Problem Solved: Finally...

Pro Member Trainee
Michael Guenthner (MJG145CAP) Trainee

Back at the begining of May of this year I started posting about a unique problem I was having with my graphics. Quite simply any of the nice little effects that FS9 generates, such as tire smoke or rotorwash or contrails, etc. were just not looking right. Even the waves lapping up against a shoreline just didn't look right.

I tried several posts to see if anyone could help me figure out what was causing this. Thanks to everyone who tried to help me. I remember being able to see these little effects before I switched graphics cards back in April so naturally assumed that it had something to do with a setting I had turned off or the new graphics card itself. Well....that couldn't have been further from the truth.

I was trying to install an afterburner effect yesterday and the installation called for a couple of files to be dropped into the FS9/effects/texture folder. Funny thing is that when I opened my effects folder I immediately noticed that I didn't have a seperate texture folder within my main effects folder. That's odd, I thought.

So I started to look at my effects folder and the files types located within it. I immediately noticed that I had two distinct file extensions located in this folder. That seemed odd to me since most of the file extensions in the main FS9 folders are usually the same type. The two extension types were xxx.fx and Hmm I thought that doesn't look right. From what I know of FS9 .bmp extension files are usually a texture type of file that are used for graphical purposes in the sim. Well after confirming with another user about what files should be in the FS9/effects/texture folder I realized that I had all these files but they weren't located in their own texture subfolder.

I simply created a new folder within FS9/effects naming it "texture". I then dropped all the .bmp extension files that were in the effects folder into this new texture folder and ta da, we have liftoff.

I am now one happy customer. The difference is amazing. All this time I had been missing out on the capabilities of my grpahics card and I'm absolutely thrilled to have finally figured this little problem out.

So my "problem" all along was that I had removed the texture folder that was located within the main FS9/effects folder. I removed it without knowing what I was doing, I was still learning back then.

Moral of the story, in other words the things that if I started over now I would do this time around.

1) Back up my main FS9 folder as soon as installation is complete. That way you'll always have a base to return to if things get mucked up.

2) Be very careful about moving folders around. Always check out their contents and make sure the folder is suppose to be there.(See No. 1).

3) Find the good FS websites that are out there such as this one and read up before you go messing with your settings and files.

Here is an example of a before and after photo:

In the first one you can see that instead of a nice rotorwash of dust I was just getting concentric "squares" of dust. Not very realistic.

And in the fixed piture a nice dust cloud associated with the rotor wash. Much better. 😀

And one last one for RadarMan. Remember the conversations about not being able to see the startup smoke. Well we have plenty of smoke now. Thanks again to everyone that helped me out.

7 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

👏 Well done
10 out of 10 for sticking with it
Its easy to forget little things when adding files(I sometimes forget........................................ Umm...


Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Yes I remember, your certainly kept at it and finally solved it. Kudos to you for perseverance and success.
I don't know if I would have that much patience. Punk


Pro Member Trainee
Michael Guenthner (MJG145CAP) Trainee

Yea, I was actually getting ready to re-install FS9. I figured I could just start over from scratch. Thankfully that won't be necessary. Hopefully if any else ever has this problem, this will save them a ton of grief.

SmokelessSOS Guest

Hi! I hope all of you are doing well!
I am experiencing the same problem as my fellow fs2004 enthusiast. My smoke is invisible, it even cuts into the aircraft's fuselage, showing me the runway behind it; my water and dirt effects are gone too; all I see now are dull-colored patches from rotor wash under my helo; even my waves on the shoreline show up as large moving white rectangles. I have tried to use this gentleman's advice on how to fix this problem (and I thank him very much for thinking about others by posting a solution! Thanks! You make the world better!🙂
Alas, nothing has changed in my particular case. I've even done a system restore to an earlier date, but that too failed. I am desperate at this point! Please, please help me! I would dread re-installing FS2004, I've done so much work on it Crying or Very sad Hack . So any help, any help at all would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you very much!

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

From what I have read elsewhere this is a possible solution but in the long run most just reinstall the sim because of add-on scenery that caused the problem in the first place.

Adding fx_swoosh ; fx_swoosh2 ; and fx_falls to the Texture folder eliminated the polygons that were acting as waves, but there are no waves at all now, which is certainly better than the polygons.
Take these from the CD.

You can move your aircraft, effects and gauge folders so they won't be deleted.


SomkelessNoMore Guest

Hey all! Hope you guys are doing well, in good spirits and in good health!
I just solved my latest problem with fs2004.
Following the noble example of the gentlemen contributing to this forum, I thought it'd be a good idea to post or offer a possible solution to this very frustrating bug I hope nobody experiences!
So, before anything else, I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation for the kind people operating this site and those participating in it! Thank You to all of You, especially RadarMan who really oriented me in the right direction! Thanks!

Please consider the following:

-Problem: the tire smoke/effects upon touchdown on a runway do not appear; the smoke is invisible; it cuts through the aircraft's fuselage when one looks at the aircraft from the side in exterior view; it's so bad that one actually sees the runway behind the aircraft. Water and dirt effects are gone. Instead all one is left with are rough, dull-colored, geometrically-shaped sharp patches of dirt/water generated by rotor wash when hovering low in a helo; waves on the shoreline appear as big white rectangles moving back and forth. Contrails are messed up as well, right?!

-Solution: OK! I sincerely hope you never get to resort to, or, use this in the future, but who knows, so here's what I can provide as friendly advice:

*First option/alternative: as the gentleman before me suggested (from what I understood), you can reorganize your Effects folder in such a way as to separate .bmp texture files from .fx effects files.
In other words, both file types should not be mixed or sitting together within the FS9 Effects folder.
Thus to achieve this, one should create a new folder within the Effects folder, i.e. a subfolder entitled "texture" should be created within the Effects folder. It is in this "texture" subfolder that one should place all .bmp texture files that were initially mingling among .fx effects files, so as to seperate both file types.

*Second option/alternative (the one which worked for me thanks to the help of a very good-hearted person: RadarMan. Thank You very much for the tips!!! God Bless You!
Chances are it's a texture problem.
+OK, here's what you do: go back and get your FS2004 4-CD set.
+Once you've done that: Run Disc 1 (in other words, go to Start, Run, and then type your CD drive's name (in this case, mine was E:/ but yours could be something else, so figure out what drive on your system usually reads your CDs).
+Once you have done that, the FS_DISC1 window should have popped up. Once there, double-click on the MSGAME1 folder. Scroll down to the "f"-lettered files until you see the "fx_blabla" files.
+Copy the following .bmp or "fx_" texture files: "fx_smoke", "fx_swoosh", "fx_swoosh2", "fx_falls", "fx_flash", "fx_FW1", "fx_FW2", "fx_1", "fx_2", "fx_3", "fx_5", "fx_aurora", "fx_barnstorm", "fx_beam", "fx_bubble" , "fx_Dots", "fx_lightning1", "fx_shstar", "fx_tracer", "fx_wake_1", "fx_wake_2", "fx_wake_3".
Said otherwise, on the control bar at the top of your screen, click on View, Details, Arrange icons by Type, click on "fx_1", press and hold the Shift key, click on "fx_wake_3", go to Edit, Copy.
+Once you have copied all "fx_" texture files, go to your current main FS9/Texture folder, go to Edit, and then Paste; if asked to overwrite, click Yes.
+OK, hopefully, God Willing, this should correct the problem. If not, try proceeding in the same manner with your ".fx" Effects files (named as a "FX File" type file by computer) also located in CD1. If you decide to do this, you could select only a few files you think are relevant, to replace your current (perhaps corrupt) Effects files. For example, you could copy and paste "fx_dirtspray_l" "fx_dustcloud_l" "fx_smoke_r" "fx_tchdwn" into your Effects folder and see what happens when you launch FS9. Or, you could proceed by copying and pasting all the FX files on CD1 into your FS9/Effects folder (like we did in the case of textures: we copied and pasted all the "fx_" texture files of CD1 into the FS9 Texture folder), hope for the best , and observe what happens.

*Third option/alternative: perform a system restore to an earlier point in time. This should undo harmful effects or damages to your system without losing recently saved files/docs (for Windows XP users: go to Start, All Programs, Accessories, System Tools, System Restore) (please check your owner's manual before attempting any of this, as my system features may differ from yours).

*Fourth option/alternative: try to pin point in your head when the mess started. After what add-on or action you performed did problems start to arise. If you can identify that one add-on or group of add-ons or that one file or group of files that you believe with reasonable certainty caused your recent FS9 woes, then you could delete them, restart FS9, and pray?!

*Fifth option/alternative: Search the web for FS9 forums; going to and typing a combination of words including the following: "FS9," "FS2004," "tire," "smoke," "effects," "gone," "invisible," "problem," "bug," "landing," "touchdown", "dirt," "water," etc.

*Your Combination here! 🙂, my list is constrained by my limited expertise/know-how in this field, so by all means it is NOT comprehensive!

*Fifth/Last Dreaded by All SimEnthusiasts option/alternative:
+"cut" your Aircraft folder and other folders of your choice and "paste" them somewhere safe on your C:/ directory (for example, on your desktop or in C:/Program Files); or perhaps copy them onto a CD if you have a CD burner installed on your system.
+Proceed with uninstall or re-installation of FS2004 on your system.
+When re-install complete, go back to the place where you pasted your Aircraft and other folders; "cut"/"copy" these folders again and "paste" these in your new/default/restored FS9 folder (i.e. overwrite your new Aircraft and other new folders with the old salvaged ones).
+Launch FS2004 and your effects should be restored.

Happy Flying! Wink

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Again I have to say that we have the nicest group of people here. Nowhere else have I see such willingness to share the solutions to problems than I have here.
SomkelessNoMore I thank you for the latest and very detailed solution not just to a problem that plagues most of us but to one that will give us more enjoyment, and brings more reality to the sim.
After all Isn't that what we're all looking for?
Bow Down To all of you. 👏


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