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Thread: Re-installing add-on scenery with fresh FSX-SE instal on new PC - Advice please

  1. #1

    Default Re-installing add-on scenery with fresh FSX-SE instal on new PC - Advice please

    I’ve decided to give MSFS2020 another 6 months or so before I take the plunge, and I’ve successfully installed FSX-SE in my new Win 10 Pro PC, on its D: drive (SSD). I’ve re-installed my A2A aircraft and updated Accu-sim.

    I’d really appreciate expert guidance regarding scenery - I want to avoid having to re-install all my add-on scenery – VFRGenX, Treescapes, UK2000 airports, UTXUSA – from umpteen DVDs etc. Even if I could remember how to do it!

    I had the FSX boxed version installed on my previous Win 7 PC (also on D: ), and before I decommissioned it I made an image of each drive.

    So I have an imaged copy of 93 Gb of add-on scenery from Win 7 which was in D:\FSXAddons\Earth Simulations, D:\FSXAddons\Playsims, and D:\FSXAddons\UK2000, plus UTXUSA files in D:\FSX\FlightOne Simulations.

    I also have a copy of what I believe was the active scenery.cfg in a folder copied from Win7 C: \Program Data\Microsoft\FSX. I’ve looked at this using Notepad and all the necessary links to all the above scenery files are listed, probably even in the correct order (who knows how I managed this at the time?!).

    So, here’s my question, if I may:

    (a) can I just paste my old scenery.cfg file into my new PC, at C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\FSX\Scenery.cfg (i.e. an identical path & location to the one in my old Win 7 installation), over-writing what the fresh instal of FSX-SE made; and

    (b) can I just paste my scenery files in the FSXAddons folder into exactly the same location as it was before (root of D: \) so that the paths as far as scenery.cfg are unchanged? (and similarly with the other scenery files into corresponding locations).

    Finally, do I need to copy over any other files, or will FSX re-index things when I run it again?

    Big thanks for any help with this.

    Alan

  2. #2
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    It should work as long as the paths in the scenery file match. Make a backup copy of scenery.cfg first in case something goes wrong. You can always edit the file with a text editor or use Scenery Config Editor (freeware) as needed.

  3. #3

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    Hi TextRich, after 379 views and no replies I was beginning to get worried! Your reassurance is really helpful and I'll give it a go and report back. Since I made the post I've been looking in some detail at the contents of scenery.cfg and 'how it works' is a bit clearer now.
    I might just make another post to ask if anyone can point me to a detailed technical explanation of how scenery.cfg and the whole business of 'areas', 'layers' and ordering works (or worked, since FSX is nearly a piece of history now). Five or six years ago when I made my scenery.config file (I think I must have used Scenery Config Editor but I have no memory of it) I really had no idea what I was doing, but it worked. I'd just like to know why, and how!
    Thanks again
    Alan

  4. #4
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    Hi Alan,

    First, a +1 regarding using Scenery Config Editor - see HERE to download it and HERE for a overview and user info...

    As to info on 'areas', 'layers' and ordering - here's a very basic guide...

    When you add a new bit scenery it is assigned an unique Area.XX number - usually the next available number. This is a 'placeholder' for the scenery within the .cfg file.

    It is also assigned a unique Layer number - this is usually the same as the Area.XX number and denotes when the item is loaded into memory when you start FSX.

    The Area.XX number remains assigned to the scenery entry until you actively delete it. However, the layer number will change if you move it up or down the Priority listing.

    It is also worth noting that you will see differing views when you view the entries in Text view or Priority List view (i.e. via the FSX Setting page)....

    As an example - the two entries below are examples from my current .cfg

    [Area.472]
    Local=D:\Addon Scenery\Airports - Detailed\LSZA Lugano AP
    Title=LSZA Lugano AP
    Required=FALSE
    Active=TRUE
    Layer=472

    [Area.473]
    Local=D:\Addon Scenery\Airports - Detailed\LIRE Pratica di Mare AB
    Title=LIRE Pratica di Mare AB
    Required=FALSE
    Active=TRUE
    Layer=480

    As can be seen the first entry [Area.473] has not been changed - as the Area. and Layer numbers are the same.

    However, [Area.473] has been change and moved down the Priority listing so that it is now at layer 480

    So when viewed in text mode it will appear as shown above but in the Priority list view the 473 entry will be 8 entries below the 472 entry - e.g.

    472 - LSZA Lugano AP
    473 - Scenery Title
    474 - Scenery Title
    475 - Scenery Title
    476 - Scenery Title
    477 - Scenery Title
    478 - Scenery Title
    479 - Scenery Title
    480 - LIRE Pratica di Mare AB

    The basic way that FSX loads scenery is that each Layer is loaded in turn stating from layer 001.
    Regards

    Brian

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Hi Alan,

    Further to my last post...

    First, a correction - the Priority view listing I gave at the end of the post is in the wrong order - it should be reversed so that Area 480 is at the top followed by 479, 478, and so on...

    To clarify the differences between the FSX setting page view and the text views - the FSX view shows the latest piece of scenery added at the top in the P1 position whereas in text view the entry will be at the bottom of the list and has a higher layer value. Technically, therefore, the FSX setting page view is misleading as it implies that the new scenery has priority over the rest.

    Based on my experience here a very basic overview of how FSX handles and loads scenery and the P list ordering and its effect:

    The scenery is built up in 'layers' with layers loading later being placed on top of the previous layer. Therefore, if you add new scenery for an area it must be 'layered over' the default scenery and therefore must be of a lower priority.

    If you look at the default loading sequence for the default FSX scenery areas and the contents of those areas, you can get a feel for how things work - obviously this description is only valid if you have not made any changes to the areas in the P List.

    You will see that the first item to load is the default terrain files - these render the 'basic' world providing the basic landclass and waterclass scenery. The next to load is the Base scenery that provides further landclass and waterclas scenery.

    Next up are the files that are for specific areas (such as 0000, 0001 and so on) that add such things as default FSX airports layouts and backgrounds, basic static objects etc to the specific area that the folder is for. The next areas to load (NAME, EURW etc) are those that provide specific detailed areas for major cities. Finally the last default areas to load are the Global (provides airport buildings, vehicles etc), Props (generic propeller objects) and a entry for the default FSX Addon Scenery folder.

    Based on this you can see that certain items of scenery need to be loaded earlier (i.e given higher priority) than others. Based on this and experience I use the following criteria when assigning priorities:

    Highest Priority - Default FSX scenery - I have not changed any of its positions in the list
    Next Priority - Addon Terrain type Mesh scenery - i.e. scenery that adds the lumps and bumps
    Next Priority - Addon Environment type Mesh scenery - i.e. scenery that adds landclass/photoreal textures
    Next Priority - Object Libraries - i.e. commonly use libraries that provide objects in scenery such as Rwy12, EZ, etc
    Lowest Priority - Airport and other individual scenery

    It should be noted that some scenery, especially more complex Terrain or Environmental stuff, may be split into regions and/or have their own specific object libraries that necessitate a specific installation process and priority listing - Orbx stuff springs to mind here.

    It is also worth noting that if you use a payware AI traffic product (such as Traffic360, Traffic Global, Ultimate Traffic etc) that they normally include scenery files of their own that are automatically activated as part of the install process. Therefore any entry relating to the scenery would be best placed below any other airport scenery - in my setup its the first entry after the last Object Library entry
    Regards

    Brian

  6. #6
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    not sure earth simulatons scenery installed that way will also need activating. If it does you're out of luck:
    https://www.flightsim.com/vbfs/showt...eased-trading/

  7. #7

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    Brian, that's the most comprehensive and useful account of the mysteries of the scenery.cfg file I've ever read, I've put both parts together and printed them off for reference! Eveything is clear at last and I can't tell you how grateful I am for the trouble you went to there.

    Top Gun, thanks for that heads up. Fortunately I've still got both the DVDs and a copy of the actual files taken from my old Win 7 installation, so I can now see how to copy them into my new FSXSE instal and check the paths are correct from scenery.cfg. I seem to remember by the way that Earth Simulations' installer wasn't entirely user-friendly!

    Back in 2014 when I was setting up my FSX instal on my new 'NickN's Bible' overclocked i7-4900k, I was greatly helped, not to say rescued, by a chap called Tony Meredith and his pal Mike aka 'Tailwheel' who with infinite patience sorted out the mess I'd made. I'm very touched to receive similar generosity from you guys.

  8. #8

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    Well I'm very pleased to report that it worked, and all my photoscenery, UTx etc. is properly installed. The combination of modern hardware and FSX Steam Edition is producing very smooth video at max settings. I'd forgotten just how good A2A's planes are. I'll defintely give FS2020 another 6 months and then review its progress. Thanks again to all of you for your support and advice.
    Alan

  9. #9

    Default reinstalling is 'fun'

    Almost always I read that people are reluctant to reinstall their sims when in case it appears to be 'the only option left' I'm flying since 3 1/2'' floppy days and between then and now I've had 6 new PC's. (though always 'basic rigs') Whenever I was changing or renewing something 'basic' like new PC or new HDD I was always looking forward to a complete reinstall from my sims. What you get: A flight in the ultra-default sim that you can compare with the full 'addon on' sim to see what 'hickups' develop during the 'add on' process. An oppertunity to rethink the order of scenery category setup: Mesh, Landclass, local scenery. A chance to make a full backup of the default sim (all levels)in case you missed it first time. I've completely reinstalled FS9 (new OS, New PC's) more then 10 times (FSX boxed and SE 5 times) and I loved it every single time. I keep and update a Word doc on reinstalling my sims. (20 pages now) I have SATA SSD now and plan to update my MB to be able to include NVME M2 SSD. I realy look forward to reinstalling and start complete new. The only thing that scares my like hell is : At this moment I have FS9 and FSX SE Flight1 Ult.terrain all available regions. When going from FSX Boxed to FSX SE I was not able to reinstall any Flight1 Ult terrain program. I tried and struggled for 4 month's (couldn't sleep) untill finaly I had the courage to make a change in my WIN10 Registry myself. I found the Flight1 re-installation procedure a complete scandal. You have the previous installation files (which you paid for) on your system but whenever you want to run them you are put into to a swamp of reauthorization requirements from Flight1 which is almost impossible to meet. Pure luck when you succeed. So just maybe I will try to find out how to strip my present FSX untill Scenery level and then transfer my remaining FSX (Mesh and Landclass only) from my SATA to my M.2 SSD. Any thoughts are always 'more' then wellcome.....
    Peter I7 6700K GTX1050TI 4g 16GB2660 SSD500G FS8,FS9,FSX SE. (MSFS on my superfragmented HDD but works without stutters and ctd's all in super minimal.)
    Last edited by piet06273; 01-22-2021 at 04:31 PM.

  10. #10
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    @piet06273,

    One thing to consider if you are going to do a reinstall that IMO lessens the pain is to store as much addon scenery outside of FSX (and FS2004) in a folder system that meets your needs. This also includes AI traffic files.

    The only addon scenery that I have installed in my FSX is a few payware items that will only install into FSX - I have been doing so for many years including my FS2004 years.

    The misconception that many people seem to have is that scenery related files must be installed into set FSX default locations but, with the exception of some payware, all addon scenery can be installed practically anywhere, including being spread across different drives or partitions.

    The only 'rules' that must be followed are:

    1. Scenery related files (.bgl) MUST be placed in a subfolder called Scenery and Texture related files (.bmp, .dds etc) must go in a subfolder called Texture...e.g MyAddonScenery\<Individual .bgl files> will not work but MyAddonScenery\Scenery\<Individual .bgl files> will...

    2. FSX must be told were the scenery is - i.e Activated via the FSX scenery settings page or by the use of a scenery tool such as Scenery Config Editor as mentioned in earlier posts.

    A bonus of installing outside of FSX is that those payware items that use a authentication that writes details to the registry can remain installed and will be normally be unaffected by the reinstall of the sim. However, a possible exception to this would be if you choose to reinstall the sim into a totally different location from the previous install (say D:\FSX instead of C:\FSX for example) - this may cause issues for some payware.

    WRT to your specific circumstances - you could consider keeping the Flight 1 stuff with the default FSX install and only move all other stuff onto the SSD. Dependant on where and how you have installed the other scenery will depend on how much work is involved but at the very basic simple level if you have installed it all into the default FSX scenery simply:

    1. Make a copy of the complete default Addon Scenery folder and paste a copy onto the new SSD drive and, as a backup in case of problems, place another copy in a safe location..
    2. Delete all non Flight1 software scenery from the default addon scenery folder.
    3. Delete the Flight1 stuff from the SSD copy of the folder.
    4. Make a copy of the Scenery.cfg so that you have a backup copy if things go wrong.
    5. Open the scenery,cfg for editing using Notepad. You need to make the following changes to the Local= entries for ALL of the scenery items moved to the SSD, as per this example:

    Current entry for scenery stored in the FSX default Addon Scenery location (i.e: FSX\Addon Scenery\LSZA Lugano AP:

    [Area.472]
    Local=Addon Scenery\LSZA Lugano AP
    Title=LSZA Lugano AP
    Required=FALSE
    Active=TRUE
    Layer=472

    New entry for the new Addon Scenery location:

    [Area.472]
    Local=D:\Addon Scenery\LSZA Lugano AP
    Title=LSZA Lugano AP
    Required=FALSE
    Active=TRUE
    Layer=472

    As stated the first item assumes that the item is stored at FSX\Addon Scenery\LSZA Lugano AP. Other variations may exist based on where you have stored it. Some users may have installed it at FSX\Addon Scenery\Scenery\LSZA Lugano AP for example. In this case the new layer entry would need to read D:\Addon Scenery\Scenery\LSZA Lugano AP
    Regards

    Brian

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