SERVICE: Stops Responding or 100% CPU

BPFTP Server has the ability to operate as a Windows System Service aka SERVICE-MODE (HOWTO).

This is essentially, the same as the normal GUI-MODE that you are used to seeing when you login to the computer and run the application, however it’s running under Session-0 (Windows System Service) and all GUI operations are hidden. This can make it more difficult to diagnose issues, as the software can only respond via the Windows Event Viewer (start, view) and the BPFTP Server Log (Settings -> Logging -> Settings -> “Saved Log-File Location”).

But, why is it not responding or is stuck at 100% ?!?!
I don’t immediately know the answer to this, the software doesn’t have any known problems which would cause this.. so we need to look at the environment, conditions and logs coming back from the software. It’s possible that there’s a network share that isn’t responding (the most likely issue), it’s also possible you’ve encountered an issue, in either case, we need more information…

When encountering a problem with running in SERVICE-MODE, it’s important to start breaking down the problem:

  • Look at the Windows System Service under “Windows Logs” -> “Application|System” -> Source=”BulletProof FTP Server”
  • View the BPFTP Server log file, make sure the software is terminated, so you see the current log. BPFTP Server -> Settings -> Logging -> Settings
  • Make sure you have the current version of the software, BPFTP Server -> Tools -> Check for Update and/or visit the web-site/changelog
  • Can you reproduce the error? Try running the software in DEBUG-MODE and send us the *.csl/*.zip. Don’t just email a giant log file… In order for us to find the issue, please perform the operation that reproduces the error, the date/time (so we can find it) and the symptoms of the issue.
  • LASTLY, and MOST IMPORTANTLY… run the software in the GUI mode, not the SERVICE mode. This will allow the UI to communicate with the desktop, so that you can see what’s going on. This is an absolute must, in order to discover the source of the issue. It doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to run SERVICE mode, only during the testing phase.
  • HOWTO: Enabled SFTP for User Account

    As of version 2018.0.0.40, BulletProof FTP Server supports SFTP aka FTP over SSH in the Secure Edition of the product.

    Enabling SFTP for a given User-Account simply requires the toggling of the feature for the user-account, and specifying the authentication method. The two methods of authenticating are via Public-Key, Password or both. Optionally, you can specify that the authentication must happen via the keyboard.

    Turn on SFTP for User-Account
    (click for full-size)
    Optional: Enable Password Authentication
    (click for full-size)
    Optional: Enable Public-Key Authentication (Recommended)
    (click for full-size)

    TIPS: Poor Network Performance in Windows under Virtual Machine

    TCP Chimney Offload, Receive Side Scaling, and Network Direct Memory Access

    Sounds super awesome huh?!? But what is it?

    I have around 20 virtual-machines, running under VMware Workstation, they allow me to test BulletProof FTP Server for Windows under all the different versions, editions and flavors of Windows that now exist. It’s exhausting actually, mostly because I need to perform Windows Updates every few months.

    The host for all these virtual-machines, as well as my development, runs on a custom built ASUS Rampage III with Intel Core i7 970 with 6/12 physical/logical cores, 24 GB DDR2 RAM, storage is via ARC-1880i in RAID0+1 of 4x Samsung SSD. Why does any of that matter? Because, I’m trying to underscore that it’s a blazing fast computer.

    But I noticed some network-speed problems, specially under Windows 2008 R1 and R2. Part of the issue was that “vmware tools” on the machines were not updated (do this asap, it will run much better), but Windows Update was taking almost an hour; just to see if there were updates. I dig some digging and found a bunch of articles, linked below. If you are having network-performance issues, please look to see if you are affected by this feature…

    NOTE: TCP Chimney Offload does not appear to be a feature that is unique to Windows 2008, as I’ve found it set to “automatic” in default installs of Windows 7, 8, Server 2008; “disabled” in Vista.

    HOWTO: Is the MAGIC on?

    c:\] netsh int tcp show global
    Querying active state...

    TCP Global Parameters
    Receive-Side Scaling State : enabled
    Chimney Offload State : automatic
    NetDMA State : enabled
    Direct Cache Acess (DCA) : disabled
    Receive Window Auto-Tuning Level : normal
    Add-On Congestion Control Provider : none
    ECN Capability : disabled
    RFC 1323 Timestamps : disabled
    ** The above autotuninglevel setting is the result of Windows Scaling heuristics
    overriding any local/policy configuration on at least one profile.

    HOWTO: Turn Off the MAGIC

    c:\] netsh interface tcp set global rss=disabled chimney=disabled autotuninglevel=disabled

    Information about the TCP Chimney Offload, Receive Side Scaling, and Network Direct Memory Access features in Windows Server 2008

    Poor network performance on Windows 2008 Server virtual machine (1009517)

    Windows Server 2008 R2 Windows updates very slow download time

    NETSH to disable advanced features

    The effect of TCP Chimney offload on viewing network traffic

    KNOWN PROBLEM: Slow Startup after Several Weeks of Heavy Usage

    KNOWN PROBLEM: Slow Startup after Several Weeks of Heavy Usage

    In order to provide information on Server Monitor -> Files Uploaded/Downloaded, the software writes entries into secondary files stored in the Storage-Location directory. These files contain one-line per file uploaded/downloaded and as the usage of the program increases, these files get bigger and bigger. Start-Up of the program will be effected as these files increase in size and the time to load the file into memory increases (and the footprint in memory increases).

    Server Monitor -> Files Downloaded/Uploaded
    Server Monitor -> Files Downloaded/Uploaded

    To resolve this problem, it’s necessary to manually archive these files to another location; this will “reset” the statistics found in Server Monitor -> Files Uploaded/Downloaded.

    You can manually archive these files:
    1) Closing BulletProof FTP Server and ensure the SERVICE is not current running/active
    2) Use My Computer or a Command-Prompt and navigate to the Storage-Location.
    3) Locate the files named below and move them to some archive directory of your choosing (or delete them):


    4) Start BulletProof FTP Server

    NOTE: In a later version, this will be resolved with a re-organization and re-write of this function in order to save the information in a way that doesn’t affect performance.

    HOWTO: Using Internet Explorer to connect to a FTP-Server

    Configuring Internet Explorer to be able to connect to BulletProof FTP Server (or any FTP Server) is very easy to do and requires the toggling of two (2) options from:

    Windows Start Button -> Control Panel -> Network & Internet -> Internet Options, click the “Advanced” tab and check “Enable FTP Folder” and “Use Passive FTP”.

    Below are screen-shots for accessing these features in Windows. Please click the small-image to view the full-image.

    Issue: “I can’t see any files…”

    FTP-User can login, but can’t see any directory-listing:
    aka “Unable to retrieve directory-listing”
    aka “Internet Explorer cannot display the webpage”
    aka “Oops! Google Chrome could not connect to FTP.YOURHOST.COM”

    this also appears in the Log-Watch for BulletProof FTP Server 2011 as
    2012-01-31 13:12:33 – mmc [000005] [] – PASV
    2012-01-31 13:12:33 – mmc [000005] [] – 227 Entering Passive Mode (12,13,14,15,156,119)
    2012-01-31 13:12:34 – mmc [000005] [] – INFO: user disconnected gracefully. (00:00:01)

    REASON: Stateful-Packet-Inspection (SPI) and Passive-Mode:
    The first thing to do when setting up BulletProof FTP Server 2011 is to configure it to operate behind your NAT/Firewall (HOWTO).

    This is called Passive-Mode (PASV) support and is a must for most installations. However many NAT/Firewalls have a “feature” called Stateful-Packet-Inspection or SPI (INFO) that sniffs the network-traffic for FTP packets and mangles the information in the packets to dynamically open ports on your firewall. Sadly, it almost always fails to correctly change the entire packet. In order to “help” SPI, it’s recommend to change the Static IP Address to the Listening IP address for your machine running BPFTP Server.

    In order to better “cooperate” with SPI, it’s recommend that you try changing the Static IP Address under Management -> Settings -> NAT/Firewall to the Listening IP on the left side of the main-screen under Server Info.

    SCREENSHOT: Management -> Settings -> NAT/Firewall

    TIPS: How to serve your Network-Drives via FTP

    BulletProof FTP Server has the ability to serve files on your Mapped Network Drive via FTP. But you will need to add some special parameters to make sure that the credentials for the mapped drive are saved and the connection is toggled as persistent.

    This is best done via the command-line (CLI) using the NET.EXE USE command.

    Take the following example:

    c:> %SystemRoot%\system32\net.exe use h: \\myserver\myshare /user:myusername /persistent:yes

    In this example we are mapping drive-letter “H:” to a computer named “myserver” with a share-name of “myshare”, where the credentials needed to login to the machine are specified as “myusername” (if you were part of a domain, it would be “mydomain\myuser). The “/persistent:yes” instructs Windows to reconnect the drive at login.

    Full Docs on the NET.EXE USE command:

    Microsoft Windows, by default, disconnect network-drives after X minutes of inactivity. Remapping the drive is done quickly and usually without any interruption. However if you have any problems, it’s recommended that you increase the default 600 seconds (10 minutes) to a larger number:
    Mapped Drive Connection to Network Share May Be Lost

    Crash on Program Start: Windows Update KB2533623

    Faulting application bpftpserver-2011.exe, version 2011.1.0.71, time stamp 0x4e8f8103, faulting module unknown, version, time stamp 0x00000000, exception code 0xc000001d, fault offset 0x03094c99, process id 0x818, application start time 0x01cc9567a0e85aad

    We’ve experienced some random crashes, at start-up in the program that have been found to be related to a patch from Microsoft Update with Microsoft Security Advisory: Insecure library loading could allow remote code execution (KB 2533623).

    Technically, this patch prevents the loading of external DLL’s without a fully-qualified-path to the DLL. Unfortunately, we utilize a virtualized DLL that is loaded at program start that does not load a DLL-file on the system, so it can fail when KB2533623 is applied to this system.

    Is KB2533623 installed on my installation of Windows?

    Windows GUI: You can list all of the updates for your installation of Windows from the following location:

    Alternatively, Internet Explorer can take you there with the following:

    Windows CLI: Alternatively you can execute the following at a command-line:

    C:\Users\myusername> wmic qfe list | find "2533623" MYCOMPUTERNAME Update KB2533623 MYCOMPUTERNAME\myusername 7/15/2011

    How do I uninstall KB2533623?

    Windows GUI: You can uninstall individual updates from Microsoft by loading the following:

    Right-Click and select "Uninstall"

    Windows CLI: If you are using Windows 2008 R2, you can then uninstall it from the command line using the WUSA.EXE command. (If you aren’t using Windows 2008 R2, you’ll need to use the above GUI method).

    C:\Users\myusername> wusa /uninstall /kb:2533623

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    Q: We are running an older version of BulletProof FTP Server. If we upgrade to your latest version, will our configuration/user list/etc. transfer from our old version?
    Q: Can I backup the Settings, Users and Groups?
    Q: Can BulletProof FTP Server run as a Windows System-Service?
    Q: My customers can’t login to BPFTP Server!
    Q: My customers can login, but they can’t get a directory-listing!
    Q: Do I get a discount for upgrading or renewing my previous order?
    Q: I purchased BulletProof FTP Server a few years ago and I lost my key. Can you resend it?


    Q: We are running an older version of BulletProof FTP Server. If we upgrade to your latest version, will our configuration/user list/etc. transfer from our old version?

    A: YES! Absolutely. Everything is stored in INI files (settings, users, groups, etc), when the current version of the software is installed; it will go out and look for these files in the default locations for previous versions. If anything is found, the program will prompt you and ask if it’s ok to migrate these files to the current version.

    FAQ: Can I Upgrade and retail all my Users, Groups and Settings?


    Q: Can I backup the Settings, Users and Groups?

    A: YES! You just need to make sure the program is not running when you backup the files. For a list of the default storage-locations for these files, please see the URL below:


    Q: Can BulletProof FTP Server run as a Windows System-Service?

    A: YES! The latest version includes very tight support for running BulletProof FTP Server as a Windows System-Service. Please see this guide:
    HOWTO: Windows System-Service
    Windows System Service: Logon As Service


    Q: My customers can’t login to BPFTP Server!
    Q: My customers can login, but they can’t get a directory-listing!

    A: The machine is most likely firewalled. This means there’s a physical-device which is acting as a firewall (aka NAT/Firewall/Router/WiFi,etc) and/or Windows Firewall and/or (some other) Internet Security that is protecting the computer.

    In order to run BulletProof FTP Server in a secure environment, you *MUST* configure PASSIVE-MODE and open at least two tcp/ip ports to allow full functionality. These two ports are called:
    Control-Port (default tcp/ip 21) provides the ability for the ftp-client to login and issue commands
    Data-Ports provide a conduit for the ftp-client to connect to the ftp-server for file-transfers, directory-listings, etc

    HOWTO: Windows Firewall and BPFTP Server 2011
    HOWTO: Setting up NAT/Passive/Firewall Support
    FTP Server Firewall Ports and Tester


    Q: Do I get a discount for upgrading or renewing my previous order?

    A: YES! You can get the discount coupon-code and instructions from our website under the Members section of our website (see below) or you can email us with the customer information used on the previous order and we can send it directly to you.

    Please also see:
    FAQ: My License-Code doesn’t work in the Latest Version


    Q: I purchased BulletProof FTP Server a few years ago and I lost my key. Can you resend it?

    A: PERHAPS: First, we need you to send the customer information for the previous order. This will allow us to look it up and see what length of Update/Support Protection with Download Locker was purchased. If it’s within the period you purchased, we can quickly issue a new key and send it to you. If it’s expired, then we can send you a discount coupon-code for renewal.

    You can see all of your orders and the Update/Support Protection with Download Locker by logging into the Members section of our website. If the term is expired, you an also get a coupon-code for renewal in this same location. If you are having troubles logging into the Members section of the website, please Contact Us and include your question and customer-information used on the previous order.

    FIX: “Out of Memory” or “Low GDI” with BulletProof FTP Server

    Is BulletProof FTP Server for Windows crashing when you first run it? You might have it freeze during “Loading” or a “Crash Report” comes up saying “Out of Memory”…

    Don’t worry! It’s most likely a problem with running out of GDI-Handles in your installation of Windows…

    You may receive an “Out of Memory” error message because of the desktop heap limitation in Windows Vista or in Windows 7

    “Out of Memory” error message appears when you have a large number of programs running

    NOTE: You CANNOT have the /3GB option specified in the bootloader, this is often used on Exchange Server installations. (MORE INFO)

    This GUIDE will help illustrate the steps to increase the amount of memory..

    Vista Hands On #17: Solving a pesky resource problem

    SharedSection & Max Number of Open Windows on XP & Vista

    Windows XP flakiness – solved

    Registry setting keeps Windows from wigging out when you open lots of IE7 tabs


    Many Thanks to AlexanderL for helping to discover a resolution to this problem!