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FPS drops, ATC all over the place

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

I just did a flight through cargo pilot from Biggin Hill (my base airport in the game) to a small strip somewhere in france in my PMDG Beech 1900C. During this flight two odd things happened:
1: every couple of minutes the FPS would drop from where I have them locked at 30 to around 5 or 6, then move slowly up to 8, then 9, then jump back up to 30. This has never happened to me in flight sim before, although in war rock ( first person shooter game that I play sometime) I do get this sort of thing, with a bad lag for a little then normal again. Here are my system specs:
2gb ram
512mb radeon x1300 pro
300gb hard drive - there is something odd with this, it is showing more than 60% used up, yet I have installed less than 50gb programs
AMD athlon 64 X2 dual core proccesor
some £40 asus motherboard

As far as I know they are at the higher end of the scale, and should cope with most of what I throw at them.
I have just one idea of what might be the problem: I haven't installed the lastest drivers for my card - it comes with an adjust program and when I installed the new omega drivers on my old PC (the broken one I had before I got this replacement,) this program wouldnt open anymore.
Has anyone experienced this lag before and do they know how to fix it?

2: I was flying an IFR flightplan, although I hardly needed it as it was broad, sunny daylight and the beech isnt that big an aircraft. ATC handed me off to another station, I tuned to the new station and within 30 seconds I was told to tune back to the old one. This happened the entire flight, with me being bounced back and forward between radio stations like a ping pong ball. I eventually got so annoyed that I cancelled IFR and flew by direct gps... only to find that the airport I was flying to was little more than a grass strip. I managed to land but with a major overshoot of the runway. Anyway, is this just fs9's poor default ATC (radarcontact is next on my ever growing list of fs addons to buy,) or is there something wrong?

Sorry about the long post, thankyou all in advance for you help.

13 Responses

Pro Member First Officer
ARD-DC First Officer

As for the lag, what you describe sounds very much like a program eating up your resources for a period of time.

You should check your taskmanager, or better monitoring program like Cacheman XP or Norton Process Viewer (Don't touch NAV or NIS, 😀, just the process viewer - the only piece of Norton software I find quite useful - for Norton standards) and check what happens to your memory and CPU usage when this sudden lag occurs, and which running process is causing it. Not unlikely that this is caused by an unwanted piece of software, so it would be wise to sweep your entire system with a decent (Kaspersky, NOD,AVG etc. Not Norton and the likes) virusscanner.

If your GFX drivers were cause of this I would expect an overall poor performance, not an intermittent one.

As for your drive space, if your total capacity is 300GB, you have 50 GB installed and your PC shows that 180GB is in use there is something very wrong with that. I would first check the size of all individual folders in your root, and see if the totals get anywhere close to 180GB (in other words, check if your 50GB is not wrong).

If there is really only 50 GB of data present on the disk, consider running diagnostic tools (not Microsoft tools, forget about those) like System Mechanic Pro - a very good maintanance tool - or similar application, and let it scan and repair everything it can, see what errors it comes up with....

If you need to install maintanance and/or antivirus / anti-spyware software, read at least 4 or 5 review sites and see what the critics have to say about the piece of software you're thinking about installing.

The big 'known' names often are not quite the best ones out there.

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

I originally bought norton with my computer. It was an extra 20 quid and it seemed worth it. however, when they sent me the replacement pc the code I used to install norton the first time didnt work any more. I was at first very annoyed but then decided that seeing as I hated norton anyway it would be a good opportunity to get some decent program. I have spyware s + d and google's free spyware doctor which I use every so often, and the pc mag I just bought comes with a 6 month free version of kapersky which I will install right now and do a scan.

As for the odd drive size: I emailed the company and they were as ever completely useless, the only helpful advice they gave me was to download a program called jdiskreport, which shows you the size of everything on your computer. I saw nothing out of the ordinary as far as I know, but then I don't know that far. Where can I find some of the diganostic tools you suggested?

Thankyou very much for your help,
Mossy.

Pro Member First Officer
ARD-DC First Officer

Alrighty - sounds like you're quite set then for Spy/malware and virus protection, although I dont have any personal experience with either Spybot S&D or Kaspersky, they both are - to my best knowledge - regarded highly.

For system utilities; obviously there are a gazillion different programs you can choose from, all performing the same tasks and all claiming to be the best.

I'd advise to - again - read up on what's available, and try to decide on a program that is expected to work well, and (unless you're a millionaire) pick a program that is able to perform multiple tasks (I.e. not just a registry cleaner, and a separate program for disc repairs, and another one for windows optimization and so on. Buying a decent all-in-one suite is likely to get you acceptable results for less money)

Have a look at this page, top left corner are the top three rated products, which also come out quite well on other websites.

http://pc-system-utilities-software-review.toptenreviews.com/pc-system-utilities-software-review-definitions.html

I've recently decided to check out System Mechanic Pro to see what its like, as it looked quite promising. So far it's been exceeding my expectations. Very diverse, not that hard to use, and it seems to be quite thorough.

[EDIT] Forgot the most important thing.

Act responsibly. Avoid Limewire, Kazaa, Sharezea and all these other P2P programs. Do Not Use them, period. Avoid websites with adult content. Avoid "Smiley-packs". Avoid things like "local weather report on your desktop" and the likes. Avoid all toolbars-installers. Avoid warez-sites, illegal software, and so on. All too often there will be malicious content hidden on these sites. Resist the temptation and don't go there, no matter how cute the software seems.

I may sound paranoid, but I never have trouble with viruses 🙂

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

System mechanic pro looks good but I can't afford it at the moment. I am currently saving up for a new printer, and after that there are quite a few other thigs that I need/ would like very much to buy.
As for the free demo version of kapersky: after two minutes I decided I hated the program. It kept popping up with messages telling me to allow/block various processes, and, not knowing what the processes were I blocked them. It turned out that they were normal system operations that were trying to open the internet like I had asked and I had to restart to undo the block. When scanning my system it made everything else run very slow which I cant bear, and the scan took ages. Seeing as the scan is meant to run everyday this is very inconvenient. Also the update mesages were endless and stopped me playing any games at all/ do any work. I uninstalled as soon as I could.
What other highly rated antivirus programs are out there? I am looking for one where i can choose when to scan, and that will perform a fast and good scan without to many bad slowing down effects on my system while it is running. Can anyone reccomend a program?

Pro Member Chief Captain
Tailhook Chief Captain

Join the AVAST! community:

http://www.avast.com/

Get the free version. You can do full system scans when you want. You will NOT need to look for updates manually - it's done automatically as soon as they're posted.

If during a scan a virus is detected, the instructions as to what to do about it are very clear and simple - no rocket science.

A happy user signing off 😀

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

well the computer planet guy eventually solved the disk space proplem: he told me to delete all the bit test files from C, I did and I have 270gb free space. 😀
btw. Does anyone know what the bit test files were doing there? It seems odd that they are such massive files yet only took seconds to send to the recycle bin and then clear the bin via C Cleaner.

Edit: I tried to install the free home version of the avast and it told me that there was an error during install. Does anyone know what the problem might be?

Pro Member First Officer
ARD-DC First Officer

glad to hear, so there was more junk on your disk then you thought then....glad it could be solved without going through extensive diagnostics.

But, elaborate a little more about those "bit" files...??

Where were they located, and what was the (average?) filesize, and file name/extention..?

Just curious..🙂

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

they were in my c drive, I went to my computer and double clicked on C and they came up along with my program files folder, windows folder, etc. they had a name along the lines of bitest09 as far as I can remember. There were about 20 of them which added together equaled 120gb or so so they were pretty massive files. They had the picture on them that means that windows doesnt know what file type they are and that one should either search on the web to find the program with which to open them or select it from a list.

Pro Member First Officer
ARD-DC First Officer

Now thats .....peculiar.. 😳

Must be backup files, or datadumps of some sort.....but a single file, 6 GB in size?? Can't say I've ever seen that before... the largest single file I have come across that I did not "intentionally" create is the windows pagefile, which is some 1.5 GB in my case.

Keep an eye out... I would not be surprised if they reappear at some point in the future.

Is there a program that keeps crashing, which could be responsible for those large files (datadumps of sorts? Unlikely, given the size, but who knows...) or is there some sort of maintanance program running that creates backups at regular intervals or something like that?

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

I dont know. I have created a few system backups, but not that many. I have asked the computer planet guy what they were and hopfully he should reply.

More fps drops: I searched for and dowloaded some scenery for ben gurion airport and tel aviv. I found some for ben gurion that was very highly rated on surclaro.com, and it contained links in the readme for a photographic scenery package for tel aviv. I downloaded both of them, and had a fly. First in the cessna I slewed over the whole area, then out to sea to see if I could find my new 3wire carrier that was meant to be somewhere in the area. During this whole time I had fps of about 3 to 6, ocasionally jumping back up to mid twenties but always falling immediately back down after. If the problem was that the scenery was too hard on my pc, I would have though that when I turned out over the sea, a few miles offshore, the fps would go back up but they did not.
I am worried that this could have something to do with a program I installed and tried to run. It is called futuremark 3dmark06 or something like that and is meant to test the capalities of your card and processor. I downloaded the free demo version. When it opened I clicked the 'run program' button. This is what happened:
I saw a black screen for a little, then an image that was full of waves. I'll try to describe better: the screen was waving this way and that and flashing and a movie was playing at about 2fps as I could just make out through the blur of a screen. This went on for a bit, looking like a microwave through a microscope, then there was a band of yellows and reds that flashed quickly to the middle, then nothing, just a black screen. I waited a bit then turned of my computer maunally and turned it on again, and all seemed ok until I ran FS. Of course I need to test my other 'graphically challenging' program and see what happens, it could just be my fs or the new scenery, yet I cant help but worry that I have somehow decapacitated my graphics card by running futremark. Is this likely, or even possible? If not, then what could the problem be?

Edit:
I have now tried the other 'graphically challenging program' (a first person online shooter called warock.) Results are: FPS I'd guesss around 10 to 15, occasionly slightly slower or faster for a while. I am now starting to get really worried. My pc company won't cover it if I have blown the card, and I just cant afford the £130 for a replacement. But then being optimistic: If it really is gone I will be forced to get a new one, in which case I will babysit everynight for a month, or do the ironing or walk the dog or whatever, and earn enough for the highly rated gigabyte gv-rx195p 256d-rh, but I am praying that I wont have to. I am almost fond out of sympathy for my longsuffering, hardworking x1300 pro.

Also, I have found out what the files were: Some files that they use to test the pc before they send it that somehow didnt get deleted.

Sorry for the hugely long post. I thank you all in advance.

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

Oh oh. When I switched my computer on today I got a message saying: the system has recovered from a serious error. I am now getting very, very worried. Does anyone know what could be the matter?

Pro Member First Officer
ARD-DC First Officer

Hi Mossy,

This system recovery happens to all of us sooner or later. Sometimes it was a serious error, and sometimes it was a minor thing and the term "serious" is grossly overstating it...

I don't think you've fried your graphics card, if there was something seriously wrong with it, 9 out of 10 times you will experience great issues varying from continuous unexpected program crashes to a system that does not want to boot at all.

3dMark06 in itself is harmless, but it's probably far too heavy for your PC.
My 512 MB X1600Pro is only just coping with 3dMark05...

To see what the "serious error" was, have a look at your computers event log. If it doesnt make any sense to you, feel free to post. I also can't make heads or tails of it half the time whenever something crashes, but hey, two heads (or a lot of heads, in this case) are better than one.

Just in case: The event log can be found here: right-click "My Computer", select "Manage", select "Event Viewer" and doubleclick and browse the "Application" and the "System" logs, see if you can find reports of the time of the crash.

Ardjan

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

After the error message the card seemed to be working fine. The technician at my school suggested that all the settings on the card had been messed around with and that now the computer has put them back to normal. I did have one time when I was watching a film and I had the wavy screen and then a flash to black, but I turned the screen on and off and it fixed the problem.

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