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Troubleshooting


Why am I not contributing?

There are a number of reasons why you may not be contributing to World Community Grid. One of the primary reasons this happens is that you may have a new device, or a new storage disk, and you did not download the World Community Grid software to your new device. To understand why you are not currently contributing and learn how to start contributing again, please click here.

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Why does the World Community Grid software only use 60% of my CPU time?

When World Community Grid was started in 2004, we heard isolated reports of computer instability while running the software at 100%. Because of this we changed the default setting to only run at 60% of the unused processor time. Members are able to modify the cpu time from 10% to 100% to suit their own needs by making a change to their device profile. However, anyone making the change to more than 60% should monitor their device to ensure that the change has not had an adverse impact. If it does then they should revert back to the default settings.

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How do I get the software to use 100% of the available CPU?

The software has a default setting of 60%. You may change the CPU utilization setting to 100% CPU utilization, we certainly welcome the additional contribution this setting brings to our projects.

  • To change your preferences for all computers under your member name, sign on to our website and go to your “Settings” page. Select “Device Manager”, then “Device Profiles from the left hand Navigation. Click the Profile Name that you want to alter and select “Custom Profile”. Under “Disk Usage” change your setting to reflect: “Use no more than: 100% of total disk space” and select “save”. The new settings will take effect when the agent software next communicates with the servers.
  • To change the preferences for a particular computer under your member name. Double left click on the World Community Grid, or BOINC, icon in the system tray of the appropriate computer. Select Preferences from Simple View. Then check “I want to customize my preferences for this computer only” and the information panel should reflect “Use no more than 100% of the processor” and “save”. The setting changes made here take effect immediately and override those in the device profile above.

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Why does my device show high CPU use?

The CPU in computers and other computing devices is actually highly utilized no matter what is going on, except when it is powered off, or stopped. There is a hidden "idle" task running in the background that runs at lower priority than everything else in the device, even lower than the World Community Grid software. The idle task counts up the percentage of the time it runs and calls this "idle time" and reduces the reported CPU utilization figure accordingly. Neither the World Community Software software nor the idle task will run if your device has other work to do. However, since our software runs at a slightly higher priority than the idle task, the idle task won't run at all and thus report that your computer will be 100% utilized*. Having our software run in the background along with other applications is usually not a problem unless you have a system with relatively little memory. For such systems you may want to change your preferences to meet your requirements.

An overview of the various performance settings may be found here.

* Note: If you set the throttle in the BOINC agent (called: Use no more than: % of processor time) to 60%, the agent will run at 100% for three seconds, and then at 0% for two seconds.

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Could running the software cause my computer to overheat?

A few machines have not been designed with sufficient cooling, fins sometimes fill with dust, and some fans run slower with age. This could be a problem whether you are running our software or not. However, we have found that some recently designed machines deal with the slight increase in CPU temperature from running at higher utilization percentages, by slowing the system clock rather than speeding up the cooling fan as needed. This could cause everything to run slower on such a machine. To keep this from happening, the software’s default CPU throttle is set to around 60%.

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I have received the error message "Suspending computation - CPU usage is too high" in my Message Log. What action can be taken to fix this?

This message means that other applications on your device are using your processor to do work. In order to allow those applications to run as fast as possible, the World Community Grid software is suspending the research until your device is once again idle.
If you wish to change the level of processor use that is required before World Community Grid stops running the research application, then please take the following steps:

  • Go to your Device Manager page.
  • Find the name of your device in the list, and then click on the profile associated with that device. In most cases, it will be the 'Default' profile.
  • On the Device Profile page, select 'Custom Profile'.
  • Halfway down the page there is a setting that says 'Suspend work if CPU usage is above XX% of cpu'. Change this value to fit your needs.

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    Why do I get the error: exit code -1073741510 (0xc000013a) (On Windows Vista)?

    The message exit code -1073741510 (0xc000013a) means that when you log off of Windows the application gets terminated quite abruptly. Vista can shut down very quickly and not allow BOINC enough time to stop properly. This problem was corrected in the 5.10.45 version of BOINC. Please ensure that you are running the latest recommended version of the World Community Grid software.

    To determine what version you are currently running on your computer, right click on the World Community Grid, or BOINC, icon in the bottom right corner of your display (by the date and time). Click on “About World Community Grid – BOINC Client” or “About BOINC” and the current version of the software will be displayed.

    You may check if you have the latest supported version of the World Community Grid software by visiting this page: https://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/ms/viewDownloadAgain.do . The version number is displayed below the name of the agent for each operating system. If this number is the same as the version number that you have installed then you have the latest supported version.

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    Forgot your member name or password?

    To find your member name, open the BOINC Manager and then select “Advanced View”. Select your “Projects” tab and your member name will be listed under “Account”.

    If World Community Grid is no longer on your device, you may recover your member name from our website here. Your member name will be sent to the email address associated with that account.

    Your password may also be recovered at our website here. A password reset email will be sent to the
    email address associated with that account.

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    I tried to recover my password via email but did not receive it. What is wrong?

    The most common reason for this happening is that the email address in your profile is not correct. When registering, you were asked to provide an email address and you may have mistyped your email address, or your email address may have changed since then. If the email address is incorrect, and you no longer have access to the old email address, please use the Contact Us form to receive additional assistance.

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    Why don't my statistics show up on the web site?

    Your results are not counted until they are validated. You may read about result validation here.

    Also, World Community Grid points and statistics are updated twice a day. This occurs at 00:00 and 12:00 UTC. This includes all statistics on World Community Grid except for Team Statistics.

    Team Statistics are updated once a day at 00:00 UTC

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    Is there a minimum password length?

    If you change your password, we require a minimum length of 6 characters. If you set an original password of 5 characters at registration, then you should still be able to use it to log in. You may have tried logging in during a server maintenance window. Please try again.

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    Why did I receive an email with my password when I did not request it?

    The system is working exactly as intended. When you forget your password, you may have World Community Grid send the password to the email address associated with your member name. If a member mistypes their member name while requesting their password, the email will be sent to the wrong person.

    Hopefully these members will realize and correct their mistake. In the meantime, your password is still valid, and you can ignore the unrequested email.

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    I have to stop participating for a while but plan to return in the future. I'm worried that I will forget my member name and password. Is there an easy way for me to get my member name and password when I return?

    Yes, you may go to the Forgot Member Name or Forgot Password page and retrieve them securely.

    If you do not receive the email to retrieve your Member Name or Password, please Contact Us.

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    My computer is currently registered under one member name, but I would like have it registered under a different member name. How do I change it?

    If you have already registered with the member name you would like to switch to, then please continue. Otherwise, please go here and register your desired member name.

    Once you have registered with the member name you would like, you need to perform the following steps to change the registration (please note: these instructions may be slightly different depending on which version of BOINC you are running, and your operating system): 

    • Open the BOINC Manager window
    • Select  'Advanced View' (if not already in Advanced View)
    • Click on the 'Projects' tab
    • Click on the 'World Community Grid' project and then from the left hand menu select 'Remove'
    • Go to the menu at the top of your toolbar and select Tools -> Add Project
    • This will bring up a window that asks you to select a project or enter in a project URL.  Please select 'World Community Grid' from the list of proojects, or enter this url:  https://www.worldcommunitygrid.org/
    • When asked for your member name and password, use the member name you would like the computer registered under, and the appropriate password, and finish
    • Click again on the 'Projects' tab in the BOINC window and verify that your desired member name now appears under 'Account'

    If you need additional assistance, please use the Contact Us form.

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    How do I remove my member information from the World Community Grid database?

    Please utilize the "contact us" feature (at the bottom of most pages of our website) and request that your member information be removed from our database.

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    What are the Member Name Guidelines?

    World Community Grid uses unique member names for each member who joins. It is used in combination with your password to log on to the World Community Grid website where you can change update your profile, and check on your contribution to the projects. Your member name must be between 6 and 30 characters. It is recommended that you choose something other than your real name or your email address. Also, World Community Grid will reject/remove Member Names which it considers objectionable to our community. Your member name can contain alphanumeric characters (A-Z, 0-9), and !, -, _, [, ], and spaces.

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    I registered my agent successfully but it is not running any task.

    One possibility is that your device does not meet the minimum resources required for any of our projects. You may check our system requirements here.

    If your device does meet our minimum system requirements, please review the Network Connections and Settings FAQs. If this doesn’t apply, please post in our BOINC Support Forum, as a member may be able to quickly assist you with your problem.

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    Why is no task executing after I complete a work unit?

    It is normal for the software to spend a couple of minutes preparing to send data to the server. During this time, it is running some final calculations and formatting the results for transmission. If you still do not have a task after more than five minutes, it could be due to one of the following reasons:

    • If the software is unable to detect network connectivity, the software will continue to retry until it is able to send results.
    • If we are experiencing very heavy traffic on our servers, you may see delays in the distribution of new work.

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    The software installer keeps giving me an error and asks me to check my Proxy settings.

    You need to be connected to the Internet at the start to have the agent connect to the server to get work. Check to see if you can get to some web page with your browser. If your Internet connection is working, it might be that you have a software firewall which is blocking access to the www.worldcommunitygrid.org site. If you have one, try turning it off temporarily and see what happens. If it starts working, then add the www.worldcommunitygrid.org address as a trusted site to your firewall.

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    I get "Cannot Connect to Server" messages when logging in. What's wrong?

    First ensure that you have internet connection to other sites. There are several scenarios which may cause this error:

    • This error could be due to a physical disconnection between your machine and the Internet, whether at your machine or your ISP.
    • Alternatively, our server could be temporarily down for maintenance. We try to restrict our maintenance to non-peak hours in the US, which may be inconvenient for folks on other continents. From time-to-time, it is necessary to take the servers offline outside our scheduled maintenance periods. We apologize if this causes any inconvenience. We will endeavor to keep the service available at all times.
    • This may occur on some machines that do not recognize the network when they are first launched. Exiting and restarting the World Community Grid Software clears this up, and users are able to connect without error.
    • If you are using a proxy server, a personal or corporate firewall, or an Internet gateway router, be sure to configure your settings before logging in.

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    My World Community Grid Software won't autodial with Windows 2000/XP.

    Autodial does not work properly with any application outside of IE unless a service called "Remote Access Auto Connection Manager" running. By default this service is set to ""manual start"" and unless you change it to ""automatic start"" at boot or start it manually, autodial for other applications will not work. To check or change the setting for this service, select "Start", select "Settings", and then click ""Control Panel."" Double click "Administrative Tools" and then click "Computer Management." In the computer management console expand the "services and applications" section, click on "Services." In the services detail pane scroll down in the list till you get to "Remote Access Auto Connection Manager," double click on it. Change the startup type to "Automatic" if you want the service to start when you start your computer. Save your changes and exit. Now World Community Grid should auto dial when it needs a connection. You can find info about these steps if you press F1 with the desktop active. Then type "autodial, configuring" and select the topic.

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    The software is reporting a problem of low hard drive space. How do I fix this?

    You need to free up some disk space on your computer in order to participate

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    Why do I have two World Community Grid or BOINC software icons by my clock?

    This area is called the Windows system tray (or systray). When the software updates itself, it will create a new icon here. The previous icon may not clear until you move your mouse over it. This is common among Windows applications that use the systray. If the second icon does not disappear, you may safely close one of them. To close, right click on the icon and select Exit.

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    Why do I lose my work and have to download a new work unit if Windows crashes?

    This occurrence is not unique to the software, though it is visible because of the way that the software works. When the Operating System completely freezes and power to the computer must be cut (a forceful/hard boot is performed) open files are mishandled and often corrupted. This occurs in virtually all operating systems, and can lead to corruption of open program files, or even of the operating system itself. The software performs a check of its files when it is started and if they have been damaged, for example during a hard reboot, then it will discard them and download a new work unit.

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    What are the workunit deadlines?

    A workunit deadline is the number of days you have to complete a workunit and return to the grid servers.

    We have workunit deadlines so that the research will continue to move forward in a timely fashion. Currently the workunit deadlines are set at 10 days for all World Community Grid research projects, except Help Conquer Cancer which has a 7 day deadline.

    10 Day Workunit Deadline Exception: If you receive a replacement workunit that was generated as a result of a workunit result error from another members computer, then your workunit will have a shorter deadline. In particular, if the original deadline was 10 days, then the shortened deadline will be about 4 days.

    If a workunit is not returned by the deadline, our grid servers will send out another copy of the workunit to another member. A member may receive credit for the overdue workunit if it is returned within 7 days of the deadline.

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    Why does the software sometimes display with a piece of the screen missing?

    The software requires an 800x600 screen to display properly. If the software's window is opened when the screen is resized (for instance if you begin playing a game that resizes the screen), windows may not properly "re-paint" the windows when the screen is re-sized back to its original setting. To fix this, minimize the software's window by clicking on the downward pointing triangle. Right click on the software's icon in the system tray (the section of the Start bar where the time is displayed) and choose exit. Open the software by clicking on [Start] [Programs] [World Community Grid] [World Community Grid Software].

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    Do I have a BOINC agent or a UD Agent? How do I tell which agent I have?

    Please look in your system tray. Right-click on an icon that looks like this: . If the top menu says "Open World Community Grid - BOINC Client..." then you have the BOINC version of the agent software. Otherwise you have the United Devices version which is no longer supported. To download the BOINC version, just sign in on our website and then select the “download now” button on our home page under the “How You Can Help” section. The installer will uninstall the United Devices version of your software and install the BOINC version.

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    Why won't the project suspend when I'm using my device?

    You are probably on an older version of BOINC. This issue was fixed with the BOINC World Community Grid release of 5.10.22 or higher. Please download the latest version here.

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    Why does the screen saver only show a black or blank screen?

    This is a known issue with later versions of BOINC. It is caused when you set your screen saver to require a password upon activation. Please upgrade to the latest World Community Grid BOINC agent available here as it will display an alternate screen saver that will show you the agent is working.

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    What is an intermittent project?

    Intermittent projects are projects that will only periodically have work available to download. This could be because the project has finished but the researchers may not be finished analyzing all the results, and as such, may discover that they have to run a few more work units through the grid. This could also be because the project team may have periods where they cannot produce work as fast as the members are able to process their work.

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    Why do some validated work units remain on my results status page for a long period of time?

    When different work units share input files, then they are deleted in a different way than normal work units. All the work units that share the common input are left in the database until all work units that share the input files have completed successfully. Sometimes there will be a few work units in that group that error out and we need to discuss with the researchers how they want them handled. In those cases, the work units will not be cleared from the database until we have agreement with the researchers about how to proceed. This can cause some work units to stay in the database for a very long time.

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    Why do I receive tasks / work units for research projects other than the projects I have selected on "My Projects" page?

    On the server, there is a daemon called the 'feeder' which loads tasks into a shared memory segment every second. The shared memory segment can store up to 1000 tasks. When the scheduler receives a request from a client to fetch new tasks to work on, the scheduler only looks at this shared memory segment for tasks that it considers for sending. This is done because at any given time there are up to 1 million tasks available to send for a project. If the scheduler hit the database directly to search for tasks to send on each request, then the load on the database would be overwhelming.

    The shared memory is divided into 'slots' that are allocated to the different projects that we have active. Only a task for that project can be assigned to a specific slot.

    There are certain times each day when the slots for a given project in the shared memory segment become "full" of tasks that are designated for a particular platform (Linux or Windows). These usually only last a few minutes or seconds, but can sometimes last up to 30 minutes.

    If for example, you are running Linux and the slots assigned to your selected research projects are full of tasks that are already assigned to Windows, then the server will treat it as no work is available for your selected research projects for you. (This is what triggers the 'tasks are assigned to another platform' message). If you have the 'send other' work preference checked on your preference settings, it will then look for other projects to send you tasks.

    At this time, the best option for you is to uncheck the 'send other' preference if you do not want to receive work from other projects when the events described above occur.

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    Why are my results marked 'too late' or 'server aborted'?

    The BOINC software allows us to set limits for each work unit. Below are some examples, but please note that the numbers used below are just examples and not actual:

    1. Max number of results (example 9)
    2. Max number of error results ( example 5)
    3. Max number of success results (example 5)
    So, in this example, if you download a work unit that already has 4 work units returned with an error status, and the work unit requires a quorum of 2, this would indicate that another member has a work unit in progress when you downloaded the work unit. This at a minimum would mean 6 total work units have been sent. Then your wingman returns a result that is also an error. This would cause the server to try and abort all remaining work units in progress and if your work unit had not started running, you would receive a 'server aborted' message. If your device had started on the work unit before the server abort message was sent, the BOINC software cannot abort and your device will complete the work unit, but the result will be marked as 'too late'.

    Please note: number of max successes means that the results are not validating against each other. For example all 5 copies have different results.

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    Is there a work unit limit set per core?

    Yes. The current limit is 35 per core.

    The reason for this limit is that in the past, we have had results with wild estimations which could cause a machine to download more days worth of work than what the deadline allowed for, which was causing many results to go into a too late state and required reliable hosts to pick those up after the fact. This also caused many reliable hosts to become unreliable.

    With multiple projects, the estimations to BOINC can vary even though we try our best to prevent this event from happening. This work unit limit has helped to prevent this type of event from happening again.

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