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Author Topic: Cannot synchronize with Bitcoin in testnet mode - No block source available  (Read 2241 times)
jlp
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January 29, 2014, 04:25:11 AM
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I downloaded Bitcoin-QT for Windows 7 into:

MYUSERNAME/Downloads/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32

I want to run Bitcoin in testnet mode, so I created bitcoin.conf with only the following content:

testnet=1

I put copies of bitcoin.conf into the following folders:

MYUSERNAME/Downloads/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32
User/MYUSERNAME/AppData/Roaming/Bitcoin


When I double clicked on the Bitcoin-QT icon to execute the following, Bitcoin-QT starts up but it does not appear to be in testnet mode.

MYUSERNAME/Downloads/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32/bitcoin-qt.exe

Can anyone tell me why it does not seem to go into testnet mode?

I went to Start > cmd to get the DOS prompt. I entered the following and it worked:

C:\User\MYUSERNAME\Downloads\bitcoin-0.8.-win32\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32>bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet

Bitcoin-QT launches in testnet mode. However, it is not synchronizing with the network. At the bottom of the Bitcoin-QT window, it shows:

"No block source available...155 weeks behind"

I tried adding the following to bitcoin.conf and restarted bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet but it didn't make any difference.

addnode=1.2.3.4
checklevel=2


After a few hours, it still shows "No block source available...155 weeks behind". How do I get this to synchronize?

Note that I am running Bitcoin-QT in Windows 7, which is running in VirtualBox, which is running in my Mac OSX. There seems to be no issue with any firewall in Windows 7 as my browser works fine. I have LittleSnitch running on my Mac, which tells me if a program is trying to access the internet. It told me that Bitcoin on my Mac and a program on Windows tried to access the internet, which I allowed. On my Mac, my Bitcoin-QT (in testnet and mainnet) synchronized fine. On Windows, Bitcoin-QT for mainnet, but not testnet, can synchronize.

User/MYUSERNAME/AppData/Roaming/Bitcoin/testnet3/debug has a lot of messages. Do these provide any clues?
2014-01-26 01:15:49 trying connection 93.93.135.12:18333 lastseen=149.6hrs
2014-01-26 01:15:51 No valid UPnP IGDs found
2014-01-26 01:15:51 upnp thread exit
2014-01-26 01:15:54 connection timeout
2014-01-26 01:15:54 trying connection testnet-seed.bluematt.me lastseen=0.0hrs
2014-01-26 01:15:59 connection timeout
2014-01-26 01:16:04 trying connection testnet-seed.bitcoin.petertodd.org lastseen=0.0hrs
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deepceleron
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January 29, 2014, 03:36:33 PM
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The first thought is that you have created a text file and have file extensions hidden. In Control Panel, choose Folder Options. On the "View" tap, uncheck the checkbox for "Hide extensions for known file types" (along with unchecking other buttons for dummies if you want). Now when you re-open Windows Explorer, you will see the true name of the file you created.

The location for the bitcoin.conf file that will start Bitcoin in testnet mode is %appdata%\Bitcoin - the same as normal Bitcoin. You would have to edit the file, along with other options, every time you want to switch between testnet and mainnet.

Instead, it is preferable to use the command-line option, so that a separate bitcoin.conf file, used is solely for testnet, is located at %appdata%\Bitcoin\testnet3\bitcoin.conf. The full location will be C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\testnet3\.

You can create a .cmd (batch file) to start testnet for you, save this line to a text file renamed Start-Testnet.cmd:
bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet -txindex

(txindex because it's useful for "testing")


Options inappropriate for testnet in your main bitcoin configuration file may be causing your problems.
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January 29, 2014, 05:16:17 PM
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The first thought is that you have created a text file and have file extensions hidden. In Control Panel, choose Folder Options. On the "View" tap, uncheck the checkbox for "Hide extensions for known file types" (along with unchecking other buttons for dummies if you want). Now when you re-open Windows Explorer, you will see the true name of the file you created.

Thanks!  That helped.  It showed that the file was named bitcoin.conf.txt.  I changed it to bitcoin.conf for both copies in the following folders:

C:\Users\USERJLP\Downloads\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32
C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin


The location for the bitcoin.conf file that will start Bitcoin in testnet mode is %appdata%\Bitcoin - the same as normal Bitcoin.

I'm not sure what %appdata% means.  C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Bitcoin did not exist, so I created this folder and I put a copy of bitcoin.conf into it.  I double clicked on the icon for the following file, but it started in mainnet mode, not testnet mode:

C:\Users\USERJLP\Downloads\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32\bitcoin-qt.exe

Should I move bitcoin-qt.exe into the C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Bitcoin or C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin folder?

Instead, it is preferable to use the command-line option, so that a separate bitcoin.conf file, used is solely for testnet, is located at %appdata%\Bitcoin\testnet3\bitcoin.conf. The full location will be C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\testnet3\.

I put a copy of bitcoin.conf (which only has testnet=1 in it) into C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\testnet3\

You can create a .cmd (batch file) to start testnet for you, save this line to a text file renamed Start-Testnet.cmd:
bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet -txindex

(txindex because it's useful for "testing")

I did as you suggested and ran Start-Testnet.cmd.  It gave me a pop-up with this error:

You need to rebuild the databases using -reindex to change -txindex

Should I rebuild the databases using bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet -reindex?

Options inappropriate for testnet in your main bitcoin configuration file may be causing your problems.

The only option I have in all of the bitcoin.conf files is testnet=1.

I started Bitcoin-QT in testnet mode by running bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet but it is still not synchronizing and still showing "No block source available...".  Does it need to be synchronized in order for me to send or receive testnet coins?
deepceleron
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January 29, 2014, 06:31:40 PM
 #4

The first thought is that you have created a text file and have file extensions hidden. In Control Panel, choose Folder Options. On the "View" tap, uncheck the checkbox for "Hide extensions for known file types" (along with unchecking other buttons for dummies if you want). Now when you re-open Windows Explorer, you will see the true name of the file you created.

Thanks!  That helped.  It showed that the file was named bitcoin.conf.txt.  I changed it to bitcoin.conf for both copies in the following folders:

C:\Users\USERJLP\Downloads\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32
C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin


There are two file locations, you seem to be confusing these:
1. The location where bitcoin stores all its data
2. The location where the bitcoin-qt.exe executable is installed.

The data directory is the same directory all the time, it is where the wallet and blockchain are stored, and where a bitcoin.conf file is looked for.


The location for the bitcoin.conf file that will start Bitcoin in testnet mode is %appdata%\Bitcoin - the same as normal Bitcoin.

I'm not sure what %appdata% means.  C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Bitcoin did not exist, so I created this folder and I put a copy of bitcoin.conf into it.  I double clicked on the icon for the following file, but it started in mainnet mode, not testnet mode:

C:\Users\USERJLP\Downloads\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32\bitcoin-0.8.6-win32\bitcoin-qt.exe

Should I move bitcoin-qt.exe into the C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Bitcoin or C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin folder?

I hope you noticed that "USERJLP" is to be substituted with your actual windows login name. If you open windows explorer, and type the %appdata% in, it will take you to your user profile directory and show you the actual path, where you will see "bitcoin", and below that "testnet3".

You should download the installer version of Bitcoin, and install it the normal way; it is much easier to support when you install it the same way as everyone else. Located here: http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/Bitcoin/bitcoin-0.8.6/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32-setup.exe/download

Instead, it is preferable to use the command-line option, so that a separate bitcoin.conf file, used is solely for testnet, is located at %appdata%\Bitcoin\testnet3\bitcoin.conf. The full location will be C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\testnet3\.

I put a copy of bitcoin.conf (which only has testnet=1 in it) into C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\testnet3\

You can create a .cmd (batch file) to start testnet for you, save this line to a text file renamed Start-Testnet.cmd:
bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet -txindex

(txindex because it's useful for "testing")

I did as you suggested and ran Start-Testnet.cmd.  It gave me a pop-up with this error:

You need to rebuild the databases using -reindex to change -txindex

Should I rebuild the databases using bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet -reindex?

Yes, if you already have blockchain downloaded (which means something was working at some point), then you will need to add the -reindex option. If you don't know why you would need this, and are just playing around, you can probably just omit -txindex.

Options inappropriate for testnet in your main bitcoin configuration file may be causing your problems.

The only option I have in all of the bitcoin.conf files is testnet=1.

I started Bitcoin-QT in testnet mode by running bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet but it is still not synchronizing and still showing "No block source available...".  Does it need to be synchronized in order for me to send or receive testnet coins?

I typed some stuff above; I'm too lazy to keep on quoting...

The only bitcoin.conf you should be worrying about is the one in the correct bitcoin\testnet3 data directory, nothing else is looked at. If you have done the above and have problems establishing connections to peers (hover over the cel phone bars in lower right and see how many connections), then likely something with your VM configuration or router is interfering with the connection.
jlp
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January 29, 2014, 07:22:55 PM
 #5

I hope you noticed that "USERJLP" is to be substituted with your actual windows login name.

Yes, had noticed that and substituted with my windows login name.  Thanks.

If you open windows explorer, and type the %appdata% in, it will take you to your user profile directory and show you the actual path, where you will see "bitcoin", and below that "testnet3".

Thanks.  %appdata% parses to C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming

You should download the installer version of Bitcoin, and install it the normal way; it is much easier to support when you install it the same way as everyone else. Located here: http[Suspicious link removed]/download

When I went to get the wallet the first time for Windows, I clicked on Windows (zip) on http://bitcoin.org/en/download, which took me to http://sourceforge.net/projects/bitcoin/files/Bitcoin/bitcoin-0.8.6/bitcoin-0.8.6-win32.zip/download.  I had unzipped the file and double clicked on bitcoin-qt.exe.  It sounds like bitcoin.org should remove the zip file option.  Taking your advice, I downloaded http[Suspicious link removed]/download and installed it, which installed bitcoin-qt.exe into C:\Program Files\Bitcoin folder.  When I launch Bitcoin-QT, it still does not run in testnet mode (I still have testnet=1 in C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\bitcoin.conf and in C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\testnet3\bitcoin.conf).

Yes, if you already have blockchain downloaded (which means something was working at some point), then you will need to add the -reindex option. If you don't know why you would need this, and are just playing around, you can probably just omit -txindex.

Bitcoin-QT in testnet did not download any of the blockchain.  However, Bitcoin-QT in mainnet was downloading the blocks but I shut Bitcoin-QT down after it downloaded only a couple of weeks.  Maybe this is causing Bitcoin-QT in testnet mode to think that the blockchain is downloaded?

I'm not playing around as I would like to accept bitcoins on my web app.  To do this, I need to test the Bitcoin API by sending and receiving testnet coins.  However, I don't know why I would need -txindex, so I'll omit it.

The only bitcoin.conf you should be worrying about is the one in the correct bitcoin\testnet3 data directory, nothing else is looked at. If you have done the above and have problems establishing connections to peers (hover over the cel phone bars in lower right and see how many connections), then likely something with your VM configuration or router is interfering with the connection.

I still have C:\Users\USERJLP\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\testnet3\bitcoin.conf with testnet=1 as the only option.

I started C:\Program Files\Bitcoin\bitcoin-qt.exe in testnet mode by running bitcoin-qt.exe -testnet but it is still not synchronizing and still showing "No block source available...".  There are no cell phone bars in the lower right of the Bitcoin window.  However, there is an icon showing two screens and a red X.  Hovering over shows the message:  "0 active connections to Bitcoin network".  Does this mean that my VM configuration or router is interfering?  If so, do you have any ideas on how to fix this?  Why would they interfere with the connection in testnet mode but not mainnet mode?

Does it need to be synchronized in order for me to send or receive testnet coins?

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