News Rover Usenet Newsreader -- Search and download Usenet newsgroup messages and files
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FAQ - Nothing Downloads

People occasionally write us and ask "why is News Rover not retrieving the messages or files I expect it to". Often they add "I'm sure they are there because I can see them with another newsreader".

The most common single cause of this confusion has to do with the initial setup of an interest group. A point which is described in the interest group configuration wizard but then often overlooked is that the initial scan of a newsgroup does not necessarily get all the messages and files in that newsgroup. The reasons for this is that many newsgroups have so many messages that retrieving them all could take all day. Instead, News Rover asks how many days the initial scan should go back. It then scans headers (assuming that they come sorted in date order) and performs a "binary search" to locate the first message that is as old as you want. By default the initial scan for a newsgroup goes back 30 days.

Once News Rover has managed to finish scanning a newsgroup, it remembers which articles it has seen and only asks for the new ones next time it visits. News Rover does this using the "article number", which is a sequence number assigned to news articles by the news server. These sequence numbers increase indefinitely. Suppose that News Rover read articles 98445 to 98545 last time it scanned a news group. Upon issuing the group command, the news server should respond with a message telling what articles are now in the newsgroup. Following this example, it may be 98430 to 99000. News Rover would then begin requesting headers, 100 at a time, starting with a request for 98546 to 98645.

You can force News Rover to go back and reread articles which it has seen before by setting the "number of days to go back in the next scan". This value appears in the dates property sheet of the interest group's configuration. Note that this value is not stored on disk and remembered between runs; it only applies to the next run.

One possible problem which can cause News Rover to retrieve no messages is that sometimes the article numbers get corrupted on the news server. You can determine this by watching the event log when News Rover first goes into a newsgroup. Sometimes, for example, we see News Rover reporting that the newsgroup contains articles 0 to 0.

Another reason that News Rover may not be retrieving the messages or files you want is that you may have incorrectly specified a search criteria. Many people, for example, try to specify that they want all messages containing orange, apple, or apricot and specify the selection expression as:

    orange apple apricot

This would only match articles containing these three words in this order! The correct expression would have been:

    orange or apple or apricot

Yet another configuration problem which can cause News Rover to miss messages you think you want is that there may be attached files which are not listed in the subject. There is a checkbox labeled "only scan messages if a filename is in the subject" which controls this.

If, after reading this over, you are still convinced that News Rover is missing messages or files it should not, perform the following steps:

1. Look at the statistics after a newsgroup scan completes. This is done by clicking control, then statistics. The statistics may well tell you what fate the missing messages and files have met.

2. Watch the event log while News Rover scans the newsgroup. The event log contains additional detail about what happens to each message. Starting with version 3.0 revision 2, the event log identifies each message by using the article id described above. This helps track exactly where every message went. If you want even more detail, proceed to step 3:

3. Go to the advanced configuration page and check the box labeled "log all server I/O communications". This causes News Rover to show every record written to, and read from, the news server. In other words, the event log now includes all the data flowing instead of just comments by Rover. Sometimes this makes the problem clear.

4. If you are still stumped, leave "log all server I/O" engaged, also check "write event log to file", do a run, let News Rover scan a newsgroup, and send us the event.log file which will be writen into the \program files\newsrover directory (or an alternate folder you installed the product in). Tell us what you expected and got and we will give you an authoritative answer as to why News Rover got what it did.

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