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Summary

This article describes the known video-related issues that you may experience when you play Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: A Century of Flight. This article is divided into general video issues and issues that occur only on specific video hardware.

General troubleshooting information

This section contains updates that may help you resolve issues before you perform specific troubleshooting steps for an issue.

Download and then install the Flight Simulator 2004 update

The Flight Simulator 2004 update addresses many issues that you may experience. For information about how to download and install the Flight Simulator 2004 update, visit the following Flight Simulator Insider Web site:

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?displaylang=en&id=9727

Install the latest drivers

General video issues

Video drivers and graphics cards

The following are general video-related issues that do not apply to specific video hardware.

When you start Flight Simulator 2004, you may receive one of the following warning messages:
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.
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 in software mode. Some graphical features may not appear in software mode.
If you choose to continue in software mode, you receive the following warning message:
Your computer cannot currently use 3-D hardware acceleration. Software 3-D mode has been enabled. Some graphical features may not appear in software mode. Do you wish to see this message the next time Software 3-D mode is enabled?
If you continue to play after you receive one of these warning messages, you may experience graphics corruption in the simulation, performance issues, and other errors.

The first step in resolving these issues is to update your video drivers. If you click Yes to search for new drivers, you can contact your video card hardware manufacturer to obtain and install the latest version of the driver for your video card. For more information about how to contact the manufacturer of your video card, see the "References" section.

If updating your drivers does not resolve the issue, you may have to purchase and install a video card that is supported by Flight Simulator 2004. If you need help with purchasing or installing a video card, contact your computer manufacturer.

Your laptop displays in full-screen mode. The display adapters on some portable computers could let you to select a resolution that is larger than the LCD device can support. In these cases the view may be clipped along one edge when you run Flight Simulator 2004 in full-screen mode. To see the whole game image, either reduce the screen resolution of the game or play the game in a window and not in full-screen mode. Driver updates do not resolve this issue.

When you try to start Flight Simulator 2004, you may receive an error message that is similar to the following:
DirectX failed to initialize. Make sure that your video card and drivers are correctly installed.
To resolve this issue, use one or more of the following methods in the order that they appear in.

Method 1: Verify that your video hardware meets or exceeds the system requirements of Flight Simulator 2004

Use the DirectX Diagnostics Tool (Dxdiag) to verify that your video hardware meets or exceeds the system requirements for Flight Simulator 2004. To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
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    the Start button
    , type dxdiag in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

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    User Account Control
				permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.

    To open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type dxdiag, and then click OK.
  2. On the Display tab, verify that the Approx. Total Memory is 16.0 megabytes (MB) or more.
The video card must have 8.0 MB for Flight Simulator 2004 to function correctly. If it does not, you must upgrade your video hardware.

Note Because of video memory that may be used when you run the DirectX Diagnostics Tool, the value that appears may be a bit lower than the actual total. If this does not resolve the issue, go to the next method.

For more information about the minimum system requirements for Flight Simulator 2004, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
823627 Flight Simulator 2004: Minimum system requirements

Method 2: Download and install the most recent drivers for your video card

Contact the manufacturer of your video card for information about how to download and install the most recent drivers for your video card. Contact information is located in the "References" section. If this does not resolve the issue, go to the next method.

Method 3: Turn on Direct3D

To turn on Direct3D, follow these steps:
  1. Open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
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    the Start button
    , type dxdiag in the Start Search box, and then press ENTER.

    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    User Account Control
				permission
    If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.

    To open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type dxdiag, and then click OK.
  2. In the DirectX Diagnostic Tool dialog box, click the Display tab or the Display 1 tab.
  3. Click Enable next to Direct3D Acceleration, and then click Exit.

Method 4: Update DirectX

To obtain the most current version of DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.mspx

Hardware-specific video issues

ATI video cards and adaptors

  • ATI Radeon Mobility 6P: Screen display image is too big for the screen in full-screen mode at resolutions higher than 1024x768. To see the full-screen image, use resolutions no higher than 1024x768 or windowed mode. Driver updates do not resolve this issue.
  • ATI Radeon Mobility 9000: Screen display image is too big for the screen in full-screen mode at resolutions higher than 1024x768. To see the full-screen image, use resolutions no higher than 1024x768 or windowed mode. Driver updates do not resolve this issue.
  • ATI Radeon 7500, latest drivers: Line is drawing on the back wing of Cessna Skyhawk SP and Cessna Skylane airplanes.
  • ATI Radeon 8500, retail drivers: Various textures may be missing.
  • ATI Radeon 8500: Using this card with Microsoft Windows 98 and Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me) causes Flight Simulator 2004 to crash. To fix this problem, update to the latest drivers.
  • ATI Radeon 8500: Using this card with Microsoft Windows XP and the retail drivers causes the computer to stop responding. To fix this problem, update to the latest drivers.
  • Gateway ATI Radeon VE, Windows Millennium Edition (Me), retail driver: List selections do not highlight but instead outline when you select airports, aircraft, seasons, flights, time of day, resolutions, and other elements in full-screen mode. The latest driver v4.13.1.3233 from Gateway fixes the problem.
  • When you use the ATI All-In-Wonder 128 graphics card, the sun may appear distorted or be absent when the MIP mapping-quality is set to anything other than 4.
  • ATI Rage 128 with the latest drivers: At resolutions of 1024x768 and higher, display problems occur when you press ALT. At resolutions below 1024x768 however, such problems do not occur.
  • ATI Rage 128: If you see random colored triangles drawn on the screen, your ATI Rage 128 card requires an updated driver.
  • ATI Radeon DDR 64 MB in Microsoft Windows 2000, retail drivers: Polygons may flash on the screen, typically when the airplane is flying.
  • ATI Radeon 9700 and 9800: When you scroll in the Flight Simulator 2004 Learning Center, the screen becomes distorted. This behavior occurs because of video card drivers. To resolve this issue, download and install ATI Catalyst drivers. To do this, visit the following ATI Web site:
    http://support.amd.com/us/Pages/AMDSupportHub.aspx
    To work around this issue, press ALT ENTER to switch the game to Windowed Mode. Also, you can always access the Learning Center from the hard disk drive. Open the following file:
    "lc_index_KeyTopicsTabs.htm" located at: <Drive>:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Flight Simulator 9\FSweb\LearningCenter
To download these drivers, visit the following ATI Technologies Inc. Web site:
http://ati.amd.com/support/driver.html

3dfx video cards and adaptors

  • Voodoo 5 5500, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition: Weather effects, such as rain and snow, may not display correctly.
  • Voodoo 5 5500, 64 MB, Windows 98 Second Edition, all drivers: When you press the ALT key or select from the drop-down menus during a flight, objects, such as airplanes, buildings, and clouds, may not display correctly. You may also notice lines on the screen.
To download 3dfx drivers, visit the following Voodoo Files Web site:

http://www.voodoofiles.com/3dfxhelp.asp

Creative Labs video cards and adaptors

  • Creative Annihilator Pro, Windows 98 Second Edition retail drivers: The game will not run.
To download this driver, visit the following Creative Web site:
http://www.creative.com

Elsa video cards and adaptors

  • ELSA Gladiac MX, all retail drivers: The numbers on the back of the Cessna Skylane appear as a black square in the preview window.
To download this driver, visit the following Neue ELSA GmbH Web site:
http://www.elsa.com.tw

Intel video cards and adaptors

  • On the Intel 845 chipset with driver versions later than 33.17, fog may not appear correctly under low-visibility conditions. Setting the visibility to 10 miles may cause display problems.
  • Intel 82865G
    When you start the game, you may receive the following error message:
    Windows - System Error (X) Microsoft Windows detected and recovered from a device failure. Please save your work and reboot to restore full functionality.
    To resolve this issue, download and install the latest drivers. If the issue continues to occur, adjust the game Graphics quality. To download the latest video card drivers, visit the following Intel Web site:
    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/
To download this driver, visit the following Intel Web site:
http://www.intel.com

Matrox video cards and adaptors

  • Matrox Millennium G-200: Rain and snow are not animated. Airports may look white at night.
  • Matrox Millennium G-400, Windows 98 Second Edition, Windows Millennium Edition (Me), and Windows XP retail and latest drivers: The game may lock up, typically when the aircraft is flying. The problem is less frequent with Windows XP.
  • Matrox Millennium G-550 in Windows Millennium Edition (Me) latest drivers: Background screen will be corrupted in full-screen mode. Use windowed mode instead.
  • Matrox Parhelia: Rendered fog is not displayed correctly in the Virtual Cockpit view. To resolve this issue, download and install the 9.1 Update. To do this, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=92cf4b8c-ea69-476b-a276-618c4ab52aaf&DisplayLang=en
To download these drivers, visit the following Matrox Web site:
http://www.matrox.com

NVIDIA video cards and adaptors

  • Nvidia GeForce FX cards: When you start the game, the cockpit appears black and the instrument panel does not appear. To resolve this issue, download and install the latest Nvidia card drivers.

    Update to the version 45.23 or higher drivers. To do this, visit the following NVIDIA Web site:
    http://www.nvidia.com/page/home.html
    Although we recommend that you update your drivers, the following information could let you work around the issue. From the NVIDIA control panel set the Antialiasing option to the Application setting. The Application setting controls antialiasing directly in the game.

    To work around this issue, follow these steps:
    1. Open Display Properties. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
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      the Start button
      , type Display Settings in the Start Search box, and then click Display Settings in the Programs list.

      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      User Account Control
					 permission
      If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password, or click Continue.

      To open Display Properties in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type desk.cpl, and then click OK.
    2. Click the Settings tab, and then click Advanced.
    3. Click the tab that displays the name of your NVIDIA GPU.
    4. Click the Performance and Compatibility Settings option from the menu on the left.
    5. Locate the second slider. The second slider is the Antialiasing slider.
    6. Move the slider all the way to the left to the Application setting.
    7. Click Apply for the change to take effect.
  • Nforce motherboards with integrated audio may require upgraded BIOS (Basic Input/Output System) and drivers.
To download this driver, visit the following NVIDIA Web site:
http://www.nvidia.com/page/home.html

SiS video cards (SiS651, SiS741, SiS760)

This issue may also occur with other SiS chipsets. The instrument panel in the game is black. To resolve this issue, download and install the latest IGP graphics drivers. To do this, visit the following SiS Web site:

http://w3.sis.com/download/agreement.php?url=/download/

S3 Graphics video cards and adaptors

  • Savage IX with latest driver: Clouds in the distance may appear in front of the horizon. These clouds disappear in Slew mode.
  • Super Savage IXC and Twister K, latest driver, Windows XP: The aircraft and runway may disappear when you select weather.
To download these drivers, visit the following S3 Graphics Web site:
http://www.s3graphics.com

References

To learn more about troubleshooting games in Windows Vista, follow the instructions in the "Troubleshoot game problems" topic in Windows Vista Help and Support. To view the topic, follow these steps:
  1. Click Start
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    Start button
    , and then click Help and Support.
  2. In the Search Help box, type Troubleshoot game problems, and then click Search Help.
  3. Click the appropriate topic.
For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us
To see whether applicable driver updates are available, visit the following Microsoft Windows Update Web site:
http://update.microsoft.com
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.
The third-party products that this article discusses are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.

Properties

Article ID: 823628 - Last Review: May 23, 2014 - Revision: 13.0
Applies to
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: Century of Flight
Keywords: 
kbhardware kbdisplay kbhowtomaster KB823628

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