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FS2004 Freezes with Engine Sound Running


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Dear FlightSim Forum,


My FS2004 is becoming increasingly unstable. Sometimes FS2004 would freeze, meaning that the display will stop working and show an static image, but the sound of the engines would keep running. I have not seen other threads that describe this particular situation.


The problem is more frequent when using accelerated simulation times. But, it can happen with different planes and on several locations. FS2004 does not give any error messages when these incidents occur. It happens both in full-screen and windowed modes. If the program is running on full-screen, the only way to quit FS2004 is by doing CTRL + ALT + DEL and logging off, because the FS2004 window is always kept on-top, even on top of the task manager. However, the OS is not unstable, I can do ALT + TAB and see other windows working while I keep those keys pressed.


I speculate that it could be somehow related with memory and/or GPU issues handling textures of AI planes or scenery, because I am under the impression that these incidents are more frequent around areas like Chicago or Atlanta where there is more AI traffic and I have third-party airports.


I have several add-on's, hundreds of scenery layers, most of WOAI packages, and I have modified the Autogen density on my FS9.cfg. In addition, I normally use FSUIPC 3.99, AI Smooth 1.2, Airport Enhancement Services, and FSRealWX Lite 1.07.


My computer is a Dell Optiplex 780 MT and it has an Intel Core 2 Quad Q9400 processor (4 CPUs @ 2.66 GHz), 16 GB of RAM memory, nVidia GeForce GTX 750 (1 GB/DDR5) running dual HP L2245W LCD monitors, integrated High Definition Audio, a Toshiba DT01ACA200 hard drive with enough free space, and DirectX 12. I am running Windows 10 (64-Bits) and I have the most recent nVidia drivers (Version 385.69).


Any help will be appreciated, I am extremely frustrated with this issue.

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Also try reducing your FPS if you have it set above 60 or Unlimited - FS2004 will stop processing everything else to try and keep the FPS rate up. 30fps is plenty, I have mine set to 25 and it's as smooth as silk.

Tim Wright "The older I get, the better I was..."

Xbox Series X, Asus Prime H510M-K, Intel Core i5-11400F 4.40GHz, 16Gb DDR4 3200, 2TB WD Black NVME SSD, 1TB Samsung SATA SSD

NVidia RTX3060 Ti 8Gb, Logitech Flight Yoke System, CH Pro Pedals, Acer K272HL 27", Windows 11 Home x64

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Thank you, zswobbie1. I did tried refreshing the FS9.cfg, a few months ago, with no luck.


What I did was, after going back to the original FS9.cfg, I only modified a few things related with the controller I use. But, I found the issue again a few days later.


Then, I started applying FS9.cfg edits that I considered essential, one at a time, until I would find the problem again; to see if the frequency of these freezes was altered. I found no relation, however.


I am using Windows 10 and my FS9.cfg is located at: C:\Users\\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\FS9\fs9.CFG


My Target frame rate is set at 24 FPS, tiger1962, thank you. I will try a lower number and see if that has an effect.


At this point, I should probably specify that these freezes happen when I am flying and not when I am on the ground.

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I had a similar issue recently and traced it to the sound drivers - like you, I have an nVidia GTX card and onboard HD Audio. The latest nVidia drivers will install nVidia HD Audio which plays through your monitor speakers, but on my setup this clashed with my onboard HD Audio.

The best way to eliminate this is to leave the nVidia drivers installed, but go into your Control Panel, open your Device Manager, and disable the NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device listed under Sound, video and game controllers.

Tim Wright "The older I get, the better I was..."

Xbox Series X, Asus Prime H510M-K, Intel Core i5-11400F 4.40GHz, 16Gb DDR4 3200, 2TB WD Black NVME SSD, 1TB Samsung SATA SSD

NVidia RTX3060 Ti 8Gb, Logitech Flight Yoke System, CH Pro Pedals, Acer K272HL 27", Windows 11 Home x64

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  • 2 weeks later...

My problem sounds similar to what you describe, tiger1962. However, I tried disabling the NVIDIA Virtual Audio Device, with no luck. It took a few days, but I got another freezing event today.


I also tried lower FPS limits with no effect.


I will now try to disable add-ons, one by one, to see if I can manage to make the problem disappear, before going for a complete re-installation process.


I now have one particular flight that I saved, that tends to freeze around the same place every time I restart it, so I can use it to debug the problem. Thanks, I will keep you posted.

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turn off ai traffic and see if that stops it. if not, turn off sound and see if that stops it. also, you said you went back to your original fs9.cfg, but was that a saved copy you had or did you delete your current fs9.cfg and let fs9 create a new one on startup?

- bernie

p.s. no need to call me Capt folks, Capt Flappers is just a name my wife teases me with because of my flight sim obsession. :o

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I am not completely sure, but I think I have solved my problem, at least partially.


First, let me clarify what I did before to answer Capt_Flappers question. I keep backups of my older fs9.cfg files, and I had tried replacing my current configuration with several versions of the file. However, when none of that worked, I did remove the fs9.cfg file, so that FS2004 would regenerated it.


Now, I summarize what I did recently:


I turned off AI traffic off, as Capt_Flappers suggested. I tried three different ways, without any success in fixing the issue:


1. I un-checked the boxes of Airline and General aviation in Air traffic types.

2. I moved the Air traffic density (%) slider to 0.

3. I removed all the traffic .bgl files.


Again, following Capt_Flappers suggestion, I turned off the sound, and I did not get any positive results either.


Thus, I tried de-activating all the scenery files that I thought could be related to the area I was flying around (Northern Georgia). However, none of that worked. Therefore, I decided to disable every add-on scenery that I have, and it still the issue kept arising.


Then, I went to my Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004\Scenery\Namc and compared it with the original Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004\Scenery\Namc contained in the MSGAME8.CAB of FS2004 Disk 3. I found there were 7 extra files in my version of Namc:










I do not know exactly what these files are, why are they there, or how did the get there. I am guessing that they were placed there by an installer of one of the add-ons I have. Possibly an scenery of México City, judging by the name of the .bat file.


Once I removed these files from the Namc directory, the freezes stopped happening on my debug flight.


Thanks for the help. I will continue testing extensively in other locations where I experienced this issue before and post again soon. Is there any way of finding out which .bgl files are loaded at a particular moment on FS2004, this would help a lot.

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