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Author Topic: No blocks downloaded - MS Security Essentials users please read  (Read 42044 times)
ksd5
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July 13, 2010, 04:57:43 PM
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I got my friend to download and try Bitcoin out. I sent him one coin, but he hasn't received it. For some reason, his client isn't downloading any blocks. He turned on "Generate Coins" the minute he started the program for the first time. His speeds were in the 1400-1600 khash/s range, and he had 3 blocks. He generated 50 coins which will mature in another 100 blocks or so. He has around 40 connections.

To my knowledge, his coins will be invalid because none of the other nodes will accept his blocks. And, since he hasn't downloaded any blocks, he won't receive the one Bitcoin I sent him.

He uses Microsoft Security Essentials, but has added Bitcoin to its unblock list. He does have port 8333 open, but has a Linux network firewall. (He doesn't have the rights to access the firewall.)

What could be the problem?
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Strofcon
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July 13, 2010, 05:08:13 PM
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Might need to have him start it with -addnode=x.x.x.x, where x.x.x.x is someone's static IP. Hopefully someone should be able to share theirs for that purpose... if that's the issue, of course. :-) I don't know for sure though.
laszlo
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July 13, 2010, 05:31:44 PM
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This seems like a commonly reported problem now - something to do with the block downloading being really slow.  It may be related to the excessive amount of disk I/O that is generated during the initial download.  The database file is flushed to disk every time a block is added so this is being really slow for some people.  I think we can probably fix this up now that we know about it.. I for one didn't do much testing without having all the blocks, so it never occurred to me to try this under different systems.

BC: 157fRrqAKrDyGHr1Bx3yDxeMv8Rh45aUet
agaumoney
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July 13, 2010, 05:35:39 PM
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The static IP using addnode will probably work.

However the software is designed to bootstrap using IRC.  Probably connecting out to the IRC server is being blocked either by Microsoft or his Linux firewall.  Without IRC his system is unable to discover other nodes.

IRC has nothing to do with port 8333, but most likely the Linux firewall is blocking incoming port 8333, so bitcoin will need to establish outgoing connections to other systems with a 8333 open for incoming connections.  Without opening incoming 8333 the max connections will be limited to 8 (I think).

ksd5
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July 13, 2010, 05:42:00 PM
 #5

Well, I don't have port 8333 open, but I was able to download all the blocks. (I don't use a firewall, though.)

I'll ask him to get rights to the firewall and check what it does with port 8333 connections. His port 8333 is open, but the firewall may be messing with it.
Strofcon
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July 13, 2010, 05:58:08 PM
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I think I read somewhere that if he has any connections, he is connecting to the IRC channel just fine... I think you're correct on the 8 connection limit without having port 8333 forwarded.

My thinking was that the static IP -addnode would help by providing a dedicated download source. If that still doesn't work well then I'd guess that laszlo has hit the nail on the head, and the constant full-rewrite of the file is to blame.
agaumoney
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July 13, 2010, 06:13:42 PM
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I think I read somewhere that if he has any connections, he is connecting to the IRC channel just fine... I think you're correct on the 8 connection limit without having port 8333 forwarded.

My thinking was that the static IP -addnode would help by providing a dedicated download source. If that still doesn't work well then I'd guess that laszlo has hit the nail on the head, and the constant full-rewrite of the file is to blame.

Oh, right.  Missed that he had 40 connections.   Huh

But 0 blocks downloaded?

My macmini is currently downloading blocks.  It is up to 38xxx after about 4 hours.  That is with two dedicated sources on the same lan plus another 6 it discovered out on the 'net.  (It is a 2009 model with 4gb of ram using only a 150GB partition of a 500GB, 7200rpm, 2.5" drive, running the 0.30 .zip'd version as a -server.)

The old macmini drive is in an atom D510 system and is a very slow hard disk.  It took a long time (18+hours) to download the blocks even with a dedicated source.  But even then it did not stay at 0 blocks for more than a minute or so.

I wonder how much downloading to a ramdisk would speed it up...
bitcoin2paysafe
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July 13, 2010, 06:37:54 PM
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Maybe, the hdd is full?
Strofcon
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July 13, 2010, 06:42:25 PM
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Yea, possibly a full disk, or a failing disk... It's odd that even with a dedicated connection within your LAN it took that long to get that number of blocks. My 100 Mbps router funneled them from one of my PCs to another in less than 15 minutes, at the 65K+ blocks it needed.

Maybe a flakey router or internet connection? Might be worthwhile to do a speed test, or research Microsoft Security Essentials to make sure it's not toying with Bitcoin's ability to build the block list in some other way... not too familiar with Microsoft products I'm afraid.  Undecided
ksd5
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July 13, 2010, 10:19:34 PM
 #10

Okay, I solved the problem. The solution was in http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=35.0.
satoshi
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July 14, 2010, 04:22:03 PM
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So that was responsible for keeping blocks from downloading?

The link: "Win32 CPU Cycles vs 'Live Protection' Engines"

For BitcoinFX, Live Protection was keeping it from getting CPU for generating coins.  You said your friend was getting 1400-1600 khash/s, so it was getting CPU.  I guess Live Protection must have been blocking some other part of the program then?
ksd5
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July 14, 2010, 09:50:20 PM
 #12

Well, I asked him to add bitcoin.exe to the "Excluded processes" list of Microsoft Security Essentials, and block downloads took off for him after that.
laszlo
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July 15, 2010, 02:22:27 PM
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Here is a guide on how to exclude a process:

http://maximumpcguides.com/windows-7/set-microsoft-security-essentials-to-exclude-a-process/

You need to exclude bitcoin.exe from live protection.

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bittard
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July 30, 2010, 02:00:08 AM
 #14

Okay, I solved the problem. The solution was in http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=35.0.

This worked for me too! Thanks.  Cheesy
Microsoft Security Essentials was locking up the bitcoin.exe process. The thread with the solution has several responses from other people running various editions of Windows. The problem may extend to other virus protection software. You just have to exclude the bitcoin.exe process from its scan, and it's probably healthy to add the block database files to the exclude list as well. Of course, this opens the excluded files up to infection, but it's a risk you'll have to take until another solution can be found. Wink

Finally received a small but very meaningful donation. Thanks random forum visitor. Wink 129k2jxhK7jkgkjwRaU2LGDjBbefBfC75i
BrightAnarchist
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August 17, 2010, 12:56:37 AM
 #15

Well, I asked him to add bitcoin.exe to the "Excluded processes" list of Microsoft Security Essentials, and block downloads took off for him after that.

This is the EXACT same experience that I had. With MSFT Forefront installed (which I just did recently), I noticed that Bitcoin completely stopped downloading blocks. The moment I added it to the list of *excluded* processes, then immediately blocks began to download again.

Very odd.
4u2guess
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January 22, 2011, 12:24:48 AM
 #16

Hello,

I have a very similar problem but I am not using Microsoft Security Essentials.  In my case I have a Western Digital external backup hard drive and their program WD Smartware is hogging the cpu time.  That program is very 'dumb' and there are no configuration options that I am aware of to make it less aggressive.  In fact, right now I cannot even open the user interface.  There is an option to pause backup until computer is idle, but that has been checked since day 1.

My Bitcoin usually has 30 or more connections open, but the block count has been frozen at 99789 since sometime in December 2010. The one transaction has 6847 confirmations, also unchanged since December.  There are some files being updated in the wallet, however.

I am running Windows xp sp3.

I have not yet tried shutting down WD Smartware for an extended period, but that will probably be my next experiment.

Has anyone else had a similar variation of this problem?

David
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January 25, 2011, 11:45:22 PM
 #17

I am not sure if this still applies. I use security essentials on all machines (Win7, Win2k8) here without any special exceptions and have no problems whatsoever.

Just make sure you forward port 8333 on your router to the machine that hosts your bitcoin wallet.
russelljohnson
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June 03, 2011, 04:35:32 AM
 #18

it's fun reading old posts sometimes...

If you've found my post helpful, send me some bitcoins!
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kleetz
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June 04, 2011, 01:09:42 PM
 #19

Thank you for this, I feel dumb for not figuring it out myself...haha.


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AndrewS78
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June 10, 2011, 08:09:10 AM
 #20

Here is a guide on how to exclude a process:

http://maximumpcguides.com/windows-7/set-microsoft-security-essentials-to-exclude-a-process/

You need to exclude bitcoin.exe from live protection.


Clear and easy.  Smiley

Regards,
Steve.
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