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computer crashes to blue screen on long flights

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

On long flights,over two hours,as I am being vectored in by ATC for an ILS approach,my computer crashes to a blue screen.This has happened four consecutive times,and it always happens as I am getting close to landing.I can do shorter flights without any problems,anybody have a similar experience or any suggestions.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I'm going to look at it from the technical point. First we don't have any of your computer specs/video card/drivers/cpu/ram/os, etc.

You could be short on memory and pushing the computer at that point always makes Windows crash (BSOD) or your video card isn't strong enough/drivers old or corrupted/even sound cards can cause that.
It could also be overheating, manufacturers don't put enough cooling fans in their machines, especially with the new cards that generate quite a bit of heat.
Do you have all the Windows updates installed (critical ones) and do you have the latest version of DirectX.
Take a look at the above and let us know what you think, I hope it's as simple for us to figure as a new download.
By the way, that must be very frustrating, bummer!

Afterthought, is it the same aircraft every time, or the same area of the world.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

Thanks for the reply RadarMan,I have a 1.5 AMD Athlon,ATI Radeon 9800 pro graphics card,windows XP,512 RAM.I believe everything is up to date,I will check to make sure.And it is the same aircraft that this has been happening with,one I downloaded form a VA,in various places.It is frustrating,just as things are getting exciting,the rug gets jerked out from underneath me.LOL

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

The last time the program crashed,was on a flight from Salt Lake to Dallas Ft. Worth in a beechcraft turboprop,which was supposed to take a little over three hours.I just flew this same flight in a Lear Jet,it took slightly over two hours,about the same point(about 30 nm)where the program crashed while in the Beech,in the Lear Jet the program started responding sluggishly the closer I got to DFW.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I went checking last night after I posted to you figuring that you would be back. Your setup is very similar to mine and I added a fan in the rear grid, don't go over 20cfm it'll be too noisy.
There are scenery bugs and seasonal bugs. I've heard about them happening in Sweden, I believe it was.
The only thing that I can think of is to try the same flight at different time of the year. If it crashes then it's probably the scenery, try a flight to a different area from a different airport in one of the aircraft that you used before. This will eliminate the scenery and the season (if they're the problem).
Hope to see you again with a smile.

By the way, my machine still runs hot with this Sim and I am looking to add a fan in front (to pull in cool air) and a interesting double fan that plugs into a PCI socket next to my 9800 Pro to cool it down. All these fans (sealed sleeve bearings) and I'm looking at about $25 US. Cheap investment for better performance.

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

Confused Im thinking along the lines of Radar in that its a scenery problem.Have you added any scenery or mesh for the area you are flying over?
An xp1.5 should be just powerful enough for fs9 so make sure nothing is running in the background(hit Alt+Ctrl+Del to find out whats running)
As you say it happens as you come into land,fs9 needs more memory for the graphics for autogen and ATC(try lowering your settings)

A couple of things to try,please come back and let us know

Doh! as for cooling you realy need to be as cool as possible Punk and those pci coolers are very good (but remember you are drawing extra power from the supply so makesure your power supply unit can handle it or you may cause more problems)

TTT

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

Well I eased up on a couple of of the graphics settings,did a flight in a different part of the country and completed a two and a half hour flight without any problems.So i guess for my next test I will try the SLC to DFW flight again with the new settings and see what happens.As far as the heat issue goes,my computer never seems to get very warm.Thanks for your help guys,I will keep you posted on how things go.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

That sound good.
It seems to be the scenery and taking TTT's suggestion about turning your graphics down should do the trick on approach when the FPS take a major hit from the local heavy scenery.
Good luck with the duplication of the problem flight, let us know what happens.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

Thanks RadarMan,I hope the fix was that easy,but I still have my doubts.

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

Blink Trust us, we are doctors Liar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

Well I did the flight again,FS didnt crash,but the graphics became jerky,and the flight controls were slow to respond.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

The area Scenery is more than your card and computer can stand, it'll be that way when your in a heavy graphic area. I have the same at a few airports.
It looks like a slide show, I have my graphics turned up so I "suffer" for a few moments.
At least your rid of the crashes, good!

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

RadarMan wrote:

It looks like a slide show, I have my graphics turned up so I "suffer" for a few moments.

Radar

Shocked What? With your card? Shocked

TTT

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I have some turned up to "ultra high" so that I can see all the jetways and ground scenery, beautiful but damaging.
I have the feeing that my card is getting too hot. When I go into the sim I'm running a temp of 39 and when I come out 46 just at the red line.
That's why I mentioned the fans the other day, have to get into the box, check for space and order them.
It also happens after a screen shot (delay 1 second).
My OEM p/s isn't very good, about 250w.

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

Ermm... Not a very good power supply....it could be that what is causing the high temps(it may be running flat out therefore warm)
Whats in the next pci slot to your graphics card(try and leave it empty for airflow)
Dust.....it gets everywhere (any on your fans It realy slows them down)

The minimum set up is two fans 1 blowing the warmer air out (normally in the power supply)and the other a drawing cooler air in(from the bottom)
Better to have a slightly more powerfull fan drawing cooler air so you get very slightly higher pressure inside the case(helps push the warmer air out)
Try running the pc with the sides off(watch for kids and pets)
Ill have look about for system temps

TTT

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

TTT,
I already a have fan in the rear (about a year now) and plan on mounting one in front (cool air) and the double next to the Video card, it pumps the warm air out the bay.
I clean the inside at least every three months. My house has central a/c so it never gets hot.
When I put what I can into the box I'll post both the information and some screens of the fans or even the box here.
I use a temp meter from Intel for P-4 computers.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

RadarMan,how do you tell what temps your video card is running?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Read these over and see if they are for your machine. Mine comes from Intel and is only for their boards.
http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

http://www.hmonitor.com/

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

This one looks pretty good (the lite version). Read it carefully, I never tried it.

http://www.7byte.com/index.php?page=purchase

Radar

wrightFS Guest

I have read this thread and I wonder if you guys think that i should have to turn down the graphics to resolve my system crashes?

P4 3GHz 512mb 9200 radeon XP-home

Shouldnt this system be able to handle Ultra-High settings for this sim?

thanks...

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

wrightFS wrote:

I have read this thread and I wonder if you guys think that i should have to turn down the graphics to resolve my system crashes?

P4 3GHz 512mb 9200 radeon XP-home

Shouldnt this system be able to handle Ultra-High settings for this sim?

thanks...

As long as your video drivers and DirectX are up to date your all right there.
For a 3gig machine you should have more memory, at least another 512mb and it would handle the Sim better.
There isn't a machine made today that can handle this Sim maxed out with add-on's like Ultimate traffic.
The biggest problem you have would be programs running in the background (anti virus, ICQ etc,) and the low memory for that machine.
You may have a heat problem with a P-4, they do run hot, I have one.
Keep the fans clean (compressed air) and see if this temperature meter will work for you, it should I'm using it.

http://www.intel.com/design/motherbd/active.htm

Let us know how you do.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

I have not had any more crashes since I turned down some of the graphic settings,although the video and flight controls slow down around large airports.Thanks for your help RadarMan and TTT.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Glad to hear it's better.
Turn down your traffic a little, and your clouds, that should help around airports and other graphic heavy areas.

Radar

Guest

O.K. RadarMan,I just finished reading your thread about Ultimate Traffic,and I bought it(It's all your fault),should be here in a couple of days.My concern is that my hard drive is getting kind of full,it's a 40 Gb drive about 78% full.and with the recent history of crashes, I am a little worried about further taxing the system. Do you see UT giving me any headaches?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Tomato Good for you, it's a great add -on, you'll enjoy it.
The only time you'll notice any slowdown in FPS is at major airports, but once you take off it should be the same as it always was.
You can move the "traffic" slider down from 100% (in settings) it'll help some if you get "the stutters".
Can't you dump some of the garbage programs that are on your h/d. Ones that you don't use any longer, maybe do partial installation on some (not the flight sim, it won't run well).
If your OS has been on the machine for over a year you've picked up quite a bit of waste. Go to "Disk-Cleanup" in "Accessories" and dump your "System restore points", keep the last one.
Defrag and scandisk every week.
If you want, read this post and decide on your own.

https://forum.flyawaysimulation.com/forum/topic/1016/hard-drive-cleaner/

A clean install of your OS every year is a good thing, I just had to do it with a new h/d, and it's much faster.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

Hey RadarMan,will the HD being that close to full affect the performance of the sim?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

rcj,
If a h/d is too full it can be a problem. Ant large program needs what's called "free space" to run. Usually 1 gig would be more than enough for any program, most suggest 500mb.
One of the biggest problems is that a full h/d reacts slower because it has to search for what it wants and that slows up the "game", in our case it'll slow the Sim of an aircraft flying. It may look like a slide show in a busy area like an airport.
The most important task that you can do is to scandisk and defrag once a week.

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

Yes a clean and tidy h/drive is a happy h/drive(even if XP tells you there is no need to defrag)

TTT

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

The slideshow effect near a busy airport is what I am having,I have been experimenting with different settings and it stopped crashing for the most part.With H\D's being relatively inexpensive,I think I will upgrade.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

A nice new Video card, a new fast h/d and a fresh install of Windows you should have a relatively problem free flight experience.
Good for you and let us know how it all works out.

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

Read I knew I had this info somewhere regarding power supply units(psu)
You have to remember that the psu supplies everything (at the moment)
here is a list of typical power usage for a pc
CPU = 49W to 103W (AMD1500 up to a Intel P4)
Grapics card = 30W upto 99W (Gforce 4 to a Gf 6800)
Mobo = 25W
Ram 10W (per stick)
H/drive = 25W
CD/RW =20W
DVD/RW = 25W
Sound card =4W to 8W
USB device = 5W
80mm fan = 2W
CPU fan = 3W

When you add up all that is in your pc it soon mounts up and you really need a little space between the top end of the PSU and all the bits drawing power from it
In the future it looks like we will need a seperate psu for the CPU and one for the graphics

Hope it helps

TTT

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

How do you tell what kind of frame rates you are getting?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

rcj wrote:

How do you tell what kind of frame rates you are getting?

Hit the left "Shift+Z" two or three times and two lines of read information will appear at the top of your screen, in that is the FPS.
Set it in your settings for not more than 27-30, you don't need more than that.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

Thank's RadarMan,I have been experimenting with my settings,and the more I experiment the worse it get's.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

The higher you set some of the settings the bigger the strain on the video card.
You have to reach a "happy medium".
When you go to a slide (example=traffic setting) as you put your mouse pointer over it (mousing) look at the bottom left of the blue setting screen, it'll tell you if this setting will effect performance.
Traffic will, sceneries, clouds, shadows, water.
Go slow and spend time. Eventually you will find a good enough setting that will make for fair at the airports but is good as soon as you get out their heavy graphics.
No card, no computer can handle this sim and it's add-ons to the fullest, moderation...yep.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

RadarMan if I remember correctly,you have a ATI 9800 pro also,and a somewhat similar PC setup as I do.What kind of frame rates are you getting?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

rcj,
Funny you should ask. I was looking around for an article for someone else just a short while ago and ran across this one so I thought I'd play with the settings a little. (still playing)
At KSEA in the cockpit with many of my sliders above default, Ultimate Traffic and GA-Traffic at 100% I get about 18 fps.
As I leave the airport area it can climb up to 27 (my top setting) depending if I'm flying in the cockpit or behind the aircraft.
If I'm behind, the further back I get the more scenery I see, the more the fps goes down.
Makes sense.
Don't forget I only have 512mb Rambus ram, you have more.

What do you get now.

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

I was just at KATL,I have the traffic( fs9) turned all the way up,most of the settings are just above default,fps set at 30.As I was taxiing for takeoff the fps varied anywhere form a low of 10 to about 28-29 fps,depending on what I was pointed at.I installed a 160Gb HD yesterday and that helped some,now I am thinking RAM.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

That's a Drool beautiful h/d the more ram the better. If you notice many of the "simmers" that have built their own systems have 2 gigs of memory.
Bump it up as much as your wallet and motherboard can handle.

http://www.crucial.com/index.asp

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

Just ordered some RAM,should be here tomorrow.Hopefully that will smooth out the graphics some.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

I'd like to know how much of a difference it makes in the FPS from x amount of ram to xx amount of ram.
It would be an interesting experiment, I'm certain that you will see a good increase. Think
Cool Thumbs Up!

Radar

Pro Member Trainee
rcj Trainee

RadarMan wrote:

I'd like to know how much of a difference it makes in the FPS from x amount of ram to xx amount of ram.
It would be an interesting experiment, I'm certain that you will see a good increase. Think
Cool Thumbs Up!

Radar

I can't wait to find out myself RadarMan,I would cut off one of my limbs to stop the "slideshow". Laughing

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