The MicroPlanet Gravity FAQ

Last updated on Tuesday, August 08, 2000
(URLs updated and registration info removed by Tom B. August 10, 2002)

Current through 2.3 (1800)


This FAQ is meant to replace the outdated FAQ that has been on our site for a while.  It's an ongoing activity - if you find an error, hit the refresh button in your browser - we may have already fixed it.  If not, please let us know.  

In addition to this FAQ, there are several good sources of Gravity information, including:


The "Article Posted to more than XX groups" rule condition is not working for me.  Why?

There are two reasons why this might not work:

  1. You have not enabled Server/Properties/Operation/Include cross-post data when retrieving headers prior to retrieving the headers.

  2. Your news server does not support the "XHDR newsgroups" command.  Gravity uses the newsgroups header to determine the number of groups an article was posted to.  Without the header, then the rule condition will never trigger and the action will not fire.  You can verify that your server does not support "XHDR newsgroups" by checking View/Event Log.  If the server does not support the command, there will likely be one or more entries in the event log.

Why does the Image Factory pause in Gravity 2.3b3 (build 1773)?  How can I restart the decode jobs?

This is fixed in Beta 4 (2.3b4 build 1784).  In beta 3 we added a highly requested feature that automatically resumes multi-part decode jobs, and in addition insures  that any job that does not complete successfully, or fail because of missing parts, will be kicked back into the Queued Jobs to be re-tried when connection is re-established.  Unfortunately, we missed one case where the job should indeed fail - when the part is no longer available on the server.  Until you download Beta 4, if you experience the problem you simply have to bring up the Image Factory, delete the first item in the Queued Jobs, and click the Resume button.  We're sorry for the  inconvenience. 

I am having trouble with :

If you are experiencing any of the above problems, you may need to get an updated version of the Windows Common Controls DLL (comctl32.dll).  The latest update can be obtained at no charge from Microsoft from the following URL:

When you go to that page, you can click on the Readme link to get more information, in which Microsoft asserts the following:

This includes the comctl32.dll from Internet Explorer version 5.0. The version stamp is 5.80.2614.3600. The DLL has been tested on Windows 95 (all OSRs and service packs), Windows 98, and Windows NT 4.0.

Credit goes to Tom Bates (see Tom's Gravity Pages) for helping us resolve this problem and locating this downloadable update.  Thanks Tom!

When I disconnect or use the Stop button, Gravity does not stop trying to fetch and decode the current job next time I connect.  Why?

This is actually an improvement.  Decode jobs will automatically be re-tried unless certain errors occur (such as missing parts, missing newsgroups, etc...).  If you want to remove the current job, you can still do so by clicking Stop, but you have to remove it from the Image Factory (ctrl-i).

Gravity is hanging when the splash screen is displayed at startup.  Is this a known problem?

The problem is fixed in Gravity 2.3b3 (build 1773) and later.

I am getting Serialize2 exception errors.  What can I do about it?

Upgrade to the lastest version (2.3b1 or higher).

The thread pane looks messed up, each line is not displaying fully.  Why is that?

This is a known problem with 2.3b1(1761), and was corrected in 2.3b2 (1762).

Why can't I drag select in the thread pane in version 2.3?  Can I multi-select with mouse?

This was a known problem with 2.3b1(1761), and was corrected in 2.3b2 (1762).

A horizontal scrollbar appears in the thread pane, even though the columns are not wider than the pane itself.  Why is that?

This was a known problem with 2.3b1(1761), and was corrected in 2.3b2 (1762).

Gravity keeps telling me that the server has re-numbered articles in my groups.  Why?

As far as we know, it is because the server is actually renumbering the articles.  Gravity will generate the warning when the server reports having articles that have lower numbers than the lowest number when you initially subscribed to the group (articles numbers for a group should increase, not decrease).  If this problem is happening to you frequently, then we suggest you turn on GROUP command logging and then send us the logs after the problem happens again.  Here are the steps to follow:

  1. Disconnect from the news server

  2. Select Trace File from the File menu

  3. Check the checkbox that says "Log output of GROUP command to cmdgrp.trc"

  4. Connect to the server and resume normal operation

You may want to unsubscribe and re-subscribe to a few of the groups that are causing problems after you enable this tracing.  Once you encounter the re-numbering message again, disconnect Gravity and disable the logging.  Send the log file to MicroPlanet.  The file will be located in <your_gravity_folder>\newsdb\<your_server>\cmdgrp.trc.

Why do headers disappear after I exit a newsgroup and return to it?

The default view filter is Unread Articles, which restricts the view to headers that are unread.  For version 2.3 and above, the leftmost portion of the status bar indicates the number of items shown out of the total number in the group.  For example, 456/10034 would indicate that there are 456 items currently in the thread pane out of 10034 total local items.  To view all local headers, you simply switch to All Articles view.  See the Gravity help file and also the Quick Start Guide for more information on controlling what is displayed in the thread pane.

Tom's Note - Removed support stuff, left email info (TB)

Gravity provides a feature that allows you to send one reply address to USENET on your posts and another to direct email recipients.  Put your REAL email address in Server/Properties/Setup/Email Address, and your fake email address in Server/Properties/Setup/Reply address for posts.  Gravity will use the former for email and the latter for USENET.  If you omit a fake address then Gravity will use the real one for both.

Does the license permit using Gravity on more than one machine?  If so, how do I transfer Gravity?

Yes, the license specifically states that you can use Gravity on as many machines as you like, provided it is you or an immediate family member.  You need to do two things to get Gravity onto the new machine:

  1. Go to Help/About/Info and jot down your registration information so that you can enter it on the target machine.

  2. If you want to move all of your settings and database files, then you will need to:

Note that GravityBackup will restore to the same location on the target machine.

Gravity is not showing the article fields I defined in the header pane.

You are probably showing Full Headers (Article/Full Headers).  The 'h' shortcut key toggles between the view you have defined for the article pane and the full headers view, which shows all of the headers for the article.

Can I store Gravity data files on a different drive from the program files?

Yes, you can store either the entire news database on a different drive or individual news servers, but it involves editing the Windows system registry using RegEdit or another registry tool.  If you want to move the entire news database, then follow the following instructions:

  1. Copy everything under <Gravity Install Dir>\newsdb to the target location on another drive (xcopy is an excellent tool for this).
  2. Use Start/Run to start REGEDIT.
  3. Drill down to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicroPlanet\Gravity\Storage:DatabasePath value and change it so that it points to the newsdb directory on the new drive.
  4. For each server that you have, modify the DatabasePath value under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicroPlanet\Gravity\Servers\ServerX so that it points to the correct location.  Also scan through the other values within each server and change any paths that may need changing (as of version 2.3 these would include ExportFile and ImportFile).

Note that once you perform step three, all servers will be created under that location, so once you perform these steps you should not have to repeat the steps for any servers you subsequently add.

If you want to move individual servers, use the following instructions:

  1. Copy everything under <Gravity Install Dir>\newsdb\<your_server> to the target location on another drive (xcopy is an excellent tool for this).
  2. Use Start/Run to start REGEDIT.
  3. Drill down to the HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\MicroPlanet\Gravity\Servers\<your_server> and change the DatabasePath value so that it points to the new location..  Also scan through the other values for that server and modify any paths that need to be changed (as of version 2.3 these would include ExportFile and ImportFile).

My toolbar is taking up two rows or is otherwise misbehaving.  What can I do?

Gravity uses a third part library that has the problem.  The method that seems to work for the most users is to maximize Gravity (double-clicking on the title bar will maximize Gravity if you are not already maximized), adjust the toolbars, and then exit Gravity.  Re-start Gravity, then un-maximize it, and the toolbar should be the way you arranged it.

I do not see the link or pushpin buttons on the filter bar.  How do I get them back?

This is related to the toolbar problem.  To solve this problem, use the following completely counter-intuitive steps:

  1. Use the mouse to grab the divider between the toolbar and filter bar

  2. Repeatedly nudge the divider to the left a little.

Believe it or not, this should progressively reveal the right side of the filter bar.

I have ticked the checkbox "Don't show HTML source" in the "Article Layout" options tab, but it still appears. Any suggestions?

The "Don't show HTML source" applies to multi-part MIME messages which include both an HTML part and a plain text part.  For these messages, enabling the option will cause Gravity to show only the text part of the message. 

However, if a user embeds HTML tags within a normal text message (not identified by an HTML content encoding), then Gravity does not attempt to remove the tags, since this could result in the removal of tags that may have been included for illustrative purposes (such as a discussion about how to use certain HTML tags).

I am having trouble connecting to Earthlink and/or Sprintmail servers.   How can I connect to them?

You need to follow special Earthlink Instructions.

Why can't I multi-select the items in the "Available Groups" window of the Subscribe dialog?

The "Available Groups" window is a virtual listbox that does not support multi-selection. It is called virtual because the listbox does not actually hold all of the items it appears to hold. When you move the scrollbar, the listbox asks for the items that are supposed to be at that location. Will this ever be fixed? It may be fixed in the future, but the price may be that the searching speed will slow considerably.

Is the searching in the subscribe dialog case sensitive?

Yes. In the old days of USENET, one would never see a mixed case newsgroup name. Some servers have popped up recently that use mixed case newsgroup names ( is one). You can still use the searching, but you have to get the case right. MicroPlanet is considering adding case insensitive searching (perhaps as an option) to the subscribe dialog. This will slow down the searching somewhat because each character of each newsgroup name will have to be uppercased in order to perform the case-insensitive comparison.