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I am syncing the ETH blockchain on a VPS with a 1TB hard drive/ It has taken a week so far and progress is now going at a snail's pace. It seems like it's never going to finish.

I'm also syncing on another VPS (also HDD) with the --fast option and it's taking just as long.

Is this normal? More than a week sync time and no end in sight?

  • It is almost imposible to sync with HDD we have left a computer alone for couple of weeks and it didn't finish. We switched to SDD and it finished syncing in less than a couple of days. Some of the related bugs were closed in the meantime so the situation should be better now, but IMHO it is not worth the effort to sync using HDD. – Ismael Sep 9 '17 at 14:52
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Yup..took me 2 weeks. It just depends on how many peers you get. Sometimes my clock would get out of sync and that can affect connecting. You can also go on a torrent site or some other website and download the whole chain to speed things up, but that has risks (history could be corrupted).

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The first time you start Geth, it starts in a "fast sync" mode where it quickly downloads a pruned copy of the blockchain instead of all blocks. Geth isn't able to resume a fast sync: if you restart Geth before it finishes, then it switches to its regular mode after that where it has to download every full block, which is overwhelmingly slow and takes a lot of disk space.

You could try using the Parity client for Ethereum instead. It automatically uses a fast sync mode, it handles resuming the fast sync, and it continuously prunes the blockchain as new blocks come in. Parity even works in place of Geth locally with applications like Mist. I had the same problem as you with Geth, and switching to Parity solved my problem of never managing to sync the blockchain.

  • But it must be possible to sync the blockchain wtih geth. also, I have not stopped geth before it finished. It is simply taking forever (even with the fast option.) – stone.212 Sep 9 '17 at 0:25
  • I think another part of it is that Geth is optimized for SSDs and is really inefficient on hard-disk drives. Parity dependably uses less space than Geth and is generally more efficient, so it may work better for you. – Macil Sep 9 '17 at 0:29
  • Do you realize that you didn't answer any of the questions I asked? – stone.212 Sep 9 '17 at 0:54
  • My answer was to use Parity to sync the blockchain. I don't fully know why Geth is bad at syncing, just that there's at least a few well-known problems with it and that my Geth experience matched yours. – Macil Sep 9 '17 at 0:59
  • My question wasn't about Parity and I was not asking for advice. You answered a question that I did not ask. – stone.212 Sep 9 '17 at 1:25

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