When requesting help on these forums

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Message 50407 - Posted: 4 Sep 2013, 17:00:48 UTC
Last modified: 22 Sep 2017, 14:48:07 UTC

Welcome to the BOINC forums.

When you have problems with BOINC, please tell the volunteers on these forums what that problem is. We understand that you see your problem, you've lived with it for some time now, and you're urging for a quick solution. Not every problem is easily fixed from a small bit of information. It can even be quite difficult for any of the helping crew to help you when you do not give any information about what you actually see.

Therefore please always be so kind to give as much as possible of the following information:

  • Which BOINC version you run (See Help->About BOINC in BOINC Manager). We'd just like the version number, please: for instance v7.8.2
  • What your problem is exactly, write it out in as much detail as you can.
  • What you have done so far to try to remedy the problem.
  • If applicable, the project(s) that you have the problems with and if they have multiple applications, which ones give you problems.
  • Post the first 40 - 100 lines from your BOINC Event Log (CTRL+SHIFT+E), including it showing what your BOINC is doing, which project tasks it is running.
  • In case the log doesn't show this, please give us:
    • the CPU brand and model
    • the GPU brand and model
    • the driver version(s) you have installed
    • the operating system that you use

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Message 50949 - Posted: 21 Oct 2013, 20:59:36 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 14:43:59 UTC

Giving details
Now, we know that not everyone is as knowledgeable about the inner workings of his or her computer as the helpers are, but that does not mean that you cannot describe your problem to us. The forums have no real limitation on amount of letters and numbers you can use to make a post, so there is really no need for you to condense your request for help in 33 words (including the title) or less. We're here to help where we can, when we can. We're not creating the problems, nor should we ask 20 questions each time, just to get some basic information out of you. We don't have easy solutions to every problem either, while it's difficult to give you as solution if you're not forthcoming with information. So please work with us, instead of against us. As in the end, it's you who will still be without help. While the purpose why you came to these forums was to get help with your BOINC problem, wasn't it?

Technically challenged?
One note for you who you have a lot of experience with software or a degree in IT: it can be easy to think that you know more about what's going on than anyone else who may be here trying to help you. However, even the best of the best can overlook something, and it's considered rude if you talk down to people who are just trying to help you with a problem you may have. Telling people to trust you, because you know what you're doing, without giving a smidgen of information is counter-productive. The BOINC Development community is one with wildly varying technical skill levels, but in general it has a common goal: to assist those that do want to get help. A fresh perspective may get you an unexpected solution.
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Message 57038 - Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 15:05:02 UTC
Last modified: 14 Sep 2017, 12:23:18 UTC

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Message 57039 - Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 15:05:24 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 13:22:24 UTC

BOINC problems and quick checks
• In cases where you don't know how to find any information about your system, exit BOINC completely and restart it. Next copy and post the first 40 lines from the start-up messages. That'll give us enough information about your system, plus it may show some of your running tasks. To get to the (start-up) messages, in BOINC 6.10 and before, click the Messages tab. In BOINC 6.12, 7.0 and after, press CTRL+SHIFT+E.
• If BOINC Manager cannot make contact with the client, tell us that. In this case you cannot use the above method of picking up the lines, but they will always be stored in the stdoutdae.txt file in your BOINC Data directory, whose default paths can be found at this BOINC FAQ.
• When having problems with tasks (not) switching, please make sure to post which projects you're attached to and which are all allowed to fetch work and which have work. Check that you didn't set your preferences on the project web site to omit using your CPU or GPU. Check that you didn't suspend the project, the tasks or the use of the piece of hardware.
• If you have preferences problems, please post the contents of your global_prefs.xml file and if it exists the contents of the global_prefs.override.xml file. These files can be found in your BOINC Data directory, whose default paths can be found at this BOINC FAQ.
• If you have a problem with something that you see in BOINC Manager, tells us where you see this. A wrong translation, something in the text, a detail about the running of a task in one of the tabs? Is this in Advanced view or Simple view? A full size image is preferable here.
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Message 57040 - Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 15:08:54 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 13:23:16 UTC

Windows specific questions
• When BOINC Manager refuses to make contact with the client, make sure that you did allow both Boinc.exe and Boincmgr.exe through your firewall. boinc.exe needs access on TCP 80, 443 and 31416, boincmgr.exe needs access on TCP 31416. Check that your firewall didn't receive an update and reset connections. If it worked before and now it doesn't, it's something on your system that changed. You just have to work back and figure out what. .
• If you think you see a problem with a running task when in Windows Task Manager, do tell us that you're seeing this in Windows Task Manager. Also tell what you expect to see.
• If you have problems with your screen saver or graphics, please state which projects you run, which project(s) you have the problem with, what you see and expected to see. For hardware/software check, please state what your videocard is (brand and model), DirectX version, Operating system and most crucially, drivers version.
• When you have installation problems in Windows, check in the Windows Event Viewer (Start->(Control Panel->)Administrative Tools->Event Viewer) for clues and post those in your post. Or give the error number and/or complete error message that the installer shows. Check for the error before posting, write it down or take a screen shot.
• When you see a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), make sure you catch what the error is that's displayed on it. Don't tell us you had a BSOD, tell us which one you had! There isn't just one BSOD in Windows, so if you come on the forums and say you caught "the BSOD", you'll always be asked what it said. Be prepared to give that information, either by writing it down, or by checking in your Windows Event Viewer (Start->(Control Panel->)Administrative Tools->Event Viewer). You can also install a program such as Blue Screen View, which will show what the blue screens said.
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Message 57041 - Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 15:09:16 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 13:35:52 UTC

Linux specific questions
First off, since two years BOINC is packaged and release by the distro's package maintainers. We will assume that you have a problem with the version you downloaded via your package manager, if not, please tell us where you got your version from!
• Please tell us which BOINC version you are using. You can find this information in BOINC Manager->Advanced view->Help->About BOINC Manager, or in case you run without the manager, it'll be in the first line in the start-up messages which either save to the command line window, or to stdoutdae.txt, or you can get it via the boinccmd --version command.
• When BOINC Manager refuses to make contact with the client, check in top that the BOINC binary is actually running. If that is, and you still have problems, make sure to allow the BOINC binaries (boinc and boincmgr) through your firewall, boinc needs access on TCP 80, 443 and 31416, boincmgr needs access on TCP 31416.
• When you have installation problems in Linux, please state which Linux distro; 32bit or 64bit?
• When you get a library not found error, have you first tried to update your Linux distro to that library version? You can find most libraries through your package manager. And yes, it's your duty to keep your Linux as up-to-date as possible.
• If you have problems with your screen saver or graphics, please state which projects you run, which project(s) you have the problem with, what you see and expected to see. Is X-server running? Did the OpenGL drivers load?
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Message 57042 - Posted: 24 Oct 2014, 15:15:51 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 13:36:33 UTC

Macintosh specific questions
• Please tell us which BOINC version you are using. You can find this information in BOINC Manager->Advanced view->Help->About BOINC Manager, or in case you run without the manager, it'll be in the first line in the start-up messages which either save to the command line window, or to stdoutdae.txt, or you can get it via the boinccmd --version command.
• BOINC can't start up and it keeps pestering you about reinstalling. Reinstalling/uninstalling/repair installing does not help. Upgrade to BOINC 7.4; BOINC 6.12 had many problems with the installer, these are all fixed in BOINC 7.4.
• If you have problems with your screen saver or graphics, please state which projects you run, which project(s) you have the problem with, what you see and expected to see. Is X-server running? Did the OpenGL drivers load?
• You updated to the latest newest OS X version and since that time your GPU isn't found anymore? In this case you need new drivers. If Nvidia, AMD or Intel doesn't show them anywhere on their site, I suggest you search in Google if others with the same problem found a solution.
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Message 59188 - Posted: 31 Dec 2014, 15:48:06 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 13:05:14 UTC

Android specific questions
• Whenever you ask for help on Android problems, tell us about:
- the brand and model number of the device you're running on and if it's a tablet, phablet, phone or something other;
- BOINC version;
- Android version.
- If you've seen errors during the installation, or the running of BOINC.
- If you added any projects and if so, which.

Without any such basic information, any question you have can only be answered with "hesitating to guess..."
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Message 81116 - Posted: 12 Sep 2017, 13:05:37 UTC

OpenCL capable CPU and GPU. (Windows only)

When you feel your GPU or CPU is OpenCL capable but BOINC isn't detecting that it is, first try to run CLInfo.

You can download clinfo.zip, and save it onto your system. Next make a directory called C:\CLInfo\ and unpack the contents of clinfo.zip into this directory.

Now open Notepad and add into it:
@echo off
c:
cd\clinfo\
clinfo > clinfo.log

Click File->Save As...
-> Navigate to C:\CLInfo\
-> Set "Save As type" to All files
-> Encoding: ANSI
-> File name: clinfo.bat and then click Save.

Next run clinfo.bat from Windows Explorer ((double-)click it).
It will save all the information it can find into clinfo.log in c:\clinfo\
You can open this log file with Notepad.

This will show if your CPU and GPU are OpenCL capable at this time, or not. When you feel that they should be capable, post the contents of the log file into an answer here and someone will go over it and tell you what to do.
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Message 81117 - Posted: 12 Sep 2017, 13:05:57 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 13:07:32 UTC

Reporting possible bugs
You can write a whole long story on how you think something is broken, but most of the times this is just because you perceive that things are this way, not because there is anything broken in BOINC.

So whenever you want to report a problem, make sure to add logs. Logs made with the correct debug flags. The debug flags are easily available these days in the Advanced BOINC Manager, they're just a menu click away (Advanced->Event Log Diagnostic Flags). Please for legibility add one debug flag per part of the log, disable it, then choose another if you have more than one flag that you need.

Main debug flags and what they're showing:
<cpu_sched_debug>: problems involving the choice of applications to run.
<work_fetch_debug>: problems involving work fetch (which projects are asked for work, and how much).
<rr_simulation>: problems involving jobs being run in high-priority mode. Shows results of the round-robin simulation used by CPU scheduler and work-fetch.
<sched_op_debug>: problems involving scheduler operations and other low level information.
For all flags and their description, please see the client configuration page in the BOINC User Wiki.

I just saw an error!
A lot of the times it helps a lot that when you see an error message, that you also tell us what this error message is. Try to make a screen shot. ALT+PRT SCR will store an image of the active window in memory, which you can paste (CTRL+V) into an image editor such as Paint, and then save as JPG or PNG image. This image you can then store on an external site as Imgur or similar, with which you can then post the link to the image. Please post full size images, not resized to a postage stamp, as these generally don't show your problem anymore.
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Message 81118 - Posted: 12 Sep 2017, 13:11:24 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 13:11:53 UTC

About these forums / lost accounts
• These forums are not in any way, form, or fashion affiliated with any of the projects that can run under BOINC. If you have any problem with any of the project's applications, or any other questions about such project, best ask at their forums first. Although you can post for help on how to get your login information back in the forums, the moderators, developers and administrators at these forums cannot help you get back login information of projects. Please just make a post about having lost login information, do not private message the moderators/administrators/developers about it. These PMs will most probably go ignored.
• If you have login problems on these forums, first make sure you ever made an account here. Having made an account at any project does not mean you have an account on these forums. As we're a separate entity you need to make a separate account here. Even if you made an account through the BOINC Wide Teams website, does that not mean you have an account on these forums.
• It is possible your account got culled back in the day when our spam deleting method meant that a whole range of accounts were nuked. A new account is easily made though, and since there's no things as credit associated with an account here, it's probably easiest to just make a new account.
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Message 81119 - Posted: 12 Sep 2017, 13:12:38 UTC
Last modified: 12 Sep 2017, 14:53:52 UTC

Legalities, profanity, yelling, rants, hostility
• Please ask for help before you go out on a crusade telling everyone "how much BOINC sucks". Complaining is always easy to do, but keep in mind that the people behind BOINC work hard to give you the best possible solution and experience. There's always a chance that you were jumping the gun anyway while asking for help might have provided a simple, easy solution; meaning you've gone out and posted something that may give new people an absolutely wrong impression. We're all for free speech and all, but at least try to confirm that what you're about to say publically is correct.
• Please, please, do not send the moderators private messages or emails for any question you have. Instead just make a post in the forums. It doesn't matter what question you have, we'd rather do this through the forums than in private, in case such a thread can also help others with same(ish) problems with it. It's very possible your request for help goes unanswered in PM.
• On the same note, please, please, do not send the moderators private messages, emails or feedback on the website that is nothing but a tirade and not a request to try and find a solution. Everyone on these forums, from the administrators, moderators, volunteer developers, to the helper with the lowest post count are volunteers. None of us get paid to do this work, we do this out of the kindness of our heart.

Please keep that mind when asking for help. If you feel you're not helped right, or that we shouldn't be asking all these questions, but instead be giving you ready help, let us know in a civil manner. Feeling hostile? Please leave and don't come back. It's a waste of your time, a waste of our nerves, and likely doesn't get us in a good mood to actually do anything about what you're writing about.
In fact, it'll be forwarded to the trash without any desire to remember it. If you want help, ask for help on the forum. If you want to complain, you can also do that on the forum. If you want to huff and puff and uninstall, you are welcome to do so, but please don't give us the arse-end of your mood just because you can.


With thanks for your help and understanding, from all the helpers on these forums.
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Message 81225 - Posted: 14 Sep 2017, 12:22:40 UTC

Titles on the forums

Help desk expert:
Users who are helping others out with their problems, having shown enough knowledge about BOINC in combination with certain operating systems (Linux, Windows, Mac OS, Android, other). People who go out of their way to help you out until your problem is fixed, has a sufficient workaround or you think it's enough. You can trust their advice.

Project administrator:
The boss of the forums and underlying website.

Project developer:
The original developers of BOINC.

Volunteer moderator:
Users who help out keeping the forums clean from spammers, moving threads into more appropriate forums, keeping the peace in the threads, potentially banishing those who don't want to adhere to the rules.

Volunteer developer:
User developers of BOINC. These users are active in Github, on the email lists and on the forums. They'll have more in-depth knowledge of the code that forms BOINC and will even be able to find a bug in such code depending on what you reported in the forums.

Volunteer tester:
Users who (alpha/beta) test the software or the BOINC server software.
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Message boards : Questions and problems : When requesting help on these forums

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