Flight Simulator 2004: The game does not start, the game stops responding, or the game shows the splash screen and then quits unexpectedly when you try to start Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight

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SUMMARY

Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight may have trouble starting on a Microsoft Windows-based computer. This problem may occur if you move your My Documents folder, if there are problems with DirectX, and if the default settings in the configuration file have to be changed. DirectX has known conflicts with NVIDIA Driver Helper Service and Quick View Plus.

SYMPTOMS

When you try to start Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight, you may experience one of the following symptoms:
  • The game does not start.
  • The game shows the splash screen, and then the game quits unexpectedly.
  • The game stops responding (hangs).

CAUSE

This problem may occur if one of the following conditions is true:
  • The My Documents folder is not in the default location.
  • The DirectX installation is damaged, or was not correctly updated.
  • The NVIDIA Driver Helper Service is interfering with Flight Simulator 2004.
  • The configuration file is damaged, or the default settings have to be modified.

RESOLUTION

To resolve this problem, use the following methods in the order that they appear in depending on your situation.

Method 1: Download and install the Flight Simulator 9.1 update

To obtain the latest update, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=92cf4b8c-ea69-476b-a276-618c4ab52aaf&DisplayLang=en
Select the language for the version of Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004 that you have installed, and then download the update. After the download is completed, locate the download, and then open it to install the update.

Method 2: Restore the My Documents folder to the default location

Note Because there are several versions of Microsoft Windows, the following steps may be different on your computer. If they are, see your product documentation to complete these steps.
To restore the My Documents folder in Windows XP and the Document folder in Windows Vista, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Documents or My Documents Properties dialog box. To do this in Windows Vista, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start
      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      Start button
      , right-click Documents, and then click Properties.
    2. On the Location tab, note the current location that is listed in the Target box.
    3. On the Location tab, click Restore Default.
    4. Click Restore Default.

      If Restore Default is not available, your Documents folder is already in the default location. Click Cancel, and then go to Method 2.
    To open the the Documents or My Documents Properties dialog box in Microsoft Windows XP and earlier versions, follow these steps:
    1. Right-click the My Documents folder.
    2. Click Properties.
    3. Note the current location that is listed in the Target box.
    4. Click Restore Default.

      If Restore Default is not available, your My Documents folder is already in the default location. Click Cancel, and then go to Method 2.
  2. Click Apply.
  3. If you are prompted to move all the files, click No.
  4. Start Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight, and then quit Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight.

    Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight should create user specific files in your My Documents folder.
  5. Restore the My Documents folder in Windows XP or in the Documents folder in Windows Vista to the previous non-default location. To do this in Windows Vista, follow these steps:
    1. Click Start
      Collapse this imageExpand this image
      Start button
      , right-click Documents, and then click Properties.
    2. Type the full path of the previous location in the Target box.

      This location was noted in step 1b in the Windows Vista section.
    In Windows XP and earlier versions, follow these steps:
    1. Right-click the My Documents folder.
    2. Click Properties.
    3. Type the full path of the previous location in the Target box.

      This location was noted in step 1c in the Windows XP section.
  6. Click Apply.
  7. When you are prompted to move all the files, click Yes.
The new Flight Simulator files are moved back to the previous location of the My Documents folder.

If these steps do not correct the problem, go to the next method.

Method 3: Verify that DirectX is installed correctly

To verify that DirectX has been installed correctly and that all DirectX files are the correct version, follow these steps:
  1. Open the DirectX Diagnostic Tool. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    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, on the System tab, verify that the DirectX version is version 9.0a or a later version.

    If you have an earlier version than 9.0a, go to Method 6.
  3. On the DirectX Files tab, in the Notes box, verify that the text No problems found appears.

    Note If problems are found, install the latest version of DirectX. To obtain the latest version of DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.aspx
  4. On the Network tab, verify that the symptoms of a corrupted DirectPlay installation are not present. These symptoms include the following:
    • The term "Errors" appears in the Registered DirectPlay Service Providers box.
    • The Test DirectPlay button is unavailable.
    • You receive the following error message in the Notes box:
      The registry information for the DirectXPlay8 TCP/IP service provider is missing or damaged.
    Note If these symptoms are present, quit the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, and then follow these steps:
    1. Register the dpnet.dll file. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
      Collapse this imageExpand this image
       Start button
      , type regsvr 32 dpnet.dll 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 register the dpnet.dll file in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type regsvr32 dpnet.dll in the Open box, and then click OK.
    2. You receive the following message:
      DllRegisterServer in dpnet.dll succeeded.
      Click OK.
    3. Repeat steps 1 through 5 to determine whether the symptoms of a corrupted DirectPlay installation are still present. If the symptoms are still present, quit the DirectX Diagnostic Tool, and then install the latest version of DirectX.
To obtain the latest version, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.aspx
If these steps do not correct the problem, go to the next method.

Method 4: Rebuild the Flight Simulator 2004 configuration file

To rebuild the Flight Simulator configuration file, follow these steps:
  1. Open the FS9 folder. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     Start button
    , type %appdata%\Microsoft\FS9 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 FS9 folder in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type %appdata%\Microsoft\FS9, and then click OK.
  2. Rename the FS9.CFG file to FS9.BAK.
  3. Start Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight.
Restarting Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight rebuilds the configuration file.

If these steps do not correct the problem, go to the next method.

Method 5: Disable NVIDIA Driver Helper Service

To disable the NVIDIA Driver Help Service, follow these steps:
  1. Open Windows Services. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     Start button
    , type services.msc 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 Windows Services in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type services.msc in the Open box, and then click OK.
  2. Right-click Nvidia Driver Helper Service, and then click Properties.
  3. In the Startup Type box, select Disabled.
  4. Click OK, and then quit the Services program.
If these steps do not correct the problem, go to the next method.

Method 6: Manually create the Flight Simulator Files folder

To manually create the Flight Simulator Files folder, follow these steps:
  1. Open the Documents folder. In Windows XP, open the My Documents folder.
  2. If the Flight Simulator Files folder does not exist, create a folder and name it Flight Simulator Files.
  3. Start Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight.
If these steps do not correct the problem, go to the next method.

Method 7: Disable third-party software and install DirectX

If you have Quick View Plus by Avantstar installed, follow these steps:
  1. Follow the instructions that appear on the Avantstar Web site. To do this, visit the following Avantstar Web site:
    http://www.avantstar.com/metro/home/Products/QuickViewPlus10/Info/Support
    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.
  2. Install the latest version of DirectX. To obtain the latest version of DirectX, visit the following Microsoft Web site:
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/directx/default.aspx
If these steps do not correct the problem, go to the next method.

Method 8: Full-screen device initialization is slow or failing

To run in full-screen mode, follow these steps:
  1. Open the FS9 folder. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     Start button
    , type %appdata%\Microsoft\FS9 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 FS9 folder in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type %appdata%\Microsoft\FS9, and then click OK.
  2. Use a text editor, such as Notepad, to open the file.
  3. Locate the text fullscreen=1, and then change it to Fullscreen=0.
  4. Save the file, and then quit Notepad.
  5. Start Flight Simulator 2004 - A Century of Flight, and then press ALT+ENTER to run in full-screen mode.
If these steps do not correct the problem, go to the next method.

Method 9: Disable the Main Menu opening movie

To do this, follow these steps:
  1. Open the FS9 folder. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     Start button
    , type %appdata%\Microsoft\FS9 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 FS9 folder in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type %appdata%\Microsoft\FS9, and then click OK.
  2. Use Notepad to open the file.
  3. Under the [STARTUP] section, replace the Show_opening_Screen= text with the following text: Show_opening_Screen=0.
  4. Save the file, and then quit Notepad.

Method 10: Start Flight Simulator by using an administrator user account

If you are not logged on to your computer under an account that has administrator permissions, create an account that has administrator permissions. Log on to Microsoft Windows by using the new administrator account, and then start Flight Simulator. To do this, follow these steps.

Note A user who has administrative credentials must create a new administrator account.
  1. Open Local Users and Groups. To do this in Windows Vista, click Start
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
     Start button
    , type lusrmgr.msc 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 Local Users and Groups in Windows XP and earlier versions, click Start, click Run, type lusrmgr.msc, and then click OK.
  2. In the console tree, click Users.
  3. On the Action menu, click New User.
  4. Type the appropriate information in the dialog box.
  5. Click to select or click to clear the following check boxes:
    • User must change password at next logon
    • User cannot change password
    • Password never expires Account is disabled
    Click Create, and then click Close.
  6. Double-click the new user, and then click the Member of tab.
  7. Click Add, and then type administrators in the Select Groups dialog box.
  8. Click Check names to resolve the administrator group object, and then click OK.

MORE INFORMATION

For more information about how to resolve this issue, click the following article number to view the article in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
303032 Games: The game stops responding or quits unexpectedly
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. 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
    Collapse this imageExpand this image
    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.

Properties

Article ID: 837195 - Last Review: September 29, 2011 - Revision: 3.0
APPLIES TO
  • Microsoft Flight Simulator 2004: Century of Flight
Keywords: 
kbconfig kbprb KB837195

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