Saturday, October 30, 2010

How to fix broken or incomplete torrent downloads

Just taken the time to figure out how to fix torrents that go dead or are incomplete due to running out of seeds or peers with enough pieces to complete them.

The problem
One of my torrents was down to one peer and we both had the same pieces.

My option was to kill the download and try a different torrent or find some more peers with the same torrent hash. The only way to do that was to find some other trackers for this same file hash.  Also, I didn't want to leave the old peer hanging, so I needed a solution that would merge a number of torrent files together somehow.

The Solution

1. Hit google and find every other torrent file for that particular file/file set you were downloading. Make sure the hash is the same.
2. Crack each one open in and check if there are any other trackers that are tracking the same file hash.(Note the piece size as well just for interest sake)
3a. Either add the tracker URL's to your existing download ( you can do this in Vuze. I have no idea about other BT clients) using copy and paste (In Vuze you need to right click on the torrent > Advanced > Trackers/Torrent > Add Tracker URL.
3b. Or use TorrentEditor to create a new mega torrent file containing every tracker you can find, then import it into your client and point it at the directory that you were downloading into. Vuze will re-check the file and pick up where it left off. (Assuming the piece size is the same. If its smaller you may lose a little but if it works finish an otherwise dead dl)
5. Cross your fingers that you have found enough seeds/peers to complete the file.
6. Remember to keep seeding after you have finished to help others.

Nothing like frustration to motivate a solution to an ugly problem.

This should be filed under ideas like bridging trackers and merging torrent files. Hope this helps someone else.

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