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FSL Spotlights causes GPU Driver crash


Benjamin Hennes

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Benjamin Hennes

Hi (again)!

I will try one more time to get some respond regarding the issue I am facing. Almost everytime I load up the bus my GPU Driver crashed and restores. If I disable FSL Spotlights from the dll.xml it do not happen. 

  • hardware configuration i7-2700k, GTX 980Ti, Windows 7 64 bit, Dell Ultrasharp 27" monitor (2560x1440) 
  • Antivirus is disabled / firewall enabled (aocservice, fslservice and spotlights manager is in the program exception list)
  • Prepar3D 3.3.5.17625
  • Windowed mode
  • Spotlights 1.0.0.32, Resources 192 and binaries 193
  • Just the FSLabs stuff activated in the dll.xml file. All sceneries disabled for testing purposes. No shader effects in use. No alteration of the shaders folder at all.
  • Launching P3D via standard shortcut. Gives it a minute or two on the scenario screen before selecting either a default model or the 320X. 5 seconds after it has loaded the driver crashes and resets itself.

Hopefully this extra info will give you some idea of what I am facing.

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Benjamin Hennes

@Tim Mitchell 368.81, but have tried both 375.50 and 372.54 with similar problems. Anyway, it is resolved by setting a cold and dark piper cub as default scenario and load the bus directly from the scenario startup screen. It is indeed still an issue because I still can't load the cub up first and then change to the bus.

Did a fresh reinstall of my system (OS and P3D), but got the driver crash after the install of FSL Spotlights. 

I went from 3.3.5 to 3.4HF2, but I regret that because now I am getting fluctuating FPS which causes my FPS to drop below 30. Did not experience that with 3.3.5. With 30Hz and vSync it ruins a lot for me. Seen a lot of people getting the same, so I am hoping for a fix.

Is there an email also for support questions?

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On 1/27/2017 at 1:59 AM, Benjamin said:

Hi (again)!

I will try one more time to get some respond regarding the issue I am facing. Almost everytime I load up the bus my GPU Driver crashed and restores. If I disable FSL Spotlights from the dll.xml it do not happen. 

That's similar to what I had after I installed Spotlights. Cost me a few days of sweat and anger before I found the solution: following FSLabs_RecommendedSettings_P3D_v2.pdf I changed Special Effects to High (both) from my Medium settings without giving much notice to it. And after that I could not load any scenario except for those with FSL Airbus A320x in them. First I discovered that disabling Spotlights entry in XML.DLL fixed my problems with all other aircrafts but the FSLabs Airbus. I rolled back and forth from/to P3Dv3 hf2 and v3.3.5 before I finally remembered that I changed Special Effects to High. Setting them back to Medium immediately fixed all my problems with XGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG IN P3Dv3 hf2 and CTD in P3Dv3.3.5!!

I'm sure Spotlights's DLL vs. Special Effects on High must be looked into.

Igor.

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Lefteris Kalamaras
On 2/2/2017 at 5:10 PM, Sabre said:

That's similar to what I had after I installed Spotlights. Cost me a few days of sweat and anger before I found the solution: following FSLabs_RecommendedSettings_P3D_v2.pdf I changed Special Effects to High (both) from my Medium settings without giving much notice to it. And after that I could not load any scenario except for those with FSL Airbus A320x in them. First I discovered that disabling Spotlights entry in XML.DLL fixed my problems with all other aircrafts but the FSLabs Airbus. I rolled back and forth from/to P3Dv3 hf2 and v3.3.5 before I finally remembered that I changed Special Effects to High. Setting them back to Medium immediately fixed all my problems with XGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG IN P3Dv3 hf2 and CTD in P3Dv3.3.5!!

I'm sure Spotlights's DLL vs. Special Effects on High must be looked into.

Igor.

This is not the reason.

the DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG can be caused by many factors - it's a symptom, not the cause of the problem.

It means the graphics card detected that the DirectX core thinks the DirectX "device" (i.e. the 3d window it's drawing in) has frozen or is not responding. The reasons for detecting this are too many to list here, but if you Google that error you will find that it occurs with many applications and games.

In our case, the reason is most likely a combination of applications / add-ons that can cause what are called "long frames" on your graphics card. Sometimes, the reason can also be that your graphics card is overclocked, believe it or not! There are users in the P3D forums reporting that downclocking their card in fact solved this problem.

You will also see in the P3D forums that there are many reports of this problem by users who don't even have Spotlights installed...

We have been asking LM for assistance on this matter - they give us the stereotypical response: "Find a way to reproduce it and we will fix it". I don't blame them for this response, it is, however, very frustrating for us as users too.

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c

As Lefteris pointed out, it most likely doesn't have much to do with P3D. Special effects are definitely not the reason as I have been getting the error with my setting at medium (always had at medium).
As of late I have seen no problem, two things changed on my system:
Previous driver and pushed the voltage to max in MSI afterburner (I have an MSI card, so overclocking goes under warranty...). Additionally I pushed clock 100mhz and memory 200mhz.
No issues since couple of days now.


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Benjamin Hennes
6 hours ago, Lefteris Kalamaras said:

This is not the reason.

the DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG can be caused by many factors - it's a symptom, not the cause of the problem.

It means the graphics card detected that the DirectX core thinks the DirectX "device" (i.e. the 3d window it's drawing in) has frozen or is not responding. The reasons for detecting this are too many to list here, but if you Google that error you will find that it occurs with many applications and games.

In our case, the reason is most likely a combination of applications / add-ons that can cause what are called "long frames" on your graphics card. Sometimes, the reason can also be that your graphics card is overclocked, believe it or not! There are users in the P3D forums reporting that downclocking their card in fact solved this problem.

You will also see in the P3D forums that there are many reports of this problem by users who don't even have Spotlights installed...

We have been asking LM for assistance on this matter - they give us the stereotypical response: "Find a way to reproduce it and we will fix it". I don't blame them for this response, it is, however, very frustrating for us as users too.

Seems like nothing is FSLabs fault to be honest when reading this. For me it happened on a freshly installed OS and vanilla P3D with only the bus + spotlights installed (with spotlights disabled it is not happening at all). 

A lot of users can reproduce it by activating/disabling FSL Spotlights. I believe that a lot of applications/addons can cause this issue, but FSL Spotlights is clearly one of them.  

Dissapointing to see responses like this when the problem is very easy to reproduce to the users that encounters this. The bus is good, but for me it is not good enough on performance (a lot less performance than other complex aircrafts).

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Lefteris Kalamaras

Dear Benjamin,

you seem to be on a quest to put blame.

A lot of users can reproduce it as you say by activating/disabling FSLSpotlights.

Also a lot of users can also reproduce it when they have no FSL products installed whatsoever.

As I said - it's a combination of things and the real problem behind it all is the inability of the base application to recover from a hung device. I don't have a quote or link to the DirectX documentation handy, but what should occur is that the pointer to the device that is marked as hung should be discarded and a new device created inside the DirectX code.

We had several conversations with Beau on this and he said "this is not something they can do in a point release" (meaning a minor version release - v3.X). I would assume, without directly being told so, that he's looking into it for v.Next, whatever that might be and however many bits that might entail.

So - in the meantime - have you tried what Kosta suggested?

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Benjamin Hennes

Not on any quest at all, in fact I am really happy to finally have a response regarding this. 

No, I have not tested it since my CPU is at stock speed (2700k) and same for my GPU (980Ti). I know how I can go around the FSL Spotlights issue
so I will just leave it as is.

I guess you have seen the workaround, but here it is. Looks like a lot to do, but it works. I am always starting cold and dark so for me it is perfect to be honest. 

1. Disable FSL Spotlights from dll.xml file (to prevent CTD on load of the cub).

2. Start the sim and load up the cub at an airport of your choice.

3. Shutdown engines using Ctrl+Shift+F1.

4. Save the scenario and tick for default flight in the bottom left corner.

5. Close your simulator.

6. Enable FSL Spotlights from the dll.xml file.

7. Start your sim. It should show the cub in the scenario window and have selected the airport of your choice since it is the default flight.

8. Choose the Airbus and any airport you would like straight from the scenario screen and try to load it directly from the scenario screen. It should start cold and dark.

 

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Lefteris Kalamaras

Dear Benjamin,

if you are still experiencing CTDs while starting the cub with Spotlights enabled, I'd be interested in a remote assistance session to trace the problem.

I'll send you a PM about it.

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c
13 hours ago, Benjamin said:

No, I have not tested it since my CPU is at stock speed (2700k) and same for my GPU (980Ti).

If you searched a bit around the internet, you would see that there are enough posts saying how Battlefield 4 and some other games produce this exact error. So blaming Spotlights alone is just plain wrong.

And you would also read that even if the GPU is at the stock speed according to the manufacturer, it may still be slightly overclocked and yet the users (who also have the "stock" speeds) were able to omit DXGI errors by underclocking.

There are also reports that a change of Physics to CPU also helps. And some others...

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Benjamin Hennes
15 minutes ago, Kosta said:

If you searched a bit around the internet, you would see that there are enough posts saying how Battlefield 4 and some other games produce this exact error. So blaming Spotlights alone is just plain wrong.

And you would also read that even if the GPU is at the stock speed according to the manufacturer, it may still be slightly overclocked and yet the users (who also have the "stock" speeds) were able to omit DXGI errors by underclocking.

There are also reports that a change of Physics to CPU also helps. And some others...

You seem to merely want to blame someone, but are not ready to do a research and help yourself.

I have researched quite a bit myself actually so no need to write the last part ;) I have checked my 980Ti for factory overclock, but it do not have a overclock from the factory. Of course there could be other apps causing the driver crash, but in my case I am not sure what it can be.

No other games is installed on my computer (no steam etc.). P3D, crucial drivers (chipset, gpu (tried changing), audio, network, browser (opera) and the bus) were installed when testing after the reinstall (now I of course have some scenaries and some other aircrafts installed). 

As long as it works in cold and dark I am perfectly fine with it. Works flawless with FSL Spotlights then, but not when selecting the cub at first.

 

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c
5 minutes ago, Benjamin said:

I have researched quite a bit myself actually so no need to write the last part ;) I have checked my 980Ti for factory overclock, but it do not have a overclock from the factory. Of course there could be other apps causing the driver crash, but in my case I am not sure what it can be.

No other games is installed on my computer (no steam etc.). P3D, crucial drivers (chipset, gpu (tried changing), audio, network, browser (opera) and the bus) were installed when testing after the reinstall (now I of course have some scenaries and some other aircrafts installed). 

 

OK, so I edited it out.

But you don't seem to have read what I wrote above: "And you would also read that even if the GPU is at the stock speed according to the manufacturer, it may still be slightly overclocked and yet the users (who also have the "stock" speeds) were able to omit DXGI errors by underclocking." ->> I have read this on multiple gaming forums.

Even if it's the Spotlights alone, it still doesn't mean that it's the Devs fault. The problem lies with Nvidia and DX, and not the program. How come there are not AMD users reporting the same, hm? It simply means Nvidia must fix this, and as long as they don't, there are only things we users can do (not even Devs really), because it's a GPU/Drive issue.

I say again: try underclocking.

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Benjamin Hennes

@Kosta indeed a very good point you have regarding AMD users. Haven't thought of that myself. 

I will also check if an actual downclock from the "stock" speed will work. Thought you meant to downclock to the stock speed from a potential factory overclock, but I understand what you mean now.

I might also wait and see if nvidia come up with a fix or if I decide to do a remote session with Lefteris on it for some debugging of FSL Spotlights. 

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Hendrik Herryjanto
6 hours ago, Kosta said:

Even if it's the Spotlights alone, it still doesn't mean that it's the Devs fault. The problem lies with Nvidia and DX, and not the program. How come there are not AMD users reporting the same, hm? It simply means Nvidia must fix this, and as long as they don't, there are only things we users can do (not even Devs really), because it's a GPU/Drive issue.

I say again: try underclocking.

 

6 hours ago, Benjamin said:

@Kosta indeed a very good point you have regarding AMD users. Haven't thought of that myself. 

 

I just want to say that I am using AMD cards and having the same problem. Interestingly I dont always experiencing it.

But I know if I disable spotlight DLL I don't receive   DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG error. I can load the airbus from saved file or cub also from a saved file or using the scenario screen at the beginning, I wont get the error.

Edit: in short with spotlights DLL disable I get a constant result (NO error) with DLL enable I receive inconsistent result (sometime error sometime no error) 

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c
6 minutes ago, Hendrik said:

ahh.. sorry for that.... I never know that  DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG error also happens with other games

Then I suggest you read the thread in full. Lots of info in here.

That said, I have a little update:

As I mentioned earlier, I overclocked the card and pushed the voltage limit. Now, it didn't crash for a long time, but it did today once, interestingly enough, I wasn't even loading the FSL, but a default aircraft, and as soon as the situation loaded, there it was, the DXGI... however, I did not disable the spotlights dll, and I will not, as I am quite sure this isn't the cause.

The next step for me is to leave it at "stock" clock and just push the voltage up. See how stable is that.

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Hendrik Herryjanto
1 hour ago, Kosta said:

Then I suggest you read the thread in full. Lots of info in here.

That said, I have a little update:

As I mentioned earlier, I overclocked the card and pushed the voltage limit. Now, it didn't crash for a long time, but it did today once, interestingly enough, I wasn't even loading the FSL, but a default aircraft, and as soon as the situation loaded, there it was, the DXGI... however, I did not disable the spotlights dll, and I will not, as I am quite sure this isn't the cause.

The next step for me is to leave it at "stock" clock and just push the voltage up. See how stable is that.

Yah, finding the cause is difficult. With my setup without Spotlights DLL I never get  DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG error. WIth DLL I do get the error but not all the time, perhaps 70/30. 

Again I am not saying Spotlights is the cause it is just my finding with my setup.

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Lefteris Kalamaras

Benjamin,

the DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG is inside P3D, it's not in our code. No way to debug the P3D innards.

Another observation here:

There are no such errors with P3D versions before 3.3.5 - or with any FSX version. Spotlights is the same code / logic in all versions. Would it not make sense therefore that the issue lies on the sim side?

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c

Hmm, right. P3D is a video-game (like any other actually, BF4, Crysis3...). So it is susceptible to same rules. Hardware - Interface - Software must work seamlessly. And crashes appear across the board. So yes, it is most likely in the sim (Spotlights might trigger something, but is not the cause).

But in the end, the solution is most likely not with the developer, but rather on the side of the "Interface" (=Driver).

We might as well try rolling back to a one year old driver and P3D v3.3. There were no P3D performance updates in Nvidia drivers AFAIK. And honestly I didn't have any problems running 3.3 too.

However, I'm not going to be a guinea pig, for a simple reason: I currently see the error way too seldom so that it would really bother me. Others who see the error more often should possibly consider it.

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Lefteris Kalamaras

We have observed that switching application focus can cause this error to occur.

Switching to your browser (Chrome is a very frequent culprit) when flying.

Switching to an external app for online flying (VPilot or others).

This happens more frequently on multi-monitor setups (dual and above).

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Hendrik Herryjanto
33 minutes ago, Lefteris Kalamaras said:

We have observed that switching application focus can cause this error to occur.

Switching to your browser (Chrome is a very frequent culprit) when flying.

Switching to an external app for online flying (VPilot or others).

This happens more frequently on multi-monitor setups (dual and above).

I will try your suggestion about not switching applications. See if I can get a constant result

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Søren Dissing
15 hours ago, Lefteris Kalamaras said:

We have observed that switching application focus can cause this error to occur.

Switching to your browser (Chrome is a very frequent culprit) when flying.

Switching to an external app for online flying (VPilot or others).

This happens more frequently on multi-monitor setups (dual and above).

For what it's worth ...

I am still on P3D 3.3.5 (recent re-install) and not one of the latest nVidia drivers (I'll add the version number later today) and I have never seen the DXGI crash. When flying, I do a lot of task switching and Chrome is my browser, so there is some sort of evidence that P3D versions after 3.3.5 are more vulnerable to this crash.

Cheers,
Søren

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On 2/5/2017 at 2:26 PM, Lefteris Kalamaras said:

This is not the reason.

the DXGI_ERROR_DEVICE_HUNG can be caused by many factors - it's a symptom, not the cause of the problem.

I've just seen this.

Lefteris, why didn't you quote me then where I mentioned that the problem was easily fixed by removing Spotlight's dll from DLL.xml (or was it on Avsim I can't remember myself)? Meaning - no Spotlight/A320 all goes standard. Install them - face the consequences.

Is it like your personal omission with these crashes and you feel like you're in the corner, lol??

Lighten up, you'll fix it, I have no doubt!!

I loved Spotlights before and love A320x already, though they need some special treatment at launch, but they gonna be better with each of your updates, we'll wait, take your time. 

I heard today there' s an update to A320x? I'm sure all is smooth there already with the loading, I'll report.

Sabre.

Edited by Sabre
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Reporting no more crashes at loading in different scenarios after the updates!! This is huge for me. I found my very narrow way in though, but now it's back to normal, like I never installed FSL A32X.

And you won't tell us what you fixed in there. Not your fault!!  :lol:

 

Thanks,

Sabre.

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Lefteris Kalamaras
11 hours ago, Sabre said:

I've just seen this.

Lefteris, why didn't you quote me then where I mentioned that the problem was easily fixed by removing Spotlight's dll from DLL.xml (or was it on Avsim I can't remember myself)? Meaning - no Spotlight/A320 all goes standard. Install them - face the consequences.

Is it like your personal omission with these crashes and you feel like you're in the corner, lol??

Lighten up, you'll fix it, I have no doubt!!

I loved Spotlights before and love A320x already, though they need some special treatment at launch, but they gonna be better with each of your updates, we'll wait, take your time. 

I heard today there' s an update to A320x? I'm sure all is smooth there already with the loading, I'll report.

Sabre.

Sabre,

I didn't quote you because quite frankly, it's not Spotlights' fault.

It's not any ONE application's or addon's fault.

Something in v3.4 changed that caused long frames. Or caused long frames to be detected. One or the other. And the graphics drivers report this back as a "device hung" error. In the documentation, it's mentioned that when this occurs, the code is supposed to delete the device and recreate it, so it can continue. This does not (currently) happen in P3D. Beau has indicated it's a semi-major change and won't happen in minor version updates ("dot" updates, like 3.X). We're hoping that v.Next will have it.

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c

(post edited)

I thought I was onto something...

Lefteris was the one who left me thinking, when he said something about Chrome.

Today I had two crashes, and in both instances, I had Firefox running (or better said open with two pages). FF has h/w acceleration.

But, even if I alt+enter each second (FF closed), I will eventually get DXGI with a default aircraft too.

So if I go step further, and disable all FSL entries in the dll.xml, even the hardest abuse of the alt+enter keys does *NOT* DXGI the sim.

And then I enabled FF acceleration, and still wasn't able to produce the DXGI error. However, I still have my NGX enabled (which also loads a DLL via dll.xml, so there's that).

There must be something generally inside Spotlights (and inside of those other games), that is causing this.

There were some mentions about the new 747 also causing this, am I wrong here?

Lefteris, could you try this "unconventional" way to attempt to crash P3D? I mean, I just can't ignore the fact that I cannot crash the sim without FSL...

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c

Another update: win10 fresh, no updates but NVIDIA driver, P3D and FSL. After installation of FSL DXGI error. Without FSL alt+enter flawless...


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11 minutes ago, Kosta said:

Another update: win10 fresh, no updates but NVIDIA driver, P3D and FSL. After installation of FSL DXGI error. Without FSL alt+enter flawless...


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That's weird. DXGI errors are very rare on my PC. I had one yesterday during the driver tests when I've reverted back to 376.33 drivers and it was definitely related to window switching. The first DXGI error that I have experienced occurred right after HF2 release, however, it was about the time I've bought ORBX sceneries and other addons. And I definitely did not have A320 back then.

378.57 drivers seem quite stable for now, or may be there was nothing to trigger this error yet.

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1 hour ago, Kosta said:

Another update: win10 fresh, no updates but NVIDIA driver, P3D and FSL. After installation of FSL DXGI error. Without FSL alt+enter flawless...


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Same here. It only happens with Spotlights installed on my rig.

Brit.

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c
1 hour ago, ai_ab said:

That's weird. DXGI errors are very rare on my PC. I had one yesterday during the driver tests when I've reverted back to 376.33 drivers and it was definitely related to window switching. The first DXGI error that I have experienced occurred right after HF2 release, however, it was about the time I've bought ORBX sceneries and other addons. And I definitely did not have A320 back then.

378.57 drivers seem quite stable for now, or may be there was nothing to trigger this error yet.

The tests I am currently doing are very easy to reproduce. I can make the sim crash inside of seconds if it's susceptible to the crash (dxgi error).

The test simply consists of fast window switching, nothing else. Press alt and tap on enter as fast as you can... I know, kinda stupid, as you never really do that, BUT... it is the only 100%-test I found out. And the fact is, without Spotlights, the test *never* failed. With Spotlights, failed each time. I did it probably 15-20 times now, each time changing something...

I even went through a full windows 10 reinstall now, with absolutely same results.

So far I can firmly say that I can force the error to appear, thus also making looking for fix way easier.

I am currently going through P3D clients, and then also couple of Nvidia drivers.

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Lefteris Kalamaras
2 hours ago, Kosta said:

Another update: win10 fresh, no updates but NVIDIA driver, P3D and FSL. After installation of FSL DXGI error. Without FSL alt+enter flawless...


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Kosta-

can you try the same test with Alt-Enter and Spotlights with P3D v3.3.5 ?

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c

Both 3.2.3 and 3.3.5 don't give the DXGI error explicitly, but both do crash in some way...

3.2.3 1st test OOMed, 2nd test kept running, but with black screen.

3.3.5 1st test P3D crashed, with KERNELBASE.dll in registry, 2nd test same

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c

Another observation:

3.1.2.15831 to 3.4.14.18870 -> other errors, mostly black screen + KERNELBASE

3.4.18.19475 and 3.4.22.19868 -> DXGI

The trigger is the same (Spotlights on/off).

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S_r_d_a_n  K_o_s_t_i_c

Lefteris, another thing:

If I disable Spotlights, the alt+enter switching it visually looking very consistent. It's like watching two windows flicker. I have a feeling I can press faster and faster and the shifting just keeps up.

However if I enable it, it's inconsistent, the FS window is all over the place, and I have a feeling I can't or shouldn't keep up. A single alt+enter action is visually longer with it active.

It must be something in Spotlights that's causing it, maybe being "over" the sim somehow, because other addons like FSDT, FSUIPC, ORBX, PMDG are still active.

I hope this helps!

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Lefteris Kalamaras

Thank you Kosta for these observations. I will try them later today and see if I can replicate it using the exact same steps. You have been very helpful.

I am still thinking there's something in P3D's code however to cause DXGI errors, as they are definitely reported without Spotlights installed.

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