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Author Topic: Invalid or Stale Blocks  (Read 8483 times)
ronaldmaustin
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February 21, 2011, 06:59:35 AM
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I use Slush's pool, so this question may belong in that thread.  However, if it is common to all mining programs, or if it is on the client side (my end) then I suppose it deserves its own thread.

I have a general idea of what invalid blocks are and what stale blocks are, though someone may care to elaborate.  In the past I have received a small number of these messages over time, but it has now increased to a few percent, which is more that I pay in donation and is a significant portion of my mining.

First and foremost, am I actually losing something?  In other words, if my hash arrived at Slush's server quicker (internet or load problem on either client or server side) would that have resulted in an accepted hash, or was the has doomed from the millisecond it left my machine?

If so, is there anything I should do on my end?  Prevent internet hogging applications? Slow down the overclock or tweak other program settings?
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slush
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February 21, 2011, 09:18:56 AM
 #2

I use Slush's pool, so this question may belong in that thread.  However, if it is common to all mining programs, or if it is on the client side (my end) then I suppose it deserves its own thread.

It is related to the pool, I'll add next server today, which fix the problem.

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February 25, 2011, 03:25:46 AM
 #3

I use Slush's pool, so this question may belong in that thread.  However, if it is common to all mining programs, or if it is on the client side (my end) then I suppose it deserves its own thread.

It is related to the pool, I'll add next server today, which fix the problem.

I actually thought of this - in my new quest of mining, I've had a pretty fairly sizeable percentage of "invalid/stale" blocks - like, one invalid for every 4 or 5 good ones.  And I do not have a slow or latent connection, it's fiber and I get excellent pings just about everywhere.  I also have 50+ connections in Bitcoin at any given time.

There is absolutely no way that each of those times, someone solved a block a fraction of a second before me.  Perhaps each time Bitcoin receives a transaction, that too invalidates all getworks in progress, but that's just a hunch, not a proven fact.

The thought occurred to me that there is a certain percentage of hashes that are wasted simply because the work changed since the time it was grabbed.  I could probably mitigate that simply by requesting work more often.

But if I were running a pool, and even five to ten percent of my output was lost to invalid or stale blocks, all while I still paid "shares" on difficulty 1 hashes I received that couldn't be redeemed if they were valid... that would mean a total net loss, never mind variation.

So, the way I see it, it's reasonable to reject difficulty 1 hashes if they would also be rejected if they happen to meet the actual difficulty to form a block.  If that's a problem with the Bitcoin client, then it's probably affecting everybody the same, not just me, not just the pool.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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February 25, 2011, 06:30:52 AM
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I've noticed that aggressive overclocking leads to greater amounts of invalid/stale results.
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February 25, 2011, 02:16:12 PM
 #5

Just by analysis of the source, I would expect a message "invalid hash check hardware" from overclocking, and the message "invalid/stale" if the hash were good but rejected by the bitcoin client as such. It looks as though poclbm confirms each hash by redoing it with the CPU and that is how it knows the difference.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper wallets instead.
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