Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Always Check Your Machines

I feel like I have taken for granted the fact that computers have gotten to the point where they basically just work, and just work wonderfully at least 90% of the time.  Well I recently got back from a trip to my parents in which I had my tower turned off the whole time. One of the first things I did upon returning was turn the machine on, which is basically set up to not require any other assistance from me besides that.  Not that I care about credits but 2 nights later and there seems to be little to no projects, especially no big projects that should have found their way through from my GPU.

Getting slightly concerned, I decided to pull up the computer and look at what is going on.  I was greeted upon opening BOINC with the following message next to the GPU Task: "GPU MISSING."  I am not entirely as two the cause, I have two guesses based on what had been going on.

Guess 1:  I am not absolutely sure about this but there could be something weird in how BOINC handles expired tasks for GPU's.  I had imagined it would handle it much like it handles any other expired task, abort it, or just run it to completion and continue crunching it to completetion.

Guess 2: The much more likely of the two, but still somewhat confusing in how I think computers work ( most of the time).  There was apparently an update for my NVIDIA drivers.  My guess is upon having the update register, even though I did not run the Ubuntu updater yet, it possibly caused my GPU to register as Missing from BOINC's perspective.

In either case running the updates, aborting the expired project, and restarting caused the problem to go away.  Has anyone had something similar happen? If yes, do you have any better idea of what the cause was?

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