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Banned from server for no screen shot


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Hi - I'm hoping to find a solution to this problem.


Last night I found that I could no longer log into a server that I have frequented on and off for a long time.


The reason was:


"PunkBuster kicked player 'Copey<STRIKE>' (for 5 minutes)... Bad (Disallowed) Name".


After 5 minutes I received the same message.


Naturally, I wanted to know why this was happening and found the website for the server to inquire what happened.


I was told:


"the reason why you were banned is because when you have played in two of our servers, we have been unable to take screenshots. sorry. we require screenshots from all players."


I understand that and respect their rules. Even if I did not, it's their server. They pay for it and should run it the way they see fit.


I've been the admin of several servers myself several years back.


I've inquired to find out if it was just blank or black or nothing at all. I'm assuming it's a blank or black screen shot. Still waiting for a reply.


I've been searching Google and various websites/forums for this issue.


From researching this tonight, I've found that there are numerous reasons why a black or blank screen-shot could occur:




On the evenbalance website for BF2, it states that there should be a client side log file with information for screen-shots requested from servers:


There are two PunkBuster settings that can be used by players to track the activity of PunkBuster Servers that request screenshots from their system. The settings are called PB_SSLOG and PB_SSSAVE. If PB_SSLOG is set to 1 (which is the default), then PunkBuster will keep a log file on your hard drive in the "pb" folder called "pbsslog.htm". This log can be viewed using any web browser such as Netscape or Internet Explorer. The log contains information about each screenshot that was requested by a PunkBuster Server.


Link: http://www.evenbalance.com/publications/bf...htm#screenshots


I cannot find any such log. This could be helpful in trying to resolve the problem.


I remember from hosting servers that the server side had a config file for punkbuster, but I cannot find one in my PB folder for BF2.


Is the log file idea outdated information or is that still available for the player/client side?

If so, what file has the option to turn the flag on or off?


It's a bit frustrating to have this issue...I used to spend hours and hours trying to catch cheater's when we had servers. Which is partly why I'm glad I/we are no longer have any servers. It got to the point to where it wasn't fun anymore.


But I respect other people's right to admin their server they want the see fit and should.


Thanks for any information that anyone can provide on the client side SS logging.



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There are many reasons players produce black screenshots, it doesn't have to mean they're using hacks. It could be the configuration of their set up, anti aliasing.. any number of things which is why its not a good way to decipher if someone is cheating or not.


There are codes that appear on screenshots and can be explained as follows:

B0 = Application not active screen capture failed.

B1 = Screenshot successfully attempted line present.

B2 = Screenshot successfully attempted line not present.


B0 - The game is minimized or in the background.

B1 - Successfully received. Can sometimes return a black SS.

B2 - Is caused by one of many reasons (drivers, hardware, bad connection, etc).


Thats not to say there aren't cheats out there that exploit the above flaws in the system. At the end of the day its the server admins decision. I would say if they're banning you purely on that kind of evidence, find a different server to play on :)

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Thanks for the reply surfy.


Yes, as I said from searching last night - I learned that there seems to be tons of reasons why Blank SS's occur.

They did confirm today that they were blank/blacked out but only said screen shot capture failed.

I am aware of the codes and what they mean. I asked them specifically if they could tell me the code B0,B1,B2....all they will say is the screen shot capure failed. No codes provided.


Perhaps you're right about not worrying about it and playing elsewhere.

Even if I figure out what is causing the problem, they've made no mention about letting me back in the server and haven't been all that helpful with information back to me about the problem.


I am concerned about this happening on other servers now that I learned about black/blank SS's.


I want to set my client up to log and capture screenshots requested by servers as mentioned in my original post. This is the only way for ME to know if I'm sending out good screenshots or blank ones.


It would be nice to go into a server and be on voice with the admin and have them try to capture a screenshot to let me know if it's good or blank.


Does this still work (pb_sssave 1)?:


Save the following as pbcl.cfg and place it in the pb subdirectory of your BF2 installation.


This will print PB messages to your on screen console area, so kicks can be easily seen instead of being hidden in the pull-down console. You may wish to disable the screenshot notifications with the pb_sslog setting.


pbcl.cfg]pb_msgprefix "PunkBuster Client"

pb_sleep 60

pb_logtofile 1

pb_sslog 1

pb_sssave 1



Edited by Copey
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