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Author Topic: CraPE v0.3 beta - Boot from USB - Win8 PE Based Mining OS  (Read 37090 times)
crazyates
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July 01, 2013, 07:33:32 AM
 #1

Version 0.3 is uploaded! Download the newest version: HERE.

I've recently been working on a project to package a Windows PE based OS that's designed for mining. I'm calling it CraPE (CRazyates Automated PE).  This could be seen as a updated, Windows based BAMT replacement, or an x86 alternative to MinePeon, although I do have the utmost respect for both projects. It's an adapted version of this ISO, which was based off the original WIN8PESE project, so huge thanks to both of those sites.


Installation and Requirements:
  • Required: any computer that can boot from USB with at least 1GB of RAM
  • Download the image. v0.3 is found HERE.
  • Your USB stick must be at least 512MB. Burn the .ISO to your USB stick using ISOtoUSB. NOTE: after you burn the iso to the USB drive, the resulting Drive Label MUST be named "WIN8PESE".
  • After you flash the ISO to your USB, you should be able to browse the USB drive to the "Mining" folder Inside, there are a few config files you need to edit:.
    • Cgminer-btc.conf needs to be edited with your Bitcoin pool settings and any USB device settings. This will only come into play if you have any USB mining devices plugged in.
    • Cgminer-ltc.conf needs to be edited with your Litecoin pool settings, as well as any GPU settings. This will only work if you have any AMD GPUs installed.
    • OPTIONAL: PENetwork.ini can be used for setting a static IP. Change "ProfileDefault=Dynamic IP address" to "ProfileDefault=Static IP address" and add your IP settings to the [Static IP address] subsection. Pretty simple.
  • Once you're all set, plug your USB stick in, and boot from it. It will start mining automatically.

Please PLEASE give me some feedback: what works for you? What doesn't? Anything I can improve on? And as a final disclaimer: This comes with no warranty whatsoever. I cannot guarantee this will work, and even if it does, I cannot guarantee it won't blow your computer up. It really shouldn't, however, and if that's the case, please consider donating to the addy in my sig for the hours I've spent on this already. Thanks!

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crazyates
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July 01, 2013, 07:44:04 AM
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Advantages?
  • Fits on a USB drive as small as 512MB.
  • Should be able to boot from any computer that supports USB booting
  • Compared to most Linux based Mining Distros, can be used to undervolt GPUs.
  • Can easily update miner/watchdog without wiping the drive.
  • Starts netowrking, watchdog, and miner directly on login.

What's Included?
  • Windows 8 PE x86 based OS
  • AMD 12.8 drivers and OpenCL Runtime
  • CGMiner 3.4.0
  • Akbash 1.0.10 watchdog
  • MSI AB 2.3.1 - overclock, underclock, undervolt
  • GPU-z 0.7.2 real-time sensor monitoring
  • Sapphire TRIXX
  • ATIWINFLASH
  • Win8 comes with good amount of NIC drivers, and I added a bunch of WLAN drivers.
  • Zadig, in case there are driver issues. More on this later.
  • FirefoxPortable
  • Several other smaller utilities and a few other minor conveniences

What Works?
  • It boots? Tongue
  • Automatically scans devices, and installs all drivers, including GPUs.
  • Networking starts up automatically. Wired connections connect automatically; wireless requires some user interaction, but it's very painless
  • Akbash starts up upon login, and is pre-configured to work with CGMiner for LTC mining.
  • Runs a 2nd instance of CGMiner, for BTC on USB devices.
  • MSI AB will give you and error when you open it, but it works just fine to overclock, underclock memory, and even undervolt (on unlocked cards).
  • GPU-z can also read and graph all GPU settings and sensors

What Doesn't Work?
  • A wired connection is recommended. Wifi networks do work, but they do not reconnect upon rebooting at this time.
  • The only ASICs that are working ATM are BFL Jalapenos, Little Singles, Singles, and USB Block Erupters. If your hardware is not on the list, PM me to get it included in the next version.
  • Remote Monitoring and Management both work through the CGMiner API. RDP or similar functionality is not working at this time.
  • Security: PeerBlock is a malicious IP blocker, and will always stay up to date. Windows Firewall is enabled, but it's technically turned off by default. Going into the Control Panel -> System and Security -> Windows Firewall turns it on with no issues.

Tips? 1crazy8pMqgwJ7tX7ZPZmyPwFbc6xZKM9
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lbr
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July 01, 2013, 07:55:27 AM
 #3

x86? ; (

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July 01, 2013, 07:59:11 AM
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i like,

Wasted yesterday my Time by trying to boot win8 dev Preview 32/64 from a USB,
was a pain.
I used the Windows 7 USB DVD Download Tool, it's a lot easier than all the Commandline Steps, but it didn't work, will  try Today other Images and maybe the Step by Step Guide.
Also i found https://forum.litecoin.net/index.php?topic=2924.0


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Jazkal
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July 01, 2013, 11:52:36 AM
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x86? ; (
Exactly. This won't work well with Scrypt mining, which is RAM intensive, meaning ussually 4+ gigs, which is the limit of x86. With WinPE being loaded up in RAM, that leaves less for Scrypt mining.
crazyates
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July 01, 2013, 01:49:17 PM
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x86? ; (
Yes, x86.

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HellDiverUK
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July 01, 2013, 02:15:52 PM
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x86? ; (
Exactly. This won't work well with Scrypt mining, which is RAM intensive, meaning ussually 4+ gigs, which is the limit of x86. With WinPE being loaded up in RAM, that leaves less for Scrypt mining.

Only if you're using reaper.  cgminer doesn't use any more RAM doing scrypt than it does sha256.

reaper is the memory hog, not scrypt mining.

crazyates
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July 01, 2013, 03:38:04 PM
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x86? ; (
Exactly. This won't work well with Scrypt mining, which is RAM intensive, meaning ussually 4+ gigs, which is the limit of x86. With WinPE being loaded up in RAM, that leaves less for Scrypt mining.

Only if you're using reaper.  cgminer doesn't use any more RAM doing scrypt than it does sha256.

reaper is the memory hog, not scrypt mining.

Yes, scrypt works just fine on my 3GB Gigabyte 7970 GHz, but for right now you have to use tc8192.

For my system, Win says "Installed Memory (RAM): 8.00 GB (3.25 GB usable). Task Manager shows mem usage is under 1GB, with CGMiner only using ~60MB.

I've done some tweaking to get setx installed to get higher TC, which I can include in the next revision. Right now im testing it at TC21000. Thanks for the feedback!

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lbr
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July 01, 2013, 06:16:18 PM
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I'm more concerned that 32bit Windows won't be able to map 6 GPUs.
Though, I'll test it and get back with results.

Are there any limitations of x64 PE or x86 was chosen for not technical reasons?

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Leon D
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July 02, 2013, 01:03:18 AM
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Thanks crazyates, I'm going to try running my 2x7870 rig on it. 
crazyates
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July 02, 2013, 02:09:27 AM
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I'm more concerned that 32bit Windows won't be able to map 6 GPUs.

Are there any limitations of x64 PE or x86 was chosen for not technical reasons?
IIRC, Win PE 64-bit can't run 32-bit programs. Unlike a full desktop version of the 64-bit OS, which can sort of emulate 32 bit programs, only native 64 bit applications can be run in a PE environment.

Open source programs like CGMiner and Akbash could potentially be built for 64 bit windows, but programs like GPU-z and MSI AB and several other smaller utilities would be a giant PITA to find native 64 bit versions.

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July 02, 2013, 02:53:43 PM
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Very interesting.  Something to replace Ubuntu sticks.

FYI, akbash uses "wdog-listen-ip" defined in its config file to bind its HTTP web interface. "wdog-listen-ip" can be an IP or a hostname.
So with DHCP, you would have to use a hostname.  gethostbyname() is used to convert "wdog-listen-ip"  to struct hostent.
Whatever "hostname" command returns is fine.
Leon D
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July 02, 2013, 07:50:44 PM
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Just got this up and running on my rig.  I may not have edited cgminer.conf or akbash.conf correctly, because cgminer crashes about 2-5 minutes into mining and doesn't restart by itself (without me having to enter pool info).  Any tips are greatly appreciated as I am not familiar with akbash at all and am still a novice with cgminer.  This is revolutionary though, I really appreciate all the effort you put into this.
crazyates
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July 02, 2013, 08:12:26 PM
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Just got this up and running on my rig.  I may not have edited cgminer.conf or akbash.conf correctly, because cgminer crashes about 2-5 minutes into mining and doesn't restart by itself (without me having to enter pool info).  Any tips are greatly appreciated as I am not familiar with akbash at all and am still a novice with cgminer.  This is revolutionary though, I really appreciate all the effort you put into this.
You really shouldn't have to edit akbash.conf, unless you're getting errors. I ran into an issue testing LTC where the 600KH/s was below the 100MH/s min Akbash was wanting my GPU to run at, so it restarted CGMiner every minute or so until it wanted to restart the computer.

Make sure your GPU isn't overheating. Both CGMiner and MSI AB can adjust your GPU clocks, but neither do so on startup. You can edit the cgminer conf to do this, however.

And lastly, you can try relaunching Akbash from the PortableApps menu running in the taskbar. If possible, please let me know what warning messages either CGMiner or Akbash are giving.

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Leon D
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July 02, 2013, 09:35:45 PM
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Cgminer is showing a: Fatal JSON error in configuration file. Configuration file could not be used. 

I tried it again, this time setting GPUs up manually in cgminer, but the problem seems to be the same.

Did I screw up the cgminer.conf when I was editing? All I did was remove your pool info and sub mine. 
crazyates
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July 02, 2013, 10:25:59 PM
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Quote
Cgminer is showing a: Fatal JSON error in configuration file. Configuration file could not be used.  
Ya that's a problem with your cgminer config file. I'm guessing you either forgot to get rid of a comma between the pools, or forgot to add a comma somewhere if you added setting. Can you post it here? Or to pastebin and post the link here?

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lbr
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July 03, 2013, 01:44:11 AM
 #17

I'm more concerned that 32bit Windows won't be able to map 6 GPUs.

Are there any limitations of x64 PE or x86 was chosen for not technical reasons?
IIRC, Win PE 64-bit can't run 32-bit programs. Unlike a full desktop version of the 64-bit OS, which can sort of emulate 32 bit programs, only native 64 bit applications can be run in a PE environment.

Open source programs like CGMiner and Akbash could potentially be built for 64 bit windows, but programs like GPU-z and MSI AB and several other smaller utilities would be a giant PITA to find native 64 bit versions.

Oh, I see.. that's a shame..
I've did a quick search and it seems it is possible to include 32bit support, but judging from my experience with WinBuilder it will be a major pain.

Thanks for your efforts btw ; )

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Leon D
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July 03, 2013, 10:56:01 PM
 #18

http://pastebin.com/CRhnTyP7

af_newbie
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July 04, 2013, 02:15:32 AM
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This file loads ok in my environment (using cgminer 3.1.0).  I submitted few shares to your account...

You should probably remove

"lookup-gap" : "0,0",
"thread-concurrency" : "0,0",
"shaders" : "0,0",

as they apply to scrypt mining.  If you are using the same parameter value for both cards, you can specify one value that will apply to both cards.

Use either gpu-memdiff or gpu-memclock not both.
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July 08, 2013, 06:45:13 AM
 #20

where is the download link ??

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