How to troubleshoot issues with the Real-World Weather feature and the News feature in Flight Simulator

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Article ID: 836186 - View products that this article applies to.
Important This article contains information that shows you how to help lower security settings or how to turn off security features on a computer. You can make these changes to work around a specific problem. Before you make these changes, we recommend that you evaluate the risks that are associated with implementing this workaround in your particular environment. If you implement this workaround, take any appropriate additional steps to help protect your system.
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SUMMARY

The Real-World Weather feature and the News feature require a connection to the Internet to retrieve the data. Additionally, the data may not be available. You have to consider each of the following possible issues:
  • You may have to connect to the Internet before you start Microsoft Flight Simulator.
  • Flight Simulator may be blocked from retrieving the data by a software firewall or by a hardware firewall.
  • Your Internet service provider (ISP) may be caching the old data.
  • Your computer is not overwriting the old data with the new data.
  • The Real-World Weather feature may not have any data, or may not have hourly data for your location.

INTRODUCTION

This article describes how to troubleshoot common issues with the Real-World Weather feature in Flight Simulator, and the News feature in Microsoft Flight Simulator.

The News feature in Flight Simulator is a Web page in the game. If you are connected to the Internet while you are looking at the page, you see current Flight Simulator news from the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/games/combatfs2/
If you cannot connect to the Internet, or if you are not connected to the Internet, you see a static page.

Both the Real-World Weather feature and the News feature use Port 80 on your computer to access the data.

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Warning This workaround may make your computer or your network more vulnerable to attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses. We do not recommend this workaround but are providing this information so that you can implement this workaround at your own discretion. Use this workaround at your own risk.
Note A firewall is designed to help protect your computer from attack by malicious users or by malicious software such as viruses that use unsolicited incoming network traffic to attack your computer. Before you disable your firewall, you must disconnect your computer from all networks including the Internet.

General troubleshooting information

To verify that the weather servers are up and are running, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://fs2k.zone.com
If you can connect to the Web site and view the Web site content, the weather servers are operational.

To verify that the News servers are up and are running, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/games/combatfs2/
If you can connect to the Web site and you can view the Web site content, the News servers are operational.

How to connect to the Real-World Weather feature Web site and the News feature Web site

When you try to download the Real-World Weather feature, you may receive an error message that is similar to one of the following:
Server name or address could not be resolved.
A connection with the server could not be established.
When you try to view the News page in Flight Simulator, you may receive the following message:
Welcome to Flight Simulator News. You are not currently connected to the Internet.
This issue may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • You are not already connected to the Internet.
  • You are using a software firewall such as Zone Alarm, MacAfee Personal Firewall, Norton Internet Security, or Black Ice Defender that permits or that blocks access to the Internet on a per-program basis.
  • You are behind a hardware firewall that you might find at a place of business or in a router.
To resolve this behavior, follow these steps:
  1. Verify that you are connected to the Internet.

    Try to log on to your ISP before you try to access the Real-World Weather feature. With some ISPs, you must log on before you open a browser session. When you log on to an ISP, TCP/IP is loaded and provides connectivity to the Internet. To connect to the Real-World Weather feature, you must have an existing TCP/IP session.
  2. To determine if you are using a software firewall, look in the notification area at the far right of the taskbar or on the desktop for an icon that represents a firewall or a filtering program.

    Pause on each icon in the notification area and read the tool tip to determine if the icon represents firewall or filtering software. Verify that your software firewall is configured to permit TCP/IP connections with port 80. Verify that your software firewall is configured to permit your version of Flight Simulator to communicate with the Internet. For information about contacting your software firewall vendor, see the "Contact information" section later in this article.
  3. If you have a software firewall, you can temporarily disable it for troubleshooting purposes.

    Right-click the icon, and then click Disable. If Disable is not available, click Exit. If you can connect after you disable your firewall, Microsoft recommends that you contact the manufacturer of that firewall about permitting Flight Simulator to access the Internet.
  4. Contact the administrator of your network to make sure that port 80 is open, and that any requests to port 80 are not being redirected to another port.

How to troubleshoot issues with the Real-World Weather feature or the News feature

The Real-World Weather feature my seem "stale" or does not match the current conditions. This behavior may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • Your Temporary Internet Files folder contains old copies of the weather data files, and the files are not replaced with new information.
  • Your ISP is caching or storing a copy of the Real-World Weather files on their servers to speed up your download process. If these files are not renewed each day, you are downloading the same data each day.
  • The Real-World Weather service is not updating the data correctly.
  • There are also areas of the world where data may not be available to the Real-World Weather servers or where that data is not being updated correctly.
To resolve this behavior, try the following methods in the order that they appear.

Method 1: Empty your Temporary Internet Files folder before you turn on the Real-World Weather feature
Windows Vista
To resolve this issue, follow the steps in the appropriate section.

The computer is connected to the Internet

View the "Delete temporary Internet files" topic on the following Windows Online Help and Support Web site:
http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-us/Help/1d862c06-aeb3-403a-8b58-2a76c8c676911033.mspx

The computer is not connected to the Internet

View the "Delete temporary Internet files" topic in Windows Help and Support on the computer's hard disk by following these steps:
  1. Click Start, and then click Help and Support.
  2. In the Search Help box or in the Search online Help box, type Delete temporary Internet files, and then click Search Help.
  3. In the list of topics, click Delete temporary Internet files.
  4. Click the link that best describes the problem that you are experiencing.
  5. Follow the suggestions to troubleshoot the problem that you are experiencing.
Microsoft Windows XP
To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Quit Flight Simulator.
  2. Start Microsoft Internet Explorer.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Internet Options.
  4. On the General tab, click Delete Files under Temporary Internet files, and then click OK.
  5. Start Flight Simulator, and then open the flight that you want to fly.
  6. On the World menu, click Weather.
  7. Click to select the Local Weather check box, and then click Real-world weather.
  8. Click OK.
Method 2: Verify that your ISP is not caching data


Contact your ISP to make sure that they are not caching the data from http://fs2k.zone.com. For information about how to contact your ISP, see the "Contact information" section later in this article.

Method 3: Configure local weather conditions manually


In the real world, weather information is gathered by all kinds of measuring devices at weather stations. In Flight Simulator, the locations of the Real-World weather stations are duplicated and Real-World Weather tries to make sure that the weather in the simulation is as accurate as possible. In areas where there are no weather reporting stations available, Flight Simulator extrapolates the possible conditions that might exist. Unfortunately, some weather reporting stations only update the main database one or two times daily. This difference between reported data and actual conditions is reflected in the simulation.

You can set you weather conditions yourself. You can find more information about how to do this in the Help Files of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 and in Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002. Similar information is also available in the Learning Center of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight.

Note Sometimes the Real-World Weather servers may not be updating correctly. Microsoft has a system that monitors these events and every attempt is made to make sure that such issues are resolved quickly. Contacting Microsoft Product Support Services will not speed up or change this process.

How to access the Real-World Weather feature or the News feature from Flight Simulator

This behavior occurs if you are using some popup-blocking software. To work around this behavior, disable the popup-blocking software before you try to use these features. Currently, the only known program with this issue is Antiy Labs' Ghostbusters. For more information about this behavior, visit the following Antiy Labs Web site:
http://www.antiy.net
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.

How to contact the manufacturer of your hardware or software

For information about your hardware manufacturer, visit the following Web site:
http://support.microsoft.com/gp/vendors/en-us
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: 836186 - Last Review: September 29, 2011 - Revision: 9.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Deluxe
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator X Standard
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: Century of Flight
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 Standard Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2002 Professional Edition
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2000 Standard Edition
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