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Having massive problems with BitComet

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Hi all,

I just switched to BitComet from uTorrent and am experiencing massive problems. A couple of minutes after I start downloading, it is impossible to access the internet in any other way than the torrents downloading. I can not browse the web or anything. Therefore I've left BitComet on at night, but when returning to the computer in the morning, the program has seriously crashed the system. It is non-responsive and it takes about 15 minutes to restart the computer. Also, it has damaged the settings in the firewall, which upon restart starts as if just installed - it finds the network again and has lost all the settings for which programs I have allowed to access the internet.

I have set the UL limit to 35kb/s of my 55-60kb/s upload limit (speed tested, figure not from ISP) which was perfectly fine in uTorrent, and anyhow there hasn't been any leechers at all on the torrents I've downloaded so I don't think that's the problem. I have also tried to download fewer torrents at one time, starting at just one, but the same problem occurs.

What can be the cause of this?

My system:

BitComet 1.27

ADSL 24/1

Modem/router: Thompson Speedtouch 510 v5 (Bridged)

Windows XP SP3

Zone Alarm

Eset NOD32 4.0.468.0

All torrents downloaded from Rutracker.org

Any help very much appreciated, if you need further system info do let me know.

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That's a bit weird. I'm running BC on XP SP3 and until not very long ago I was using a SpeedTouch router and never experienced such a thing. This is not to say that your issue isn't real, just that on a similar configuration I didn't experience such issues.

I don't mean to put you down even more than you are but Zone Alarm has had a long history of "not playing nice" with many apps, BitTorrent clients included. At least in some previous versions we used to test it didn't unload the executable and still filtered connections even when you disabled it.

Now I'm not saying that it is the cause of your issues but just to be on the safe side, you'll need to uninstall it for testing purposes as we can't confirm if the newer versions of ZA display the same above-mentioned behavior or not.

For most users, in fact, the Windows firewall will do just fine (and BC can configure it automatically) but if you need a third-party firewall there are better options out there. Check this site for a top of firewalls.

Now back to your issue. If your Eset installation includes a Internet security module (i.e. firewall or anything alike) make sure you disable it too, for testing sake.

Then go in BC Options-->BitTorrent and disable DHT. Also disable LT-Seeding on the Options-->LT-Seeding page. See if this helps bring in line the browser responsiveness issues you were mentioning.

As for the system crash, does this happen every time you leave BC running for a longer time (i.e. can you confirm that it is in fact BC who's crashing your system)? We don't have, so far, other reports of crashes caused by v.1.27 so this is not a known or frequently encountered issue/bug.

Nonetheless, if you see this happening repeatedly try downgrading to a previous version (e.g. v.1.26 or lower) and see if the same thing happens.

Then number of tasks you're running doesn't have a bearing on the stability of the client (I'm currently running 245 of active tasks with no problem whatsoever, on a 4 years old laptop with only 2GB RAM, on XP SP3 in v.1.27); at best it may slow down your system a bit a times during some operations and depending on the "power" of your PC.

Besides, BC couldn't have touched your firewall settings since it doesn't even attempt to configure third-party firewalls; this was most probably a result of ZA's poor handling of your system's crash and is at best a collateral damage (provided BC is indeed the cause of your system crash). Anyway, a serious firewall shouldn't loose its settings following a system crash, unless the settings were made in that very session and following the crash the Windows registry got corrupted and reverted back to a previous state or Windows didn't manage to save the newly made settings (I don't even know if ZA uses the registry to store configuration settings but it seems so from what you say).

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Many thanks for your detailed and thorough response, very much appreciated.

As for my choice of firewall - I think somewhere deep inside I'm aware of that ZA is not the best choice, I guess old habit has just made me keep it anyway since it hasn't caused any problems for me until now. I've had Kaspersky in mind earlier so maybe I'll try and switch to that. I'm not that familiar with the Windows built in firewall - can I keep on allowing and disallowing particular programs? Oh, never mind, this is a BC forum, not a Microsoft forum - will look it up myself.

Yes, the system crash happens every time I keep BC on for a longer period of time. Even if keeping it on for a shorter period of time I have to restart the computer because once the problems with jammed browsing has occured it won't go back even if exiting BC. I guess I can't say for certain that it is in fact BC that crashes - but I have no other programs running at night except for the firewall and AW and all Windows built in processes of course. I guess the fact that the torrents have stopped downloading half way and BC is non responsive points to that it is indeed BC that crashes, or could it be another process interfering?

An amendment from my side though - I'm in fact running BC v1.26, I was positive I didn't download BC until after April 22 when 1.27 came out but I double checked and it's v1.26. Sorry about that. Has any problems relating to this been fixed in 1.27?

I will adjust the settings tonight when I'm back from work and see what happens.

Many thanks again for helping out!

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Having a 3rd party firewall lose its settings is strongly suggestive of hard disk problems. You should look at Event Viewer to see if the system is reporting any such, and get a S.M.A.R.T. reading utility to see if your disk drives are reporting problems.

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Ok, so I changed the settings as suggested and I can't say that it helped a whole lot the browser responsiveness much. Downloading now and the last page took about a minute to load.

My Eset installation is just the firewall and nothing more.

Concerning hard disk problems - I've checked the event log and there's nothing suggesting anything like that. There are some warnings and errors though - this warning in particular seems to (if I remember the times when I started downloading correctly) occur rather right away after I've started downloading:

TCP/IP has reached the security limit imposed on the number of concurrent TCP connect attempts.

Now, I'm not a TCP/IP expert, so I'm not sure what to make of that. :)

Isn't hard disk problems a bit far fetched seeing as this all started when I started using BC? If not, any suggestions on where I can get hold of a scanning tool?

Firewall - I'll switch to Comodo and see what happens.

Edited by IntoDeepWater (see edit history)
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Ok, so I installed Comodo and uninstalled Zone Alarm a couple of hours ago and browsing while downloading is MUCH improved. It's still somewhat slow but still acceptable with pages taking from 2 seconds up to 10 seconds to load. I guess that's pretty normal, or?

I'll leave the downloads on tonight and will report back tomorrow regarding if it's still running or not. I do get the feel that this resolved the problem.

If you have any insight in that TCP/IP message do let me know.

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Well, delays in loading web pages can occur due to server or network congestion, out of your reach so I guess that could account for some of the delays you see.

The error message is nothing you should worry about; it's normal under XP when using a BitTorrent client. XP has a limit imposed on the number of simultaneous half-open (embryonic) TCP connections. It was imposed to mitigate DOS attacks, supposedly. When that limit is hit the error you saw occurs (BitTorrent's normal operations require the client to open a great number of connections, especially when it starts or when a new torrent is started).

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Just to add, in case this isn't clear: the limit is on connections that YOU initiate. The limit is 10 per second. Nothing legitimate needs to make new connections faster than that. If you are infected with a particular worm, it tries to open many connections and spread itself as fast as possible before it is detected and killed. This limit was imposed to prevent that worm from doing its thing.

Bittorrent stresses a system in unusual ways, and because of this, it tends to reveal problems that other applications do not. It therefore gets blamed for causing problems that it is another victim of. It never hurts to keep hardware in mind, and to check it even if only to eliminate it as a cause. When you see evidence of files not being written, disk errors are an easy thing to check for and hopefully, cross off the list.

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