Unfortunately I had to face the failure of one of my hard disks - I had a backup of most of my source files, but I lost some part of my work on the F-35 and few minor tweaks of the F-14.
On the bright side, this forced a much needed system cleanup (format of the main HD and clean install of Windows XP, FSX and its SDK)... And the reason why I am writing this post is a "pro memoria". It is not the first time I do this, and I always face some difficulties in having the FSX modeling SDK work. It really annoying - and I know that some people approaching the SDK are let down by these issues. On the other hand, other persons do not have this kind of issues - which makes the whole thing even more frustrating for those who coul not manage to make the modeling SDK work.
If you follow the SDK instructions correctly - and they are correct! - you may still be unable to compile a model...for several reasons.
So, I am writing down all the "undocumented" steps you may need to take to make the modeling tools work (either 3D Studio or Gmax) with FSX.
- In the international options you must have the numbers set in the "American way" that is a "dot" should separate the integers from the decimal, while the "comma" separates the thousands (e.g. 113,123.75) - this is the opposite of the "classic" Italian setting - for example. This may create issues in .xml files
- Download and install the .NET FRAMEWORK 2.0 - If you do not the FSX exporter DLE will not work (and appears as "missing" in the modeling tools). .NET was not installed after my clean and genuine Windows XP SP2 installation
- Download and install the DirectX 9.0 SDK - otherwise XtoMDL will not run (Note that the DX9.0 SDK version is NOT the same as the "regular" one)
- Now you can complile your modeld and be happy
By the way, I've also installed Windows 7 64 bit, just for curiosity, and it seems to work fine. Given that, on my machine (i7920 and X295), Vista 64 bit made FSX run smoother (in DX10) than XP (by almost 9-10 fps with the same settings!), Windows 7 seems to work really good. Time for a OS upgrade? Not sure - may be some of my development tools don't work... Still, the new Windows seems good.