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Article ID: 925722 - Last Review: March 6, 2013 - Revision: 8.0

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INTRODUCTION

This article describes several known graphics-related issues that you may have when you play Microsoft Flight Simulator X.

More information

General troubleshooting information

Install the latest drivers

If you have graphics issues, such as a black (blank) screen or slow performance in Flight Simulator X, download and then install the latest drivers for your video card.

The video card lets you see graphics on the screen. A driver is software that enables your computer to communicate with hardware or devices. Without drivers, the hardware that you connect to your computer—for example, a video card or a webcam—will not work correctly.

The latest driver for your video card can enable more efficient use of your video card features to improve the performance of the game. Generally, companies release their drivers regularly for the cards to keep up the pace with ever-changing software technologies.

To download and install the latest drivers, contact the computer or video hardware manufacturer. See the "Additional information" section for more information about how to contact the video hardware or computer manufacturer. To determine whether applicable driver updates are available for download, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:
http://update.microsoft.com (http://update.microsoft.com)
To identify the name and the manufacturer of the video card, follow these steps on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Vista:
  1. Open the Direct X Diagnostic Tool. To do this, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    the Start button
    , type dxdiag in the Start Search box, and then click dxdiag.exe in the Programs list.
  2. Click the Display tab.
  3. Under Device, look for Name and Manufacturer.
  4. Click Exit.

Graphics hardware error messages

Collapse this tableExpand this table
Error MessageResolution
The drivers currently installed for your video card may cause your computer to stop responding when Flight Simulator is running. Click Yes to search for newer drivers, or No to continue.
To resolve this issue, contact your graphics hardware manufacturer to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your graphics hardware. For information about how to contact your hardware manufacturer, see the "References" section. To see whether applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Windows Update Web site:
http://update.microsoft.com (http://update.microsoft.com)
For information about how to download the latest drivers by using the Windows Update Web site, see the "Additional information" section.
Flight Simulator is not working with your video card. Verify that you have the latest video card drivers installed for your video card. Flight Simulator will now exit.
This issue may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • Your video card does not meet the minimum system requirements for Flight Simulator X.
  • Flight Simulator X cannot correctly initialize DirectDraw or Direct3D to display the game.
  • The DirectX installation is corrupted.
To resolve this issue, use one or more of the following methods:
  • Determine whether the video card on the computer has 32 megabytes (MB) or more of memory. To do this on a computer that is running Windows 7 or Windows Vista, follow these steps:
    1. Open the Direct X Diagnostic Tool. To do this, click Start
      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      the Start button
      , type dxdiag in the Start Search box, and then click dxdiag.exe in the Programs list.
    2. Click the Display tab.
    3. Under Device, verify that the Approx. Total Memory value is 32 MB or more.
    The video card must have 32 MB of memory for Flight Simulator X to work correctly. If the video card does not have 32 MB of memory, you must upgrade the graphics hardware to run Flight Simulator X. For information about how to contact the hardware manufacturer, see the "References" section.

    Note The graphics memory value that appears in the DirectX Diagnostics Tool may be slightly less than the actual total because the DirectX Diagnostics Tool uses some graphics memory.
  • Install the latest version of DirectX on the computer. To download and to install the latest version of DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.mspx (http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.mspx)
If the issue continues to occur, you must perform troubleshooting steps to identify the actual cause of the issue. For more information about how to troubleshoot this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
191660  (http://support.microsoft.com/kb/191660/ ) DirectDraw or Direct3D option is unavailable
The graphics card does not meet minimum requirements for shader support. This product requires a geForce3/Radeon8500 class or better graphics card. Flight Simulator will now exit.
This error message indicates that your video card does not have a feature that the game requires. The game needs shader support 1.1 or a later version. To resolve this problem, contact your computer or display manufacturer to obtain information about whether your card has Shader Support and, if it does not, which display card to purchase to meet the requirements of the game. For a list of manufacturers, see the "References" section in this article. To learn which video card you have, follow the steps under “Install the latest drivers“ in this article.

General graphics issues

Portable computer displays in full-screen mode

The video cards on some portable computers may let you select a resolution that is larger than the LCD device can support. In these cases, the view may be truncated when you run Flight Simulator in full-screen mode. To see the full-screen image, either reduce the resolution or use windowed mode (press ALT+ENTER). Driver updates do not resolve this issue.

Press ALT+TAB

Pressing ALT+TAB to switch between Flight Simulator X and another program minimizes Flight Simulator X to the task bar. In some instances, Flight Simulator X may not restore to the desktop or take a long time to restore. To enable the correct behavior, exit Flight Simulator X, and then restart the computer.

Visual Experience with AMD processors

The initial visual experience on a computer that has an AMD processor may be less than expected. To improve the visual experience, follow these steps:
  1. On the main menu, click Settings.
  2. Click Customize.
  3. Move the Global slider on one or more tabs to the right.
Note Adjusting these settings may affect performance.

Hardware-specific graphics issues

ATI

On computers that use an ATI video card, you may experience the following issues:
  • Use of the ATI Radeon X1800 CrossFire Edition video card may cause the screen to flicker or to appear black.
  • The game runs slowly.
  • A fatal error occurs when you start the game. The error message indicates the following information:
    Problem signature
    Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
    Application Name: fsx.exe
    Application Version: 10.0.61637.0
    Application Timestamp: 46fadb14
    Fault Module Name: atiumdag.dll
    Fault Module Version: 7.14.10.523
    Fault Module Timestamp: 46c10882
    Exception Code: c0000005
    Exception Offset: 0004e060
    OS Version: 6.0.6001.2.1.0.768.3
    Locale ID: 1033
To resolve these issues, visit the following ATI Technologies Inc. Web site to download the latest driver for your specific video card:
http://www.amd.com (http://www.amd.com)

NVIDIA

To download NVIDIA video cards, visit the following NVIDIA Corporation Web site:
http://www.nvidia.com (http://www.nvidia.com)
When you use NVIDIA video cards, you may experience the following issues:
  • Fireworks have defined, square borders and appear blocky when you use the NVIDIA GeForce2 video card. This issue occurs with all driver versions.
  • De Havilland Beaver windows appear opaque in spot plane view on computers that use NVIDIA GeForce2 video cards.
  • Dolphins may not appear in Missions on computers that use GeForce2 GTS or GeForce2 Pro 32 MB video cards.
For certain NVIDIA video cards, the game performance may be slow or choppy. To resolve this issue, try to update the drivers. To do this, visit the following NVIDIA Web site:
http://www.nvidia.com/page/home.html (http://www.nvidia.com/page/home.html)
If the issue continues to occur, reduce the game settings to a minimum. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start the game.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Reset Defaults.
If the issue continues to occur, try to reduce the settings options on the Setting screen by moving the sliders all the way to the left.

S3 UniChrome

On computers that use the VIA S3 UniCrome video card, you may experience the following issues:
  • Special effects (fireworks, fire, and so on) do not display correctly.
  • The game runs slow
  • You receive the following error message when you start the game:
    "Invalid hardware drive detected, flight simulator will not work with your video card verify that you have latest video card driver installed, Flight simulator will now exit"
To resolve these issues, download the latest video drivers. To do this, visit the following S3 Graphics Co., Ltd Web site:
http://www.s3graphics.com/en/drivers/index.aspx (http://www.s3graphics.com/en/drivers/index.aspx)
If the issues continue to occur, upgrade the video card that is installed on the computer. For more information, see the "Additional information" and "References" sections.

S3 Deltachromes

If you experience issues when you use the S3 Deltachromes video card, try to update the drivers. If the issue continues to occur, you may have to upgrade the video card.

Intel 945, Intel 815, Intel 915, and Intel 845

If you experience slow performance when you use one of the following Intel video cards, set all the game options to Defaults:
  • Intel 945
  • Intel 815
  • Intel 915
  • Intel 845
To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Start the game.
  2. Click Settings.
  3. Click Reset Defaults.
If the issue continues to occur, try to reduce the settings options on the Setting screen by moving the sliders all the way to the left. If the problem continues to occur, you may have to upgrade the video card. This issue occurs because of the video card drivers. See the "Additional information" section for more information about how to upgrade your video card.

Additional information

Additionally, you can view and compare features and prices of different video cards. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://windowsmarketplace.com (http://windowsmarketplace.com)
After you open this Web site, type video card in the Search box, and then press ENTER.

The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, about the performance or reliability of these products.

References

For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us (http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us)
Microsoft provides third-party contact information to help you find technical support. This contact information may change without notice. Microsoft does not guarantee the accuracy of this third-party contact information.

Applies to
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Standard
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Acceleration Expansion Pack
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1
Keywords: 
dftsdahomeportal kbdisplay kb3rdparty kbhowto KB925722
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