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Seeding but nobody completing? What to do...
06-06-2010, 04:23 PM
Post: #1
Seeding but nobody completing? What to do...
When you play an mp3 file there is a chance your media player will update the ID3 tags within. Windows Media Player and iTunes are particularly prone to doing that. If you play the file after you have created a torrent, clients will view the changed file as having been corrupted. Nobody will be able to complete their downloads as the pieces you send will not match the fingerprints contained within the .torrent file. They will experience hash fails and endlessly re-request pieces.

Clients don't hash check pieces when they send them, so you will be puzzled as to why nobody completes beyond a certain percentage and/or complains about the no. of hash fails they are experiencing. Here is what you should do if this happens. [I'll give instructions for uTorrent, but all clients have similar functionality.]

1. Stop the torrent in your client.

2. Right-click on the torrent and select Force Recheck. Your client will compare the files as they currently are with the fingerprint contained within the torrent file. Your Done % value will drop below 100%. [If it doesn't, you don't have this particular problem.]

Since you won't know what the values were before your player changed them, it's impossible to manually repair them.

Unless you have a backup of the files taken between the time you created the torrent and the time before that when you last played them, you won't be able to restore them either.

Your client will attempt to download pieces to repair your files. If someone had completed downloading before you corrupted them, this will be fine and soon you will be seeding again.

Assuming nobody had completed, your torrent is irreparable. You will need to create a new one and migrate your downloaders to it.

3. Right-click on the folder containing the files and select Properties. Click twice on Read-only (until the box contains a tick) then click OK. Ensure "Apply changes to this folder, subfolders and files" is selected and click OK. This will ensure the files are not accidentally changed in future. It's a good habit to get into before creating any MP3 torrents. You can unprotect the files once you have done seeding.

4. Go back to uTorrent and recreate the torrent exactly as you did previously. The torrent hash will be different to what it was originally.

5. Upload the new torrent alongside your existing torrent.

6. Add a comment to your existing torrent containing a link to the new torrent. Explain that the ID3 tags had been changed on your computer and that you are no longer able to seed, but that people will be able to use the new torrent to complete their downloads. They will likely lose a couple of percentage points of completion, but no more.

It's better to leave the old torrent there so people who have downloaded it will find the explanation of what happened.

7. Seed your new torrent.
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