Windows Client Release Notes

Get it here:

Download and double click to install. You can run it either by waiting for your screensaver to come on, or double clicking on the desktop icon, then clicking the "Run" button.

If you have trouble, see the help page.

System Requirements: Windows XP or better.  The screensaver may require the latest graphics drivers to run properly.  If it doesn't run after installation, check your computer manufacturer's website. If it crashes instantly even with the latest drivers, then try setting the monitor number to 1, 2, or 3. And if that doesn't work, then turn on Direct Draw mode in the advanced settings. If you have this kind of problem and want to beta test a fix, please email us (click help for the address) and put "privbeta" in the subject. Thanks!

If it's still not working, get the diagnostic program GPU-Z and send us the output from it and DxDiag and your log file (on XP look in C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ElectricSheep, or on Vista C:\ProgramData\ElectricSheep).  You can turn on logging in the advanced preferences.

See comments below for how to set a proxy.

Something wrong with the content directory

I recently downloaded the latest beta, just to see some of the differences. When it installed, the content path wasn't correct; it was pointing to something in "Program Files (x86)", I think [either that or "Program Files"; I don't think it really matters which], so I changed it back the the content folder in ProgramData. Now it says there aren't any sheep downloaded. I've tested the folder, and it is the correct one; I've tried using both the \content directory and the \content\mpeg directory; I get the same error both times. Help will be appreciated.

I haven't seen that, what OS

I haven't seen that, what OS do you have?  Can you uninstall and reinstall and say exactly what goes wrong?


[You may want to skip to the third paragraph...]

I launched the 2.7b20f file for windows (I'm on Vista, x64). It installed to C:\Program Files (x86)\Electricsheep Screensaver, just like the first time. All the files were extracted quickly, but when it got to the point of "Creating Folder C:\ProgramData\Electricsheep", or whatever the folder was, it paused for a looong time (~15 seconds). Then, the C++ runtime redistributable popped up, went very fast, and disappeared. It asked me if I wanted an icon/it as my default screensaver, and I said yes to both. I launched the config, and for some reason the pointer to the content directory was still the same... hmmph. I'm sure it was different last time. Also, I was still logged in - something that wasn't true of last time. I tried the screensaver.... same error.

Then I realized I hadn't uninstalled, this time, or previously. (I had 2.7b19 before I tried any of this). So I uninstalled, saved my "sheeps", and reinstalled. No lag. Everything went smoothly. I said yes to both pop-ups. I launched the config. I logged into the Drupal thingy. I checked the content pointer: "C:\ProgramData\ElectricSheep\Content" (yes, a capital "C" in "Content", even though the folder has a lowercase...) I clicked "Open this folder", it had only one subfolder, the mpeg folder, left behind from the uninstall. There were still about 2.5 GB of .avi's in there, and a folder of xml files. I clicked run... same error. I have http download enabled, and 4.0 GB of files allotted.

I paused writing this cause my mom was yelling at me to go do some homework and piano practice. I did them, and when I came back, I clicked run again, and it worked just fine.

I have no clue what happened. Oh, and in case you were wondering: it said that I hadn't downloaded any sheep, it might anywhere from I couple minutes to a couple hours, yada yada yada. And sometimes, when it went on by itself, it would just have the "Welcome to Electricsheep" screen, saying I should register, even though I already had. Weird!!

sounds like you have multiple

sounds like you have multiple versions installed.  i would check wherever vista puts screensavers and delete the old ones, then go into the screensaver picker and choose the latest.

Found it.

The folder is C:\Windows. It had the b19 and the b20 file there. Hmph. I guess I really didn't need to, since everything was working fine anyway, but I deleted the b19 file. Weird, just weird.

Have I the best config?

Hi Spot,

Thanks for the latest - very nice :) Can you tell me if you think I have the best config please (single monitor)? I have no problems - just double checking...




You are welcome, glad you

You are welcome, glad you like it.  "Best" is subjective so I really can't tell you, but that looks fine to me, it's the default right except you set the cache to be unlimited?

No, the default

No, the default includes:

V-Sync - Unchecked

Never skip - Unchecked

'Single' as I have just the one monitor, and Piecewise Cubic because you tell me it's best!

I've turned those first options on, although with 'V-Sync' I have no idea what 'image tearing' is  - just sounded as though I didn't want it! :)

Image tearing is when the

Image tearing is when the framerate of the application doesn't match the refresh rate of the display monitor. This leaves part of the last frame on-screen while the next is rendered on the rest, creating a line hoizontally across the display.

V-sync attempts to match the software's framerate to the display refresh thus eliminating the visual tearing.

Thanks! Now I know!

Thanks! Now I know!

Client constantly downloading the same sheep

Is my end, or yours?   Pressing F2 reveals that the same sheep are being downloaded over and over, even if they are already safe and sound in the mpeg file.

At other times, the client will move on to the next sheep even if only a fraction has been completed, and it remains that way in the mpeg file until I manually delete it.

Thanks so much for all your work and attention!

This morning noticed again

This morning noticed again that same sheep were downloading again and again, but this time they were being eliminated as quickly as they were being downloaded.

So I manually deleted some old sheep, and new sheep were downloaded until the cache limit was reached, and the same problem recurred.  I then set cache to unlimited, which solved the downloading problem, but now I am afraid my mpeg file will grow too large for my laptop to handle comfortably.  Manually deleting large numbers of sheep seems to confuse the play-count.  Any suggestions?

Thanks again






please just set it to

please just set it to unlimited until we release a fixed client.

can you say which sheep (by

can you say which sheep (by ID#) do this?  i was working on the server the past couple of days and maybe something got screwed up.

It has been different sheep

It has been different sheep over the last few days.  When I posted the question earlier, the sheep being repeated were: 2248, 2259, and 2251.

Am sending you a few seconds of log recording this.

In the last two days, the downloading attempts would continue for hours, (or at least whenever I checked.)

try deleting all the xxx

try deleting all the xxx files in your cache.  does that have any effect?

There were no xxx files in my

There were no xxx files in my cache.

For now it seems to be working again--- f2 now says that all available sheep are downloaded, and will try again in x # of minutes.

Only thing now is there are 3 defective files, 2238 (278K) 2240(80.9K) and 2239 (67.1K) which I keep deleting and they keep being replaced.  But that's no big deal.


hm, try deleting your

hm, try deleting your list.xml file.

Ok, done.   Still

Ok, done.   Still downloading  a damaged file, this time 2236.

Earlier 3 damaged files have not been downloaded again.

Complex business, this!

Thanks again...



Ok I took 2236 off the server

Ok I took 2236 off the server too.  If you delete your list.xml file, it should stop downloading as well.

Thanks for persisting in helping to get this fixed.  We will release a new client soon that doesn't have this problem.  I tried to find all the incomplete sheep myself but since I am traveling on holiday now I didn't get them all.

thanks i'll look into it.  i

thanks i'll look into it.  i have been hacking onthe server so could be on my end.

Dual monitor trouble with Matrox Millennium G550 card

I had been running fine with a single-screen graphics card for months.

Then I installed a Matrox Millennium G550 dual-screen card (don't know how old it was), and ES would just flash the screen quickly when I'd try to preview or run it.

Yesterday, I updated to v2.7b20e, but still had the same problem. Today I saw the note on this forum about the DirectDraw mode for older chip sets, turned it on, and now ES displays on my main monitor, but not on the other one.

Is this just a limitation of the DirectDraw mode, or is there some other setting I should be looking at (I've tried a number of other settings with no improvement)? I have Display Monitor = 0, Display Mode = Normal, MultiDisplay mode = Shared, DirectDraw mode = checked. Monitor display properties are set to 1280x1024 pixels, Highest (32 bit) color quality.


I don't think DirectDraw

I don't think DirectDraw works on dual screens, sorry.  That card is from like 2001...

2_7b20d stutters bad on dual monitors

I have dual monitors.  A quick test shows that I can display ES on both monitors either in individual or shared mode, but in BOTH these modes the sheep stutter about 5-10 times a second--very choppy performance.  I would have thought that shared mode would be better than individual but they appear the same to me as far as the frame dropping.

In single mode it is very smooth but for some reason I can't get it to blank my second monitor, despite any setting changes, so I can't even use it to replace b18 (what I was previously using).

I can't remember which previous version (2.6ish?) that I used to have installed which displayed on dual monitors more or less perfectly, no stuttering, but it would be nice to have a way of it being smooth with dual monitors.

I have dual GeForce 9700 GTX graphics cards, non-sli mode on current Vista (Premium 6 build 6002).

Alienware build Athlon 64 X2 Dual Core 4800+ 2.4 GHz

2gig RAM

Can include a dxdiag report if desired (don't see a way to attach files here and it's long and boring to post).

Thanks for all your hard work!!!

can you try again with

can you try again with 2.7b20e please?  and make sure vsync is off.

2.7b20e prerelease (with dual monitors)

please let me know what happens if you try it, especially with dual monitors.

EDIT: updated to 2.7b20d

EDIT: updated to 2.7b20e

EDIT: updated to 2.7b20f (preview on all screens)


Absolutely lovely!

Dual monitors, even now in preview, works wonderfully!

Dumb Question

Should I first uninstall es-2.7b19 before trying 20f?

I did unstall b19 - and while b20f works, it is so very slow. My vid card is nvidia GForce 5200, which I know is a few years old but since this is my work PC I really can't change that. Maybe I'm just stuck with slow performance. Even the "single" mode is much slower (noticably compared to b19).

Is there some log or something I can send that can help describe what I'm saying that can be helpful. I hate just being critical.

Maybe your problem is Display

Maybe your problem is Display FPS setting. Now it is 15 fps by default (feels slower), but in the past it was 23 fps. Try to play with this option in Configuration dialog and see if it helps.

2.7b20a on dual monitors

i just installed 2.7b20a on my dual monitor, windows xp system & it is quite jerky.  i've tweaked all the settings & the only way i can get it to smooth out is by enabling directdraw mode, but then it only displays on one monitor.  are there some windows settings i can tweak?  please help.  also...i have another system running windows 7 and i'm curious about compatibility.

thanks for the report.  what

thanks for the report.  what is your graphics card?  did it work smoothly before when displaying on one screen?

re: thanks

i have an older nvidia geforce 6600 w/ 256MB on a PCIE x1 bus, and yes...worked fine b4.  i was running elec sheep client v2.7b17 then i jumped right to b20 recently.  using my graphic cards horizontal span feature, it now runs on both monitors smoothly but this introduces problems with other apps.  any tips would be great!  thx!

Ok, could you download the

Ok, could you download the latest version (2.7b20d), turn on logging, and send us the result of that?  Also please include the info from GPU-Z above.  The graphics card has two outputs, or are you using an integrated one on your motherboard as well?  Finally, do both displays have 32-bit depth (check in desktop settings)?  Thanks.

2.7b19 released

the major changes are that "never skip" is fixed, and the "r2d7c" problem is fixed (so removing your login info should no longer help downloads).  there are also a handful of UI tweaks.

I have a trouble

i made everything but when i run the application i just see a the logo sheep



what can i do?

Be patient and let it run for

Be patient and let it run for at least a few hours.

What do  you mean you "made everything"?

Excellent. Useful extra

Excellent. Useful extra options. Now logged on (but with silent mode on) - downloading sheep quickly this morning. :)

Open the config file in

Open the config file in C:\Document and Settings\All Users\Application Data\ElectricSheep with a text editor and change these four lines as indicated:



same error

Hi, im from argentina so my english is not the best.

I have the same problem as many people here. Id download ES, and i have 2... draws, 2 sheeps and it appear the message:server request failed, using free one

I d read this panel, and im dowloading that pack.(ive to dowload everyone in that page?) (and for what is that, are they sheeps?) but i dont find the folder to put it. i have Vista (in spanish) but i have c-program files-Electricsheep screensaver, and inside this i have several files and a folder 'Scripts' and inside this i have more files and 2 folders: clibs and  loggings .where do i put what im downloading?.. and then?? when does the magic beggins?? je



It sounds like you are being

It sounds like you are being confused by Vista's hidden folders, please follow the directions on that post, and if you have questions about the packs, ask there.


As I sat down in front of my computer ES stopped moving and an error screen popped up.  This has been happening for most of the week and this time I was able to find the log entry of this quickly after I clicked the OK button on the error screen.  For anyone keeping track I'm using b17.

Here is the log portion:

[INFO]: 'Picked connection 862 from pq (playcount 13 )'
[INFO]: 'sheep 862 has been played 14 times and its last playing time was 1252689617'
[INFO]: 'Playlist->Next ret C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Application Data\ElectricSheep\content\\mpeg\/00244=00862=00574=00721.avi'
[INFO]: 'Opening: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Application Data\ElectricSheep\content\\mpeg\/00244=00862=00574=00721.avi'
[INFO]: 'Destroy()'
[INFO]: 'Open done()'
[INFO]: 'calling Next()'
[INFO]: 'Rebuild... '
[INFO]: 'UpdateRanks'
[INFO]: 'median: 356 - 1864'
[INFO]: 'Found 2331 sheep...'
[INFO]: 'GraphAlgo: CurrentSheep = 862'
[INFO]: 'picking edge!'
[INFO]: 'picking loop!'
[INFO]: 'Picked connection 721 from pq (playcount 66 )'
[INFO]: 'sheep 721 has been played 67 times and its last playing time was 1252689625'
[INFO]: 'Playlist->Next ret C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Application Data\ElectricSheep\content\\mpeg\/00244=00721=00721=00721.avi'
[INFO]: 'Opening: C:\Documents and Settings\All Users.WINDOWS\Application Data\ElectricSheep\content\\mpeg\/00244=00721=00721=00721.avi'
[INFO]: 'Destroy()'
[INFO]: 'Open done()'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[WARN]: '[1252689625] FrameQueue empty!'

[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'

[WARN]: '[1252689631] FrameQueue empty!'
[WARN]: 'failed to get frame...'
[INFO]: 'Mouse moved too far(160.012497), closing...'
[INFO]: 'Terminating download thread.'
[INFO]: '~SheepGenerator()...'
[INFO]: '~SheepGenerator()...'
[INFO]: 'notifyShepherdOfHisUntimleyDeath...'
[INFO]: 'Closing generator...'
[INFO]: 'CPlayer::Shutdown()

Does anyone know what this means so I can fix it?

you should upgrade to the

you should upgrade to the latest version.  this doesn't look familiar really but every release comes with a bunch of bugfixes.

Upgraded, But New Problem

I just performed a clean uninstall of b17 while backing up my content folder.  I then installed b18 and it works.  The only thing that doesn't work are the f1, f2, f3, and the voting keys.  The forward and reverse keys work but the others don't display anything when I push them.  They have no visible function when ES is on.  Are there any configuration files that control these?   

Did you check the "Use

Did you check the "Use DirectDraw" checkbox in config dialog? Looks like the F1, F2, F3 overlays don't work in that case. Try to uncheck the use of direct draw and the overlays should pop up again.


I unchecked "Use DirectDraw" and now ALL overlays work, even the voting overlays.  Thanks for the quick-fix.  Looks like another problem the programmers need to fix before b19 comes out. 

What's the problem??

What's the problem??

Overlays Are Disabled.

When DirectDraw is enabled in the b18 configuration on some computers, the overlays for F1, F2, F3, and voting keys are disabled but the functions still work.  In other words, you can press these keys but you won't see information overlays or the sheep overlays when voting, but the keys still work. 

Direct Draw is for people

Direct Draw is for people with ancient graphics cards that don't support that kind of stuff.  It should be better documented (like many things).

Maybe a simple tooltip on the

Maybe a simple tooltip on the text & checkbox, with a "?" cursor when you mouse over it, would be sufficient a warning. And a pop-up, when checking it, saying something like, "You should only enable DirectDraw if it is not playing. This is only for people with older graphics cards; if the sheep play fine without this checked, we recommend that you leave it unchecked. Do you want to proceed?"

Might reduce the traffic on the forums a bit...

the tooltip says that

the tooltip says that already.

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