Presenting the Third Part of Five Part Series on Litecoin/CryptoCoin Mining, Today we will cover Software Installation for Windows Based Mining Rigs.
If you Havent Read the First Two post, start here
WINDOWS INSTALLATION After you have finished your BIOS settings, put the Windows installation Disk into your DVD player. It should boot up and show this screen
Then It will ask you to setup the language, time/currency format, keyboard/input method (most people just leave as US). Select your settings and click continue.
IT will then show a button “INSTALL NOW”, Click on that.
IT SHOULD NOW SHOW THIS SCREEN
You will now come to the Product Key page, and ask you to input your product key
This will be found on the slip that the CD came in and should be 25 letters/numbers long, then click “NEXT”
Now it will ask you to accept the License Terms, do so.
You will now see this screen
If you are using a brand new Motherboard and building this rig from the ground up you will need to click “CUSTOM” on the bottom. If you are using an old motherboard that had Windows 7 on it with the Hard Drive that it had before (i.e. you are using parts from an old computer you had) then click “UPDGRADE” More than likely all of you reading this would be using “CUSTOM”
Now You will be asked to select where you would like to Install Windows 8.
If you only have One Hard Drive then you will see what is shown above, and only one will show up, click next to continue. If you have More than 1 hard Drive (if you are building a Liteocin Rig, you wouldn’t, because that would be a waste of power and money??) then select which one you want to install it on. You can partition your drives, however this is a tutorial on setting up a mining rig NOT building a new Home Computer. So just click next.
Windows is now coping files to you drive to install itself. This can take a few, so if you need to fill up your coffee cup or take a bathroom break, you will be fine!
After this is done, Windows will restart itself, no need from any input from you. You will see this screen as it restarts as well as updates on what it is doing (i.e. getting devices read 15%…..).
Windows may restart a second time before it is ready to go to the next step.
You will now see this screen
Now Click on Personalize, name your computer, you can pick the color, etc. You can click through these options and set them up individually.
The “SIGN IN” section is where you can set up your PC using a Microsoft Email account (HOTMAIL/OUTLOOK)
If you do not have one, you can create one, if you don’t have one and don’t want one Click “SIGN IN WITHOUT A MICROSOFT ACCOUNT” and click next
ON THE NEXT SCREEN CLICK “LOCAL ACCOUNT” and here is where you will pick the username and password to login to your computer (Later on we will disable this so it logs in automatically, this is so if there is a restart on your system/power outage it will restart your mining rig, log in and start mining again, without you there).
Windows will now finalize your settings. And start to show you some functions that are new to Windows 8, just sit there and love it….. After the Demo is over it will continue to get the PC read, and install the apps. You will then see a unfamiliar screen of colored boxes…this is the new Windows Start menu. In the lower left hand corner look for “DESKTOP”, click that and you will now be on the Desktop of your Rig!
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I Would create a folder on your Desktop for all the software downloads, etc. I named mine “Mining” and then separated them into Different categories, this way it was easier than going through the “downloads” portion to find the right one.
All the software below you will install EXCEPT CGMINER and CATALYST DRIVER. Download ONLY, DO NOT INSTALL YET!
If you are using a USB WIFI connection to connect to the internet, have the installation cd that came with the WIFI and install that. If you don’t google it on your other computer and download it to a Thumbdrive, plug it in your rigs USB slot and drag and drop it into your software folder. Install it so you can get internet access.
MSI AFTERBURNER (or TRIXX)
Just google MSI AFTERBURNER or go to this link (MSI AFTERBURNER) and download the Latest Version of it. Nothing really to do other than open it up once its downloads and then click settings on the bottom, and under the general tab (should be the main menu that pops up) Click every box (X) and click save. This synch’s all the cards that are alike (i.e. 7950’s or 7970’s) with the same settings as well as unlock the voltage so you can “undervolt” your cards, which lowers temps and more power efficient. I have not personally used TRIXX, however I have heard no bad things about it, so you can look into that as well.
TEAM VIEWER (For help form forums) This is a free download for personal use, you can download here (Team Viewer), however this will install google chrome toolbar, etc onto your Internet explorer, which you don’t need. This is used if you are having issues on your setup and a forum member offers to go in and check your settings and see what you are doing wrong. Yes this allows someone onto your computer, but it has helped me multiple times when I was stumped. Just be smart.
CATALYST 13.12 DRIVER This is the driver for your GPU (if you are using a AMD based, specifically the Sapphire 7950), which connects it to the computer and installs all the ‘parts’ needed to function, think of your computer as a house, your gpu as curtains, the driver is like the curtain rods and mounting hardware, without it its just a curtain on the floor, this puts everything where it needs to go to work as you need it. You can download the Latest Version Here (AMD DRIVERS) DO NOT INSTALL IT.
CGMINER 3.7.2 You can find the index for all versions of CGMINER Here (CGMINER), I would go with 3.7.2, but I know of folks using 3.4 etc. DO NOT DOWNLOAD ANY VERSION NEWER THAN 3.7.2 (e.g. latest version 3.8.3). You are mining for Litecoins which uses “scrypt” you don’t need to know what all the details, however later versions DO NOT ALLOW FOR SCRYPT MINING, so it wont work! Download it and put it in the mining software file. DO NOT INSTALL IT.
REMOTE DESKTOP APP Download the CHROME BROWSER (www.google.com/chrome)
If you have a gmail address already you can sign in on the main screen that pops up after downloading Chrome.
If you don’t have a GMAIL you can sign up for one. If you don’t want to Sign up for one you can sign up for a Google account using your current email (This may change in the future).
Go to https://accounts.google.com/SignUpWithoutGmail and sign up there for a Google account using your current email. Now sign in on Chrome and google “Chrome Remote Desktop” it will take you to the app page and in the Upper right hand corner click “INSTALL”.
From there you will download the app and move on to the…
You will see a screen asking you what you will use this for.
On top is a “REMOTE ASSISTANCE” for IT support, don’t click that.
The Bottom Option, “MY COMPUTERS” is where you want to go, click “GET STARTED”
Now Click “ENABLE REMOTE CONNECTIONS”
It will install ask for you to enter a “PIN”, this is the code needed to remotely access your computer so do not make it “1234” or something stupid, pick a good secure PIN.
You are now set up for Remote access. This way you can access you computer, control cgminer and MSI AFTERBURNER, etc. from say your inlaws house 1000 miles away!
NOTE- to do this you will need to have Chrome Browser on your laptop or whatever computer you are going to use to access it remotely. Then you will sign in with your google account, open a new tab and click the APP Button and click on the Remote Desktop Icon. Your computer name (whatever you named it during WINDOWS SET UP) should show up and then you can click that computer, enter the pin and click connect.
DO NOT TRY THIS NOW. YOU HAVE TO CONFIGURE CGMINER to allow for this or it will crash!! We will go over this again at the very end (after cgminer is finished and you are successfully mining).
SIGN UP FOR LITECOIN WALLET/ADDRESS
I have outlined how to do this on a Youtube Video (HOW TO GET A LITECOIN WALLET 101) as well as written a overview Blog post on Litecoin and the different types of wallets and ways to store your coins. Choose whats best for you as fare as storage, but you will need to have an address to have your mined coins sent to.
Watch the Video or just follow these steps
Go to www.litecoing.org
Download the appropriate file based on your operating system (Window, Mac, Linux) Allow for a lot of time for the Wallet to get synchronized with the network.
Go into the “RECEIVE” tab and on the right is your “address”
Go up top in the “RECEIVE” Tab and click to “encrypt your address” this is basically asking you to create a password.
USE A STRONG PASSWORD AND DO NOT LOST IT OR YOU WILL LOSE EVERYTHING YOU HAVE MINED!!!!!
I would go to random.org and create a 24 digit random password of upper/lower case letter, numbers and symbols.
Encrypt it and write down and store in a SAFE location your address and your password.
Your address is fine to be public you can write that down on a piece of paper and leave it next to your computer, or email it to yourself, whatever you want to do.
Just keep the password secret.
You now have a Litecoin Wallet.
This is not 100% secure (neither is online banking), so please consult my post on how to store your coins more securely. (LINK TO POST)
SIGN UP FOR A POOL
There are many pools out there, I personally used COINOTRON (as well as TEAMDOGE.com and LITEGUARDIAN.com) currently, but you can choose whatever one you want, compare them and make your own decision.
Basically you will sign up on their website
Inside your account info you will need to input your Litecoin address (which you should have after setting up your wallet, but you don’t necessarily need until you are ready for a payout). Re verify that you address is correct after inputting it, you don’t want to mine for awhile and realize someone else has been getting all the benefits of your hardwork.
Check to see what the fees are in your pool. Currently (December 2013) the Fees are 0% for payouts above 1.5 Litecoins, so you don’t pay any fees when you “get paid” unless its for less than that. Make sure you set your “Payout Threshold” at 1.5 or whatever you want it to be, this is the number that triggers a payment. For instance if your Threshold is ‘5” once you mine 5 litecoins it sends those 5 to your address. If you do not have a Litecoin (or whatever coin you are mining) address yet you will want to set the threshold high so that it doesn’t send your coins to the server owner. So, set it high and set up the wallet whenever you are ready to be paid.
However there are fees based on whether you are paid by..
You will select one of these when you create your “worker”
PAY PER SHARE (PPS) Or ROUND BASED PAY PER SHARE (RBPPS)
PPS is more risky for pool operators for many reasons, I don’t want to get into details about blocks, orphaned blocks, etc. you can research them through your own pool.
PPS can offer higher payouts but it’s a higher fee on your mined coins while RBPPS has lower fees, I currently use RBPPS, its reliable and easy.
You will then set up your “worker”, most likely you aren’t looking to get real detailed with all of this, no more than is necessary, so for simplicities sake we will just consider one pool, one coin. I am not looking to write the end all be all of Litecoin mining and ALL its “ins and outs” This is meant for the average person just looking to get in and make it as easy as possible.
So you will set up a worker, you will see where it asks to create the workser username and password.
Your workers username will be your SIGN IN NAME (to sign into coinotron from the main page) + whatever you input. So lets same my Sign in is JSMITH and I set my worker username to “1” my worker username that will be used for mining will be “JSMITH.1”. Whatever you enter for your password is up to you. However as you will see in the 4th post setting up cgminer, you will need to know your worker username and password.
Once you have done this you are good, you are now part of a Mining Pool, which although means you make less than if you were solo mining, it is difficult, if not impossible (pretty much impossible for any existing coin) to solo mine anymore. I am more interested in consistent and constant streams of coins than hoping for my solo mining rig to hopefully find a block and solve it.
Stay Tuned for the next Installment of Part 4 and 5 of my Series on how to set up a Mining Rig!
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