If you have MSFS installed alongside the Capture One photo editing application, a weird Windows DLL bug causes the game to crash to desktop without any warning or error report. Here’s how you can fix it.

After getting a working HOTAS again after almost a year and a half of being too busy with other things to sort that out, I’ve decided to finally reinstall Microsoft Flight Simulator. My immediate enthusiasm was quickly dampened when the thing kept crashing to desktop. It didn’t do that when I last played it almost exactly two years ago, but since then I’ve changed the CPU, GPU, motherboard and RAM in my machine, so I was initially very much at a loss what might be causing these crashes.

The Windows Event Viewer told me that the crashes were caused by MSFS producing an error in clr.dll, more specifically exception code c0000005. Apparently, this error code indicates a memory access violation. On the Microsoft Flight Simulator forums, I found many threads like this one that told me that I am not the only one experiencing this issue, which is always good to know, but weren’t helpful beyond that. There were many conflicting suggestions that didn’t help me solve the issue and some of them were plain stupid. Especially the people immediately blaming faulty system RAM, when it is highly unlikely that such a fault would only manifest in one game. Believe me, If you have serious RAM issues, you’ll notice that very quickly and usually all over the place.

After some digging, I finally found this thread, which gave me the solution to my problem:

CTDs can be caused by many reasons. This one is rather exotic and I like to share my findings for anyone with the same problem. I experienced many in-flight CTDs for weeks (or even months) and was not able to complete any flight for months.

Analyzing the windows error reporter logs I found a few suspicous dll files loaded into the MSFS process. These files belong to a codec installed by Capture One 20 and are not needed to run MSFS.

So, if you are experiencing similar issues and have a Capture One installation on the same machine, you can try the following workarround:

  • Go to your Capture One installation folder
  • Rename the file “Capture One 20\WIC\WIC64\P1.WIC.NativeComWrapper.dll” to “Capture One 20\WIC\WIC64\P1.WIC.NativeComWrapper.dll.off”

Warning: I do not know what for the codec is used in Capture One, so this may lead to other problems within Capture One.

At first, this sounds very far-fetched. Or, as the forum poster puts it: rather exotic. But I did indeed have Capture One 20 installed, so I figured, I might try this. I renamed the file P1.WIC.NativeComWrapper.dll in the directory suggested above to P1.WIC.NativeComWrapper.dll.off and I haven’t had a single Microsoft Flight Simulator crash since.

Since implementing this fix, I’ve logged about four flight hours, flying around the Ruhr Area and from Düsseldorf to Hamburg and on to Heligoland without issues. Well, aside from the landing issues I have been having on Heligoland, but that is a completely different story. What a weird bug! And there are a lot of people affected, especially considering this bug is so quirky and only occurs if you have MSFS installed alongside Capture One on Windows 10. Thanks to that original author on the MSFS forums for figuring it out!