps, for example) may also use simconnect (though some also use other methods), but in that case they would have created the simconnect.xml file when you installed them, so I suspect that you haven't got any of those.

 

> I'll bet it means Virtual Address Space - way beyond me.

 

No way: you're an fsx warrior: you're invincible. All you have to know is that in your case you've got 4Gb of it when you're running fsx. If you monitor it and find the usage gets up to around 3.9Gb, you're in OOM territory. (When my PMDG 777 review is released on Friday you will find in there a case study of what happens, which might be helpful for you).

 

I suspect, my friend, that you now need to carefully review your situation in the light of the above information. You can configure fsx to run on a laptop (believe me) but it takes a bit of fiddling, and you'll probably learn more about Windoze in general and your fsx.cfg file in particular than you ever wanted to know. But to be honest, all of us have to spend time adapting our fsx config to the hardware we have — which is why it's almost impossible to give generalised advice in this area, since It All Depends.....   :whis:

 

To be honest, in your position I'd pack the machine with another 4Gb of RAM (which takes it up to its limit), since that's more or less the only hardware improvement that's open to you. But I appreciate that it's not a cheap option (however running fsx on a laptop isn't either, I guess) — and, of course, there's no such thing as a guaranteed fix, where fsx is concerned.

 

Good luck, and all the best,

 

Bruce

 

a.k.a. brian747

 

 

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No apology required, Brian. I'm just amazed that I (we) benefit from the accumulated expertise on this forum and thank you all for your time and efforts.

 

This is going to take some time to digest. I'll do that and write up a list of what I've done.

 

It is not nice that the computer manufacturers get away with advertising murder. Seems that what I thought I had and what the reality is are two completely different things. Here's what is on a sticker on the top of the laptop:

 

-Intel Core i5-480M (2.66GHz, 3MB L3 Cache)

-NVIDIA GeForce GT330M up to 2650 MB TurboCache

-4GB DDR3 Memory

 

That's the stuff that deals with capacity, the rest is HDD and monitor info as well as telling me I have a 6-cell Li-on battery (ripper!)

 

Anyway, let me get to the meat of your reply and I'll be back.

 

Watch this space.

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Here's the results of my last go around, with a few (inevitable) questions thrown in:

 

On the subject of the Pagefile, I wrote:

 

>> "Mine is set to automatically manage the pagefile on drive C: (default and only drive on the laptop) - Current setting 3764"
 
You wrote: >Er, OK, but is that 3764 the maximum or..... (Custom? Maximum? System managed?)
 
My reply - There is a function popup called "Performance Options" where you can customize "Virtual Memory" this popup states:
 
Total paging file size for all drives
Minimum allowed: 16MB
Recommended: 3764MB
Currently allocated: 3764
 
As you remarked, the checkbox is checked and windows is running the show.
 
Mine asks for the adjustment in MB, so I plugged in 8192 for both "Initial Size" (presumed to be the same as minimum size) and "Maximum Size"
 
OK - that's done - time to test FSX - all running as advertised. I'll keep an eye on the "Events" viewer to see if it shows any improvement in the frequency of FSX "Not Responding" errors.
 
I actually don't mind sticking another 4GB of memory into the laptop. I'll check on pricing here in France. - looks like about 50 Euros will take care of it.
 
You wrote:
 
>>The combination of a small amount of RAM and a relatively slow processor is your fundamental problem, I'm afraid. It's one that goes with the territory for laptops, of course, since they just can't cope with more powerful processors because they can't dissipate the heat like a desktop can. So you're going to have to live with that and then tune your fsx accordingly, I'm afraid.
>>
 
OK - it's what I've been dealt, so it's what I'm going to have to live with.
 
>>The adaptor allegedly has 1Gb RAM (hmm....), and you are opting for textures of 1024x1024 pixels? No conflict. (You may recall, though, that I mentioned in a previous epistle that you may need to consider reducing your TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD as part of your tuning process).
>>
 
What value do you suggest I reduce it to? 
 
Under the Desktop Heap Limitation registry patch, you remarked:  >> 4). In the Value data section of the Edit String dialog box, locate the SharedSection entry, and then increase the second value to 20480, and the third value to 1024.
>>
 
I replied:  >> 4): Here's the current line in regedit:
>> %SystemRoot%\system32\csrss.exe ObjectDirectory=\Windows SharedSection=1024,20480,768
>> Do you mean that it should be changed to: \Windows SharedSection=1024,20480,1024
>> (second value is already 20480, third value is 768, change to 1024 ?
 
I'm not too worried about modifying the Registry (I'll back up the key before messing with it). I'm just not 100% certain of your intent. Do you mean that I should edit the line, replacing the third value (768) with 1024?
 
Under the heading VAS: I wrote:
 
> I'll bet it means Virtual Address Space - way beyond me.
 
You wrote: 
No way: you're an fsx warrior: you're invincible. All you have to know is that in your case you've got 4Gb of it when you're running fsx. If you monitor it and find the usage gets up to around 3.9Gb, you're in OOM territory. (When my PMDG 777 review is released on Friday you will find in there a case study of what happens, which might be helpful for you).
 
I'll look forward to reading that review for two reasons, now. The first was because I was considering purchasing it. The second is to reads what you have to say about the OOM issue.
 
Your final comments are taken seriously. As mentioned, above, if I need to invest a few sheckles in additional RAM in order to enjoy FSX, then so be it.
 
I'll begin a program of gradually reducing the slider positions until I, either, get a reasonable result that I can live with, or, I can't stand the result and I'll go back to flying the Grumman Goose or a DC3.
 
Thanks again Brian,

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Hi, March!

 

Well done: I reckon €50 to double your RAM is the best (and indeed perhaps the only) hardware investment you can make: it will certainly give fsx more breathing space, and I'm sure you won't regret it!    :)  Once you have 8Gb, you may care to also increase your virtual memory to around 10Gb, which in combination with your 7½Gb of RAM (you will still lose some to your graphics card mapping) should be enough (even for fsx!).

 

I said "perhaps the only" hardware investment: I suppose you could at some stage also consider replacing your laptop's HD with a similarly-sized SSD, but that wouldn't do much for your fsx performance (apart from reducing the texture loading time, which slightly helps overall smoothness but that's all) — although it would improve the startup time for both Windoze and fsx. So in terms of bang-per-buck it certainly wouldn't give you anything like the improvement which you'll see as a result of increasing your RAM to 8Gb.

 

On the subject of the pagefile, though, I'm not sure (your screen is still fuzzy, from here) what is this "function popup" of which you speak: it may, of course, be part of the bloatware that comes with most laptops, but if so you're probably better off dealing with the real Windoze dialog. If you click the "start orb" and type the word virtual into the search box, you should see an option called "How to change the size of virtual memory", which tells you the (slightly convoluted) route to the dialog I'm familiar with. Is that the same one that you are using? But anyway, 8192 for both Initial and Maximum size sounds much healthier for your configuration than the 3764 you seemingly have at present.

 

As for TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD, I had been thinking that with your existing 3½Gb of RAM you might be better reducing it to 512 — but if you're going to go for doubling your RAM then you can leave it as-is and you should be OK.

 

As far as the registry change is concerned, I'm afraid that Windoze isn't as kind to techies as to normal users when it comes to changing this arcane stuff, so that the edit box you are given to use is far too small: furthermore the values are delimited by commas and spaces — and you have to be very careful to preserve them when you change the values! So once you open the edit box you can't immediately see the values you want to change: click once in the data and use the right arrow key to scroll to the area you need being very careful not to change anything along the way. Here's my values, having scrolled along a bit (I have always used 4096 and not 1024 for the third one, but the generally-recommended value for flight simming seems to be 1024 so I'd suggest you stick with that):

 

2qky.jpg

 

The old adage applies: check twice (carefully) before you click on OK: this can bite if you get it wrong....   :huh:   

 

(I suppose I ought to insert the usual caveat — you adopt any of the suggestions I've made entirely at your own risk etc etc. But I guess that applies to anything you read on the Internet....).   :cool:

 

Rather than having a program of reducing slider positions, you may find it easier to reduce all the ones you feel are appropriate (or expensive, starting with road and sea traffic, and water, and so on through the Usual Suspects) and then gradually increasing them one at a time until you start to get problems? Just a thought.

 

But if and when you get the 777 running on your laptop, then you'll have done tremendously well, my friend! My sincere congratulations, in advance.    :D

 

All the best,

 

Bruce

 

a.k.a. brian747

 

 

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Go to control panel and open it. Then choose on the left panel Advanced system settings. Then just follow the shots below:

 

Although I have said set to 25000, that is because I have a large HDD, you may have to lower the size.

 

But added for you to see how to do it and support what Brain say's:

9Azxo.jpg

 

vGIzK.jpg

 

 

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I should clear up the fuzziness around the question of changing the pagefile: Thank you both, Brian and James for your attention to this. Windows lets you get at things from all corners, so the dialogue that I used is likely not to be the one you guys use, but it looks the same and seems to do the same things.

 

Here's the windows dialog as it looked before I made the changes

i-wh4vrTZ.jpg

 

And here it is after the changes

i-6b9nC7N.jpg

 

Looks like it took the instruction and my pagefile is now Max/Min 8GB.

 

You wrote: >As for TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD, I had been thinking that with your existing 3½Gb of RAM you might be better reducing it to 512 — but if you're going to go for doubling your RAM then you can leave it as-is and you should be OK.<

 

I could easily reduce this to 512 for now and revert after I get the RAM installed (that isn't going to happen soon as I'm travelling). However, in light of the fact that we're setting the registry value, below, to 1024, I may just leave this alone for now. 

 

Is there a correlation? Or, can I freely reduce the TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD to 512 without worrying about the regedit?

 

OK Here's the screen capture of the registry key BEFORE editing

i-HkVzzVs-L.jpg

 

And here's the screenshot AFTER the edit

i-7DbTXzD-L.jpg

 

I just clicked "OK", then "Exit" in the registry editing software. I also "exported" (saved) the key in my documents file in case I need to do a recovery.

 

You  Wrote:>Rather than having a program of reducing slider positions, you may find it easier to reduce all the ones you feel are appropriate (or expensive, starting with road and sea traffic, and water, and so on through the Usual Suspects) and then gradually increasing them one at a time until you start to get problems? Just a thought.<

 

I guess that's already been done. Without posting a host of screenshots, I went through the PMDG Installation instructions and used their suggestions for the various settings assuming I was not going to be able to run the "Full Monty". Here's an example:

i-Grw2jGV-L.jpg

 

The others are as recommended by PMDG for a "less than perfect" computer setup. This is the one I'll likely start with by cranking down a few of the settings and see what I get.

 

You also wrote:>But if and when you get the 777 running on your laptop, then you'll have done tremendously well, my friend! My sincere congratulations, in advance.<

 

I read the minimum requirements off the PMDG website for the 777 and that might just be too big a mouthful for this little laptop. I may hold off on the purchase until I can raise the equipment bar a bit.

 

OK - here goes, edits done, PMDG 737-800WL loading.

 

I'll BBack.

 

 

 

 

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Hi March!

 

(And thanks to James for the additional info).   :)

 

Yup, your paging file info looks spot on, to me. And there's no correlation between your registry change and TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD, so feel free to change it to 512 if you wish.

 

Be advised, however, that fsx has a funny sense of humour, so every time you change a setting in its Display tab, it clobbers TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD back to its default of 1024 again. Isn't that fun? Grrr.... To mitigate against this, I use a free utility called Texture Max Load Editor, which is great: you simply tell it what you want T_M_L to be, and it changes it back to your own designated value for you.

 

You can still download it (the original site is no longer with us) from http://simviation.com/1/search?submit=1&keywords=texture+max+load+editor&x=9&y=13

 

Thank you for the picture of your sliders (eek!). TBH, given your processor speed and RAM I'm a little surprised to see your scenery setting at extremely dense and your autogen at dense. Similarly, I can't help feeling that your water effects should really be at 1.something (2.something makes two passes....) — and if it were me I'd wind down level of detail radius, mesh complexity, and texture resolution, too. Um. The settings as shown feel definitely on the ambitious side for your hardware. (IMHO).

 

All of this being IMHO, of course. But it seems to me that those slider settings are..... challenging, I think is the polite word, for the hardware you have.   ;)

 

> "The others are as recommended by PMDG for a "less than perfect" computer setup".

 

Er... yebbut, TBH <*cough*> I think your laptop's spec is perhaps a tad further down the scale than that, by current standards?

 

Anyway, good luck with your first flight with the new settings that you have set up so far!   ^_^

 

Cheers,

 

Bruicaen

 

 

 

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to be honest I am surprised that you can even get fsx to work at all on that laptop, i have a very similar spec'd one and gave up 2 years ago.  the main problem is the graphics card in it just isnt up to much at all.

you need to slide your sliders right back to midway at least. as for texture max load in the fsx .cfg that needs to be 4096  but i wonder if the laptop will take it.

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Most of this is over my head, but I have to comment here....  you don't find this kind of help all up and down the block. 

 

What a great place this is to have members spending that kind of time helping one another out, and we all learn something in the process.  Life is good.

 

John

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Be advised, however, that fsx has a funny sense of humour, so every time you change a setting in its Display tab, it clobbers TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD back to its default of 1024 again. Isn't that fun? Grrr.... To mitigate against this, I use a free utility called Texture Max Load Editor, which is great: you simply tell it what you want T_M_L to be, and it changes it back to your own designated value for you.

 

 

I think you might be slightly wrong there Brian... If I remember correctly the TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD value in the config file is related to the texture resolution slider in the FSX graphics settings.

 

The problem with it resetting to 1024 only occurs if you set it to a value higher than that (usually 4096 to accommodate high resolution clouds I.E). It then resets back to 1024 when doing changes in the settings menu since that is the value assigned by having the FSX texture resolution slider set to it's highest setting (I guess M$ never thought anyone would use higher resolution textures in FSX).

 

Not 100% sure though as I've never tried setting it to anything lower by manually editing the config-file...

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@britfrog

 

"...texture max load in the fsx .cfg that needs to be 4096..."

 

<grin>  Interesting idea. With respect, I must disagree. Good luck with that one, given the amount of graphics card RAM and main board RAM that March has got!

 

Unless perhaps you're confusing TEXTURE_MAX_LOAD with TextureMaxLoad??? ("texture max load" doesn't exist). But even so, that still wouldn't be right....

 

 

@John

 

It's true — Mutley's rocks! We've got to try and help each other, right?    :)

 

 

@Mikael!

 

OK, you've never tried it, but you're saying I'm wrong?    :whis:

 

> "...slightly wrong..."

 

Oh, OK, *slightly* wrong. Sounds like "slightly pregnant"?   :P

 

Sorry, Mikael, but it's been a looong day.....   ;)    I'll actually try it tomorrow, and let you know for sure.

 

B.

 

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