By Antonios Kastrinakis 1013354
#530223 G'day,

I posted this on the AVSIM website as well but have had no responses so far. Hoping for some help from the more appropriate forum! Please bear in mind that this is with FSX (SP1 + SP2).

For about a month now I have been having terrible issues with vPilot (which used to be working fine). Basically, what happens are:

1. Constant disconnects from the Vatsim servers no matter which server I choose. The error message is: "Network error. The server has failed to respond to the authentication challenge. Disconnected from the network." (I have double checked my Vatsim status and my account is current).

2. Whenever I start vPilot (on the same computer as the sim itself) I get a stutter-fest peppered with long and short pauses. I usually just fly two aircraft while online (FSL A320 and the PMDG T7). The heavily degraded performance happens with both. If I disconnect from the network I'm back to my usual smooth experience. It's as if vPilot claims a huge chunk of CPU cycles for itself. Never used to be a problem before and I haven't changed anything in my sim. Graphics drivers are the tried and trusted 376.33 version. I tested with the latest drivers but saw no improvement and possibly a bit more of a load on the system.

Any ideas what may be causing this as flying on Vatsim is virtually impossible for me now. IVAO does not seem to have similar issues.



System specs: P8Z77-V PRO | i5 3570K @4.2GHz | 8GB DDR3 | EVGA GTX670 2GB | 500GB Samsung 850 EVO | 250GB Samsung 850 EVO |2TB Seagate | Thrustmaster T16000M HOTAS | CH Yoke | Win 7 PRO 64 |
By Ross Carlson 887155
#530227 You can verify whether or not vPilot is actually using a lot of CPU by using the task manager. Can you do so and let me know? vPilot normally takes a tiny amount of CPU time.
By Antonios Kastrinakis 1013354
#530228 Hi Ross,

and thanks for the quick response! I will try setting up a flight asap and will report back on vPilot behaviour.

Since you're here, may I also ask if VatSpy is working? I keep getting the following error:

Error Loading Config.
The following error occurred while attempting to load configuration object:
There is an error in XML document (0,0)

I'm finding it really odd that out of the blue I am having issues with both pieces of software which had been functioning flawlessly for as long as I can remember.
By Ross Carlson 887155
#530229 That error means your vatspyconfig.xml file got corrupted. You'll need to delete it and let vatspy re-create a default configuration file for you when you run it again.
By Antonios Kastrinakis 1013354
#530232 Started a short flight (NZCH - NZAA, FSL A320) and connected to Vatsim. Approximately ten minutes later I got my first disconnect from the server. Re-connected and continued the taxi.

As you can see from the images (linked to my Dropbox) the vPilot memory footprint looks very reasonable. I noticed a slight jump when the disconnect occurred but it went back down on re-connect. However, having vPilot running did impact the fluidity of the sim. I am linking a short FRAPS vid to illustrate but I'm not sure if you will be able to make out the differences. There is one long pause at 00:16 lasting up to 00:21. I then shut down vPilot at approx. 01:05 at which point the sim reverted to a much smoother experience. ... r.JPG?dl=0 ... r.JPG?dl=0 ... o.JPG?dl=0
Vid: ... s.mp4?dl=0

By Antonios Kastrinakis 1013354
#530234 Hi Ross,

no idea if it also happens with default aircraft. I never fly those so it didn't occur to me to test that. I will.

While on Vatsim I have my (MyTraffic) AI set to 0 and just rely on Vatsim traffic if it's around. However the choppiness and stuttering do manifest themselves during flight as well so I doubt if scenery complexity would play a part. Having said that, I do use ASN and SF3D for my Wx and textures during flights. The odd thing is that everything was working fine until about a month ago. I have fairly conservative settings in the sliders as both my usual go-to add-ons are quite heavy on the system.

Any idea why I keep getting the disconnects from Vatsim? It can happen up to 15-20 times within 10 minutes!
By Ross Carlson 887155
#530237 When I asked about whether or not the number of other aircraft nearby made a difference, I was asking about VATSIM traffic, (since that's what vPilot is responsible for,) not AI traffic. Let me know if the stuttering is worse when there are other VATSIM aircraft around. And let me know if it happens with default aircraft.

Also, do you have any anti-virus or firewall software running? I have heard that in rare cases they can interfere with vPilot sending/receiving data to/from the sim via simconnect.
By Antonios Kastrinakis 1013354
#530256 I'll be out of town for the weekend. Will resume testing from Monday.

Regarding the stuttering I can confirm that it is present even when there is no Vatsim traffic in the area. As to whether it gets worse if there is, is something that will need to be checked. Also to be tested with default aircraft.

I do have ESET Internet Security running on the sim computer which includes a very complicated (to these ignorant eyes anyway) firewall but as I have been running this software for the past 6 years, give or take, and have had no problems (that I know of) with it, it did not occur to me that it could be the cause of anything related to this very recent problem I've been having with the disconnects. As an aside, when I check the default Windows Firewall it says that this application is being managed by vendor application ESET Internet Security.
I am wondering whether I should shut down ESET and simply enable Windows Defender (as an anti virus) and allow the default firewall to manage things for a while and see how it goes?

Thanks for taking time to help me with this issue.
By Antonios Kastrinakis 1013354
#530543 Hi again, Ross,

Apologies for the long delay getting back to you but the real world interfered (as it usually does) delaying further testing.
The frames drops and stuttering continue, sometimes more and sometimes less but I think I am going to put that down to an aging machine and possibly something in the build nearing EOL.

What I would dearly like to solve are the constant disconnects from the VATSIM servers. Any and all of them. Could it be something to do with my ISP and if yes, how could I explain what is happening to their techs so that they can understand what is going on (assuming that none of them know or care what VATSIM is)? In other words, use technical terms that they would easily understand and point them in the right direction.

I uninstalled ESET Security and tried with just Windows Defender running on the machine. It made no difference. I installed bitDefender (free edition) as added security in place of ESET and that also made no difference.

Is there some way I can repair/re-install simconnect without going through the pain of going through an FSX wipe and re-install?
Attaching an image showing the exact message I see in my vPilot window. ... o.jpg?dl=0


By Ross Carlson 887155
#530545 I could try sending you a version of vPilot that gives the server more time to respond to the authentication challenge. Send me a pm with your email address.

You asked about reinstalling simconnect ... are you asking about that as a way to fix this issue? It is definitely not a simconnect problem.