VROC: Virtual Racers' Online Connection

VROC Troubleshooting


Can't Join Races with [Join]

'I am unable to join any event via VROC. When I click on [Join], it always comes back to say this "Race is no longer available". The status changes from "Practice" to "Race". However, when I do a refresh, Status turns back to Practice and there are still plenty of slots left open. What's wrong?'

When you attempt to join a race, the current version of VROC does a "gping" to make sure it's still available. The first thing to do is to make sure your GPL path in the VROC applet points to your GPL folder, and that you have placed gping.exe in this folder.

Sometimes races which are in practice mode don't respond, in which case the applet thinks they've gone to racing mode and won't let you join. If you try again, sooner or later it should succeed. I see occasional failed gpings of this type.

Next, check to see if there is something about your computer setup that would make it difficult for the remote GPL server to respond to the gping from your machine. If your machine is behind a gateway; see section 7.3 of Eagle Woman's GPL Online FAQ)

You can run gping.exe standalone from a DOS prompt, or get gplping.exe from Eagle Woman's GPL downloads, which does repeated queries. Ken Tarvin has also written a program called GPL Net Agent, which does the same thing.

Doing this will allow you to see if a GPL server which you have the IP address of is responding. Here are a some IP addresses which have been publicized:

  • John Burrowes:
  • Randy Magruder:
  • Mike Cerone:

You might also ask a friend to try running GPL in host mode to see if you can raise a response using gplping.exe or gping.exe, or even join via GPL. Or ask someone in the VROC chat to host for you.

Timed Out Opening Communication Channel

'I just downloaded the gping.exe file and put it in my GPL directory and I keep getting a "Timed Out Opening Communication Channel" message when I try to join a race. What's the problem?'

Randy Cassidy says:

Do you have more than one IP address on your machine (both a LAN, and a dialup connection, for example)? If so, after clicking on the host's IP address, look at the "Connect Via" address on the left side of the screen and make sure that it lists the IP address for your dialup. If it doesn't, select your dialup IP address from the dropdown list.

If that's not the problem, next time this happens write down the IP address of the host. Exit the game. Open a DOS box. In it, use ping (the normal system ping) to see if you get a response from the server (for example, if the host's IP address is, enter "ping"). If you get a lot
of "Request timed out" messages, then you have a bad connection to that server. If you always have this problem, then you probably have a poor connection to the Internet. Look for info on tuning your connection on the VROC
Main Page, and Alison's Web site.

Also consider switching to a USB modem.

You can also perform the gping or gplping test described above. If gplping does not return a majority of positive responses from a host which you know is currently hosting a GPL practice session, this tends to confirm that you have a poor connection to the Internet - or that the host has a poor connection.

If your machine is behind a gateway, see section 7.3 of Eagle Woman's GPL Online FAQ.


No One Joins

'I host a race, but no one joins it.'

This may be due to an incorrect IP address. Note that Netscape does not reload your IP address when you close your DUN connection to your ISP and reopen it later. If you have a dynamic IP address (most people connected to the Internet through a dialup ISP do have a dynamic IP address) and you disconnect and reconnect while keeping Netscape running, Netscape will continue to report to VROC the same IP address which you had when you started Netscape. Thus, the VROC server will not be able to see your GPL server, and will forever report you as "Starting".

To check this, run Winipcfg.exe in your Windows folder, and compare it to the IP address reported in the upper right of the VROC race list. If they differ, stop and restart Netscape, and re-enter VROC.

If VROC consistently shows an incorrect IP address, you can override this in VROC Setup.

Other Resources

See also the VROC Technical Notes, the known issues section of the VROC Development Notes, and the VROC Tech Support page.