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  #1  
Old 03-02-2014, 12:12 PM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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Still Loosing the RealFlight.INI File

I am still loosing my realflight.INI settings file occasionally. It has happened twice in the last 3 days. This problem has existed since RF6x

If you see this screen after you have unchecked the "Show This Dialog on Startup", it means that you have lost all of your settings. I keep a backup of a good copy of the INI file (mydocuments/realflight 7/realflight.ini) just so that I don't have to go through the setup again. Is anyone else seeing this happen?
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Last edited by 12oclockhigh; 03-02-2014 at 12:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-03-2014, 01:09 AM
Crazy88Rob Crazy88Rob is offline
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I think it happens to me when I shutdown the PC when RealFlight is still open. I have to check again... I'll do it when back home next week.
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  #3  
Old 03-03-2014, 07:33 AM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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I tested your theory with Win8.... it does not seem to cause the problem there(5 tries). Computer is fast laptop with SSD drive, so maybe it is quick enough or the OS sleep mode is allowing the file to be written quickly. I did not remove battery to test theory.

I also tried it with Win7 Ultimate... it did cause the problem two times out of eight. So why is that? or was it a coincidence? The test was basically open RealFlight, fly for 30secs or so, shut down computer hard, restart computer, open realflight. I did not want to introduce too many variables.

My prime suspect at the moment is getting blown out of multiplayer with an error... still it should not destroy a file that already exists on the drive. It does not happen often enough for me to catch similarities.

My testing in the past showed that this happens when the RealFlight.INI file is blank and is recreated by RealFlight.

As a rule, I do not power off the computer using the power switch. I did if for this test.

Last edited by 12oclockhigh; 03-03-2014 at 08:32 AM.
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Old 03-03-2014, 06:54 PM
Crazy88Rob Crazy88Rob is offline
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Yes, I am using Windows 7 Ultimate and I always use the power switch to shut it down (full shutdown, no sleep mode). Sometimes I forget to close RF and I see the problem.
As you said, probably the file is emptied out at start up and refilled only on "normal" exit. Any abrupt termination leaves it corrupted. Probably KE should have a look at it and find the paths where this happens or be sure that the file is always consistent during the life of the program.

Last edited by Crazy88Rob; 03-03-2014 at 06:59 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-03-2014, 09:09 PM
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Adam Taylor Adam Taylor is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crazy88Rob View Post
As you said, probably the file is emptied out at start up and refilled only on "normal" exit. Any abrupt termination leaves it corrupted. Probably KE should have a look at it and find the paths where this happens or be sure that the file is always consistent during the life of the program.
The RealFlight.ini file is indeed read from when launching RealFlight and written to again when RealFlight cleanly shuts down, but it is not emptied in the interim. If a RealFlight session ends in a crash, I would expect the RealFlight.ini file to simply not be updated with any changes made in that session, reverting your settings to their state prior to having launched it. I wouldn't expect them to be entirely obliterated!

It's probably worth mentioning that you can also force the RealFlight.ini file to be written at any time with the console command "saveSettings".
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Old 03-04-2014, 07:20 AM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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SaveSettings - Handy thing ... If I could just remember to do it when the file is empty. (so that is no help what-so-ever)

Adam... I wrote a simple batch file to launch RealFlight that made a copy of the RealFlight.INI file before starting the software (a while ago). I found that the txt file was empty, so RealFlight re-created it. Something is going wrong, somewhere (not necessarily on close) that is wiping out the file. Rob pointed out a method that is wiping out the file 25% of the time or more.

The reason it bugs me is having to set up everything again the way I like it and loosing the aircraft list that I like to fly. I loose the airport list of planes I like to fly. The gadgets placed on the screen the way I like it.

So what I do... every time I see that screen is to exit RF7 and delete the new RealFlight.INI file that was just created and overwrite it with a copy of a backup that I know is good. Not a great solution, but it saves me time.
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Old 03-05-2014, 03:52 PM
Crazy88Rob Crazy88Rob is offline
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Adam, thanks for the save settings suggestion. When back home next week I will try to reproduce the issue in a consistent manner. On my side is not a big issue, but I would be glad to help to nail it down.
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Old 03-05-2014, 05:25 PM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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Sorry if I sounded ungrateful for the suggestion, but it really does no good... and here is why; I can't say that I have tried saving the settings before leaving the system each time, but I believe that there is something happening during shut down that is wiping the INI file. Saving the settings to only have the system wipe them out is not a solution. To check and see if it is happening before... we would have to have some checking code written into the software. It is not something, I believe we can monitor on our side.
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Old 03-09-2014, 01:52 PM
Crazy88Rob Crazy88Rob is offline
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I have done more tests on my side and I can reproduce the issue 100% of the times by simply shutting down the machine or logging off the current user with RealFlight still open.
I can see that the file is always consistent during the life of the program, so the file corruption must be on logoff/shutdown. I have checked with FileMon and the file is not kept open by RF, so I think the file write is interrupted just after the initial file creation: probably the shutdown procedure forces the close of all file descriptors, and this happens just after a open in write mode. I am not a Windows programmer, so I don't know how the application is notified and how it should react, but I think the culprit should be there...
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  #10  
Old 03-09-2014, 04:17 PM
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All of that sounds like the write buffer is not being flushed in Windows.

You may want to check your drive settings. Turning off write buffer flushing increases Window's speed greatly but subjects you to the possibility of incompletely written files.
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  #11  
Old 03-09-2014, 05:09 PM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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would that be bios?
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Old 03-09-2014, 08:22 PM
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It depends upon what type of drive you have and what type of controller.

In machines that have Intel RAID/ACHI controllers, you use the Intel Rapid Storage Manager utility to adjust write buffer flushing, either in hardware or in the driver.

If you have an array, then you also control buffer flushing at the array level too further complicating things a bit, but the Istore program is pretty good at explaining what it going on.

You can also go into the control panel find your drive and right click on it to get to the properties page.

In the properties page, check the tab labeled "Policies" (See image)

Disable both options, reboot, and see if the problem goes away ( the computer may be a bit slower, though on an SSD drive you will not notice any difference ).

You can then restore the first setting for normal performance.
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Old 03-09-2014, 10:58 PM
12oclockhigh 12oclockhigh is offline
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Write Cache

From the Device Manager, right click the disk drive.

I am pretty careful about shut down... My system does not do a hard shut down very often, but this does make you worry what else is lost. Thanks for providing the path. I am not sure that I will change anything at the moment. I wonder if there is something on the KE end that could flush the buffer before the shutdown.
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  #14  
Old 03-09-2014, 11:31 PM
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Have you "scheduled" a check/scan of your drive recently?

Pending errors also have a similar affect, which the automated fix ( upon boot in Win7 and below ) that you can schedule takes care of most of these problems.
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  #15  
Old 03-11-2014, 02:14 PM
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Ryan Douglas Ryan Douglas is offline
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12oclockhigh, I wish we had something more to suggest. We've still only ever heard of this happening sporadically to a couple other people besides you. I can certainly understand how frustrating it would be.

On the other hand, all bets are off if the computer crashes. Along those lines, I'm not terribly surprised to hear there can be problems if someone shuts the computer down while RealFlight is running. RealFlight probably isn't able to complete its shutdown process. The simple solution there is to close your programs before turning off your computer.
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