Computer suddenly freezing and rebooting itself, Windows 10 X-Plane 11.55 on either xPilot or swift

My PC has been having bad reactions to the combination of X-Plane and VATSIM constantly since I joined a few days ago.

The whole-computer freeze and eventual restart sometimes happens when hitting shift-space to take a screenshot, sometimes when clicking back into fullscreen X-Plane after dealing with the VATSIM client or browser window, and sometimes just completely randomly. This had never happened on my sim before I tried to use VATSIM.

Everything on the computer freezes and becomes unresponsive, including the mouse and keyboard (ctrl-alt-delete doesn’t work), and the speaker I use for non-radio sounds in X-Plane makes a continuous buzzing sound. After maybe 20 seconds the computer restarts itself.

The freezups have happened when connected to the server but also a couple times when not connected, just with the client open. Also, they’ve happened with both the xPilot and swift clients (I was using xPilot, then tried installing and running swift with the xPilot plugin disabled, but the freezup happened again).

  • First I noticed my Nvidia graphics driver was a couple days out of date, and updated it (didn’t stop the freezups)
  • It seemed like switching between fullscreen X-Plane and other windows was provoking freezups, so I tried running X-Plane in windowed mode (didn’t fix it)
  • I tried switching back to OpenGL graphics in X-Plane instead of Vulkan (didn’t work)
  • I tried removing any X-Plane plugins that could be remotely related to aircraft traffic or disrupt the xPilot plugin in the sim (didn’t work)

My issue sounds kind of similar to the problem described in this post, although they’re using P3D and vPilot: https://forums.vatsim.net/topic/31790-can-vpilot-cause-pc-to-freeze/

I’m excited to be able to add VATSIM to my simming experience, but currently stuck with this issue. I would really appreciate any help or advice with getting X-Plane and VATSIM to work uninterrupted.

Hi Asher,

how did you disable xPilot (or swift, respectively)? Via X-Plane’s built-in Plugin Manager? Or by using the payware program xOrganizer? If it’s the first: this won’t work, unfortunately. You’ll need to move xPilot’s (or swift’s) folder completely out of the Plugins-directory or disable either plugin through xOrganizer. Btw., all that xOrganizer does is rename the ending of the selected plugin-file, e.g. “win.xpl” :arrow_right: “win.xpl.xorg”. With this new ending X-Plane won’t recognize it as plugin and won’t attempt loading it at startup. This is a critical item, because it otherwise may take possession of multiplayer-data. This might cause conflicts.
Practically you could simply manually do what xOrganizer does: rename those plugin files to “deactivate” them until you’ll need them again.

Just to re-iterate this important detail: only one pilot client plugin can be activated at a time.

The one time I tried using the swift client instead of xPilot so far, I manually renamed the “.xpl” file in the xPilot X-Plane plugin to “.xpl.disabled”. However, I still had a freezup when I clicked back into fullscreen X-Plane after using the swift GUI to connect to VATSIM.

All the other freezes were while using xPilot, and they were either before I installed swift, or while I had the xswiftbus plugin removed from X-Plane or the .xpl renamed to “.xpl.disabled”.

Alright, this seems not to be an issue with either plugin, but something else. Is there anything useful in the log.txt file in the main directory of X-Plane? What are the last few lines of log data?

This is the most recent log.txt after I connected to the server with xPilot and all other X-Plane plugins removed except those I assumed wouldn’t cause any conflicts (I could be wrong about those, maybe one is the culprit).

log.txt

But in this case you did not suffer a computer lockup, did you?

After a computer crash, as described you above, such a log-file might be more useful, because it will stop logging events right at that moment. When you start X-Plane again, a new log.txt will be created and all old log data will be lost.

Oh - in this case, I did have a computer freeze and subsequent reboot, should have clarified. In all the cases I checked the log.txt in, there was no obvious error message at the end.

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I understand.

Now, maybe you mentioned it already, can you test 2 things:

  • use one of the two clients (xPilot/swift) and fly, but do NOT connect to VATSIM. Does the freeze still happen?
  • fly without any of the two client plugins active, does the freeze happen?

Maybe there’s any incompatible CSL file that causes this. Are you able to reduce your CSL model set to just a few aircraft and check if it still freezes?

I’ve done a few test X-Plane sessions and found:

-Flying with neither client open works fine, no freeze/reboots
-Flying with a client and X-Plane open does lead to freeze/reboots, even when not connected to the server (generally happens when clicking back into X-Plane after using other windows)
-Just running a client without X-Plane, and clicking between windows that aren’t X-Plane, doesn’t cause problems

Also, I realized that the freeze/reboots are only happening when I’m using my Bluetooth headphones with the client for VATSIM audio - I think this is the source of the problem.
Running the client and X-Plane with an aux-cable audio device selected in the client settings worked perfectly, no freeze/reboots. Unfortunately I haven’t found a way to get the mic on my headphones to work without using Bluetooth.

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Good analysis, well done! I hope you will be able to find a good solution.

Have you also tried the X-Plane support forum? I am sure that you won’t be the first one suffering from this issue and that there might a way around it. Are you running all programs “as administrator”?

I’ve been able to fly with no client problems at all using wire-based headphones (no microphone), and so I decided to order a wired headset with mic which should hopefully avoid this problem. Thanks very much for the help in narrowing down the issue!

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Great to hear that you were able to identify the culprit. I hope that this will have solved your issues for good.