CFS3 Crashes
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Thread: CFS3 Crashes

  1. #1
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    CFS3 Crashes

    The point of this thread is to try to identify some commonality between the various crashing issues that have been reported, and hopefully to report on fixes for the problems.

    Anyone noticed that there are a number of people (myself and Frosty included) who are having problems with CFS3.exe not being able to run? After a lot of fiddling about, I can get one of my installs to run without Ankors shaders, but it still has some funny features. Like Frosty, often the UI music doesn't work. When I make changes to the config settings, they don't always "stick" and I have to adjust display options on startup.

    I'm guessing that some feature of recent MS updates has made a change that is interacting with important processes required for CFS3 and Ankor's shaders to run. I started having problems after an update. However, Frosty says he is on Windows 7, so I can't find any commonality there? Ankor mentioned problems with GeForce Experience, and a few updates ago I had success with removing GeForce Experience. That allowed me a brief time of running all my installs, and enjoying the shaders as well.

    But then another unwanted attempt at an update, MS reinstalls the current version of the OS, and everything has turned the s**t. At present I cannot try to fix anything because my C drive is corrupted (my own stupidity) and I will have to reformat the drive and and try to find a reasonably recent OS to install.

  2. #2
    SOH-CM-2019 mongoose's Avatar
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    Well all I can say is that I am running the latest win 10 Pro plus shaders with no issue. Maybe the Pro is different?

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  3. #3
    I've not been able to let it update beyond Win 10 1803 without destroying my system. Each time WU forced itself upon me, I've ended us with an extended period of trying to get CFS3 put back together again once I repaired/replaced the hard drives and reinstalled the OS.

    There have been a few different things that get corrupted that prevent the game from running, but of course I've not kept good notes as to what they were.

    I think the last time the only hang ups were turning UAC back off, reinstalling DirectX 9c, setting DWM 8 and 16 bit mitigations, and getting rid of DXGI.dll (comes with Sweet FX).
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  4. #4
    I only run cfs3 on basic xp pro with no service pack updates.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Daiwilletti View Post
    ... Like Frosty, often the UI music doesn't work ...
    Well, actually, it is the opposite: the UI music plays but the splash screen won't go away until ETO crashes.

    Some observations (substitute ETO v1.50 for CFS3):

    - At the first session of CFS3 (without the 2019-10-22 shaders, of course) the loading process tends to hang. I noticed in the Task Manager's process tab that the number of kB loading stops at a certain point. When I click cfs3.exe again, a second process starts which loads fine. When I kill the hung up first process, the second is the one that loads fully and I use that to fly. This also tends to happen with the TrackiR software. I don't know what causes this but it is odd. When I close CFS3 and start a subsequent session, it loads completely on the first go.

    - Without any shaders installed, the intro movie plays (not to be confused with the UI animations of the pilot loitering near his crates/oildrum) but with shaders installed the screen is black and only the soundtrack plays until I click my mouse or press Enter.

    - With the 2019-10-22 shaders, CFS3 also tends to hang on loading the first time, but once I get the process going, it progresses from the small splash screen to the start of the intro movie. The screen is black (no movie playing) but the soundtrack can be heard. After clicking my mouse or pressing Enter, the second, screen-filling splash screen is displayed until I can hear the UI animation's background music/sounds playing and then CFS3 crashes. After crashing, the part/frame of the intro movie where I clicked my mouse becomes very briefly visible and then the CFS3 crash warning comes into view.

    - The same happens when I load CFS3 with the previous shaders (2018-01-17): once loaded it runs fine, but it also tends to hang at the first session. The intro movie also isn't showing (black screen) but the soundtrack plays again until I click the mouse or press Enter. From the second splash screen it switches over to the UI animation, as it should do.

    I run Win7 x64 Home Premium SP1, 4Gb RAM, Intel Core i7 CPU 870@2,93GHz, AMD Radeon HD 5700 Series 8.17.10.1404 (1024Mb?). All not much by today's standards, I know, but in the air I get 60 FPS which drops down to 28-30 FPS near heavily populated airfields. Sometimes there's a very little stutter or lag. I don't know what other info is relevant but let me know and I'll try to find it.

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  6. #6
    I always have the intro movie disabled in the ConfigOverrides.xml.
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    Thanks for the feedback, folks. Although there are a number of issues, I'm struggling to discern any commonality. Apart from some issues with Ankor's shaders which can probably be worked through.

    The DXGI.dll issue Majormagee mentions seems pretty similar to the dll issue I had with a driver within GeForce experience, which created crash issues for me a month or so ago, until I uninstalled GeForce Experience.

    My rig was running on Win10 ver 1709 and would not update successfully to either 1803 or 1903. I once got 1903 installed, but it was a whole can of worms, not letting the wireless network run for more than 5 minutes at a time (a recognised problem on the Win help forum).

    The likely problem for me is that I run an old Creative ZX Soundblaster card, and somehow persuaded all the drivers and Creative software to run on Win 10. It is likely that the updates fail because of the apparently incompatible sound drivers and ancient software. But I like 'em, especially the ability to record "what you hear" which is a real winner. Newer sound related apps are too darn PC to allow you to play stuff and rip it directly to mp3 or FLAC.

    At the moment my priority is on rebuilding my C drive (luckily most CFS3 stuff is on my D rive and my backup 1Tb F: drive). The biggest loss will be all my obscure old tools handy for CFS3 which are on my C drive (like AirEd, m3dEd, Gmax, etc etc). Luckily I have backups on my F drive but it will still be a pain. Will probably have to lose all the old Creative software - hopefully not the drivers for my sound card.....

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by MajorMagee View Post
    I always have the intro movie disabled in the ConfigOverrides.xml.
    Yep, I 'd prefer that too. I was just trying to make the point that using the shaders apparently also influences the intro's playback behaviour.

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    $&**

    Progress to date: Well its one step forward one step back. Having corrupted my C: drive (no CFS3 installs on it, just OS and a whole passle of wierd old programs that have some bearing on CFS3), I had to reformat the drive and start from scratch.

    All I could find was an x64 Win 8.1 installation disk. After a lot of trial and error I found a Microsoft link to Win 10 and updated the OS. Now I'm running Win10 v1903. I assumed it would be fine for CFS3 because it is a clean install on a reformatted drive. But no - there are some lucky punters reporting that their CFS3 installs run fine on Win 10 v1903, but after a brief square appearing on my monitor - poof! It vanishes and there is no cfs3.exe showing in the task manager either. Tried the usual stuff - running as administrator and even messing with compatibility settings (which I never used to need to do).

    I was trying to open an install which has not had Ankor's shaders installed, so that reduces the variables and possible sources of a problem. I ran updates and also used a Windows program to enable some features of windows - specifically Dot Net framework. Apparently Dot Net 2.0 through to the latest version of 4 are enabled.

    Maybe I need to install Dot Net Framework 1.0 and the original SDK? Am pretty much stuck at the moment, many hours effort to no avail. I suppose the fallback is to get hold of a nice version of Win 7 and roll the OS back a decade or so.

    But first there are hours of things to try - reinstalling all the Nvidia stuff, reinstalling all my sound card drivers, and on and on. Oh joy Oh, yes, it may be possible to find something in the Security centre where one can list trusted programs -its a shame how MS often seems to do away with or hide these useful features.

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    Progress Report

    My, it's only a few weeks till Christmas and so far I've only got some installs to limp along. For one I got Nachtpiloten's error message about the shaders not working (see separate thread).

    I've installed the old Dot Net Framework 1.0 and Associated SDK - I presume this isn't really necessary?

    Then I installed a lot of the old DX stuff up to the June Redist 2010 final update. At some stage I got a message saying D3d9x_43.dll was missing, but I think a later update filled the gap because I found that particular file under SysWOW AND under System32 when I looked this morning.

    The biggest puzzle is the CFS Config - If I set up the configoverrides file so it is read-only, the game won't start. If I take off the read-only setting, I keep getting CFS3 opening to the "default" settings, and my display settings and quality settings have to be carried out by hand under the drop-down menu once CFS3 opens.

    What a drag! Presumably if I could get Ankor's shaders to run, the fake driver device=1 setting would solve that problem.

    Interestingly, I'm quite enjoying the "Old School" look of plain CFS3 visuals, without the shaders. It has some charms, in particular I find the colours a bit richer (presumably without all that sunlight and environment lighting floating about. No doubt the novelty will wear off and I'll be wanting to try and get Ankor's shaders working. Particularly now there's a Spit MkII to marvel at.

  11. #11
    Perhaps you have to turn off User Account Control, or run CFS3 as Administrator for the settings file to get updated successfully?
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    Thanks, MajorMagee. I am making progress. I added some of the files from the WOTR Toolbox folder - not the C++ stuff yet, I keep getting distracted.

    But my base test mule now runs with the better display settings without having to reset them. The problem with the shaders was simply that if I edit the xml files with an xml editor, sometimes an invisible couple of characters pop up in the front of the xml file. Well, they are invisible with a cursory glance in Notepad. You have to open with something like XML Wrench, delete the three spurious characters, save out of the file, and bob's your uncle - CFS3 is happy again.

    In the not too distant future I will tentatively try to run Ankors shaders again.

    My 4.0 sound settings are stuffed, still trying to get my antiquated audio drives from my old Soundblaster card to work....

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    Update

    Well a week ago I had CFS3 running again. I did not have Ankor's shaders installed, but at least every time I started the install, it kept the right config settings and I didn't have to manually re-establish sliders to 5, screen resolution, etc. And I didn't keep getting told that cfs3config was out of date....

    HOWEVER then I decided to take the VB runtimes and C++ stuff out of the WOTR Toolbox, and see if that helped CFS3 to run smoothly. Then I added Ankor's shaders (1 january 2018 version). Back to earlier problems! Immediately got the "cfs3config is out of date" message. I had to go to the AppData folder, uncheck the "Read-only" option on my favourite configoverrides selection, run cfs3config.exe, then re-open my stock hack CFS3 install. Blast - all the video settings graphics display sliders etc have to be adjusted manually on start-up. The changes do not "stick" - I have to do it again on the next start up. I can tweak the configoverrides file but if I make it Readonly cfs3 does not like it. Of course, Dual Pass Render keeps getting randomly checked.

    I have to uninstall Ankors shaders to get the damn thing to run at all.

    I wish I hadn't added all the VB runtimes and C++ stuff from the toolbox. No idea how to uninstall it.

    May help to run mdxresdist.msi again?

    It occurs to me that now Windows has moved on so far, someone cleverer than I should write up an explanation of what needs to be installed in a new PC so that dear old CFS3 can run?

    For example, are the latest DX11 and DX 12 files backwards-compatible or do you need to make sure that DX9 Resdistr June 2010 pack is installed?

    What are the best C++ files package to have installed (I don't even know what these are for??)

    How can you check the the VB Runtimes are on your computer (what the hell are these and what do they do?).

    What about .Net Framework? Somewhere under Win 10 Settings is an option to activate old Windows features, and I always find it and check the available .Net Framework packages. IIRC, 3 and 4, and possibly .Net Framework 2, can be enabled. Are these packages backwards compatible?

    I have saved some old .Net Framework 1 installation files, do I need to install these or can I safely forget about old .Net Framework packages?

    Then IIRC after making sure that .Net Framework is installed, the mdxrestr.msi file should be run (make sure you have the right one, it is uploaded here at Sim-Outhouse under CFS3 Other).

    What else have I forgotten? Is there some kind, clever person around who is able to put all of this into plain language as a guide for people needing to install CFS3 on to a new computer??

  14. #14
    I think you are looking to deep into this.
    I have CFS3 installed on 3 PCs (Win7 and Win10 notebooks and Win10 desktop) and never had any serious issues. It doesn't even require any compatibility mode settings. I had more (but still only a few) problems with WOFF/WOTR than the CFS3.
    Granted I've installed everything years ago and I don't use multiple theaters or any other tricks.

    For DX9 shaders all you need is DirectX Runtime June 2010 - this is the latest version.
    Win10 has all DirectX versions included, but you still need to install that runtime, because it has some optional dlls which aren't part of the default install. It doesn't affect anything else.

    VB and Net Framework are not required by the game.
    CFS3 likely requires some C++ Runtimes, but they are so old that they are either pre-installed or installed with CFS3.

    Managed DirectX is only required for .MOS editor.

    I also think that CFS3 requires certain version of MSXML, but this is also standard Windows library and you should already have it since you can run the game.

    The only thing that I think is important is that CFS3 should NOT be installed in Program Files folder, otherwise it may conflict with access permissions and you'll likely have to run it as Administrator or use compatibility settings. Instead I use "C:\Games\CFS3" in my installs.
    DX9 shaders expect being able to write into CFS3 folder which is something Windows doesn't normally allow in Program Files.

    I never tried making ConfigOverrides read-only, and not sure why would you want to.
    There's FakeDriverVersion option in my shaders which will prevent config resets on driver updates, but you still need to run cfs3config when adding shaders to "vanilla" install.

    By the way, there's a bug in the latest (2019) shaders package which causes cfs3config to crash sometimes. gecko will upload a corrected version soon.

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    Thanks, Ankor. I suspect you are right I am overcomplicating things. The last few bits of old packages that I've tried to install have messed things up a bit. I don't like the thought of having to take the option to "refresh" Windows again, but may have to bight the bullet.

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    Post-Black Friday Update

    A few things have made an improvement. Trouble is, I don't know which one or combination was significant. After reading about MajorMagee using older drivers, I rolled my NVidia graphics driver back to a June version, when I was happily using fully functioning installs.

    Then Windows Update advised me that a C++ update package dated 2010 (!!!) was ready to install, which I proceeded to do.
    After that I decided to try an earlier version of Ankor's Shaders.

    So I am happy to report that I can run the January 2017 version of the shaders, after a bit of stuffing around with the run CFS3config messages - it seems that the FakeDriverVersion=1 trick takes a couple of goes before it sticks. I've had that happen before.

    In terms of Ankor's query about why make the configoverrides file Read Only, it is because CFS3 has a sense of humour (albeit somewhat warped) and will, on a capricious whim, change the Dual Pass Render setting randomly and intermittently, just to stuff you up/keep you on your toes .

    Progress at last!!

  17. #17
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    Configoverrides Clue

    Anyone following this will recall that I have one install (my modified stock test mule) running, with Jan 2017 version of Ankor's shaders.

    When I tried the same setup with ETO, I struggled to get ETO 1.50 to run with the shaders. But I have solved that problem now, here is hopefully a useful clue when troubleshooting CFS3 failing to run: in the start of the configoverrides.xml file (under the AppData pathway for the install) are a few entries like Mode, Ver, etc. these entries are right at the top of the file.

    When I try to start ETO, these entries can get changed. What I did is take the top entries from the configoverrides file that is working, and pasted them into the configoverrides.xml file for ETO. Then set the file to Read Only.

    Now I've got ETO v 1.50 running and looking good with Jan 2017 shaders. Next step: work out why I can't run later shaders!!

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