298: Cautious to the New Saitek Drivers

Perhaps some of you have noticed that Saitek has released two new drivers.  The “ProFlight_FSX_Plugin_7_0_40_9_x64_Software” is an integrated driver for all its Pro Flight products except the Flight Instrument Panel (FIP) which requires another new driver “Saitek_Pro_Flight_Instrument_Panel_7_0_40_9_x64_Full_pfw” to support it.

The up-sides of the two new drivers are:  they simplify installation, and the load-up order of the FIPs can now be configured.   The latter feature, in particular, has been a long-time request by almost all FIP users.

However, the down-sides are: the new plugin driver seems not to be very stable and there are glitches encountered during the use of it.   Also, I experienced some incompatibilities between the new driver and SPAD, just like the old Saitek driver cannot be loaded next to SPAD simultaneously.

Furthermore, if you already have FIPs installed, upgrading to the new driver will remove the content in the DirectOutput folder completely.   Because the new driver now uses a new folder called “ProFlight FSX Plugin” under “C:\Program Files (x86)\Saitek\” instead.

Badly enough, there is no warning about the deletion nor any information and guideline about the correct installation/upgrade of the driver at all.

Even though I had successfully installed the new drivers after a number of attempts to figure out what changes were involved while I was rebuilding my system from scratch on Windows 10, I finally decided to go with the old drivers as there are many uncertainties, more than the few issues mentioned above, associated with the new ones.  So far I don’t find any problem with the old drivers on the new OS.

Therefore, be very cautious and remember to back up everything on your computer first if you are planning to try the new drivers.

And to those who are using my paid gauges, note that the installers of the gauges will no longer work after the upgrade because the file structure has been changed.  I will update the installers accordingly later.

For the moment, the quickest solution is to copy all the gauge files plus the SaiFlightSimX.xml you’ve backed-up to the new folder.   That will do.

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4 thoughts on “298: Cautious to the New Saitek Drivers

  1. Hi Tom,

    I thought I would play around with the new drivers. I don’t see how to configure the load up order of the FIP’s. Is it done in the .XML file?

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    1. Hi John,
      I lost the backup of the location of it and I don’t remember exactly where is it. However, try looking for it by entering — %AppData% Saitek
      Sorry for couldn’t help. Let me know if you find the file.
      Tom

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    2. I downloaded the latest drivers for a fresh install on FSX and didn’t run into any issues with the stock gauges staying put on the FIPs I specified through multiple instances of FSX and Windows reboots. Not sure what will happen once I install (manual workaround) Tom’s latest gauges.

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  2. The FIP Customiser will probably not work with the new drivers if the location is different. Did anyone try the FIP Toolkit with the new drivers?

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