Battlefield Play4Free
[PunkBuster] Report your problems here - Printable Version

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[PunkBuster] Report your problems here - HomeSen - 24-03-2012 07:41 PM

Before posting, please:
  • Find your pbcl.log (how-to below)
  • Try to fix the issue yourself via the fixes on post 3
  • If you cannot fix the issue you are having, then please make a post and attach your pbcl.log

When posting, please provide your pbcl.log along with the issue you are having:

Part 1 - Finding the correct pbcl.log:
  1. Open WindowsExplorer
  2. Navigate to the directory you installed the game to (by default: C:\Program Files\EA Games\Battlefield Play4Free)
  3. Open the pb sub-folder
  4. Open the pbcl.log with Notepad (or any other text processor you like)
  5. If it contains lines such as the following, you found the correct file and can go on with part 2:
    [05.26.2011 10:06:19] WARNING: PB Kicks for Level 1 PB Restrictions on this Server
    [05.26.2011 10:06:19] PB Server assigned guid = <guid>
    [05.26.2011 10:06:19] Receiving from PB Server (w v1.794 | A1377 C2.244)
    [05.26.2011 10:06:29] PnkBstrB service installed and started successfully
    [05.26.2011 10:06:40] Master Query Sent to (MASTER5.EVENBALANCE.COM)
    [05.26.2011 10:06:41] Received Master Security Information
  6. If it contains lines such as the following, proceed:
    [05.26.2011 10:02:40] Changing PunkBuster homepath to [C:\Users\homesen\AppData\Local\PunkBuster\BFP4F\pb\]
  7. Copy the given homepath (without the brackets) by pressing [CTRL] + [C]. In the upper example, this would be:
  8. Paste the copied path into the address bar of WindowsExplorer by pressing [CTRL] + [V] and press [RETURN]
  9. Copy the pbcl.log to a place where you will find it easily.

Part 2 - Attaching the pbcl.log:
Click the "New Reply" button (don't use the "Quick Reply"). You can find the "Attachments" area, when you click on "New Reply" (or "Create Topic", for new topics) and then scoll down (see 2nd image).
  1. Click on "Browse" (red circle)
  2. Select/find the correct pbcl.log and press "OK"
  3. Click on "Add Attachment" (blue circle)
  4. When it finished uploading the file, type a few words in the message textfield and finally press "Post Reply"

[Image: Attachment1.PNG]

[Image: Attachment.PNG]
(Click to enlarge)

If you get an error message that the file is too big, delete old entries from the beginning of the file.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - RIC0H - 25-03-2012 10:39 AM

Useful links:

You can also search the Technical Support and Players Helping Players forums for possible solutions to the same problem while you are waiting for a reply.
If you find a solution, please update your post here.

Links for appeals:
  • If you have been banned by GGC, please contact them via their ban appeal system.
  • If you have been banned by PBBans, please contact them via their ban appeal system.
  • If you have been globally banned by Even Balance, please contact them via their support system.

In order to appeal your ban, you will need to provide your banned soldier's GUID. You can find this identifier in your pbcl.log.
The according lines look similar to this one:
[05.26.2011 10:06:19] PB Server assigned guid = <string of 32 characters and numbers>

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - RIC0H - 25-03-2012 10:39 AM

Known issues and resolves:

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrA.exe
pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe initialization failed

Please try completely re-installing the PunkBuster services.
Re-installing the PunkBuster services:
  1. Navigate to the pb sub-folder inside your game folder
  2. Run the pbsvc_p4f.exe
  3. Select "Uninstall/Remove the PunkBuster Services"
  4. When it finished, reboot your system
  5. Download the latest version of the pbsvc.exe from EvenBalance's website:
    You can find the download link within the text:
    [Image: pbsvc.png]
  6. Run the newly downloaded pbsvc.exe
  7. Select "Install/Repair PunkBuster Services" (should be the only available option)
  8. When it finished, it will also run a test of the services

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe driver failure (PnkBstrK.sys) ffab

The "PnkBstrB.exe driver failure (PnkBstrK.sys) ffab"-error (sometimes) occurs, when you didn't update your Windows in a long time (especially when you "missed" Microsoft's "Update for Root Certificates"). The PnkBstrK.sys is a digitally signed driver, and when Windows fails to verify the signature (due to an outdated list of root certificates), it refuses to load it.
It is thus advised to run WindowsUpdate and install ALL updates it finds. You may have to start and let it search several times, since some updates require a reboot, and other updates only show up after you installed another one beforehand Wink

If that does not fix the issue, then please do as above "Re-installing the PunkBuster services".

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe heartbeats stopped
pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe no heartbeats

Make sure that PunkBuster doesn't get blocked by your firewall/anti-virus/security-suite.
Also, try following the instructions given in that video:

If it doesn't help, try lowering the in-game resolution and/or level of details (your machine might not be able to handle the workload it got Wink ), and clear the game's shader cache (read: delete all it's contents), located at:
MyDocuments\Battlefield Play4Free\mods\main\cache

Also, try this:
(10-11-2011 02:57 PM)Gizm0 Wrote:  I managed to solve my PnkbstrB.exe heartbeat error.
I have Tune Up Utilities installed and one of the feature of Tune Up called Live Optimization regulates program response rates, which assigns priority levels to programs running on your pc. So everytime I was playing Battlefield, the Live Optimization changed the priority of PnkbstrB.exe because it thought that it was a background service which resulted in the service failing after X minutes of gameplay.
So for any persons which seem to have this error and have Tune Up Utilities installed or a similar like program turn of this function ( 'Increase response rate' ) and enjoy flawless gameplay once again.
The 'speed up the start up of my programs' function can be left on.
I also reinstalled the punkbuster services (which I had done numerous times already) using the recommended method above to remove any property changes which Tune Up Utilities might have made and rebooted my machine. Hope this fix helps as this seems to be a common problem with Punkbuster 'protected' games such as BC2, COD4 and BF Heroes.

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: No Packet Flow
pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Corrupted Packet Flow (B)

This is most likely a server side issue, please join another server to see if you still have this issue.
If you are still having this issue on other servers, then please re-installing the PunkBuster services.

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe handshaking failed

This message indicates that PunkBuster was unable to connect to the server. Please make sure that it doesn't get blocked by your anti-virus/firewall/security-suite by temporarily disabling them. If disabling the helps, enable them one after another, and check each time whether PB still works. As soon as it stopped working, you found out which component blocks it, and can add an exception for the PnkBstrB.exe to it (consult the software's manual, or search the webs Wink )

pbcl.log Wrote:[01.27.2012 18:06:13] O/S Exception Notice
pbcl.log Wrote:[01.27.2012 18:06:13] Violation (IGNORING QUERIES) #9006

Restart your computer and try again.
If that does not fix the issue then update ALL your system drivers. Especially outdated SATA-controller drivers can cause this error.

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Corrupted Module Header: kernel32.dll
Killing the game and PB in task manager and then restarting them will fix it 99.99% of the time. Alternatively, a restart should achieve the same.

pbcl.log Wrote:No Master Query Sent - DNS has not yet resolved for BFP4F1.EVENBALANCE.COM

That means that PunkBuster can't get the IP address of the given domains. This can have several causes:
  1. Your router/firewall blocks the PB services:
    Temporarily disable your anti-virus/firewall to see whether each of these blocks the PB services.
  2. Your set DNS server is unreachable/down:
    1. Open a command prompt by pressing [WINDOWSKEY] + [R]
    2. Type "cmd" (without the quotes) and press [RETURN]
    3. Type "ping BFP4F1.EVENBALANCE.COM" (without the quotes)
    4. When the command finished, it should show a summary of sent/received/lost packets
    5. Sent and received packets should both be 4.
    6. If you get a message like "Ping command couldn't find host...." then check your DNS settings (see below)
  3. You don't have a DNS server set:
    Follow these instructions, according to your Windows version.

    Either set it to automatically determine the DNS settings, or use one of the following.
    Google DNS server: and
    OpenDNS server: and

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Multiple Direct3D loaded

This message indicates that you:
  • Are using a custom TeamSpeak DirectX Overlay (so far, only the built-in overlay works)
  • Are using an outdated version of Fraps
  • Are using another software that has a "DirectX overlay" function (like e.g. Steam) is running in the background
  • You have "NVIDIA Optimus" enabled (take a look at this:

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Empty Win32 Module List : C

I've only seen this error once in a player's pbcl.log, and it was just a notification about someone else being kicked for that reason. Thus, I can only guess on what the actual problem might have been:
  • The player had an old (unsupported) version of Windows. Most probably Windows 2000 or older.
  • The player was using WINE under Linux/MacOS X and forgot to install essential libraries/DLLs.

pbcl.log Wrote:RESTRICTION: Unknown Windows API Function [131xxx]

You are trying to play this game using WINE under Linux/MacOS X. Due to it's "API Fingerprinting", PunkBuster doesn't work under WINE for most online multiplayer games. Further information can be found here:

pbcl.log Wrote:This PB Server Requires (A1377 C2.294) - Error loading pbcl

Update PunkBuster using PBsetup:
  1. After you started PBSetup, it will check whether there is a newer version of the tool avail. Just wait a few moments until you see the actual program interface.
  2. Click on "Add Game" to add BFP4F to the list of games:
    [Image: attachment.php?attachhash=39e39978668365...2a9e67052a]
  3. Select BFP4F from the list and click the "Browse":
    [Image: attachment.php?attachhash=a097f6ffa9fbf5...f385c2ef78]
  4. Select the folder where installed the game to and press "OK"
  5. Click on "Add game" to finally add it to the list:
    [Image: attachment.php?attachhash=d6cbef9c2911c7...12838497ee]
  6. Click on "Check for Updates" to make PBSetup search for a newer version of PunkBuster:
    [Image: attachment.php?attachhash=1c9254d8e5a98f...ecbd24174f]
  7. When it finds a newer version, it will install it.
  8. Finally, close PBSetup and start the game.

If that doesn't work (for some odd reason), update it manually.
To manually update PB, right-click on the 3 file links shown at the download page and select "Save target as" and download them to the pb subfolder inside your game folder, as described on the website.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - HomeSen - 25-03-2012 12:06 PM

pnkbstrb.exe initialisation fail (user fix)

(24-05-2012 07:55 AM)kasicamper Wrote:  Again here is the solution for

1. the pnkbstrb.exe initialisation fail
2. Look into your punkbuster systemlogfile shown in /windows/system32/logfile/punkbuster if you find something like certificate couldnt validate.
3. Download and install rootsupd.exe from Microsoft and it works.
4. Smile Wink

The problem was induced by Punkbuster update to v.2.306 for BF2 (and related games) on May 17th.2012 which needs rootsupd.exe installed on your system.

For me the solution works on my 32bit Win XP.

(20-05-2012 03:03 PM)bushblower Wrote:  After ours of investigation I found a possible resolution for some players.

Microsoft OS has became in April 2012 new certifications in its update. watch here.

maybe punkbuster try to certificate punkbuster K/B with them.

Look into your punkbuster systemlogfile shown in.


if you find something like certificate couldnt validate. then you shout give it a try. sorry my logs are deleted afte deinstall game. dont know orginal sentences.
just in time I reinstall from internet.

Good luck

pbsvc_p4f.exe (Test services): "Verifying service authenticity ERROR"
(16-09-2012 10:13 AM)HamSammy Wrote:  Ok, I finally fixed my punkbuster kicks after being up all night.

I had to manually install the certificates. Windows 7 is a massive pile of steaming dog s***.
Here's a walk-through for anyone else having issues. Not sure if it will help, but it wont hurt either.

  1. Locate the pbsvc.exe file, there's one in the Battlefield folder, I downloaded mine from Punkbuster just to make sure I had current.
  2. Right click the file and select "properties". Then click the "Digital Signatures" tab.
  3. Click / highlight the Even Balance signature and click "Details".
  4. Click "View Certificate", then click "Install Certificate".
  5. The wizard should open, then click "next".
    (I was here before and did the automatic install, apparently that is useless.)
  6. Select "Place all certificates in the following store"
  7. Click browse the "trusted...." folder(s) and click ok.

I say "folder(s)" because there's 2 or 3 trusted folders. I installed it in all of them, that might not be necessary but i highly doubt it would cause any harm either. After you choose one, you are at the same you don't have to start all over, you just chose another folder.

Run the pbsvc.exe file....then start the game.

That did it for me, I hope it helps others as well.
This is not the first time i've had digital signature issues with Win 7. Hopefully I can get other things working now as well.

This might also help Win7 users who can't install the Root Certificate Update (as mentioned in the fix above).

Instead of using all 3 "Trusted ..." stores, it should be sufficient to only select "Trusted Root Certificate Authorities" (or whatever it is called on an English Windows version Wink ).
As mentioned by HamSammy: The automatic selection is completely useless in 99.999999999% of all cases. I've never seen it working properly (aka. making the correct choice) in all my years as an IT professional. And I had fix a lot certificate-related issues for customers Wink

PnkBstrB.exe heartbeats stopped and Disallowed Program/Driver [90026] (user fix)

(04-12-2013 01:24 PM)=Draconian= Wrote:  Hi Homesen, just want to tell you that i had some crazy random PB kicks lately and found the solution.
Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrB.exe heartbeats stopped
PnkBstrB service installed and started successfully
RESTRICTION: Disallowed Program/Driver [90026]

Checked Taskmanager when i get the message and noticed heavy load on Nvtray.exe, part of NVIDIA Software.
Deinstalled NV updatemanager and now for about 1 week no more PB kicks.

Maybe this could help other Users too.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - HomeSen - 25-03-2012 12:07 PM

Please Note:
  • This thread is for problems regarding PunkBuster only and NOT for other game related problems.
  • Make sure that you post your issues in English.
  • When posting, please provide your pbcl.log and the reason why your being kicked
  • If you post your issue, please do not keep bumping the thread or post your issue again.
  • If you have found a resolve to your issue before we get to you, please update your post as follows
    [Update] Issue has been resolved by (how you were able to resolve the issue, so others can take note)
  • Do not quote the posts on this thread as it is unneeded.
  • Non PunkBuster related posts will be removed.

Please Note #2:
  • We the Community Moderators are volunteers and do not work for EA/EASY nor do we get paid.
  • We have lives outside of this game and our lives come first.
  • Also note that we are not actually here to help ppl with their problems, we assist you by choice.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - DeltaForce - 11-04-2012 11:29 PM

First grey post :-P

Thread looks really nice and should extinguish a lot of questions in the making.
If ever should have a problem with PB, i will come back here.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - mthehh - 12-04-2012 03:47 AM

kicked for punk buster

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 06:16 AM

Kicked By PunkBuster
[04.11.2012 11:30:52] Changing PunkBuster homepath to [C:\Users\Korisnik\AppData\Local\PunkBuster\BFP4F\pb\]

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - RIC0H - 12-04-2012 07:05 AM

(12-04-2012 03:47 AM)mthehh Wrote:  kicked for punk buster

[04.11.2012 23:26:53] RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrA.exe

Re-install the PunkBuster services as seen on post 3

(12-04-2012 06:16 AM)MixDr Wrote:  Kicked By PunkBuster

go to C:\Users\Korisnik\AppData\Local\PunkBuster\BFP4F\pb\ to find your pbcl.log
This is already explained in the first post.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 07:43 AM

I do not understand what to do to fix this help?

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - RIC0H - 12-04-2012 07:46 AM

(12-04-2012 07:43 AM)MixDr Wrote:  I do not understand what to do to fix this help?

copy and paste this into your address bar: C:\Users\Korisnik\AppData\Local\PunkBuster\BFP4F\pb\
there you will find your pbcl.log that we need.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 07:52 AM


RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 07:57 AM

[04.12.2012 08:50:27] Changing PunkBuster homepath to [C:\Users\Korisnik\AppData\Local\PunkBuster\BFP4F\pb\]
this is in pblc.log

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 08:13 AM

i have unistalled punkbuster and reboted my computer then reinstalled punkbuster and it still does not work!!!!!!

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 08:19 AM

Please help me!

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - HomeSen - 12-04-2012 08:55 AM

(12-04-2012 07:52 AM)MixDr Wrote:  what?


Please do the following:
  1. Copy the following code:
  2. Press the "New Reply" button
  3. Scroll down until you see the "Attachments" area
  4. Press the "Browse..." button
  5. Paste the previously copied code into the "Filename" field of the "Open File" dialog
  6. Click on "OK" or "Open"
  7. Press the "Add Attachment" button
  8. Type a few words into the message field
  9. Press the "Post Reply" button
  10. Wait for an answer
  11. ....
  12. Profit.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 09:31 AM

kikced by punkbuster

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - HomeSen - 12-04-2012 09:43 AM

This is still the same wrong file you already attached and posted several times. Angry
Please read the instructions I gave you, again, and follow them step-by-step.

RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - MixDr - 12-04-2012 09:49 AM


RE: [PunkBuster] Report your problems here - HomeSen - 12-04-2012 09:54 AM

(12-04-2012 09:49 AM)pbcl.log by MixDr Wrote:  [04.12.2012 09:10:40] RESTRICTION: Service Communication Failure: PnkBstrA.exe

It looks like your anti-virus/firewall/security-suite is blocking the PunkBuster service. Please add an exception to the aforementioned software for the PunkBuster services: PunkBuster Troubleshooting Guide