Bitcoin Mining on Windows – MultiMiner

MultiMiner Icon
For the past eight months, I have been more than a little interested — and involved — in Bitcoin and Litecoin mining on Mac OS X. I have authored many how-to articles for Bitcoin and Litecoin mining. I also maintain several repositories for running popular mining software, cgminer and bfgminer, on OS X. I work closely with the authors of both projects ensuring that new builds are up-to-date and functional on OS X.

But I’ve been up to more than that in the world of crypto-currency. The truth is, if you want to do scrypt mining (the algorithm using by Litecoin) then you do not want to use a Mac. They may be okay to try this sort of thing out (and are fine for ASIC mining Bitcoins), but scrypt mining is very hard on a GPU and things get very hot very fast. Not only are you likely to damage your hardware, but you will never get the sort of hashing performance you get out of a purpose-built machine. The best way to go about things is to build an open-air Windows or Linux “rig” – which, being a geek, is exactly what I did:

Deepcore

To clear up the obvious questions:

  • Yes, it is almost more desk parts and zip ties than computer
  • Yes that is a dish rack and yes it does make things go faster
  • Yes, it is loud enough to be relegated to the storage room
  • Yes, I did name it Deepcore after the mining rig in The Abyss

It was a lot of fun to build. You can read about how to build them on sites such as coinminingrigs.com. But I quickly grew tired of using batch files to control the various mining devices in the mining rig I had created. And the more devices I added, and more coins I started to investigate, the more tedious it got.

What is MultiMiner?

The tagline for MultiMiner is “Your coins. Your pools. Your way.” MultiMiner was designed from the start with a very specific purpose in mind: to make it simple to use every mining capable device on a PC to mine any coin on any mining pool, and in any combination. No existing utility at the time (and to this day that I know of) made it simple to view all of the devices on a machine and then choose what coins to mine with them, mixing and matching as you please.

Work on MultiMiner began in June of 2013 and has evolved since then:

MultiMiner v1

MultiMiner Version 1.0

MultiMiner v2

MultiMiner Version 2.0

Over time, development has shifted from focusing solely on flexibility and control to including ease-of-use and integration in the design goals.

Let’s check out what MultiMiner looks like to the new Bitcoin miner on Windows.

Driver Installation

Depending on the mining devices you plan on using you will need one or more of the following drivers installed:

There are several things to note here:

  1. The BF1.INF file for the Red & Blue Fury sticks is currently unsigned. The newer your version of Windows (up to 8.1), the harder it will be to install. I have been assured it is just a standard USB device driver (it contains no DLL or DRV). But you will have to take specific steps depending on your version of Windows to get the driver installed (Google helps here).
  2. The HashBuster Micro “driver” is actual a utility called Zadig that registers the standard WinUSB driver for a selected device. By running the utility you can select your HashBuster Micro device and register the driver with a click.
  3. From what I understand, the older AMD drivers work better for scrypt mining. Ultimately you want to use something like Catalyst 12.8, but this may or may not be reasonable depending on whether your mining rig is dedicated.

Miner Installation

You can download the latest version of MultiMiner from releases.multiminerapp.com. For the adventurous (and my coding colleagues) you can also download the source from source.multiminerapp.com and compile it yourself in the free Visual Studio 2013 Express for Desktop. You can use either the standard Windows installer (created with the wonderful Inno Setup) or just download and extract the zip file.

MultiMiner Installer

From there you can launch either the Desktop shortcut or executable file directly.

Getting Started

Initially MultiMiner was created to allow the user maximum control over each individual mining device. Focus on the new user began with version 1.1 which introduced — among other things — a Getting Started wizard:

Getting Started

The wizard walks the user through downloading dependencies such as bfgminer, choosing a virtual currency, setting up a mining pool, and enabling special features such as smart phone monitoring (utilizing the MobileMiner API) and exchange rate integration (utilizing the Coinbase API).

Downloading and Installing Bfgminer

The wizard was designed to help the new miner get up-and-going but is totally optional. All of the options within the Getting Started wizard can be accessed using the toolbar and context menus within the main application.

Hardware Detection

MultiMiner uses the underlying mining engine (bfgminer) to detect available mining devices and then presents an interface for selecting individual coins to mine.

Brief View

You can use the Scan Hardware context menu (when not mining) to detect any newly available mining hardware and the context menu for each individual mining device to select a configured coin.

Mining

MultiMiner has two primary modes of mining. You can right-click on each device and use its context menu to assign a coin (multi-select works as well). Or you can enable “Automatic mining” based on profitability data from either the CoinChoose API or the CoinWarz API.

Configure Strategies

The mining strategies also let you to automate setups where slower PCs will automatically mine the lowest difficulty coin any any given time, or mine based on straight price versus profitability.

Open Source

MultiMiner is an Open Source C# project released under the permissive MIT license. The source code is broken into individual assemblies that are documented in the README.md on GitHub. There is also a sample project available on GitHub that illustrates how to use the assemblies and classes to mine Bitcoins.

Conclusion

There is definitely more in store for MultiMiner. The application already runs well on OS X and Linux using Mono, but I plan on creating native UIs for those platforms in Qt rather than using the current WinForms UI (which will remain for Windows).

MultiMiner Linux

There are also plans on splitting the core application into a CLI / service application and then a UI front-end.

Finally, I plan on making MultiMiner intranet-aware, allowing a single instance to detect and control other running instances on the local network (you can currently use MobileMiner to achieve a similar setup).

If you have any feedback or issues please use the forums at talk.multiminerapp.com as this will give others a chance to help as well.

As always: happy mining!

23 thoughts on “Bitcoin Mining on Windows – MultiMiner

  1. Chris at bitcoin mining hardware

    Thanks for the picture, shows that you don’t need something to be clean room ready to produce results. For a newbie would you suggest they try set up a rig as you have done or to go straight to cloud mining to avoid the headaches and hurdles?

    Thanks.

    Reply
    1. nwoolls Post author

      Definitely no clean room needed. Most setups I’ve seen are in basements, storage rooms, underground, some are literally in carved out stone rooms. Just keep the dust out (I keep an air purifier going). These things are loud and hot. You need to keep them cool and away from ears.

      Unfortunately I cannot advise on your other question. Making a rig is a lot of fun, but I did it for fun. I don’t have any experience in cloud hashing myself. The rig I made has paid itself off, but I also would have had more BTC if I had just purchased them outright at the time. But that’s less fun!

      Reply
  2. Paul

    Well the app is awesome, fact!
    Couldn’t you please give us the option to put an older version of cgminer back in there manually?
    I ask because bfgminer doesn’t seem to work as well on scrypt as cgminer speed wise, plus it continually crashes my system after 2 or 3 hours whereas cgminer runs for days and weeks.
    Thanks and keep up the great work

    Reply
  3. Xavier

    Nate – thanks for the great software. I’ve been using Multiminer with my rigs for a few months. Great work here.

    Since I am not such a fan of Visual Studio, I decided to embark on trancoding MultiMiner to Qt a few weeks ago. I am curious if you are willing to share your Qt conversion? I can certainly help test and code any sections here.

    Xav

    Reply
  4. chloe

    great app, the ‘opencl’ driver is giving me very poor hashrate of just 15k with my single 7970, guiminer gives me 550 Mh. Using latest amd drivers.

    Any idea why its so low ?

    Reply
  5. Kees

    Hi, Nate.

    Your multiminer program got me started with bitcoin mining. Thank you !

    I just bought a Antminer U1. Multiminer does not recognize it. Do I have install a separate driver?

    Reply
    1. nwoolls Post author

      It requires both the Silicon Labs driver (same as the Erupters) and a version of bfgminer with AntMiner U1 support (3.10 will have that).

      Reply
  6. kungfoo

    I just bought 3 Antminer’s U1′s and an USB hub and some fans. Going to turn a cigar box into my own little deep core. :-)
    Just wanted to say thank you and will be send you some alt coin soon as a thanks!

    Really quick I’ll be running these U1′s off of a 2008 Mac Pro. I have a PCIe USB3.0 / SATAe COMBO card installed….should I use that or just the stock USB 2.0 drives the Mac Pro already has? If I can get to 6GHZ (over-clocked), I think that would be awesome. Since I’m new to this… what’s your favorite script alt coin this week? I really like the idea behind TAG for a long term mine and hold strategy, but DOGE and even LKY seem to be doing well lately too.

    Reply
  7. kungfoo

    last little question…. with the USB hub, will be OK to run 2 or 3 hard drives off of it at the same time I’m running the U1′s, or do I need to keep that buss tree pure?

    Reply
  8. Hec

    Hi Nate. Can I please get some assistance with Multiminer?
    I’m using this for bitcoin mining & that’s all going well.
    But I’ve been trying to use it for Litecoin mining as well.
    What do I need to setup in Multiminer, using v2.5.6 to get it to work with Litecoin mining?
    I’m using stratum+tcp://lite.wemineltc.com:3333, the workername.1, (which is all setup on the https://www.wemineltc.com website & Multiminer is just telling me Accepted: 0, Errors: 359. I’ve had it running for well over 12hours & I just noticed this condition. I wasn’t paying it attention & I just gave it my full attention. Do I have to add some sort of string in the configurations “SCYRPT” field? Thanks for the assist.
    PS: I’m a donator.

    Hec. / suzukii

    Reply
  9. Joshua Miles

    Hey Nate. Awesome Multiminer software this is. Thanks for your effort. I’ve a question. When I try to run my BFL 11 GH/s Jalapeno with my Block Erupter Cube there seems to be some conflict. The Cube is running stratum and the Jally USB, but when I run them both with the same coin + pool (with different user “user.x”) I get some serious error rates on the Cube. Like it goes from a normal single digit up to a 20%+ error rate on the cube?

    Anythoughts?

    You rock.

    Reply
  10. Chris

    Hi Nate,
    first of all i really would like to thank you for your work but i got a little question, how do i monitor my headless rig?
    I setup Multiminer on the headless rig and it works fine so far. But when i start Multiminer on my normal PC it doesnt shows up the headless rig. I’m not a Pro at Network things so i have no idea what to do, could you please help me?

    Greeting,
    Chris

    Reply
  11. Paul

    Hi Nate,
    Just like everyone else I will start by saying than you for your hard word on such a great piece of software.
    My question is, is there a way of using multiminer with my Antminer S1′s?
    Would be great to have the monitoring and control I had when I was running BFL SC’s

    Thanks
    Paul

    Reply
  12. Charles

    Hi, tried to install 2.8.3 Multiminer everything was going fine till the automatic bfgminer download kept failing. I googled for a fix and you had told someone to paste a copy of bfgminer to \MultiMiner\Miners\bfgminer so I did, then reloaded multiminer, it came up with a notification that bfgminer 3.10.0 was available and I had 3.5.6 installed. Tried clicking that link and it tried again to download and auto install bfgminer 3.10.0 this time, but again didn’t work, but did delete the version I had installed. So I pasted 3.5.6 back in and decided to just try and scan for hardware. Doesn’t see any devices. I am crash course all day self-taught on Bitcoin mining landing with your app, bfgminer in anycase and BitMinter as my first pool. Right now, it is seeing that I added BitMinter and I even chose a strategy of least hard Difficulty, but after multiple device scans it still sees no CPU, GPU at all. I have a BITMAIN ANTMINER U2 USB on the way, but nothing working with this yet. Please help???

    Your App sounds like a dream for all this and I really want the auto install of bfgminer to work for this too. I have computer experience since before DOS, LOL but am new to Bitcoin mining.

    I have a Toshiba laptop with a two core processor running Windows 8.1.

    Thanks and BTW I selected the donate to your work option as well at install.

    Reply
  13. Miles

    I have a Gridseed Asic and I cant get the multiminer to recognize the device, I see I might have to download a “Driver Installation”, but which one…and to let you know I already installed the STMicro driver and I’m on “COM3″

    Please help!

    Reply
    1. nwoolls Post author

      Please check the forum thread at http://thread.multiminerpp.com for more information on using GridSeed and DualMiner devices with MultiMiner. There has not been an official release of BFGMiner with support for these devices, but there are pre-releases you can try.

      Reply
  14. neutron

    I’ve been trying to get starting in miing. UGH.
    anyways this is the system I have:
    GRAPHICS CARD: MSI AMD RADEON R9 270X GAMING 4GB GDDR5
    MB: ASUS M5A99FX Pro R2.0 AMD 990FX ATX
    CPU: AMD FX-8320 EIGHT-CORE 3.5GHZ 16MB 125W AM3+CPU
    RAM: Kingston HyperX Blu 8GB DDR3 1600MHz CL10 (32GB TOTAL)
    Prior to the new graphics card i was getting a whopping 15khash lol. I’m seeing now 403Mhash/s which is much better. However looking at the cryst overdrive monitoring, I’m hardly using any if any GPU or CPU etc. the monitor is showing under 5% on everything. Does anyone have any idea on how to tweek this up and increase the Mhash or is this about limit i’ll see. I do see where it uses GPU much easier than CPU, I got far less Mhash using the 8 core CPU vs the Graphics card.

    Reply
  15. Michael Koon

    I’ve been using this software since a few days after release. I freaking L O V E it. Always have. I have requested features (or relayed my issues through AtomicChaos, from btc-e), and sure enough they were added within a revision or two. Mr. Woolls you rock!

    Now I have some more requests!

    1. In mobile app view and especially when selecting coins from either the app or multiminer itself, It would be awesome to see what type of coin algo the coin is. I have added so many that sometimes my slightly crispy mind forgets what coins are what. It would also be awesome to be able to change each device on the mobile app (or be able to change, and have a list for scrypt coins versus sha coins). I also tend to have problems with my list of coins being so big that it doesn’t show them all. Or an option in each coin profile for it show/not show up as a coin on the mobile miner app coin list.

    2. This might be a feature or a mod and I have missed it. While I do update whenever the popup appears, I have had so few problems with the app/software, that rarely do I need to go read up on it… But. It would be so awesome if I could also run other miners/algo through Multiminer. Like when it had CGminer and BFGminer and I could select one, but instead using SGminer, or the YAM miner, or hell even the option for me to add whatever miners I want to the miner folder, and then assign specific miners to a coin. The ability to mine/monitor x11, nscrypt, keccak etc,. would be phenomenal (and would make my damn coin/pool list even bigger!).

    3. Again there might be more about this out there and I just haven’t caught up… Gridseeds or dual miner asic support within the GUI end of multiminer! Is this possible at the moment? I have them running scrypt only, which really is fine, but it would be cool to have the option to select from the UI.

    I have probably another 50 or so ideas or features I could ramble off, but I figure this will keep you busy for now! Thanks so much for the awesome software!

    Reply
  16. Allen

    Hello, I bought a few Antminers s1′s and i’ve tried to set it up using Mulitminer (which is a great bit of software thank you) . When i run multiminer it picks up the network miners but i can not switch the coins, it only lets me monitor the antminers! I have stratum proxy enabled. and all network miners are pointed to 127.0.0.1:3333 is this correct?
    Please could you do a tutorial for beginners like me to do a complete network setup as i’ve spent the last 4 days looking around the internet and haven’t found anything helpful!
    Thank you.

    Reply
  17. suzukii

    Hi again Nate. Can I please get some assistance with Multiminer & Darkcoin’s setup?
    I’m attempting to use my R9 290X GPU for Darkcoin mining & can’t seem to get Multiminer 3.0.2 working with SGminer v4.0.0. which was downloaded by Multiminer.
    I was successfully mining both BitCoin & Litecoin for the past 6 months. So I know Multiminer works.
    What do I need to do with Multiminer’s v3.0.2′s setup to get it to work with Darkcoin mining on the http://www.drkpool.com site?
    Multiminer is just telling me Accepted: 0, Errors: 24,967 in under 3 seconds.
    I’ve had it running for well over 2 hours just using a batch file with SGminer in a CMD box under Windows 7 SP1.
    My batch file is as follows:
    sgminer.exe -k darkcoin -o stratum+tcp://drkpool.com:3333 -u workername.1 -p ZZZ -I 15 -w 256 -g 1 –thread-concurrency 30592.
    Do I have to add some sort of string in the configurations “SCYRPT” field? I’ve tried the same string in Multiminer under the “Configure Settings\Advance miner settings\Arguments for the Scrypt option.
    Also, since there was no selectable DarkCoin option in the Coins section I had added the DARKCOIN coin option in the Coins config section with Exchange symbol “DRK”, Algorithm “Scrypt”. Is this correct? Thanks for the assist.
    In settings under Configure Coins the Multiminer HOST is: stratum+tcp://drkpool.com:3333 (as per their website), Worker name: workername.1, (which has been pre-setup by me on the http://www.drkpool.com website.
    Help?
    PS: I’m a donator.

    Hec. / suzukii

    Reply

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