Monday, April 19, 2010

Can you set DEP to "AlwaysOff" on your Dell laptop?

It seems that many people cannot - and unfortunately, this post does not talk about a solution, but rather as a heads-up, or a possible point of focus, for people who might have a solution to offer.

But what is the problem?

Well, as far as I understand it (disclaimer: I do *not* own a Dell laptop), Dell laptops come with a version of preinstalled Windows Vista or Windows 7 on them which has some funky partition mapping on the drive, as well as some disabled features.

For various reasons, there comes a time when users will want to turn the Data Execution Prevention feature off, by opening a Command Prompt Window and entering "bcdedit /set nx AlwaysOff". (This helps run applications that were developed before Vista was available which otherwise trip the DEP flags and crash on the user - some of them being Microsoft's own Flight Simulator series, FS2004 and FSX).

The command can be successfully executed (with administrator rights or elevated privileges), but when the user reboots (sometimes MUCH later on), they are faced with an error 0x7b and a Blue Screen of death (BSOD).

So far, the ONLY reports we have are coming from users with Dell laptops who have NOT scrapped the Dell-provided Windows installations.

The obvious workaround is for these users to FORMAT their drives and install a clean NEW version of Windows (preferably, Windows 7 x64 now), that does NOT come from the Dell-provided disks.

All attempts at contacting Dell about this problem have been met with no success for the moment.

So... do YOU have a solution for this problem? If so, and you are STILL running your Dell laptop with the original, Dell-installed Windows and you were able to turn DEP AlwaysOff, I'm prepared to offer you a free Concorde-X license as a thank-you for sharing that information with me :).

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

How to cleanly install your NVidia drivers

I get this question time and again. I usually suggest DriverCleaner, a utility that's very helpful in ensuring that there are no annoying remains of possible old drivers left in your system. However, I'll admit that's only half the story. For the best experience and the fullest solution, I recommend reading this article, which describes step-by-step what you need to do to get rid of all issues, once and for all (well, until you have to redo it, I guess).

Note: The article was written with Vista in mind, but it certainly applies to Windows 7 in the same way.

The 'disappearing textures' fix for FSX

A lot of bandwidth has been spent already by FSX users on a problem they are experiencing with complex add-ons, such as the Concorde-X, the LDS 767 and other similar products, whereby aircraft and scenery textures disappear after awhile, leaving them transparent, or worse, crashing the system, requiring a restart. This gets very frustrating, especially if it happens at the end of a long flight, right before landing your simulated aircraft.

Thanks to the dedication and hard work of a distinguished member of the FSX Community, Jesus Altuve
, who I want to publicly acknowledge and thank via my blog, it seems that a fix for this problem (which has existed for the past four years, since FSX has been released) is now possible. Jesus has found some new fsx.cfg settings that are undocumented, but help alleviate this issue for everyone that has tried them so far.

It was, however, noted that not every member of our community is equally versed in making changes in their computer, especially when these changes involve digging deep into the internals of Windows folders, some of which are even hidden, and applying edits to files that are normally best left alone by the ordinary FSX user.

As such, I took some time to develop and provide an automated utility that will take care of the edits for you, allowing different levels of control to the various items that are there for editing.

Version 1.0 of the automated FSX Texture Fix utilty is already released in the FSLabs web site forum downloads section. I'd welcome some feedback if you use this utility, as the news on how these edits work is constantly coming and more discoveries are coming out as time passes.

Once more - please allow me to express our gratitude and thanks to Jesus Altuve
for his dedication and hard work!

Without further ado, you can download the utility

Saturday, April 03, 2010

So it's out...

The Concorde-X has been out for quite a couple weeks now and the responses have been overwhelming! So far, apart from a few small issues that all new product releases carry, our customers have been cheering this release, saying that it's one of the best products out there for Flight Simulator X!

I was browsing the net today and stumbled upon a wonderful podcast (and a video too!) from our good friends at, which describes in detail what they think of our product!

Thanks guys, it means a lot to us that you feel this way!