Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1 ships

The project that has kept me busy since moving to the ACES Studio at the beginning of the year is finally out the door! Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1 is now available from fsinsider.com. Also available is Flight Simulator X Software Development Kit SP1A.

I’ll be discussing both projects in more detail in future posts, but for now, here’s a quick summary:

  • FSX SP1 is delivered in multiple per-language self-extractors, each of which contains two patches, one for each of the two editions Flight Simulator X is available in (Standard and Deluxe). Of the approximately 42,000 files(!) in RTM, only a couple of hundred were patched or added in SP1.Because of how the FSX RTM setup was built, it wasn’t feasible to ship one patch for all the editions and languages. I built the patch-creation packages (.pcp files) in WiX v3 and built the patches using MsiMsp and PatchWiz 3.1. However, it wasn’t otherwise a “typical” patch build; the RTM setup auto-generated most of its 42,000 files so file IDs and component GUIDs and IDs weren’t stable. That’s why I needed to build 13 distinct patches (two each for English, French, German, Italian, Polish, and Spanish and one for Japanese). It also meant that I couldn’t follow the typical approach of rebuilding the upgrade MSI packages — the GUIDs and IDs kept changing. The story of building custom upgrade packages deserves its own series of posts.
  • FSX SDK SP1A is delivered in one self-extractor. It’s available only in English and only for users of the Deluxe editions, so we needed to deliver only one package. Unlike the game itself, the SDK update is delivered as a new product, not a patch. I investigated delivering a patch for the SDK too, but ran into the same issues with changing IDs as with the game. Another complication was the release of SDK SP1 (without the “A” suffix); it also shipped as a product but with custom code that manually updated and deleted files in the RTM SDK. Both issues combined, a patch wasn’t something I could pull off in a reasonable timeframe. So I created a new SDK product using WiX v3. The self-extractor is the WiX v3 setup.exe chainer. By dropping the auto-generation, I had more work to keep the setup current but we’ll be in a great position for future patches.

The entire ACES Studio can be justifiably proud of the tremendous effort that went into FSX SP1 and SDK SP1A. Naturally, I just wrote above about the work that went into patching and setup, because that’s what I worked on. But a huge amount of work went into performance enhancements and content improvements. I hope every FSX user enjoys it!

Now on to the expansion pack and DirectX 10 update

11 Replies to “Flight Simulator X Service Pack 1 ships”

  1. Dear Bob,
    I have problem with reinstallation (uninstallation) FSX.
    As you know after 1st installation when you start running FSX for the 1st time, Completing Setup window appears.
    When I reinstall FSX and start it running this window never appears again.
    In this case SP1, which I install subsequently, causes FSX crash when view is switched to VC.
    I unistall FSX via Add/Remove programs, then delete all FSX files, use CCleaner to clean Windows registry, restart PC and install FSX. I start it running and there is no Completing Setup window.
    It looks like FSX is never uninstalled properly. I try to solve this problem 6 months, visited many forums but nothing has helped.
    Please can you give me any help or tip how to uninstall FSX porperly. I am really desperate.

  2. Try deleting the FSX directory in C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Microsoft\. That’s where FSX stores its scenery cache (which is what it’s doing when it says “completing setup”).

  3. Thank you Bob for reply. This directory is deleted as well as FSX directory in C:\Documents and Settings\User_Name\Application Data\Microsoft\. Nothing remains to delelete actually after FSX uninstallation. I just check that this FSX directory is really deleted.
    I tried also clean boot (as in manual) before reinstalation.
    I tried also to delete some registry (I searched for “FSX”) which remain even after using CCleaner (registry cleaner tool) but the situation is worse with every other reinstallation.
    I will really appreciate any other tip. I tried so many things and I donĀ“t know what to try next.

  4. Thanks Bob. Will try that link. Pls just tell me: that FSX directory is supposed to be there after uninstalltion FSX?
    Thank you for your help.

  5. Mario,

    There’s an option during uninstall to remove saved flights but otherwise I think the uninstall cleans up. (I didn’t do the FSX installer so I’m not 100% sure.)

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