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SIM drops out! ... goes to desktop.

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Last night and todayI set up a flight from Burke Waterfront Airport (in Cleveland, Ohio, USA) to Ithaca, New York; VFR; 5,500 ft flight altitude (flying a small plane - yes, my Culver Cadet) using real-life weather. A half an hour out of Cleveland the Flightsim picture disapeared from the screen, aircraft nioses stopped and my computer returned to my desktop. MY FLIGHT JUST EVAPORATED IN A FLASH! (Well, no flash but it was like POOF!) It's as if Flightsim was never running! It's happened three times in a row now.
Has anyone had this happen???
Does anyone have an explanation or a cure?
Confused

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

It would be helpful is we knew what your computer was. CPU, Memory, video card and OS.

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

is=if

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Pentuim IV; 2.67GHz; 512 MBytes RAM; NVidia GeForce Ti 4200 with AGP8X; Windows XP, Svc Pack 2; 120Gig hard drive.
Anything else?
The only other program running when this happened was Outlook Express, sitting idle in the tray.

Thanks for your interest.

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

You should be OK with your CPU, you could use more RAM, but I don't think that is your problem and someone who is familiar with your video card can tell you more about it.

In my own experience I was never able to get FS9 to run without dropping out under XP, I finally created a dual boot hard drive (XP & Windows98). I run the sim on Windows98 with no problems at all. In fact it runs much better than it ever did under XP, better frame rates, detail turned up.

There may be those here with suggestions on how to fix your problem without having to go to the extreme I did, but your hard drive should be big enough to create a dual boot if all else fails.

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Thanks WarHawk,
That's an amazing solution. I've been running FS9 on XP for at least two years. In fact I bought this 'puter just so I could run FS9 because my old 'puter was only 400 MHz (this one is 2.67 GHz) and had no special video card. The problem only happened yesterday and today. It makes me wonder if there's some kind of bug or virus or something causing it.
I may try your solution but I'll wait to see if anyone else has any ideas.
Thanks again,
Pete

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

pdegraff wrote:

I've been running FS9 on XP for at least two years. In fact I bought this 'puter just so I could run FS9 because my old 'puter was only 400 MHz (this one is 2.67 GHz) and had no special video card.

That may just be a clue. If you've had the puter for two years has it been cleaned? FS9 does strain your resources and heat may be your problem. If you haven't already done this you might try cleaning your heat sink and fan on your CPU and possibly your cooling fan(s). Over time you can get a build up on them that causes overheating. FS9 would probably be one of the first programs you have that would suffer from it.

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Again! THANK YOU! SUPER advice!
I will clean it tonight! My study in right next to my woodworking shop. *Sometimes* I have to dust things around here - but I haven't cleaned out the tower in a long time.

Fingers crossed, Pete

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

Good luck, hopefully that will do it for you.

Pro Member Chief Captain
RadarMan Chief Captain

Good spot, it sounds as if it can be overheating. The "fins" on the heatsink and the fans build up quite a bit of dust.

Lets hope that's all it is.

Look this over when you get a chance and that card is getting a little old. You might want to check out a better card and as Warhawk said, more ram.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;823628

Radar

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Just to bring all you great guys up to date on this problem: I opened my tower, clipped a static wrist strap on my wrist, clipped it to the frame and cleaned with a paint brush and a vacuum all around the main processor's heatsink fins and its fan; I vacuumed a thin layer of dust off the power supply cooling inlet and generally cleaned out all around the inside of the tower. There really wasn't a whole lot of dirt or dust.
When I powered back up and tried my Cleveland to Ithaca flight again, the same drop out happened just as it had before - but on several subsequent tries it has not happened and the flight went fine all the way to the destination.
I haven't had much time to fly since last week but I will keep trying to see if it will fail again. The tower is still open so it's probably running a little cooler than with the side plate in place.
Thanks for the help.
Pete

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

Using a paint brush can be hazardous to your computer, it probably isn't static proof. You need a brush that can't carry static electricity. You can buy the canned cleaner to blow the dust off of your computer, it is supposed to be harmless to your computer (it shouldn't be just canned air). It works well for cleaning the inside of the computer and around the mother board.

From what I read you didn't remove the fan from the heat sink, it has to be removed to clean the heat sink well. The dust collects in the fins of the heat sink under the fan and I don't know of any good way to clean it without removing the fan.

Guest

Have faith, Warhawk. I used canned air too and I did remove the fan from the heatsink. I also cleaned the blades and fins around another (small) fan on the video card. I just gave you a brief summary of the clean-out process. There really was a lot less dirt and dust than I expected AND I did not damage anything.
I am a retired electro-mechanical engineer who spent a career with a multi-national computer company. I'm somewhat knowledgeable about the stuff in the box - but I still have trouble, from time to time, keeping up with you kids. Wink

Thanks again, Pete

Pro Member Chief Captain
Greekman72 Chief Captain

I m litle late for that post but i would like to ask you Pdegraff if after your FS...corruption...did you get the restart FS message?

I aggrie with all the others that this could be an overheating problem and a good cleanup,and an imroved air flow maybe helps you.

I have the same problem with my old PC,FS suddenly dissapears,(i was restart it from the message that FS gives).The problem has been solved(according to a RadarMan's-God bless him- post that i have read) by imroving the air flow in the box by putting two extra fans on it which are power suplied from two usb ports and controlled by a thermostatic sensor i have put to VGAs and CPUs coolers.One to the front side that enters fresh air and one at backside that draws air out.When the temperature hit 35celcious the fans turn on.I was lucky with the front fan installation cause my case has some kind of air-duct and i have installed the fan behind it.

Although i think maybe your problem starts firstly from your ram,and secondly from your VGA(Good but old one)

If i was in your place i will start from the easier step that all the others has already told,cleaning, and then i would upgrade my ram to,at least, 1024Mb.

Let us know the results. Wink

Pro Member First Officer
michlin First Officer

I doubt Windows XP per se was the culprit or we would all be having problems. Possibly a particular combination of software programs you have installed. Take a look in XP's Event Viewer under Administrative Tools at the "Application" and "System" event logs and see if there's anything that may give you a clue.

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

Anonymous wrote:

Have faith, Warhawk. I used canned air too and I did remove the fan from the heatsink. I also cleaned the blades and fins around another (small) fan on the video card. I just gave you a brief summary of the clean-out process. There really was a lot less dirt and dust than I expected AND I did not damage anything.
I am a retired electro-mechanical engineer who spent a career with a multi-national computer company. I'm somewhat knowledgeable about the stuff in the box - but I still have trouble, from time to time, keeping up with you kids. Wink

Thanks again, Pete

Sorry, but as you know spreading the word you used a paint brush could get others who don't know as much about it as you do into trouble. Computers are very easily damaged by static electricity. I did notice you used a static strap.:)https://flyawaysimulation.com/modules/Forums/images/smiles/cheers1.gif

As far as being a kid...............well that time is well past, I'm a retired old geezer who just happens to like computers. My nick is no accident, I can remember when the P-40 Warhawks flew. Cheers!

Don Wood Guest

I occasionally have the same problem and I think it is caused by either my virus protection software (McAfee) activating or by the Windows Messenger function that MS forced on us in XP Service Pack 2. I don't know of any way to resolve it. I have never had it happen when I have turned off my cable modem before starting Sim which is one reason why I think its related to a communciation function.

In my case, Sim doesn't completely go away, it just becomes a background task. The XP task bar still has Sim as an active function and it can be brought back to the screen by clicking on that bar.

I hope you find a fix I can use also.

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Gentlemen, I can not thank you enough!
First please allow me a mea culpa for even mentioning the brush. It was used *only* to whisk dust off the power supply cover (into the *grounded* mini-vacuum device I was using) and to assist in cleaning the blades of the main heatsink fan *while the fan was off the heatsink*. I did use a grounding strap and compressed air for "sensitive" cleaning. You are right, Warhawk, that NO ONE should allow a paint brush anywhere near the inside of a computer (unless you have dealt with these things as prototypes or on a production line and you know *exactly* how to treat them).
For the Greekman I must say there was NO restart message. The computer returned to my desktop as if Flightsim wasn't even in it.
The added fans may be a good idea although I have not had any further failures since the single one after opening the tower. We'll have to see what happens when I put the side panel back on again.
As for expanding the memory, I only recently added a 256 Meg chip-card to bring my total to 512. Both memory slots are full. If I expand at all now I will buy 2 - one Gig cards - but they cost, man!
Mr. Michlin's suggestion to look at the Event Viewer sent me to a place I'd never been. That's a neat feature, thank you! Five events show as Flightsim errors but I am at a loss to understand the info that is presented. Each of four separate events dumped the failure bytes into a "bucket" called "50948871". The fifth didn't even do that at all. (Four are two-entry events. The fifth is a single entry.) Otherwise they say (exactly) "The description for the event ID [1000, 1001] in source [Microsost Flight Simulator] cannot be found." Perhaps some of this means something to someone here.
My failures are not like Guest Don Wood's because my SIM program disappears completely - not a trace is left when it goes "POOF!".
Thank you all again, simmers! If I see the problem again or learn anything independently I will update this thread.
Respectfully, Pete
PS to Warhawk: You chose a great name! I remember when a P-40 landed at the little airstrip (2,500 foot runway) where I learned to fly (a few years later). It was a HUGE event! I lived about a half mile away and I pedalled my scooter down there as fast as my little legs would propel it. It was late Summer, 1940. That was a beautiful bird, as they all were.

Pro Member Captain
WarHawk42 Captain

The picture of the P-40 was sent to me by a friend who was at a Confederate Air Force Air Show in Texas. I'm told that is the only flying example of a P-40. The P-40 was obsolete when the war started but it did fill the gap until better planes came on line. The Flying Tigers had a remarkable kill record once they used the P-40 in the way that made it superior to the Zero's.

The Naval Air Station here in Pensacola has a P-40B on display. For anyone who likes planes and is in the area the museum has a great selection of planes on display, from the early days all the way up through jets and rocket powered planes. Mostly war planes of course.Smile

Did I mention the museum is free, they do accept donations but there is no charge to get in.

Pro Member Trainee
Pappy55 Trainee

This is weird because last night and tonight it has done it to me as well

it just drops to desktop without warning or error message.

Last thing I installed was PMDG 747

My installer or the install was probably corrupt.

Will uninstall all PMDG stuff and try agaun

Pro Member Trainee
Pappy55 Trainee

UPDATE...

looks like a good few others are getting crashes too..
http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=printer_friendly&forum=121&topic_id=150977

Pro Member Trainee
Pappy55 Trainee

It just happened to me again...

I was on a decent into Liverpool EGGP being vectored in by ATC..
I was using the ALT selector on the MCP on the PMDG 737 at the time

I'm running active sky 6.5 and AI smooth.. alongside fs9

Its strange how its only recently started doing it.

Pro Member First Officer
mossy First Officer

maybe a stupid suggestion but its worth doing even if it will have nothing to do with FS: download (if you havent already) CCleaner, and run it about once a week. It gets rid of all the rubbish out of your system. The first time you run it it will most likely get rid of more than a Gb of rubbish.

I also have my PC next to my woodworking workshop, and as I do woodturning it makes more dust and shavings in 10 minutes than most other forms of woodworking do in a month...I have to keep my pc covered with a sheet when Im doing woodwork its tht bad.

Pro Member Trainee
Pappy55 Trainee

Just for a random try i re applied the patch for fs and re applied the latest fsupic files.

I made a flight all the way from Gatwick gate 19 to Malaga with a full landing and taxi to the ramp.

I used to use CCleaner dont know why i stopped actually.

I'm going to grab it again.

Pro Member Trainee
trailnut Trainee

I had the same problem with my FS software right after installing FSINN and connecting to VATSIM. I never even made it off the runway before, "poof" the whole program crashed and exited right to my XP desktop. I still haven't figured out what caused it but if you recently installed any add-ons try turning them off before flying again.

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