SETI won't obey preferences


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Questions and Answers : Windows : SETI won't obey preferences

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Dr. Brett
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Message 952908 - Posted: 7 Dec 2009, 4:40:32 UTC

Hi. I have my preferences set to no computing when computer is in use. However some CUDA WU's continue working even when I have returned to the computer. I am forced to abort these WU's in order to use my computer. Are there any solutions?

Thanks
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Message 952931 - Posted: 7 Dec 2009, 6:58:34 UTC - in response to Message 952908.

There was a separate preference added in the newer builds of the Manager that has the option "Use GPU while computer is in use". It is located either under Advanced Preferences or here on the site which should take care of both computers.
http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/prefs.php?subset=global
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Message 952995 - Posted: 7 Dec 2009, 15:19:05 UTC

I have it set to "suspend GPU while computer is in use - YES"; this has been the setting I have always used.

Is this correct?
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Message 952997 - Posted: 7 Dec 2009, 15:29:45 UTC
Last modified: 7 Dec 2009, 15:31:59 UTC

Check in Windows Task Manager->Processes whether or not boinctray.exe is running.
If it isn't, start it from your BOINC directory, which by default is at C:\Program Files\BOINC\

Despite its name this program does not show any icons in the system tray. It's the idle tracking program that BOINC uses to check if you're still using the keyboard or mouse. When it's not running, neither BOINC or any science application will follow your preferences to do not work when your computer is in use.

Also, make sure that your run based of preferences: BOINC Manager->Advanced view->Activity menu->Run based on preferences.

Apropos:

I am forced to abort these WU's in order to use my computer.

No one is forcing you to Abort work. Never tried to Suspend BOINC, suspend the individual tasks, suspend the Seti project, or exit BOINC?
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Message 953124 - Posted: 8 Dec 2009, 2:28:55 UTC

Yes, boinctray.exe is running according to task manager.

Yes, my preferences are at run based on preferences.

I tried suspending the work unit but it kept running.

I have not tried suspending BOIC, SETI, or exiting SETI yet. I could try that. By "forced", I meant that I had to do something to be able to use my computer.
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Message 953149 - Posted: 8 Dec 2009, 4:50:37 UTC

I notice that you have 2 computers. If it is the one with BOINC 6.6 installed, you might want to upgrade it to 6.10.21 from http://boinc.ssl.berkeley.edu/dl
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Message 953170 - Posted: 8 Dec 2009, 7:45:03 UTC - in response to Message 953149.

I notice that you have 2 computers. If it is the one with BOINC 6.6 installed, you might want to upgrade it to 6.10.21 from http://boinc.ssl.berkeley.edu/dl

In order to do that, you'll have to upgrade the graphics driver, which might be the problem anyway (178.24).

Gruß,
Gundolf
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Message 953213 - Posted: 8 Dec 2009, 15:13:41 UTC

It's the one with 6.10.18 installed. The other one is my old computer, which has been reformatted and is not running SETI at the moment.
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Message 953745 - Posted: 11 Dec 2009, 1:39:55 UTC - in response to Message 953213.

So just to be clear - the WU will say "suspended - user active", but the elapsed time is still going up and the computer is very slow in responding. Suspending the WU does nothing. Only when I abort the WU does the computer return to normal.

Thank you to everyone who has been helping me attempt to resolve this issue.
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Message 953839 - Posted: 11 Dec 2009, 9:37:22 UTC - in response to Message 953745.

And with 'abort', you mean using the Abort button in Tasks tab of BOINC manager? Or do you terminate the process via Task manager?

If the former, it sounds strange that the manager/client can stop the application in one case (abort) but not the other (suspend).

What is your preference setting for "Leave applications in memory while suspended?"

Does a reboot (without aborting) change the behaviour?

Gruß,
Gundolf
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Message 954113 - Posted: 12 Dec 2009, 4:16:39 UTC - in response to Message 953839.

I abort via the Commands section at the left hand side of the screen in the Tasks section.

Under preferences I do not have the box for "Use GPU use while computer is in use" checked.

Also, I do not have the box for "Leave applications in memory while suspended" checked.

I have not tried rebooting to cure the issue; however, I do not want to do this every time SETI is causing these problems - I would prefer it did not intrude on my computing. Running as a screensaver during idle time is fine; I would just like it to suspend itself when I come back to the computer and it isn't doing that.

Thank you for your help!
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Message 954118 - Posted: 12 Dec 2009, 4:56:11 UTC - in response to Message 954113.

Running as a screensaver during idle time is fine

While you're doing calculations on the GPU? Which screen saver is on then?
The GPU is already completely busy with doing calculations, why do you want it to do the screen saver at the same time? If you truly only want to use the screen saver, disable using the GPU for CUDA calculations.

Your account -> Project preferences -> edit them -> Uncheck "Use NVIDIA GPU if present" -> Save changes.

Simply said, Nvidia managed to find a way to do intricate calculations on the 3D processors inside the GPU. When you use CUDA here at Seti, all those 3D processors in the GPU core will be busy doing the calculations on the task. The GPUs aren't capable yet to give a portion of the processors to other 3D (heavy) causes. It's either all in on one thing, or all in on another thing.

You can still use a screen saver, as long as it's not a 3D heavy one. The normal Windows (DirectX) screen savers are a good bet, although even those can show or give trouble.

On to preferences, are you using the web-preferences and make changes there, or are you using the local preferences and make changes there? The local preferences override any of the same preferences from the website. So let's make sure, if you change the web-preferences, that you aren't using the local preferences: Open BOINC Manager->Advanced view->Advanced->Preferences->Click Clear.

If you had been using the local preferences (ever just looked at them and clicked OK, thus immediately saving and using them), doing the above will have cleared them and you're now using the web-based preferences only.
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Message 954129 - Posted: 12 Dec 2009, 6:58:49 UTC - in response to Message 954118.
Last modified: 12 Dec 2009, 6:59:41 UTC

I had been editing local preferences only, not web-based (or at least I had not unchecked the "use nVidia GPU if present"). I have now done that, and cleared the local preferences as well. Thank you for your help Jord!

The only screensaver running is BOINC. By "running as a screensaver" I meant runnning SETI when I was not using the computer. It actually goes to blank screen after 20 minutes, but SETI keeps running until I start working on the computer again. Sorry if I'm not being clear here. I was not aware that leaving the "use Nvidia GPU" meant that it would run when I am trying to use the computer - my local preferences were set to have BOINC running only when the computer had been idle for 3 minutes, and I thought that was what was supposed to happen. I obviously do not understand what the CUDA is for and how it is used by SETI.

Anyway I have followed all your instructions; unfortunately there are no work units available right now but when I get some I will let you know how things are going.

My sincerest thanks to arkayn, Jord (Ageless), John McLeod VII and Gundolf Jahn for your patience in helping me sort this out - you are the greatest and I really appreciate everything you've done!
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Message 954135 - Posted: 12 Dec 2009, 8:16:14 UTC - in response to Message 954129.

I obviously do not understand what the CUDA is for and how it is used by SETI.

Lifting it from my FAQ (as shown in my signature):

What is CUDA or CAL (Brook+)?
CUDA and CAL (Brook+), the next best thing since sliced bread... or so they want you to believe.

Both these versions are a method of doing calculations with the use of your videocard's GPU, or Graphics Processing Unit. CUDA is used by Nvidia GPUs only, while CAL is used by ATI/AMD GPUs only.

Inside the GPU there are multiple stream- or shader processors. While these are usually used to render 3D graphics in detail onto your monitor, they can also be used to do other calculations with.

That's what is being used on some of the projects running under BOINC. Using CUDA & CAL calculations will go much faster than on your CPU, since all the stream processors inside the GPU will attack the task at the same time, running all the calculations in parallel. This in contrast with how they run on your CPU, where one task runs on one CPU or core only.

While running work on your CPU(s) can already slow your computer down, imagine what will happen when you also run work on your GPU. It's already in use by your system to show you everything that happens on your screen, adding a load of work onto what it should do can cause stability problems.

If that doesn't get you on your way then please ask further. There are plenty of people who want to explain more (although it may get technical from this point onwards). :-)
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Message 954274 - Posted: 12 Dec 2009, 22:49:13 UTC - in response to Message 954135.

Everything seems fine now. Of course SETI isn't sending me any CUDA WUs now, but I can come back to the computer and as soon as I touch the keyboard BOINC switches off and there are no issues with the computer being slow. So resetting the online preferences was the answer.

Thanks again to everyone who helped me - your patience and courtesy was much appreciated.

Brett
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Questions and Answers : Windows : SETI won't obey preferences

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