How to Build a Mining Rig: Step 2 Windows Set Up

How to Build your own Crypto/Ethereum GPU Mining Rig Windows Set Up

So you have bought all the parts and have hopefully put them all together correctly, what next? Below is a Step by step guide to get mining with Windows 10 OS. This should work regardless of what hardware you have.

If you are looking to build a mining rig for Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies then Windows 10 is a decent shout, especially if it’s what you are used to using. Also getting set up with Windows is fairly straightforward and doesn’t require any advanced knowledge. I personally prefer Windows as I have used it for many years, there is lots of support available and compatibility with third party software is very high.

Step 1: Configure BIOS Settings

Before we install Windows, make sure your mining computer’s BIOS settings are in order. Power on your computer, and press the “delete” key a few times straight away. You should end up in the BIOS configuration area, this is the same for most motherboards. Do the following, then save & exit:

  • Change power options so that the computer automatically turns itself on whenever power is restored. This will make sure that your miner automatically starts up after a power outage.
  • Disable all components that you don’t plan to use as it might save a little bit of power. For example disable onboard audio, the USB 3.0 ports, one of the SATA controllers, the Firewire port, and the serial port.
  • Setting the PCIe speed to Gen1 will help make sure all GPUs are recognised.
  • Some Motherboards may need 4G Decoding activating or mining mode activating. If you don’t see these options then just move to the next step, you can always come back to the BIOS.

Step 2: Install Windows 10 64-bit

Any 64-bit edition of Windows 10 should work fine (a 32-bit version will not), this can be downloaded from the Windows website as an unregistered version for free.

You will need to install Windows onto a USB Flashdrive or Harddrive.

https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/software-download/windows10ISO

Plug into the motherboard and off you go. I will not talk you through this part as it should be straight forward.

Step 3: Configure automatic login (optional)

If you want your mining rig to boot up and start mining automatically, without any user intervention then you will need to enable auto-login for that to be possible.

Right-click on the Start Menu and select “Run” and type “netplwiz” (without the quotes) at the prompt, and click “ok”.
Uncheck the box that says “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”.
Click “Apply”. You’ll be prompted to enter your password to confirm the change.

Step 4: Change power settings

By default, Windows will go to sleep after 30 minutes without user interaction, so to disable it:

Right-click the Start Menu > Control Panel > System & Security > Power Options

“High Performance” should be selected. Click on “Change plan settings” next to it.

Change “Put the computer to sleep” to “Never”, then click “Save changes”.

Step 5: Windows Updates Settings

Firstly always go into the settings on a new Windows install and check for any new updates in Windows Update and let them fully install.

Once this is done you may want to stop automatic updates by changing the settings in the control panel as it could restart the rig without you knowing. However if you have followed all the steps your rig should start mining automatically anyway so not a big issue. Also if you disable automatic uploads you need to check it for updates every so often to catch any important security updates.

Step 6: Allocate virtual memory & Disable Visual Effects

These should help with stability of the rig and responsiveness.

Right-click the Start Menu > System > click “change settings” on the right side of the window (if you don’t see “change settings”, click “system info” first)

Click on the “Advanced” tab, then in the “Performance” area, click “Settings”

Click the “Advanced” tab, then click “Change” in the area labeled “Virtual Memory”
Uncheck the box at the top that says “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives”, then click on the “Custom Size” radio button.

Enter 16384 in both the Initial and Maximum size fields, then click “Set” but stay on the same window to adjust visual effects.

rig guide - vram

On the “Visual Effects” tab click on the radio button labeled “Adjust for best performance”, then click “Apply”

rig guide - appearance

You’ll need to reboot for the change to take effect.

Step 8: Install AMD or Nvidia GPU drivers

Unless there are any known issues I would generally use the latest driver available on the Nvidia website.

Download and install the latest drivers from the AMD or Nvidia website (http://www.nvidia.co.uk/download/driverResults.aspx/125582/en-uk).

Note: With the Nvidia driver package it won’t let you run the install without at least one Nvidia card plugged in.

You can simply pick all of the default options during installation.

Reboot after the driver installation is complete.

Step 9: Check all Graphics Cards are Registered

If you have not already done so now is the time to shutdown the rig and plug in any final Graphics cards. I usually only set up my rig with one card and then add them 2 at a time at this point. This is because if there is an issue with one of the cards or Risers then it is much easier to spot and it doesn’t hold up standard set up.

Type “Device Manager” and select. You should see a list of devices, under Display Adapters you should see a matching number of GPUs to how many you have.

If the driver is not yet installed on the card it may show as a “Visual Controller”, if after 5-10 minutes it is still showing like this you can right click and update driver.

Step 10: Start Mining

Right you should now be ready to start Mining Ethereum or many other coins.

To start mining you need to:

  • Pick what to mine
  • Generate a wallet address for that coin
  • Download the correct mining program
  • Configure the mining file or settings

To learn how do do this go to the Start Mining page.

Did you find this useful? Please make a donation to the sites running cost or even better buy me a beer.

BTC: 1DVHB39JgFv2ki51UcouMK2CCM41Ps6wgE

ETH: 0x3ef7bc5783b379a4bed26f93a843cdcea5825a4a

DSH: Xm2NPnwkcAk4HZnbNqs1WZt8pHWPXqpkjz

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