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FSX for those who have to start over
Let's face it,
FSX is a learning process and not just how to become a virtual pilot. Anyone who has been around the block will tell you
how frustrating it can be when you make an error and have to re-load FSX and start over. Of course that never happend
to me ( LOL ) The following is a statement of what I learned over the years and I hope will help you in doing a first time or
reinstall of FSX Deluxe or Gold Edition.
SECTION 1: HARDWARE and DRIVERS
Before installing FSX the key to success is to make sure you have a good and stable platform. You might consider
updating your PC by addng RAM/ separate hard drive etc... Any simmer or gamer would tell you a expandable system
makes all the difference. FSX runs quite well with a powerful processor quad core or better at 4 ghz or higher.
Many people overclock their processor Example 3.2 ghz to 4ghz.. or 4ghz to 4.5ghz. So why do they do this? Because
FSX is very , very processor dependant and there will always be people pushing their systems to the edge. They like to
boast about 200 fps on the internet. Does this mean you have too? NO... With any changes you make to your system
above the factory specs there are dangers which can burn up your hardware unless you know what you are doing,
work with what you have and what you can afford.
To make your machine run FSX so that you are getting a good balance of both graphics and performance the goal is to
get the graphics you want and a frame rate of 30 fps. Most important a smooth no stutter flight. I have an 8 core AMD
processor running at 3.5ghz and I did overclock it but only to 3.7ghz along with adding an extra cooling fan in my tower
which is designed for cooling and venting air. If you purchased a computer from your local vendor, you would likley have
to alter the tower and many store models are not expandable. Any computer that uses a wall wart power supply you plug
into the wall is likely a non expandable system.
are important. If you are serious about simming and want to add a lot of third party software (Scenery , aircraft, clouds
etc.. ) you need at least 1TB. I recommend a 2TB hard drive. I also recommend using a hard drive separate from
the hard drive you have windows installed on.
You will want to use good high performance RAM ( DDR3 etc.. ) The minimum needed is 4 gig of RAM but you really
should consider 8 gig for FSX with a system that can expand to 32 gig of RAM down the road.
Here is where you can spend a lot of $$$. There are water cooled cards that run around $1500 US. WOW I can't afford
that! You do need a good graphics card which can run around $ 150 US. I am using 2 AMD Radeon R9 200 Series
Graphic Cards running in Firewire. A good graphic card set up will help take the load off your processor. There are
many cards out there so my best advice is to research and get the best bang for your buck . Searching FSX forums will aid you
in making the right decision the first time.
There have been issues where updating Graphic Card drivers have caused fatal errors in FSX. Before buying a graphic
card see if you can discover any known issues with that cards drivers or any other complaints in FSX. If you are not
having any problems with your current graphics card and you do a driver update and then suddenly there are problems,
go back to the last driver you had installed.
Overkill, Overkill, Overkill !!! You want a power supply that is over rated for your hardware. This will allow you to add or
change hardware without overloading your power supply. I have a 1000 watt power supply more than twice what is
needed to run my PC.
Research and preparation in advance is key before installing FSX.
Section 2: Installing and expanding FSX
Now that we have covered the basics in preperation, let's install FSX. Be aware that this installation guide is designed for
FSX Deluxe and Gold editions not FSX steam which uses a different format.
So what are the differences between Deluxe and Gold?
The Deluxe version does not come with acceleration X and that is it. If you have the Deluxe version, you will
need to install SP1 and SP2. With the Gold edition you just simply add the acceleration disc after installing disc 1 and 2
Step 1: Before installing disc 1 & 2 create a folder in your documents by selecting new folder / right click and
name that folder "FSX" then drag it to your desktop. When you put in FSX disc 1 select more options and then brouse to
the FSX folder on the desktop you created. This will instruct FSX to install the program into that folder rather than
Program files (x86)
Once both disc 1 & 2 are installed FSX will start automatically. You will then be promted to put in your product key code
and activate the program. After activation do not install acceleration(Gold) or install SP1 orSP2 (Deluxe) ! First run
FSX in free flight mode for a few seconds then quit the program.
Step 2: Now install acceleration(Gold) SP1 & SP2(Deluxe). For the Gold edition start FSX and once again you will
be prompted to put in your product key for acceleration in order to activate it. You will then be prompted to allow FSX
to add the new key features for that expansion pack. Select Yes. Once again start FSX and run the free flight mode for
a few seconds and then exit the program.
Step 3: ( skip this step if you only have 1 drive) If you have a separate drive you wish dedicated
for FSX now will be the time to copy & paste it to that drive.
Let's say windows is installed on drive C: and you have a blank drive D: also installed in your PC. Select
Start / Computer / Drive D:
Copy and paste the FSX folder on your desktop to Drive D: This process will take about 5 to 10 minutes.
Once it is copied you will now need a new shortcut so you can run FSX from your desktop. First drag the current shortcut
on your desktop to the Recycle Bin. Go to Drive D and open the FSX folder. Scroll down to the FSX.EXE application file,
right click on it and select "create a shortcut" then drag it to your desktop. This will now allow you to run FSX using that
shortcut. Once again run FSX in free flight mode making sure the program is stable. Now you can delete the FSX folder
on your desktop. You will run FSX on drive D: from this point forward.
Step 4: Windows Vista, 7 and 8 installing your UIAUTOMATIONCORE.DLL into FSX.
The uiautomationcore.dll file is needed to prevent some well known desktop crashes in FSX. The most important thing
is you must install the correct dll for your version of windows. Installing the wrong one can cause more problems. Go to
your search engine and type uiautomaioncore.dll for Vista / for windows 7 / for windows 8 / for windows 8.1 which ever
OS you have. Once you find the correct version, extract it to your desktop then install it into your main FSX folder no
where else !!! Keep a copy of it in your documents folder as a back-up.
Step 5: Adjust your Settings in FSX.
Run FSX and switch from free flight to settings. Here is where you can change graphics, clouds , traffic etc... I could type
out a step by step but instead there are some great instructional videos on youtube . In this video it is recommended to use a external
frame rate limiter but I have found problems with stutters and pauses in flight so I recommend setting your FSX frame rate
limiter to 30 fps or half the refresh rate of your video monitor. If your monitors refresh rate is 70 then set your frame rate
limiter to 35 fps.
Step 6: Configure FSX
Once you have your settings completed and tested in free flight mode for the best fps and graphic combination your
system can deliver you will want to keep them there. We now need to tweak the FSX.CFG file. I wrote a thread on this
forum in the FSX General section titled " FSX Fixes & Tips in cfg " Please look at section 1 which covers the basic 3
changes needed in FSX. There are many posts and videos out there with other tweaks you can look at. Continue to run
FSX and test it after doing these tweaks. The first 3 I have listed in my post can be applied all at once but any tweak you
do after that should be followed up by running FSX to see how it affects your operation. If you like it , keep it . Remember
the phrase" If it is not broken.... DON'T FIX IT "
Use the fsx.cfg file to make any setting changes from this point on and not the settings in the FSX program because it can
cause some of the changes you have applied in the fsx.cfg to revert back to default .
Step 7: Adding the Add-ons
Once you have tested and run FSX on both long and short flights with the above steps done, then start loading your
add-on's one at a time ALWAYS TESTING THEM BEFORE ADDING OTHERS. This way if a problem should arise.
I would bet you would know where to look! One thing I wish to convey is the programs you can buy that are known
as booster software for FSX. They are supposed to improve performance. All I can say ( in my opinion) Don't waste your
See you on the next thread !
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