Here are a couple of solutions I have used. Please keep in mind that these solutions are the result of many restrictions (I'm in a completely different state than the PCs) and also limited remote access... If you have physical access, I would highly suggest a bootable CD/thumbie. If you want a limited Windows environment you can check out Windows PE. Revisor images from Redhat are easy to create and it produces USB images with little effort.
I was more thinking about booting the mining machines from our SAN via ISCSI using Windows 2008 R2 Web edition in a version that fully hooks into our management systems
If you have a copy of Visual Studio Express, you can easily make a service that will constantly restart a miner. Services in XP run "headless" and as SYSTEM.
Will do that... using my cope of Visual Studio Ultimate
If you're using XP machines (or add the optional software in Vista/7) for a telnet server (ya - telnet sucks. It's quick and dirty - feel free to go set up ssh) and you use start.exe you can set affinity (in Vista and above) and priority (all versions) for a miner from a command line session.
Hm, remote Powershell should achieve the same thing then. I will give that a try, too
I can remote launch poclbm from telnet and it has no issues recognizing GPUs.
Another option is a scheduled task - these can run as any user you choose and be interactive (have a desktop) or non-interactive (no window).
NOW it gets interesting. I thought that was abandoned post XP for security reasons, at leasst for services. Interactive scheduled tasks could be nice. Would they also be visible on a remote desktop session?
If your desktops are set to auto-logon (most home versions of Windows are) you could simply throw something in the Startup folder and be done with it. There are also registry keys that will automatically launch processes, but no need to over-complicate.
Would violate company security policies. Our network is quite protected and well watched
I would hate someone getting access to the computers that have the authority to directly issue buy and sell orders on the CME
Bitcoin mining will or would not be the only financial games going on there
Finally, someone mentioned PXE boots. I'd love to try this, but don't have the infrastructure requirements.
My idea was to try around with full windows servers discless booting from a central ISCSI SAN
PXE is not persistent enough, and I want to actually get this to the same uptime control standards I put into the trading computers
Especially as the cluster may be dual purposed to do volatility analysis on some financial markets.