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tacomasailor

Consistent FSX "Fatal Error" in controls.dll

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Thanks for taking the time to read and consider the following:

I am a long time user of FSUIPC & FSX/Acceleration and have never had a problem with FSX or FSUIPC until Oct 16, 2009. Beginning on the 16th; almost every flight in FSX would end with a frozen screen but ongoing sound. Eventually a ‘fatal error” message would appear and FSX would end when I selected that option. Appcrash data shows the error is always a c0000005 at the same address,(everytime), in CONTROLS.DLL.

The error occurs with FSUIPC 4.40, 4.53, 4.56. I believe the upgrade from 4.40 to 4.53 was the equivalent of a complete reinstall – is that correct?

If I start FSX and do not allow FSUIPC to start (“Manaul Load” in dll.xml) the fatal error does not occur during flight. But then, when I select “End Flight” and try to close FSX I get the same “fatal error” message and the same appcrash data.

I do not think this is an FSUIPC error but who knows more about controls.dll that the FSUIPC developer?

VISTA32/SP2 HomePremium Edition

Intel E6600 / eVGA 8800 GTS / 4 GB memory

No other software runs on the system – not even security or firewall

Here is the VISTA app crash data:

Product

Microsoft® Flight Simulator X

Problem

Stopped working

Date

10/29/2009 1:01 PM

Status

Not Reported

Problem signature

Problem Event Name: APPCRASH

Application Name: fsx.exe

Application Version: 10.0.61637.0

Application Timestamp: 46fadb14

Fault Module Name: controls.dll

Fault Module Version: 10.0.61637.0

Fault Module Timestamp: 46fadb57

Exception Code: c0000005

Exception Offset: 000187f6

OS Version: 6.0.6002.2.2.0.768.3

Locale ID: 1033

Extra information about the problem

LCID: 1033

I see identical data every time FSX crashes with a fatal error. The fatal error is 100% repeatable when I start a FSUIPC saved flight that previously suffered the fatal error - even after a VISTA reboot. The same error occurs at exactly the same spot in the flight no matter what aircraft I use. Sometimes the error will not occur if I restart the flight with very low settings for most sliders, in other situations the fatal error will occur every time, even with all sliders set to minimum.

The problem only seems to occur flying near airports where I am using flaps, landing gear, tuning radios etc. For example on an approach to KSAN the error occurs every time I hit G to lower the gear. On an approach to KPAE the error occurs every time I lower the flaps or adjust the prop pitch. I flew the stock KingAir 350 from Tacoma to San Diego non-stop with no errors. I did a lot of altitude changes, heading changes for different waypoints, lots of changes to engine controls, autopilots, lights with no fatal errors. As soon as I got to the FAF for KSAN LOC 27 and lowered the landing gear – “fatal error”

Control.dll properties shows 26/09/2007 4:08 PM

File Version 10.0.61637.0

File Size 238KB

Here is the FSUIPC log from an inflight crash:

********* FSUIPC4, Version 4.546 by Pete Dowson *********

Reading options from "F:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\Modules\FSUIPC4.ini"

User Name="Jerald King"

User Addr="**** (I hid this here ******p"

FSUIPC4 Key is provided

WIDEFS7 not user registered, or expired

Running inside FSX on Windows Vista (using SimConnect Acc/SP2 Oct07)

Module base=61000000

Wind smoothing fix is fully installed

DebugStatus=15

16 System time = 29/10/2009 12:57:15

16 FLT UNC path = "C:\Users\Administrator\Documents\Flight Simulator X Files\"

16 FS UNC path = "F:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\"

749 LogOptions=00000000 00000001

749 SimConnect_Open succeeded: waiting to check version okay

7629 Running in "Microsoft Flight Simulator X", Version: 10.0.61637.0 (SimConnect: 10.0.61259.0)

7629 Initialising SimConnect data requests now

7629 FSUIPC Menu entry added

7738 c:\users\administrator\documents\flight simulator x files\Bronco at KTIW - NO scenary.FLT

7738 F:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\OV-10A_FSX\OV-10A.AIR

27628 Weather Mode now = Theme

27628 C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\FSX\Previous flight.FLT

49031 F:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\Carenado mooney\Mooney_Carenado.AIR

49031 c:\users\administrator\documents\flight simulator x files\AutoSave Thu 124238.FLT

50092 System time = 29/10/2009 12:58:05, Simulator time = 13:10:25 (21:10Z)

50092 Aircraft="Mooney M20J Red Wine"

88344 Advanced Weather Interface Enabled

249368 Sim stopped: average frame rate for last 164 secs = 19.8 fps

260163 F:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Microsoft Flight Simulator X\SimObjects\Airplanes\Mooney_Bravo\Mooney_Bravo.AIR

261037 Aircraft="Mooney Bravo"

On the 16th I installed Carenado’s Skylane II RG 182 for FSX and the SAAB freeware Scandia for FSX that I downloaded. I have uninstalled the two airplanes (using their uninstallers) but the problem remains.

My VISTA update log shows no systems maintenance applied between Oct 15 and October 19. I ran FSX for several hours on the 15th AFTER the maintenance was applied and had no FSX problems.

Can you suggest anything I might do to resolve this problem?

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I am a long time user of FSUIPC & FSX/Acceleration and have never had a problem with FSX or FSUIPC until Oct 16, 2009. Beginning on the 16th; almost every flight in FSX would end with a frozen screen but ongoing sound. Eventually a ‘fatal error” message would appear and FSX would end when I selected that option. Appcrash data shows the error is always a c0000005 at the same address,(everytime), in CONTROLS.DLL.

How strange. It sounds like something has become corrupted.

If I start FSX and do not allow FSUIPC to start (“Manaul Load” in dll.xml) the fatal error does not occur during flight. But then, when I select “End Flight” and try to close FSX I get the same “fatal error” message and the same appcrash data.

Even more sounding like corruption.

Here is the VISTA app crash data:

Thanks. I'll have a look to see what's at that part of CONTROLS.DLL. But, meanwhile:

The fatal error is 100% repeatable when I start a FSUIPC saved flight that previously suffered the fatal error - even after a VISTA reboot.

This strongly implies a corrupted flight file -- possibly the FSSAVE or WX files, which are both binary files and have little in the way of protection should they be corrupted.

Can you suggest anything I might do to resolve this problem?

If avoiding any saved flights which may have been saved on or after 16th October also avoids the problem, then I would suggest simply discarding them.

Do a test first: move ALL of your saved flights out of the Flight Simulator X Files folder, save them someplace safe. And don't let FSX load any of them, not even the default. Try to recreate the flights you want from scratch instead, saving them as needed. Try to get to the same situations as crashed before. Let me know.

With binary data corruption, especially in the WX files, the results in memory can be literally anything. It could simply cause a bit or byte to be changed in one place which then goes undetected until that's executed, and then not even that may crash but simply corrupt something else. I've known this to happen with bad WX files ever since they've existed.

The reason the problem may be exacerbated with FSUIPC running is that it is requesting the weather be read regularly, so it can populate the offsets used by applications. The WX file data is processed by SimConnect into METAR strings which are "safer", but a corruption in the original data can do the damage in the process.

Let me know. I'll have a look at the crash location in CONTROLS.DLL in the morning, see if there's anything that might suggest differently.

Regards

Pete

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Thanks for the quick reply - I have isolated part of the problem but still experience a fatal error every time I close FSX.

I moved all saved flights out of the FSX directory to a location where I can selectively reload them into the directory for testing. There were no saved flights available to FSX in the following scenario, except when I reloaded some of the 100% fatal flights to test my approximate fix.

The fatal error will occur (under the conditions described below) when the flight begins (new execution of FSX - new flight – not a saved flight) – sitting on the runway with engines at idle. Raising and lowering flaps, turning lights on/off, looking at the GPS usually causes no problem but occasionally will cause the fatal error. Trying to change a radio frequency or pressing the G button always causes a fatal error as does selecting OPTIONS/Controls – the program freezes when I click on controls.

This occurs sitting still on any runway at KSAN (but not at San Diego/North Island or San Diego/Brown Field), at KLAX, KJFK. It occurs with the stock Baron, King Air 350, Carenado Seneca, Carenado RG182 with any variety of slider settings. The problem occurs with and without FSUIPC running.

The fatal error sitting on the runway only occurs during the day – if it is dark I can take off/fly around/land with no problem, other than poor piloting technique.

The problem does not occur at KTIW, KTCM, KBFI, or KSEA under any conditions I can find.

I checked the control axes settings (in FSX not in FSUIPC) for a CH Yoke and found them set appropriately – except MIXTURE was set to Axis04. I had not noticed that previously since I use automixture most of the time.

I then deleted all settings and saved the null settings. I then manually reassigned all the settings back to the settings as they had been with the fatal errors (with mixture set to Y Rotation). I can now load and fly any of the FSUIPC Autosaved flights that had been 100% fatal and fly them with no problem. I can also operate out of KSAN, KLAX, KJFK with no errors. Just changing the Mixture to Y-Rotation and not saving the configuration does not solve the problem.

EXCEPT – if during normal FSX operations I click on OPTIONS/Control – the screen freezes and I eventually get the “fatal error” message. I can change Control Settings with no problems as long as I have not started a flight or mission.

Even when I see no fatal errors in FSX operations - I still get the fatal error every time I close FSX.

When I reload the control settings, via a saved settings file, that had been in effect with the fatal error flights I again get the same pattern of fatal errors in FSX.

SO – I am down to two fatal error situations

1) Every time I close FSX – I guess this doesn’t matter

2) If I try to change the Control settings in flight or even with a cold dark cockpit.

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The fatal error sitting on the runway only occurs during the day – if it is dark I can take off/fly around/land with no problem, other than poor piloting technique.

That spoils the previous findings, which certainly were starting to make it look like a controls file corruption! I can't think of any was the day/night situation would affect the way controls are interpreted!

The problem does not occur at KTIW, KTCM, KBFI, or KSEA under any conditions I can find.

Weirder again, because controls file corruption shouldn't be geographically related.

I then deleted all settings and saved the null settings.

By this, do you mean control assignments in FS? Or did you delete the FS CFG file?

If you've not yet tried this, find your FSX.CFG file and rename it. When you run FSX it will generate a new one with all defaults. Test from that base.

SO – I am down to two fatal error situations

1) Every time I close FSX – I guess this doesn’t matter

2) If I try to change the Control settings in flight or even with a cold dark cockpit.

Because of the weird interactions you seem to have with day/night and geography, I suspect that whatever was originally corrupted has caused other corruptions, making it almost impossible to properly diagnose. Because of this I am now thinking you may only get rid of the problem by a complete re-installation of FSX. However, before that, I'm just taking a look at that location in CONTROLS.DLL to see if I can see any clues there.

[LATER]

The crash location is nested deep into FS control interpretation. it is referring to a location pointed to by an entry in a structure which was pointed to by an entry in a previous structureetc ad nauseam! (I hate trying to hack through C++ with its multiple levels of virtual procedures and overuse of pointers). I honestly don't have any chance of tracing it back to a possible cause. The corruption could be at any level, and in any one of several files, data or code. If you have a lot invested in the current installation and don't want to do a complete uninstall/reinstall I would suggest this:

[N.B. Since you are using Vista, if your FSX is installed in "Program Files" you will need to run Explorer "as administrator" to do some of the following. This is via right-clicking on its EXE, or making a shortcut for Explorer with that set in the Properties.]

1. Find and delete, or rename, the folder containing your FSX.CFG file.

2. Rename your current installation (i.e. changed the name of the main FS folder from FSX or whatever to something different).

3. Install FSX from scratch into the same place as the original. Install SP! and Acceleration too., but be sure to check it between each step.

4. Rename the new FSX folder to, say "Virgin FSX".

5. Rename your original folder back to the way it was. Don't run it yet.

6. Copy the whole contents of the main folder (not the subfolders) of the new Virgin FSX to the original. This will ensure that all of the FSX DLLs and codebase are correct.

7. Copy the whole contents of the Gauges and Effects subfolders of the new Virgin FSX to the original. This is needed because they contain code too.

Test as before. If this doesn't work then I'm afraid nothing short of a full reinstall will work.

Unless you are short of disk space, you may wish to keep the "virgin FSX" installation as a source of original files for repairs, or for testing things. I do this, but then I'm doing a lot of fiddling about and testing! ;-)

Regards

Pete

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Peter,

:D I think the problem is solved - I deleted the fsx.CFG file and allowed FSX to rebuild it. Now all problems are gone and I can fly any of the previously 100% fatal FSUIPC autosaved flights. :D

DETAILS FOLLOW:

Was I chasing the wrong problem?

The first thing I do EVERYTIME I start FSX is go into SETTINGS/Controls and check the Control axes for the CH Yoke USB. In the Assignment List I see the following (I call this the ORIGINAL Control Settings):

Aileron axis X axis

Elevator axis Y axis

Engine 1 mixture axis – Y Rotation

Engine 1 propeller axis – Z Rotation

Mixture axis Axis 04

Throttle axis Z Axis

Propeller axis unassigned

All other engine controls unassigned

If I leave those settings as shown – FSX generates the fatal error as soon as I touch a control in a cold dark cockpit or even when I try change the control settings while sitting in a cold dark cockpit.

I can change the settings shown above to the following:

Aileron axis X axis

Elevator axis Y axis

Engine 1 mixture axis unassigned

Engine 1 propeller axis unassigned

Mixture axis Y Rotation

Throttle axis Z Axis

Propeller axis Z rotation

All other engine controls unassigned

I save those settings into a named configuration file NEW Control Settings. I then fly as much as I want – wherever I want with no errors. Just to be sure the NEW settings are saved I load another config file, fly a bit, and then reload the NEW file and see the corrections I show above. However, FSX does generate a fatal error when I gracefully close the program.

When I restart FSX I find the ORIGINAL CH Yoke USB control axis control settings with the incorrect Axis04 setting. Those settings will always lead to a fatal error.

When I Load the saved (NEW Control Settings) I find the same settings as were in the ORIGINAL Control Settings. If I change them (before starting a new flight) I can again fly with no problems. …

The cycle repeats endlessly with no changes to the CH Yoke USB control axes being “remembered” from one execution of FSX to the next.

I then deleted fsx.CFG and allowed FSX to start with it’s chosen defaults. I still see the same CH Yoke USB control axis settings shown above in ORIGINAL. I change those settings to be as shown above in NEW. I saved those settings as NEW Control Settings.

I can now fly any plane at any airport with any slider settings I wish. When I end the flight and close FSX I receive no fatal error. When I restart FSX I find the same CH Yoke USB control axis settings as I had saved in NEW (i.e. correct axes settings). FSX is now saving and reusing the correct configuration file.

It appears that something was corrupted in the fsx.CFG file that forced the same CH Yoke USB control axis settings to return to the same corrupt or incorrect values no matter how I had set them and saved them prior to ending FSX.

Deleing the fsx.CFG file and allowing FSX to load it’s default values now allows me to save the same CH Yoke USB control axis settings I want to use for my customized installation.

I can now reload and fly any of the old FSUIPC autosaved flights that had been 100% fatal prior to the deletion of fsx.CFG.

When I now reload the fsx.CFG that had been causing the fatal errors, and preventing the save of the corrected CH Yoke USB axis settings, everything still works perfectly, including saving changes to axis settings.

I don’t know what the cause of this mess was but thanks for the suggestions about deleting fsx.CFG.

As an aside – if you are really into debugging – I can send you a Windbg CALL STACK, register list, and disassembled code listings for the fatal error. That seems to be a waste of time since deleting and rebuilding the fsx.CFG file solved all the problems.

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:D I think the problem is solved - I deleted the fsx.CFG file and allowed FSX to rebuild it. Now all problems are gone and I can fly any of the previously 100% fatal FSUIPC autosaved flights. :D

So there was some corruption in that file. You might learn something by comparing the old with the new. They are text files containing readable parameters.

As an aside – if you are really into debugging – I can send you a Windbg CALL STACK, register list, and disassembled code listings for the fatal error. That seems to be a waste of time since deleting and rebuilding the fsx.CFG file solved all the problems.

Erno thank you. I used to enjoy such pursuits, but I'm getting too old for that now! I'd rather avoid it! ;-0

Good flying!

Pete

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