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Katana X crashing WinXP? [Turns out NO]

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I hate to use such a scary subject line. I've been flying the FS9 version a lot, and have been excited to see it in FSX.

Alas, I can't get off the ground with it. I've tried various configurations, including 80 and 100, with GPS and without. What happens is the following:

1. Load flight with Katana as aircraft.

2. Turn on (control e or step-by-step -- doesn't seem to make a difference).

3. Within a minute, usually, the system freezes. Screen won't pan, and sound keeps doing whatever it was doing, on the same note. (Similar to broken record, but with no variation.)

4. Control-alt-delete won't exit -- only thing to do is reset the system. This is very, very rare for me. I've been running WinXP Pro for four years and it almost NEVER crashes. Applications crash, but almost never the OS. Have seen this once before on an old FS9 aircraft with minimal modifications for FSX; uninstalled that one.

Suggestions? I tried another aircraft in the same situation (Marchetti SF.260 imported from FS9), and it's doing fine.

One more data point before I give system specs. I was able to start the flight with the Marchetti, get into the pattern, and then switch aircraft to Katana DA-100. Finished the pattern, taxied to parking, shut down, no problems. But starting the flight with the Katana only ends in sorrow.

Specs:

Core2Duo 6600 (not overclocked)

2 gig RAM

Nvidia 7600 GS w/ 512 Mb

WinXP Pro

CH yoke and pedals

Saitek 290 joystick

TrackIR Pro 3 with vector (I have tried this with and without; maybe lasts a little longer without, but I'm not sure and the result is the same)

Not stopping processes with FSAutoStart (for this test anyway). Have ActiveSky but not using it with this aircraft yet.

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I hate to use such a scary subject line. I've been flying the FS9 version a lot, and have been excited to see it in FSX.

Alas, I can't get off the ground with it. I've tried various configurations, including 80 and 100, with GPS and without. What happens is the following:

1. Load flight with Katana as aircraft.

2. Turn on (control e or step-by-step -- doesn't seem to make a difference).

3. Within a minute, usually, the system freezes. Screen won't pan, and sound keeps doing whatever it was doing, on the same note. (Similar to broken record, but with no variation.)

4. Control-alt-delete won't exit -- only thing to do is reset the system. This is very, very rare for me. I've been running WinXP Pro for four years and it almost NEVER crashes. Applications crash, but almost never the OS. Have seen this once before on an old FS9 aircraft with minimal modifications for FSX; uninstalled that one.

Suggestions? I tried another aircraft in the same situation (Marchetti SF.260 imported from FS9), and it's doing fine.

One more data point before I give system specs. I was able to start the flight with the Marchetti, get into the pattern, and then switch aircraft to Katana DA-100. Finished the pattern, taxied to parking, shut down, no problems. But starting the flight with the Katana only ends in sorrow.

Specs:

Core2Duo 6600 (not overclocked)

2 gig RAM

Nvidia 7600 GS w/ 512 Mb

WinXP Pro

CH yoke and pedals

Saitek 290 joystick

TrackIR Pro 3 with vector (I have tried this with and without; maybe lasts a little longer without, but I'm not sure and the result is the same)

Not stopping processes with FSAutoStart (for this test anyway). Have ActiveSky but not using it with this aircraft yet.

And you don't do anything between step 2 and 3?

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Not using a screensaver (except blank screen after 20 minutes), and there's not enough time for that to happen.

I checked this a couple more times (a and B):

a. If I didn't start the engine, things seem to be all right. I can go for a couple minutes, pan around, switch views, all is well. But as soon as I started the engine, the machine actually rebooted.

b. This time, I loaded the flight, waited a sec for everything to load, and started the engine with control-e. Within two seconds the whole machine locked -- with no input other than that control-e from me.

I wondered, since audio freeze was one symptom, if it might be my audio drivers. I updated those and it made no difference. Other drivers, mobo and so forth, were already up-to-date, including the most recent version of DX9c.

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Not using a screensaver (except blank screen after 20 minutes), and there's not enough time for that to happen.

I checked this a couple more times (a and B):

a. If I didn't start the engine, things seem to be all right. I can go for a couple minutes, pan around, switch views, all is well. But as soon as I started the engine, the machine actually rebooted.

b. This time, I loaded the flight, waited a sec for everything to load, and started the engine with control-e. Within two seconds the whole machine locked -- with no input other than that control-e from me.

I wondered, since audio freeze was one symptom, if it might be my audio drivers. I updated those and it made no difference. Other drivers, mobo and so forth, were already up-to-date, including the most recent version of DX9c.

Try it without sound, so press [q] before you start. Also see if that make a large difference in framerate. A increase of 25% or more when sound is off indicates indeed an issue there.

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Thanks as always for the speedy replies. I've experimented with turning sound on and off with Q. Here are my findings:

1. Turning sound off seems to solve the problem.

2. Turning it back on after start-up, I can fly around -- if and only if I remain in windowed mode. If I do this in full-screen mode, or switch to full-screen mode when I am under way, I get the system crash.

3. I tried turning down sound settings in DXDIAG from "full" to "standard." I was hopeful for about a minute -- I was able to start in full-screen mode, with sound on, and begin taxiing. Then the system crashed again, like usual...

I'm reluctant to say, "It's the Katana's fault." That's where the problem shows up for me, but I haven't logged enough hours in FSX to rule out something wrong in my audio system. (I'm using the on-board Realtek HD audio that came with my Gigabyte motherboard.)

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I don't want to disagree, but the use of onboard sound cards could easily be the cause - simply put the sound chip shares the CPU, and what you are experiencing is simply a lack of available resources. OK, so it manifests itself in the Katana, but consider it an early warning of what will happen with more and more aircraft.

Get a separate soundcard.

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That's a bit sweeping, Simon. It's also not necessarily true. ;)

It's more likely to be indicative of a driver or Windows problem than the fact that a very fast CPU can't cope with a relatively trivial soundcard load. A seperate soundcard is always a good idea, but if you fit one at this point it'll probably fix the problem by bypassing it, not because the hardware itself is the problem.

Can you try reinstalling the soundcard software or checking for updated drivers, David?

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I don't want to disagree, but the use of onboard sound cards could easily be the cause - simply put the sound chip shares the CPU, and what you are experiencing is simply a lack of available resources. OK, so it manifests itself in the Katana, but consider it an early warning of what will happen with more and more aircraft.

Get a separate soundcard.

Well as we managed to isolate the problem to the sounds I can not disagree. However I find it hard to get any reviews on sound cards that are not only sound okay but also are easy on the CPU. Direct Sound allows a LOT of the complex stuff to be done by the sound hardware, I just don't know what cards actually do that.

But I seen systems where just pressing the [q] key increased framerate by 35%.

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Thanks for the suggestions, mates. I've got an extra sound card kicking around -- I'll try installing it later today and see if that clears up the problem. (I did install the latest driver for my on-board sound, but that didn't seem to make any difference.)

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Thanks for the suggestions, mates. I've got an extra sound card kicking around -- I'll try installing it later today and see if that clears up the problem. (I did install the latest driver for my on-board sound, but that didn't seem to make any difference.)

No need to thank us (we got a motto, you pay, you play) but I must say I am impressed lately by the help we get from customers, we are working on some scheme to make sure they understand how much we appreciate that.

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For anyone who's following this: I installed a sound card, Chaintek CMI87388/C3DX. Starting up the Katana no longer crashes the OS, but somehow the startup sound sequence is gone (or goes by so fast I don't hear it). It goes straight from silent to roaring without the clicks and modulations.

Can't blame the Katana, but if anyone has suggestions -- I'm all ears.

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Er, David you know you altered the acceleration in the DX control panel...

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Er, David you know you altered the acceleration in the DX control panel...

I'm pretty sure I set it back to full acceleration -- can't check till later.

One thing I did confirm: the sound trouble seems to be unique to my installation of FSX. I don't have FSX on another computer, but I do have the demo, and I tried installing Katana X there. Sound was normal.

Makes me wonder if my main FSX installation is corrupt in some way, or my DirectX. Any thoughts on how to straighten that out? I did install the most recent DirectX two weeks ago. But my FS9 version is working fine...

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Try ftp://ftp.chaintech.com.tw/

for updated drivers. I regret that I cannot help further other than with that link as the model designation you prove is incorrect, and could be relevant for either of two completely different cards - the CM8788 or the CMI8738. Perhaps if you require further assistance you could be a little more accurate with your typing?

And please stop peppering the forums with your posts on the same subject - we have an established topic here, dropping addiitional posts into other forums is a waste of your time, and more importantly, everybody elses.

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Try ftp://ftp.chaintech.com.tw/

for updated drivers. I regret that I cannot help further other than with that link as the model designation you prove is incorrect, and could be relevant for either of two completely different cards - the CM8788 or the CMI8738. Perhaps if you require further assistance you could be a little more accurate with your typing?

And please stop peppering the forums with your posts on the same subject - we have an established topic here, dropping addiitional posts into other forums is a waste of your time, and more importantly, everybody elses.

Simon, thank you for the Chaintek link and I apologize for my typing.

As for "peppering the forums": the subject header of this thread does not describe the content of my other posts. One was informational: there is an error, although apparently an inconsequential one, in the stall data for one of the models. Another was sharing observations and information that, again, did not fall under the subject of this current thread.

I have noticed, over the last couple years, that you respond to a phenomenal number of threads. So you obviously want to be helpful. But your tone, to my queries and to others', is often aggressive in a way that is not helpful. This has been pointed out to you before by other people.

I am not infallible, in my typing or my skills of diagnosis. When it seemed clear to me that my system crashes were not the fault of the Katana X, I changed the subject header so that someone skimming these forums would not get the wrong impression about the plane.

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Support is what you asked for. Being accurate, and choosing the forums with reasonable care, is one way to ensure you get what you want.

Another might be to not waste our time asking for fixes for a soundcard in one thread, and in another ask for advice on its replacement. Do you agree?

Perhaps you could decide what you want to do, and then ask one question...

The difference between `aggressive`,and `blunt`:

I am blunt, no bones about it. Time spent here is time NOT spent simming or doing any of the myriad other things that I enjoy. I come here for my benefit, not yours, but while I am here I offer assistance when and where I can. If I was being aggressive you would know. You would certainly know...

I don't waste others time if I can help it and if I offer help to others I don't expect them to waste mine either. I don't need florid descriptions, ego massage and paeans of praise, and `tone` is so often misinterpreted, as it has been here, that I learned long ago to save my valuable time by just telling it as I see it. Just present the facts and so long as they are correct, brusque or terse replies should not bother you, the issue is that they are right. And I usually am.

When you've decided what card you've got, or whether you are getting another one, perhaps we can continue this in the most appropriate thread.

Blunt enough?

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Support is what you asked for. Being accurate, and choosing the forums with reasonable care, is one way to ensure you get what you want.

Another might be to not waste our time asking for fixes for a soundcard in one thread, and in another ask for advice on its replacement. Do you agree?

Actually, I don't agree. The threads were separate (and posted in separate forums) because the questions were separate. I started each thread in the appropriate forum.

I started a thread about system crashes, and with Mathjis's help I was able to isolate the problem and find a workaround. This led to another question, which is NOT well addressed in a support thread named "Katana X crashes WinXP [it turns out NO]." That question was: what kind of advice to people have for getting a sound card that fulfills the specific requirements of FSX? That's a general question, so I posted it in the general forum.

I got some good advice on that thread, some of it from you, and because of where it was posted and how it was labeled, that advice will be accessible to other people as well.

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Clearly you have much to learn about how to effectively make use of forums. Your request at Avsim was also met with a similar response, because you completely failed to provide even the briefest of detail. There, a reply replaced bluntness with sarcasm, but you refrained from entering into a debate about semantics. There, you answered the question...

Here, you still haven't, so no-one can help you. And I can't spare the time anymore. Beta testing.

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