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FS 2004 crashes solved at last?

porkchop6369 Guest

I've never been able to play FS 2004 properly since it was purchased for me, by my good wife, as a christmas gift. I'm going to detail my tales of woe, which I'm sure will be familiar to a lot of people...

Initially, I couldn't install FS 2004 properly. If I chose 'express' install, the pc would hang or reboot or BSOD at some point while decompressing the scenery data at the end of the install process. I could only get everything to install using the 'custom' option and not installing everything, leaving some of it on CD.

Then, while playing, the PC would randomly quit to the desktop, or go to a blue screen, usually reporting IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. This has, apparently, something to do with a driver (maybe graphics driver). I have a FX5200, so I tried installing the latest drivers. In fact, I installed the latest drivers for everything (motherboard, sound, you name it!). Nothing made a difference. Installed all FS 9.1 patch, also no good.

The oddest thing was that, the computer was most likely crashing while FS 2004 was at the starting menu! Once I got flying, everything was great!

Thinking this was some sort of hardware fault, I ran the MS memtest routines. Everything fine! All the GFX diagnostics also were fine. This really got me perplexed.

Finally, I reinstalled the OS to scratch. This I figured becuase something had got corrupted in my system. Also made no difference!

I've wondered if the random crashing was down to some sort of overheating of the GFX chip or something, so searching the net I found a util called 'speedfan' which reports the temperatres of the CPU and stuff.

So finally, I found the problem. Normally at idle my CPU (Athlon XP 3000) is at about 65*C. I start FS 2004, the CPU temp rockets to 80-90*C!! This even at the starting menu. Maybe someone at microsoft can explain why the CPU is going crazy at the start menu??? Once I'm flying, the CPU temp lowers to 75-80*C.

When the CPU hits 92*C (which happens randomly), the pc reboots.

Taking off the side of the case helps a lot, lowering the temperatures by about 5*C. With the side off, I can play FS 2004, with the side on, it reboots sooner or later.

I hope this post helps a lot of people, becuase I've tried nearly everything suggested eg. disabling direct sound, lowering resolution, installing 9.1 patch, the no cd patch, everything!! The only thing that actually worked was taking the side panel from the PC to lower the CPU temperature.

Incidentally, the only reason I perservered was because FS 2004 is an amazing piece or software. The clouds are awesome. BUT...I would love it if someone at MS could tell me why the CPU is maxed out at the start menu?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

It needs full power to start (more power Scotty) so the newer chips overheat and cause crashes to computers that are not properly cooled.
Most all computers from the major companies are undercooled, it's cheaper for them.
You can add fans very cheaply and easily by yourself, I have two added to mine.
Get a case fan in the rear (expel hot air) and the best would be one in the front to take the cool air in.
If you can replace your CPU fan (AMD?) with a Zalman heat sink fan your in business.
I also have a PCI fan next to my video card, all of these can be found at www.tigerdirect.com or www.newegg.com or at your local stores for a few $ more.
Let us know how you do.

Your video card is showing it's age.

Radar

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

Glad you stuck at it 👍

Fs9 gives your PC a good working over( Dont Know )and have asked the question of why its not used bencmarking

I have a Zalman copy cooler ➡

https://forum.flyawaysimulation.com/forum/topic/3157/cpu-temperature/

Cooling is one of, if not the most important aspect of computing and often overlooked,even when buying new from a major manufacture

Idealy you need cool air flowing over all internal components
A good set up would be ➡
Cool air in at the bottom front
Warm air out at the top rear(normally via he PSU,but that can overheat aswell)
In an ideal world you would you would have higher air pressure inside the PC case than outside...........but not practical
So add more fans if possible

porkchop6369 Guest

I've been wondering why my CPU is running so hot anyway, because at idle it was 70*C, which apparently is too high for an Athlon XP 3000+ Seemed that I had cooling problem, so I examined the heatsink and fan on the CPU...CAKED IN DUST! After taking off the fan and giving the heatsink vents a good clean, this made the CPU run at a good 15*C lower. Now when I ran FS 2004 (which is running in the background BTW while I'm writing this 😉 ) it doesn't go above 82*C. I think this is still a little hot, so when I can I'm going to take off the heatskink and apply some more thermal paste to the CPU.

Help this helps some people have reboot problems anyway...remember dust kills (CPUs)

Pro Member Chief Captain
Chris102 Chief Captain

RadarMan wrote:

It needs full power to start (more power Scotty) so the newer chips overheat and cause crashes to computers that are not properly cooled.
Most all computers from the major companies are undercooled, it's cheaper for them.
You can add fans very cheaply and easily by yourself, I have two added to mine.
Get a case fan in the rear (expel hot air) and the best would be one in the front to take the cool air in.
If you can replace your CPU fan (AMD?) with a Zalman heat sink fan your in business.
I also have a PCI fan next to my video card, all of these can be found at www.tigerdirect.com or www.newegg.com or at your local stores for a few $ more.
Let us know how you do.

Your video card is showing it's age.

Radar

I just got a new fan for my computer - very easy to install. It solved many problems I was having with the game.

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

porkchop6369 wrote:

I think this is still a little hot, so when I can I'm going to take off the heatskink and apply some more thermal paste to the CPU.

Just remember that too much thermal paste is as bad as too little

You only need a small pea size "blob" .Invest in some high quality Silver paste,it costs a little bit more $$ but well worth it Ermm... Artic Silver comes to mind

Pro Member First Officer
horrgakx First Officer

I agree about the cooling - I had a hole cut in the side of my tower case and mounted a fan in there so it blows directly over the CPU and Graphics Card. I also added one to the front of the case sucking air in and when I changed the power supply it has a dual push/pull fan system. To cap it I've got two hard drive cooling fans too.

You can't beat good ventilation. The room heats up when I'm playing games Wink

porkchop6369 Guest

thanks to everyone for your comments, all very useful indeed. With regards to the thermal paste, i saw something that said 'a grain of rice' sized amount. Seems a little small but who am I to argue with the immense intelligence of the internet!!

BTW I've been playing FS 2004 for 2 days now and not one crash, so I'm 100% sure the overheating was the problem. I would install more fans but, to be honest, I prefer a quiet PC because it's sitting in the living room.

I know my FX5200 is getting a bit long in the tooth, but I do get between 18-35fps on 'medium high' gfx settings which is more than enough for me. In fact, I was surprised to read people thought this gfx chip was past it, maybe I'm missing something?

Pro Member Chief Captain
tomthetank Chief Captain

😀A grain of rice.I have seen that too,though they never said whether it was long or short grain 😂
Whatever you use,you just need enough that when you spread it,you can just about see through it(you are only filling in the ridges in the heatsink)

How about a fanless copper heat sink or one of the new heat pipes

As for the FX5200,no,your not missing anything.You have not set your sights too high and have found that a little adjustment here and there lets you fly quite smoothly
Well done 👏

Enjoy the sim 👍

SKnAMR04 Guest

Ive been having problems with FS as well. Whenever I click to icon to open the game, it opens properly and everything. But then when I get to the Main Menu of the FS, ill try and click on flying lessons or century of flight and it simply exits me out of the whole simulator just because I click on one of those. I have no clue whats wrong with it and would very much appreciate anyone's help. Im almost tempted to buy a new disk so as it doesnt crash like this anymore but I dont know what the problem is. Can anyone help?

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Just thinking about it I would uninstall and reinstall the sim if you've had it up and running for a while. Sometimes loading too much scenery, aircraft or trying demos of different software can cause minor problems that stop the sim from working.

Before this, check and see if you still have flights in the folder in "My Documents", marked "Flight Simulator". Without the default startup flight it wont work.

What do you mean you need a new disk? If you want use the NO-CD crack instead of putting disk #4 in the drive, we all use it.
There are two, one for the original sim and one for the sim with the 9.1 patch.

(MS will replace your disk if it is scratched).

Radar

Guest

tomthetank wrote:

grain of rice.I have seen that too,though they never said whether it was long or short grain 😂

I used an "Uncle Ben's White Fluffy" amount of rice.

Dave

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