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Profile Wormholio
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Message 5123 - Posted: 13 Mar 2007 | 18:51:53 UTC
Last modified: 13 Mar 2007 | 18:53:52 UTC

I recently upgraded the machines in the physics lab at a local college to use 5.8.11, and while I think they are now crunching correctly I cannot get the screensaver to display.

These machines were previously crunching for the BBC climate model. When I upgraded them I added them to Einstein & Pirates. They run Windows XP with a Shared installation.

One complication is that there is software on each system to lock the C: drive image against long term changes. Any changes made are only temporary; the machine reverts back to the previously locked configuration whenever it reboots.

This makes me suspect that these machines were actually not doing much useful computing for the BCC project. It reminds me of the movie "Groundhog Day".

Each machine also has a D: drive (D is for data) which is not locked. Students can store the results of their labs or other things there, though there is no guarantee it will stay there. I therefore installed BOINC on this drive, at D:/Program Files/BOINC. I made it the default screensaver and set it to launch at boot.

(There is a password someone can give to the lock software to unlock it for changes. Then we can make changes, and then we give the command again to lock it. I copied the account.xml file for the BBC project over even though there is no new work there.)

When it comes time for the screensaver to start I see the briefest flash of the starsphere, but then it quits. But you can use "show graphics" from BOINC Manager just fine.

I know that the installation would also put an executable in C:WINNT to run the screensaver graphics, even though the main installation is on the D: disk. And changes to the C: drive should be allowed, just not maintained after the reboot. So I wonder if the disk locking software is really an issue or a diversion?

Anybody in this crew have ideas or experience with this kind of problem? I'd really like to see the whole lab showing the screensaver when the machines are not in use.

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Message 5125 - Posted: 13 Mar 2007 | 21:19:27 UTC
Last modified: 13 Mar 2007 | 21:20:37 UTC

Will it run with any other screen saver, like a Windows standard one (non-3D)?

Can you run one of the machines with a cc_config.xml file with the scrsave_debug flag on and post the log of that here?
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Message 5130 - Posted: 14 Mar 2007 | 18:09:12 UTC


I am curious why you wouldn't be running it as a service installation in a lab setting (or am I misunderstanding what you mean by shared)? It is easy enough to edit the service properties so that the log on is a local system account and the screensaver is allowed to interact with the desktop. Are adminstator level changes such as editing services also locked out on these machines?

Also, do you know the name of the locking software?

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Message 5131 - Posted: 14 Mar 2007 | 18:44:51 UTC - in response to Message 5130.

Scott Brown wrote:
Are adminstator level changes such as editing services also locked out on these machines?

Also, do you know the name of the locking software?



I was allowed to install the software as the non-admin user, and shared seemed to be the best for that. They are not my machines, and I thought that the fellow who runs the lab would be more nervous if I was doing something with services and I told him I needed administrator privs.

I don't know the locking software name yet, but I have tried to find out and will continue to do so.
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Message 5145 - Posted: 15 Mar 2007 | 12:31:42 UTC - in response to Message 5131.



I seem to recall problems in older client versions with non-service installs in labs (something with 'runaway connecting' machines when different users logged in if I recall correctly???), but I am not sure if that has been fixed in the 5.8.xx series?

I can certainly understand that he would be nervous if someone was playing with the services. I will say that I have never had problems with service installs across several machines and clients. The only issue that I am aware of is a problem with the program BigFix (and I would assume other such monitoring software such as Altiris, etc.) where, if BOINC is installed as a service before the BigFix service is installed, BigFix will not run properly. I think that the opposite order of installs creates no problem, though.

Given your non-admin user status, it sounds like the password to the locking software is likely the best option.

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Message 5148 - Posted: 15 Mar 2007 | 17:15:30 UTC - in response to Message 5145.

Scott Brown wrote:
I seem to recall problems in older client versions with non-service installs in labs (something with 'runaway connecting' machines when different users logged in if I recall correctly???), but I am not sure if that has been fixed in the 5.8.xx series?


I saw that on one machine in the chemistry dept. of another local college. We traced it to not being able to write the config.xml file. It created a new host on Einstein each time it tried to write that file and failed. The code was then changed to check that config.xml is writeable, and to fail with an appropriate error message if not.

In this case it could well be a file protection on some other file or directory which is needed for the screensaver to run.

I'll run the tests Ageless suggested when I return next week.

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Message 5191 - Posted: 22 Mar 2007 | 11:42:29 UTC - in response to Message 5125.

Stainless Cutlass wrote:
Will it run with any other screen saver, like a Windows standard one (non-3D)?

Yes, it runs the starfield screensaver just fine.

One strange thing I saw was two choices for BOINC in the list of screensavers. But this was only on some of the machines, and I only found one screensaver executable boinc.scr, in C:\Windows, as expected.
Can you run one of the machines with a cc_config.xml file with the scrsave_debug flag on and post the log of that here?

I am afraid I did not have time to do this, or any other further tests. I'll see if I can try it next week.

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Message 5192 - Posted: 22 Mar 2007 | 13:39:23 UTC - in response to Message 5191.

Wormholio wrote:
One strange thing I saw was two choices for BOINC in the list of screensavers. But this was only on some of the machines, and I only found one screensaver executable boinc.scr, in C:\Windows, as expected.

That sounds more like a Windows problem.
Although... are they all dual CPU machines? Maybe it's to do with that.

I can't say I ever heard of it. And then it shouldn't be a problem, as you can only use one screen saver at a time.

You could check the registry for entries on "screensaver" (without quotes). Or check and see if there's a double entry at HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Space Sciences Laboratory, U.C. Berkeley\BOINC Screensaver on the affected machines.

P.S: when quoting, the \ key goes missing again.


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Message 5225 - Posted: 28 Mar 2007 | 18:05:36 UTC - in response to Message 5131.
Last modified: 28 Mar 2007 | 18:05:55 UTC

Scott Brown wrote:
Also, do you know the name of the locking software?


I've now learned that the locking software is called DriveShield.

I'm installing cc_config.xml on one of them to see if that helps us figure out what is going wrong.

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Message 5227 - Posted: 28 Mar 2007 | 20:18:52 UTC

This is the slowest help thread ever. ;-)

Do we have to wait for the output another week?
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Message 5228 - Posted: 28 Mar 2007 | 22:22:19 UTC - in response to Message 5227.

Stainless Cutlass wrote:
This is the slowest help thread ever. ;-)

Do we have to wait for the output another week?

Maybe, maybe longer. How long will it take me to get file attachments working again?

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Message 5233 - Posted: 29 Mar 2007 | 10:18:13 UTC - in response to Message 5228.

Wormholio wrote:
Stainless Cutlass wrote:
This is the slowest help thread ever. ;-)

Do we have to wait for the output another week?

Maybe, maybe longer. How long will it take me to get file attachments working again?

Considering your workload, I would assume mid-summer... 2009.
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Message 5238 - Posted: 30 Mar 2007 | 1:14:16 UTC

I was able to collect some more information about the problem this week. First of all, the DriveShield software doesn't seem to be the culprit. I was able to get one of the boxes unlocked, and it still didn't work. When the screensaver did kick in, it showed the graphics for maybe 1/3 of a second or less and then immediately kicked out again.

It also turns out that the screensaver does in fact work on two machines in the lab. I was also able to get DriveShield unlocked on one of those. The screensaver worked fine with or without being locked. So I conclude that DriveShield is not the problem.

I looked at the Registry on one of the "broken" machines and it looked fine.

I installed a cc_config.xml file with the scrsave_debug flag set to 1, and that created some extra output which demonstrates what's going on. I could highlight the messages, but I could not copy & paste them to notepad. Perhaps that is something to report to the alpha list. Instead I found stdoutdae.txt and cut out this little bit:


2007-03-28 15:13:58 [---] Got start msg from screensaver
2007-03-28 15:13:58 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK_SET::save_app_modes(): saved mode 1
2007-03-28 15:13:58 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::request_graphics_mode(): requesting graphics mode <mode_hide_graphics/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:13:58 [---] [scrsave_debug] CLIENT_STATE::get_next_graphics_capable_app(): get_next_app: h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:13:58 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::poll(): picked h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1, request restart
2007-03-28 15:13:58 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::request_graphics_mode(): requesting graphics mode <mode_fullscreen/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:13:58 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::ask_app(): starting h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1 current time 1175112838.937500 deadline 1175112868.937500
2007-03-28 15:13:59 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::check_graphics_mode_ack(): got graphics ack <mode_fullscreen/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1, previous mode <mode_hide_graphics/>
2007-03-28 15:14:00 [---] Got stop msg from screensaver
2007-03-28 15:14:00 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::reset(): resetting h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:14:00 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::request_graphics_mode(): requesting graphics mode <mode_hide_graphics/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:14:00 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::stop_ss(): stopping screen saver
2007-03-28 15:14:00 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::check_graphics_mode_ack(): got graphics ack <mode_hide_graphics/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1, previous mode <mode_fullscreen/>
2007-03-28 15:14:00 [---] ack_timeout 1175112839.984375 is_ss_app 0 acked 1
2007-03-28 15:15:01 [---] Got start msg from screensaver
2007-03-28 15:15:01 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK_SET::save_app_modes(): saved mode 1
2007-03-28 15:15:01 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::request_graphics_mode(): requesting graphics mode <mode_hide_graphics/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:15:02 [---] [scrsave_debug] CLIENT_STATE::get_next_graphics_capable_app(): get_next_app: h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:15:02 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::poll(): picked h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1, request restart
2007-03-28 15:15:02 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::request_graphics_mode(): requesting graphics mode <mode_fullscreen/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:15:02 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::ask_app(): starting h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1 current time 1175112902.109375 deadline 1175112932.109375
2007-03-28 15:15:03 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::check_graphics_mode_ack(): got graphics ack <mode_fullscreen/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1, previous mode <mode_hide_graphics/>
2007-03-28 15:15:03 [---] Got stop msg from screensaver
2007-03-28 15:15:03 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::reset(): resetting h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:15:03 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::request_graphics_mode(): requesting graphics mode <mode_hide_graphics/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1
2007-03-28 15:15:03 [---] [scrsave_debug] SS_LOGIC::stop_ss(): stopping screen saver
2007-03-28 15:15:04 [---] [scrsave_debug] ACTIVE_TASK::check_graphics_mode_ack(): got graphics ack <mode_hide_graphics/> for h1_0668.0_S5R1__6002_S5RIa_1, previous mode <mode_fullscreen/>
2007-03-28 15:15:04 [---] ack_timeout 1175112903.156250 is_ss_app 0 acked 1
2007-03-28 15:16:05 [---] Got start msg from screensaver

And so on, every minutes (I set the screensaver delay to the lowest possible for testing).

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Message 5239 - Posted: 30 Mar 2007 | 2:45:11 UTC - in response to Message 5238.

Wormholio wrote:
I could highlight the messages, but I could not copy & paste them to notepad.

Ctrl-v and right click are disabled but the command buttons on the left side of that window should work.

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Message 5243 - Posted: 30 Mar 2007 | 9:26:12 UTC

Eric, the log is truncated in the code representation upstairs. If you still have them, could you give me the complete part of the stdoutdae.txt?
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Message 5244 - Posted: 30 Mar 2007 | 12:18:27 UTC - in response to Message 5239.

Contact wrote:
Ctrl-v and right click are disabled but the command buttons on the left side of that window should work.

Never thought to look for those. I'd expect Ctrl-c/Ctrl-v to work on windows if I can highlight the text (which I could).

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Message 5269 - Posted: 4 Apr 2007 | 0:30:20 UTC
Last modified: 4 Apr 2007 | 0:31:24 UTC

I have some more information about the problem. I collected this last week but didn't have time to share it until now. As I mentioned, two of the machines work, while the others don't. The are all marked IBM Think Centre [sic] and have Pentium 4 processors. The big difference seems to be the graphics cards.

The machines which do not work all have


Intel 82865G Graphics controller
96 MB
1024x768 32bit mode

I also tried 16bit mode and 1280x1024 but they still didn't work. The screensaver kicks out as soon as it kicks in.


One machine which works has

Intel 82915G/GV/910GL Express chipset
128 MB
1024x768 @ 32bits

while the other has

Intel 82945G Express chipset
128 MB
1280x1024

Are there known problem with the first one?

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Message 5270 - Posted: 4 Apr 2007 | 3:12:08 UTC - in response to Message 5269.

Wormholio wrote:
The machines which do not work all have

Intel 82865G Graphics controller
96 MB
1024x768 32bit mode

Get the last drivers for this one.
It would appear that when you install the Windows drivers, there's no OpenGL support. These drivers add OpenGL1.3 support.

One machine which works has

Intel 82915G/GV/910GL Express chipset
128 MB
1024x768 @ 32bits

Its drivers are here.

while the other has

Intel 82945G Express chipset
128 MB
1280x1024

While its drivers are here.
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Message 5278 - Posted: 4 Apr 2007 | 14:17:12 UTC - in response to Message 5270.

Stainless Cutlass wrote:

It would appear that when you install the Windows drivers, there's no OpenGL support. These drivers add OpenGL1.3 support.

Thanks for the links. I will be in the lab today and if there is time I'll try this.



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Message 5282 - Posted: 4 Apr 2007 | 21:03:50 UTC

Bad news. The guy who runs the lab has not shown up today, so there's no way to unlock the boxes to install the drivers to test that idea.

(I tried installing the driver on one machine anyway. At the end of the installation it asks if I want to reboot. With the DriveShield software locked it will forget the new drivers after the reboot, so there's no point.)

So this long help thread will, unfortunately, go on a little longer.

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Message 5283 - Posted: 4 Apr 2007 | 21:36:38 UTC

Oh well. We got time in abundance. :-)
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Message 5462 - Posted: 18 Apr 2007 | 20:00:33 UTC

I'm happy to report that I was finally able to update the drivers on one of the machines, as Ageless suggested, and this fixed the problem. Thanks to everybody who helped out.

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Message 5464 - Posted: 18 Apr 2007 | 21:20:47 UTC

Yay!
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