This follows on from Part 3 of my dummies guide on how to build a 6 GPU Mining rig. Part 4 covers Windows 10 installation and settings. If you have got this far you should now be ready to boot up your GPU mining for the first time!
Check CPU temperature
As soon as the PC starts to boot up you need to hold down DEL key to enter bios. You should navigate to the temperature, or monitoring page a check your CPU temps. Your CPU temperature should be between 30 to 40 degrees C (86 to 104F).
If it’s a lot higher than this you may have an issue with your cooling. You should check the fan on the CPU is firing up properly and if that’s working fine, then you may have to remove the heat sink and re apply your thermal paste.
Whilst you are in bios we are going adjust the power options to force the mining rig to automatically boot up after a power cut. This will allow you to set your rig up in Windows to restart mining automatically.
There should be a power settings menu in BIOS and an option such as “AC Power Recovery” which you need to switch on. Assuming all is well you can now save and exit BIOS.
Boot from USB
We can now proceed to install Windows (or your operating system of choice).
If you are following my guide you should have purchased a bootable copy of Windows 10 professional 64 bit on a USB stick. You need to insert the USB stick into your mining rig and boot up your machine. Depending on the board/BIOS it may automatically boot from USB and begin the Windows 10 Installation.
If your PC doesn’t start this automatically you need to restart and press F12 as your mining rig boots. This should bring up a list of boot options and you can select “boot from USB”.
Finally if this doesn’t work go back into BIOS and navigate to the “boot order list”. Move “boot from USB” to the top. Save and exit and it should then boot from USB.
Install Windows 10
Now you can just follow through all the Windows setup prompts until Windows 10 is installed. If you are using a wired internet connection you can plug your network cable in once prompted. For wireless USB dongles, you can connect this too, but you may have to wait to get into windows before it configures correctly.
If for any reason Windows can’t find the drivers automatically for your wireless usb, you will need to download the drivers on a separate machine and copy them onto your mining rig to install. Once you are connected to the net you can get everything else you will need online.
Now run the windows update and install all Windows 10 updates. This may take some time and require multiple restarts.
There a few features in Windows that can really mess with your mining. Windows updates and power saving settings are two common ones. We therefore need to tweek a few settings before you can start mining.
- First disable Windows Update by following this guide: Disable Windows 10 Update.
- Configure automatic login by right clicking on the Start Menu and select Run. Type netplwiz. Remove the box that says “Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer”. Click apply, enter your password and save.
- Turn off sleep mode by right clicking Start Menu, select Control Panel and hit enter. Now navigate to System & Security > Power Options. Click on change plan settings. Check “Put the computer to sleep” to never. Save and exit.
Mining rigs require significantly more virtual memory than Windows allocates by default. We therefore need to increase our mining rigs virtual memory. As a rule of thumb I set the minimum virtual memory for all 6 card gpu mining rigs to 16GB and the maxium to your GPU total memory. In this case I have 6 x 8gb card and therefore allocate a maximum of 48GB.
To adjust the virtual memory you need to:-
- Right click Start Menu and select System.
- Click on System Info (top right).
- Click on Advanced System Setting (left hand side)
- Under the advanced tab click on Performance Setting and then select the advanced tab again.
- Select Change and untick the box “automatically manage pagefile size”.
- Type 16,000 in the first box and 48,000 in the second.
- Select Set, OK and then exit.
That’s your virtual memory sorted!
Next up you need to install a couple of drivers.
First of all your motherboard drivers can be installed which you should be able to download from the manufacturer’s site. If you are following this guide and have purchased a Gigabyte GA-H110-D3A then you can download them here:
Now you need to install your graphics card drivers. As the rig I am building is for an AMD RX580 card, I’m going to use the AMD blockchain drivers, which are specifically designed for mining.
The drivers you want to download and install can be found here:-
Your Motherboard and GPU drivers are really the only essential drivers for a mining rig.
That’s it for your GPU Mining Windows setup. In Part 5 we will look at getting you GPU rig to mine your first coins!