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Torrents with many files


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Hi,

I am running into the following problem. Whenever I try to download a torrent that has a large number of individual files (like for example, the Mame 0.139 ROMs torrent), then Bitcomet freezes up and stops responding. The torrent consists of roughly 8700 individual files, ranging in size from a few bytes to a few megabytes (with few larger exceptions). I have to manually kill BitComet, and then remove the torrent and files, before Bitcomet will behave as normal again. Simply killing and starting BitComet is not enough - the torrent and files must be deleted. Im using BitComet 1.22 on Windows Vista SP2.

Thanks,

Regards,

John Smith.

Edited by lbalbalba (see edit history)
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Please explain, in considerable detail, exactly what you mean by this?

Repeatedly starting bitcomet, hoping it doesnt freeze immediately (if it does, kill it and restart), and sometimes you just have enough time to right click the torrent and select 'delete task and downloaded files'. That solves the problem.

PS:

I could have sworn that I posted this in the 'bugs' forum, was it moved by someone or did I just not pay enough attention when I posted ?

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PM me with the link to the .torrent file. I'll post it in the staff section for the staff member to access.

I'd like to try it myself and see if I can reproduce the behavior you mention.

Thanks - and please let me know if you are or aren't able to reproduce the behaviour. It would really ease my mind if this is reproducible by others, but even if it isn't that may be a good starting point to determine differences in setup that might explain things.

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I can't reproduce the behavior you describe. I've downloaded and started downloading the torrent on two laptops:

  1. one using Win XP SP3;
  2. one using Windows 7 Home Edition.

On both, it downloaded and started running just fine. Granted there were a few seconds of delay, since the .torrent file is quite big (about 0.5 MB) and it takes a little longer to parse it.

But nothing other than that.

When does this problem occur?

When you download a torrent to create a task, there are some steps involved.

1. Your browser downloads the .torrent file.

2. Whether it's set it will open the .torrent file or if not it will present you with a choice to open or save the file; or you can open it manually (it doesn't really matter). The idea is to open it somehow.

3. The task properties dialog appears.

4. After you hit the "Download Now" or "Download Later" button the task is created (it appears in the Task List) and depending on your previous choice it starts running or not.

How far do you get on that scale?

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I can't reproduce the behavior you describe.

Crap. That must mean there's something funny going on with my system/configuration...

:(

When you download a torrent to create a task, there are some steps involved.

1. Your browser downloads the .torrent file.

2. Whether it's set it will open the .torrent file or if not it will present you with a choice to open or save the file; or you can open it manually (it doesn't really matter). The idea is to open it somehow.

3. The task properties dialog appears.

4. After you hit the "Download Now" or "Download Later" button the task is created (it appears in the Task List) and depending on your previous choice it starts running or not.

How far do you get on that scale?

All the way to '4'. But after (or perhaps during ?) the creation of the task, BitComet freezes up on me.

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BitComet keeps its tasks in an xml file named "downloads.xml", which should be in the %appdata% folder. If it's not there, then it's in the program folder, but beware of Virtual Storage.

Since it's an .xml file you can edit it with Notepad. Back it up before you touch it.

Now knowing that, you can rename, move, edit that file in order to assure that you can start BitComet without hanging the system or having to play finger games to stop tasks quickly enough. Set BC not to start at boot while you're workign through this, to prevent getting hung up.

My first suspicion is that you've loaded a torrent which is so large that areas of memory which don't usually get exercised, are finally being used -- and dying. This one is, fortunately, easy to test. Download the current version of memtest86 from memtest.org. It's free. You'll need to make a bootable medium one way or another -- burn a CD, write a portable drive, format a floppy. Anyway, boot it, go away and let it run for a couple of hours. Memtest is good, if it says you have problems then you really do.

If you're having memory issues, the nothing anyone else says about anything is going to be reliable on your system. It's also something you can do right now, so why not get it out of the way, one way or the other?

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Checking your hardware (e.g. you memory, as kluelos advised you) it's always a good thing to do when dealing with this sort of errors.

If that turns out nothing, the first thing I would do, if I were you, would be to backup my Task List and the \torrents folder, then uninstall BitComet and make sure any trace of it is gone from the:

  • Program Files folder;
  • AppData\Local\VirtualStore folder:
  • or AppData\Roaming folder;
  • Windows Registry (BitComet doesn't use registry entries for storing its settings but it uses some for storing plugins settings, shell entries and file associations).

After that, reinstall BitComet but don't import the TaskList just yet. Just open the .torrent file which gives you trouble to see how it behaves on a clean installation of BitComet.

If it works well, then you can try re-copying the \torrents folder back and importing the Task List.

If it still doesn't work on your machine, try opening it on another Vista machine which uses the same BitComet version as yours (You can download a "green" version which doesn't use an installer, on that machine, if it doesn't have your version installed).

The idea is to narrow down the list of possible causes with every step you take. It doesn't sound to appealing, I know, but if you wish to get to the bottom of this you'll have to start somewhere.

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Just two quick questions:

1) Do you have enough free hard drive space?

2) Are you doing anything to the files before the download freezes or reaches 100%?

1.)

Yeah, I have enough free disk space to contain the fully downloaded files in the torrent.

2.)

No, im not touching the files myself. The only thing that I can think of that could be messing with the files is my viruscanner, but I disabled that and it didnt make the problem go away.

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... Download the current version of memtest86 from memtest.org. It's free. You'll need to make a bootable medium one way or another -- burn a CD, write a portable drive, format a floppy. Anyway, boot it, go away and let it run for a couple of hours...

I ran memtest86+, as suggested, and it reported no errors.

Edited by greywizard
Removed full quotation (see edit history)
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You can back up the Task List by going to File-->Import and Export Download List menu.

Or you can simply copy the downloads.xml file. It will be located in the \BitComet folder along with the \torrents subfolder, in one of the other two locations I've mentioned in my previous post (make sure you make a copy of the \torrents folder too, no matter what method you use to backup the tasklist as you'll need the .torrent files to restore your current downloads).

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backup my Task List and the \torrents folder, then uninstall BitComet and make sure any trace of it is gone from the:

  • Program Files folder;
  • AppData\Local\VirtualStore folder:
  • or AppData\Roaming folder;
  • Windows Registry (BitComet doesn't use registry entries for storing its settings but it uses some for storing plugins settings, shell entries and file associations).

After that, reinstall BitComet but don't import the TaskList just yet. Just open the .torrent file which gives you trouble to see how it behaves on a clean installation of BitComet.

Well, I uninstalled BitComet (really had no important torrents to backup just now), removed all the stuff that you mentioned from disk and the registry, re-installed, and tried to download the torrent that has been giving me the problems.

Same results.

Sigh.

Unless someone can come up with something really clever, I think Im just going to install another bittorrent client like 'utorrent', and see if that has the same problems or not.

Thanks for all the help though.

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Nobody says that you shouldn't try another client.

By all means, explore more clients and see what results you get or how happy you are with any of them.

Well, just as a sanity check, I installed utorrent and tried to download the exact same torrent again, only now with utorrent. Everything went as expected, no problems occurred, and the torrent started downloading just fine.

Must be something that occurs with BitComet, right after the moment you click on the "Download Now" button, and the task is created... Guess that im stuck with utorrent for this particular torrent, but im switching back to BitComet after that.

:P

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I'd say this was clearly a BitComet bug, but no one else can reproduce it, alas. That means we still don't really know whether the problem was BC, or something about your system that's working improperly. If you feel so inclined, keep trying things to see if you can diagnose anything further. If there really is a bug we'd all like to find it and get it fixed.

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I'd say this was clearly a BitComet bug, but no one else can reproduce it, alas. That means we still don't really know whether the problem was BC, or something about your system that's working improperly. If you feel so inclined, keep trying things to see if you can diagnose anything further. If there really is a bug we'd all like to find it and get it fixed.

Well I would gladly keep trying things, but im really at a loss on how to proceed to further troubleshoot things. Perhaps it would help if I knew what BitComet does :

1.) after clicking on 'Download Now'

2.) on startup

Just wildly guessing here though ...

And just for the record: I really like BitComet, so I would also feel better *if* this turns out to be a BC bug, that it will get fixed.

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Well I would gladly keep trying things, but im really at a loss on how to proceed to further troubleshoot things.

So, I guess that what im saying is, if anyone can provide me with some help or tips on how to proceed further and troubleshoot this issue, it is very welcome, since I dont have a clue on what to do and where to go next.

:(

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After you tell BC to begin the download (or it starts up with existing tasks), a bittorrent client first attempts to get a list of peers to trade with:

Through the DHT network if it can - it uses UDP packets to contact the distributed database and obtain a list of peers interested in this torrent.

Through the tracker -- it contacts the tracker with a metafile, asking to be added to the list of current peers, and receive a list of interested peers. If there are problems contacting the tracker, they are reported in that window, and the client waits for a while, then retries. Depending on the error, retrying may be futile.

The client gathers its list of peers, however they were found, and if it has a working listen port, starts listening for other peers to contact it. Meanwhile it selects peers from its own list and tries to contact them.

Contacted peers, however that comes about, exchange metafiles with each other including maps of what pieces each has and wants. They negotiate with each other and, if they come to mutual agreement, begin transferring portions, called blocks, of pieces. Each client rotates the list of peers it connects to and trades with, to avoid lockouts and monopolies.

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After you tell BC to begin the download [...]

Thanks for the detailed description. I was kinda hoping that something in there might provide an explanation for the behavior that I am seeing. Unfortunately, I see nothing that might even remotely start to explain things. Thanks for the effort though. Guess im going to have to learn to live with this.

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Have you tried a clean install of an older version (say, v.1.20)?

If you still feel like exploring this, you should try to see if it appears in other versions of BC. You'd have to do a clean install though.

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Have you tried a clean install of an older version (say, v.1.20)?

If you still feel like exploring this, you should try to see if it appears in other versions of BC. You'd have to do a clean install though.

Good idea, *but* ... where can I find/download older versions ? On the BitComet website, I can only seem to find links to the latest (currently 1.22) version.

Thanks.

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