If you’re like many other people who follow the cryptocurrency mining market then you have watched the meteoric rise in the value of Ethereum and Bitcoin mining. Many people are looking to cash in on this market trend through Bitcoin mining for themselves rather than buy the hot cryptocoin through online marketplaces. Ethminer is one of the recommended ways to mine Ethereum but installing it on Windows can be a little more complicated than simply hitting “download” then “install.”
This step-by-step mining software instillation guide will help you through the process and get Ethminer up and running so you can dip your big toe into the mining pool. Ethminer requires you to build from source. If you have never done this before then the process may seem complicated. However, it’s really not too difficult to do as long as you follow the steps. A person who is relatively comfortable with working on their computer should be able to handle this.
First of all, before you are able to download any cryptocurrency mining software and enter the mining pool, you will obviously need a computer. Visual Studio Express is a free compiler from Microsoft that will work just fine for what you need to do.
Next, you need to download your GPU platform’s OpenCL SDK. These can be found with a quick Google search. If you have AMD graphics cards then grab the AMD SDK and if you have NVidia cards then you would obviously opt for the NVidia SDK.
Finding everything easy so far? Let’s keep moving, then. If you don’t already have Git you will need to install that as well. Also, you will have to install CMake for Windows as well.
Once you’ve done all the above, use Git to look at cpp-ethereum. Open a command prompt, find a directory, and then type the command:
Git Clone https://github.com/ethereum/cpp-ethereum
Switch to cpp-ethereum’s “develop branch”. Simply type “cd” in the /cpp-ethereum directory that was created from the above command line. Then you will enter:
Git Checkout Development
Now you cd into the /cpp-ethereum/extdep directory and enter:
You will begin a download. Go grab a glass of water or something. Once complete, cd back to /cpp-ethereum and run:
cmake -DETHASHCL=1 -G “ENTER YOUR VERSION OF VISUAL STUDIO HERE”
Now open Visual Studio. Go ahead and find the ethereum.sln file in the /cpp-ethereum directory and open it. This might take some time while Visual Studio does a little organization. Once you’ve finished your glass of water, you can go and get another... or grab a snack. We don’t care. We’re not your boss!
Once Visual Studio has done everything it needs to do, you will see projects listed on the right-hand side. Go ahead and find “ethminer,” right-click it, and select “build.” You’re now building from source. If you have done this before then it’s just another day in the office. If this is your first time building from source you might feel like the smartest person in the world.
You may see some errors during this process but don’t worry; as long as you end with “Build project succeeded” then you’re good to go. In your command prompt from above, cd into /cpp-ethereum/ethminer/Debug. Now you will see a file called “libcurld.dll” which you will want to copy.
Next, paste it into the same directory but remove the “d” from the end of “libcurld.” Now you should be able to run Ethminer.exe from the debug folder. However, you’re not quite ready to go just yet. You need Geth to get completely up and running. Geth is the program that communicates with the Ethereum Network. Without Geth, your mining rig is just a nice piece of hardware that can’t do any actual mining.
First of all, you need to download the latest version of Geth. Then, unzip the Geth file (right click, select unpack) and save it to somewhere on your hard drive.
Now, Start A Command Prompt And Type:
Now you’re going to create a new account with Geth. Simply enter:
geth account new
Once you hit enter on that command line you will be asked to enter a password. Choose your password and confirm it when prompted. Now you’re ready to connect to the Ethereum network! Enter:
geth - - rpc
This will start the process of downloading the Ethereum blockchain. If your firewall throws a fit, just tell it to “allow access” in order for the process to continue. Now that you’re synchronized with the rest of the Ethereum network, you’re ready to start using Ethminer!
Now that you have installed Ethminer and connected to the Ethereum network using Geth, the real work begins. Well, your graphics cards will be doing the heavy lifting. Still, you have a few steps left before you can start raking in the Ethereum.
Just like you have done above, you will want to open another command prompt. Again, type:
Hit enter so that you’re looking at your C:/ drive and not your user file. Now enter:
cd “Program Files”
Now we are looking at your program files where Ethminer should be installed. You will enter:
cd “Ethereum (++) [VERSION]
If you’re unsure of what version of Ethminer you installed, a handy tip would be to hit TAB when you enter the first few letters of “Ethereum.” This will automatically fill the line with the program you need. For example:
cd eth TAB
will turn into:
cd “Ethereum (++) [VERSION]
There’s more than one way to get the job done. Hit enter once you have filled the command line and you are now in the directory for that program. Now you want to enter:
Now you’re ready to start mining! If you’re GPU mining, which is the most effective way to mine, then you will enter:
Ethminer – G
You will begin building a DAG file. This takes a few minutes so be patient. You’re so close to actually mining Ethereum! Everything should be good to go from there. However, you may run into issues like insufficient memory. This likely means your graphics card cannot support the Ethereum mining process.
Pressing Ctrl + C will end the process and you can try again if you wish. If this error comes up then you will want to purchase a new graphics card that can handle mining. In the meantime, you can do CPU mining to scratch your Ethereum itch. CPU mining is not nearly as effective as GPU mining but it does give you a look at what the process is like. All you have to do is enter:
Again, a DAG file will need to be created. Once that is done you’re mining Ethereum!
All of the above seems like a lot of work. The process is really not as complicated as it looks once you get down to work. If you are unfamiliar with command prompts then the task can feel a little bit daunting but, if you follow the steps closely, you should be able to get up and mining pretty quickly. The biggest challenge is ensuring you have the proper hardware to begin mining before you set out to do all of this work. Of course, there are plenty of resources for you to consult if you run into any troubles along the way.