Minecraft: End of Stream error. What’s going wrong, and how to fix it. Updated for 1.0.0 / “invalid server key”

Seeing the dreaded Minecraft End of Stream error when trying to play multiplayer Minecraft? You’re not alone. Now updated for Minecraft 1.0.0 and the “The Server Responded With An Invalid Server Key” error!

It’s a bit of a nightmare to fix – we can’t promise anything – but here are some ideas on how to stop it from causing you any more problems.

Update – The EoS error can be caused by Minecraft.net being down – which is what’s causing the error for everyone today, September 25th 2012. Not a lot we can do to fix it aside from wait for the server to come back up!

End Of Stream – Minecraft and the data stream

It’s not entirely clear what’s happening when a Minecraft “Connection Lost: End of Stream” error crops up, but it’s connected to network settings. In short, the continuous flow of network data (the “stream”) has been interrupted for some reason, causing Minecraft to have a funny and fall over.

Except, of course, when it’s not. There’s a well-known bug in Minecraft multiplayer that can cause this error – if you stay dead for more than about 30 seconds, the program will get confused, and crash out with an “End of Stream” error. In this case, you can just reconnect – it’s a weird bug in the code, and is nothing to worry about.

If you’re getting “End of Stream” at any other time, though, then something’s gone south. Let’s take a closer look.



Invalid Server Key

Minecraft 1.0.0 has a bug where sometimes, when you attempt to connect to a 1.0.0 server, you’ll get a “The Server Responded With An Invalid Server Key” error the first time, and End of Stream errors subsequently.

There are both temporary and permanent fixes for this problem if you’re encountering it:

  • Temporary – restart your Minecraft client. You may need to try several times to get this to work. Alternatively, restarting the server also works.
  • Permanent – If you’re the Minecraft server admin, you can install this patch to fix the problem (although it’s a user patch not an official one – use at your own risk).

Other solutions

First up, the bad news: there is no solid solution for this error. It’s weird, confusing, and can be caused by anything including incompatibilities in your network hardware. The best advice from everyone on all the Minecraft forum threads I’ve read is “keep trying”.

First job – if you get this error, try again. Then try re-copying the IP address by hand. Then try restarting Minecraft. Then try restarting your computer.

It’s worth taking a five minute break at this point, then trying again. Minecraft has DOS (Denial of Service) defences that may stop you logging on to the server if you repeatedly try – and again, these can cause “End of Stream” errors.

If none of that lot works, it’s time for slightly bigger steps. If you’re still playing an old version of Minecraft, it may well be time to upgrade – some versions of 1.5 had chronic problems with “End of Stream” errors. If the server you’re on is running 1.5, it might well be a problem on their end – try and persuade them to upgrade.

(There’s a long thread about this problem on the Bukkit server program forums – read it here. Sadly, they don’t have any good solutions either, but trying to run the server with fewer plugins may be another way to attempt a fix.)

Another REALLY obscure thing that might have happened – if you’re suddenly unable to log onto a server, have someone check if the Message of the Day has changed. There are reports that using special characters in the MOTD can cause End of Stream errors – have someone change it back to something simple, and try reconnecting again.

Of course, you should probably also ping the IP address of the server (using the “ping” command on the command line in Windows and Terminal on a Mac) to check if it’s still up. If the ping doesn’t come back, the server’s down.

Still not working? It’s time to refresh your Minecraft installation, then. Navigate to your Minecraft folder (there’s a great guide to finding your Minecraft folder here) and delete your /bin folder – remember, this will delete all mods, and you should back up all your saves first. Then try starting Minecraft from the .exe file or .app file again.

If you’re still getting End of Stream errors after this lot, it’s time to check your firewall settings. See if you can connect to any other Minecraft servers – if not, it may be that your firewall doesn’t let you connect out. The simple test for this is to disable your firewall, then try to connect to Minecraft. If that succeeds, it’s your firewall that’s the problem – google for the make of your firewall and “Minecraft” for more useful information?

STILL not working? Aargh. At this point, you’re into the hideous maze that can be the End of Stream error. There are a huge number of possible fixes at this point – try a different PC if you can, try reinstalling the Java Runtime Environment on your machine, try re-downloading Minecraft from scratch, and if all else fails, try posting on the official Minecraft forums at Minecraftforums.net.

Any suggestions we didn’t come up with? Anything that worked for you? Post it below, no matter how weird!

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