457: My P3Dv4 Setting Up #6 – A New Practical Aircraft Migration

When I was reinstalling A2A aircraft for P3Dv4, I grumbled what the heck the developers are doing in altering the aircraft installation folder from “SimObjects” to “Prepar3D v4 Add-ons” under Documents.  But after reviewing the file hierarchy further, I have to admit that it is in fact a nice user-friendly touch.

The move not only avoids the chance of messing up with original files in P3D, but it also can eliminate the need of reinstalling aircraft after P3D is forced to clean install again for whatever reasons or when update is available.

Under the new structure, the P3Dv4-ready A2A installer (in my case) added the aircraft location to the “add-ons.cfg” in the Prepar3D.cfg directory after
installation.  Then created an XML file called “add-on.xml“, which contains all the sub-folder information, in the root directory of the aircraft folder as well.

Since these two files Continue reading

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453: Switching to P3Dv4 Q&A

A friend who sent me an email asking my opinion about making the jump from Prepar3D v3 to v4.

One of the biggest reasons he has not yet switching, is that he has TONS of addons for v3, and TONS of modifications that he has made.   And he really loathes the thought of having to set everything up again from scratch because he has spent many, many, many hours, getting p3d v3 to the way he has it now.

I guess there are still friends who have similar questions in mind about the switching.  So I am posting my replies to him below: Continue reading

447: FIPs for P3Dv4 and New Drivers

Received a number of inquiries recently from friends who asked for advises why their FIPs (Flight Instrument Panels) no longer work after upgrading to P3Dv4.

Causes are in general similar — the exe.xml and/or the DLL.XML are missing.   Because these two files don’t come with the simulator nor created by the Saitek drivers by default.  Moreover, the latest FSUIPC5 is also a prerequisite.

Fixes are simple: Continue reading

444: A Temporary Measure to Restore Enhanced Textures

Although the program architecture of Prepar3Dv4 has moved from 32-bit to 64-bit, one should not henceforth assume that its associated environment (sky, cloud, sea, ground) texture data would have been upgraded accordingly.

Actually they are largely the same as those used in previous P3D versions, and in FSX as well.   Only a limited number of files I found so far have been changed or converted into a different format.

This is good because it means that it is possible for me to restore my previously saved enhanced environment texture backup (put together from different addons) onto P3Dv4 now, without waiting until those addon programs becoming version 4 compatible later. Continue reading

439: My P3Dv4 Setting Up #05 – Orbx Additions

With the new FTXCentral 3, all Orbx Global and Continental Regions are added to P3Dv4 without any difficulty.   However, since none of the airports from the company is available for the new version at the moment, I therefore installed (copied) my favorite airports — Bowerman (KHQM), Concrete Mun (3w5) and Darrington Mun (1S2) — straightly from previously ripped backups.   No issues spotted so far except control panels for the airports no longer function.

In addition, since I used to set the “Detail Bump Map” as “Fine” via FTX Aero, and because the FTX Aero feature is still not compatible with P3Dv4 yet, I also manually replaced the default “detail1.bmp” in

  • \Scenery\World\texture” with the one copied from
  • \ORBX\Scripts\Aero\Source\Scenery.World.Texture.detail1.bmp.Fine

Continue reading

437: My PD3v4 Setting Up #03 – Aircraft Continuity

One of the most important tunings to me after upgrading to P3Dv4 (actually any update or upgrade) is to ensure the continuity of the newly reinstalled or copied aircraft to be run as they did in the previous version consistently .  
Followings are the steps:

STEP 1.)
Copy corresponding “Aircraft.cfg” files from

  • “P:\Prepar3Dv3\SimObjects\Airplanes” to
  • P:\Prepar3Dv4\SimObjects\Airplanes

STEP 2.)
Copy corresponding aircraft flying records (“state.cfg“) from “SimObjects” in

  • “C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v3” to
  • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4

Since P3Dv4 involves the using of new Windows system registries, Continue reading

436: My PD3v4 Setting Up #02 – FSX Aircraft Migration

This post is originally the first aritcle in the “My P3Dv4 Setting Up” series.   However, since I do normally perform the configuration back up mentioned in the second article first, I therefore rename this post to #02 and the second post #1.   Publishing time adjusted as well to reflect the proper order.

As stated in the About FSX Times of this blog, my goal is to achieve a stable flight simulation system performance with a minimum 30 fps in average.   Luckily, I’ve been able to achieve that goal with some compromises.   But unluckily, that 30-something fps level also acts like a barrier that stops me from passing.

I am not sure yet whether the 64-bit P3Dv4 and my new hardware would help break this spell for good.   But the 120 to 210 fps initially gained from the new system without any tuning seems like a promising start.

As the hardware side of my new cockpit is still not ready, I’ll take it slowly to install addons and to finetune the system. Continue reading

435: My P3Dv4 Setting Up #01 – Configuration Backup

Actually this is the second piece in the “My P3Dv4 Setting Up” series of articles.   However, since I normally do the back up before migrating FSX aircraft described in the last story, I therefore name this post #01 and rename the last one #2.   Publication time is adjusted as well for proper display order.

After every installation (whether it is P3D or FSX or other similar programs, and no matter if it is a new install or a re-installation), I’ll immediately do a back up for the key configuration files first.    In P3Dv4, most of the user-configurable files are located in the following folders:

  • C:\Users\<username>\AppData\Roaming\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4
  • C:\ProgramData\Lockheed Martin\Prepar3D v4

The first one is where the Prepar3D.cfg and some other key configuration files reside.   The second contains the Scenery.cfg and other related configurations. Continue reading