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Data Loader: timeoutSecs not respected?

Hi there,

My client has been using the Apex Data Loader for over 2 years now to extract some data from SF, and lately SF has started to time out when we attempt to extract data.  The first timeouts started happening in October 2014, and have been intermittent since then.  The table we're extracting from has grown in size (approx 19,000 records).

I've requested they make some changes to their process-conf.xml file to make sure the data loader retries if it fails, setting values for process.enableRetries, process.maxRetries and process.minRetrySleepSecs.

They want to be able to _test_ the timeout scenario though. :(  I've tried mucking with sfdc.connectionTimeoutSecs and sfdc.timeoutSecs, setting them to really low values (1 sec, 2 sec...), but I can't seem to force the data loader to throw a time out.

Does anyone know...
1. What do these settings *actually* control?  They don't seem to have the desired effect from the docs (https://help.salesforce.com/apex/HTViewHelpDoc?id=loader_params.htm).
2. Does anyone know how it might be possible to *force* the simulation of a time out from Salesforce with the data loader, outside of mucking with process-conf.xml settings?