WinUNIGuide

Table of Contents

There are two kinds of CPU clients available, a Systray type and a Console type. The advantages of the Systray version are ease of installation and configuration, and a client icon on the task bar to control the client. The Console version runs in a command prompt window, and its main advantage is the ability to configure the client to run as a service. The advantage of the service is the client starts, runs, and stops with the computer, not with each user logon and off. The service install also removes the command prompt window from the task bar. Both client types work at the same speed.

Note: Under Windows, antivirus software can interfere with the Folding@home client files and cause errors. We suggest configuring antivirus software to exclude the FAH client directory and especially the Work directory from the antivirus scanning list. This can be done by going into the exclusion list panel that every antivirus should have. The work subdirectory contains semi-random binary data and can confuse overly aggressive heuristic virus scanning.

Installation (Systray version)

Please download the CPU Systray client installer file from the Download page. After the download is done, run the client installer by double clicking the downloaded file. (If the installer doesn’t start automatically, it may indicate the need to update the Windows Installer package to v3.1, available through Windows Automatic Updates.) The first window of the installer looks like this:

First screen of the installer.  Click Next.

Click on the Next button to continue to the License agreement window:

License Agreement screen. Read it. I agree. Next.

Please read the license, and click on the I Agree button if you agree. Then click on the Next button. There is no configuration to edit:

Confirmation screen. Click Next to install.

Click on the Next button to start the installation process. When the installer is done, this last window is displayed:

Installation Complete.  Click Close.

Click on the Close button to exit the installer.

During the installation process, the client installer created a new folder in the Windows Start menu. This new program folder is found under Start -> Programs -> Folding@Home-x86 as indicated here:

New F@h Start Menu items.

There are two shortcuts. The first shortcut is to run the FAH client program. The second shortcut is to open the data folder where the client stores work unit data, client configuration, and executable files. This second shortcut may be used for advanced client setup or maintenance. And as the shortcut indicates, is only recommended for those with expert knowledge of the client.

Start the client for the initial setup by clicking on the first link (Folding@home). A configuration window will appear the first time the client is run:

Configuration screen, User Tab

In this panel, if you want to fold under your own username, enter it here (type over the default Anonymous name). Also enter a team number if part of a FAH team. Contributing to the project anonymously and without a team is also acceptable. Enter the optional passkey associated with your fah username.(Read the Passkey FAQ page for more information). Click on the Connection tab at the top to get to the next panel:

Configuration screen, Connection Tab

The first check box prompts the client to ask before downloading or uploading a work unit. This is recommended when using a part-time connection like dialup and to control when to download/upload work units. You will need to configure the client if using a Proxy. (Ask the network administrator if more information is needed to configure a proxy.) The last check box sets the client to request larger work units (which have higher bandwidth and memory requirements) and may earn more points. Click on the Advanced tab to get to the next panel:

Configuration screen, Advanced Tab

These are the advanced settings for the client. The default settings are the recommended settings unless otherwise noted. If unsure about these settings, we recommend not changing the default settings. The default settings are suitable for the majority of users. Here is what each element does:

  • Core priority: When running multiple clients or have another program running continuously in the background, adjust (raise) the client priority to Slightly higher so the client gets the CPU cycles it needs. This is not the same as the Windows priority. Do not change the Windows priority for the fah client or fahcore.
  • CPU Usage Percent: By default, the client will use all spare processor cycles not used by other programs. Reducing the setting may help other programs run better, or reduce fan noise, but will also reduce the speed of the client and lower the points per day.
  • Disable highly optimized assembly code: If having problems running the client due to a processor incompatibility or any weird error, check this to disable the processor SSE optimizations. Doing this will cause the client to run much slower, but may not crash. A legacy setting typically used for older processors.
  • Checkpointing frequency : Increase or decrease the frequency of when the client writes data to the hard drive to save a starting point if the client is shut down. The default setting is the recommended setting.
  • Do NOT lock cores to specific CPU: Turning this one will allow the client to use any free CPU/core on a multicore processor. If left unchecked, it will only use one core regardless if others are free or not.
  • Core Network Address (Advanced): For future use, when the Viewer is finished.
  • Pause work while battery power is being used: This is useful for laptops to stop the client from running when the computer goes on to battery power, to avoid draining the battery.
  • Additional Client Parameters: Enter frequently used client flags like -verbosity 9 or -advmethods.
  • Machine ID: This is the client ID and it needs to be unique when running more than one client on the same computer. An example when running the Systray client and the GPU2 client at the same time. One client would be configured for Machine ID 1, and the other to Machine ID 2. Also very helpful when installing multiple CPU Systray clients.

When done, click OK. If any Additional Client Parameters were set during configuration, stop and restart the client to use the new settings. Right-click the tray icon, select quit. Then start the client again from the Start Menu. The client will now run in the background with a icon in the Taskbar. Hover the mouse curser over the FAH icon to check the current client status. To see more detail about how the client is progressing, view the log file generated by the client. Right-click on the client taskbar icon to see the available client options:

Systray icon options

Click on Status then on Log file to open a notepad window with the FAH log file contents. This is useful to check the client progress, or check if there are errors. If help is needed, copy the contents of this log file to the Support forum.

Note: The Viewer included with the Systray client is not yet working well for all video cards, and is a known bug. This is the Display option when right-clicking the FAH tray icon. The Pande Group is aware of this issue and is working to fix them. Sometimes the viewer works, sometimes not. And it always uses a lot of CPU power, and may slow down the folding client. If the viewer works, please use it sparingly. The viewer does not need to be open for the client to run.

Installation for a multi-CPU system (Systray version)

This Guide section describes how to install one or more additional copies of the CPU Systray client for use with multi-core processors. This section is based on the CPU Systray client installation, and assumes the first CPU Systray client is already installed and running well. If not, please follow the CPU Systray version install guide before continuing with this multi-client setup. It is much easier to make additional copies from a working client.

Note: If the CPU Systray client installer created a shortcut in the Windows startup folder during the original installation, please delete that shortcut now. The shortcut is usually found in Start -> Programs -> Startup

Next, open Windows Explorer and find the directory where the FAH Systray installer created a data folder under the current Windows user name. Below is the typical path to the data folder (operating system dependent):

XP/2003: C:Documents and Settings[username]Application Data
Vista/Win7: C:Users[username]AppDataRoaming

Note: This folder is usually hidden. Type the whole path in to the address bar, or enable the search option to view all files and folders.

After locating the directory, copy the folder called Folding@Home-x86 and paste it back into the same location. Rename the new copy by removing the Copy of and by adding a -2 after the directory name. Repeat the same steps again for each additional client to match each processor core. The second client directory should look like this:

users new FAH data folder

Note: Please delete the work folder and queue.dat file in the newly copied FAH client folder to prevent the new client from duplicating the work unit from the original client.

Go to the original FAH client installed in this C:Program FilesFolding@HomeFolding@Home-x86 folder. Find the FAH client executable and make a new shortcut (right-click on the Folding@home.exe icon and then select Create Shortcut). After creating the shortcut, move the shortcut to the desktop. Rename the shortcut with a convenient name like CPU1 as pictured:

new client shortcut

Do not create another shortcut yet because because additional changes are needed on the first shortcut. Right-click on the first shortcut then select Properties. A window similar to this will open (note this is actually the finished view):

new shortcut properties with all the needed changes

The Target: field should look like this:

“C:Program FilesFolding@homeFolding@home-x86Folding@home.exe”

However, the Start in: path needs to be updated. Change the Start in: path to point at the FAH client data folder. Use the OS specific example below (and replace [username] with your Windows user name):

XP/2003 : C:Documents and Settings[username]Application DataFolding@Home-x86
Vista/Win7: C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingFolding@Home-x86

Be sure to use quotes at the start and end of the Start in: path. The updated shortcut properties for the first client should look like this:

Target: “C:Program FilesFolding@homeFolding@home-x86Folding@home.exe”

Start in: “C:Documents and Settings[username]Application DataFolding@Home-x86″ (XP/2003) or
Start in: “C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingFolding@Home-x86″ (Vista/Win7)

Click on Ok to close the properties window.

Now that the shortcut for the first client has been created, it is time to make another shortcut for each additional client (one for each processor core).

Copy the first shortcut and paste as many copies as needed on the desktop to match the number of FAH folders created above. Rename each shortcut with a simple yet distinct names (to help identify which client) like CPU2, CPU3, etc. When done, right-click on each new shortcut and select Properties to edit the properties. This time, since most of the configuration is already done, all you need to do is to point the Start in: path to each data folder that you created. After you are done, you should have something like that :

Target: “C:Program FilesFolding@homeFolding@home-x86Folding@home.exe”

Start in: “C:Documents and Settings[username]Application DataFolding@Home-x86-2″ (XP/2003) or
Start in: “C:Users[username]AppDataRoamingFolding@Home-x86-2″ (Vista/Win7)

When you are done editing each shortcut, click on the first shortcut and configure your client as demonstrated in the Systray version installation guide above. The key things to make sure you do are :

On the Connection tab :

  • Click yes to accept WUs larger than 10 megabytes.

On the Advanced tab :

  • Check the Core Priority for Slightly Higher
  • Click do not lock cores to specific CPU
  • Make sure the Machine ID is different then any CPU or GPU client you have running. Note: default is 2.

Now hit accept and repeat the step above for each shortcut and make sure to pick a unique Machine ID for each client on that machine. When done, all that remains to do is double-click every shortcut to start the clients. Monitor them closely to make sure they run well.

Installation (Console version)

First, download the Console client from the FAH client Download page. If an automated program installer is preferred, the Systray client is recommended instead of the Console client. After downloading the package, unzip the package into any folder except the Program Files folder (due to potential permission issues). Suggested locations are:

XP/2003: C:Documents and Settings[username]FAH
Vista/Win7: C:Users[username]FAH

Other optional locations are in a folder on the desktop or in a custom folder like C:FAH. To make the next steps easier to follow, renaming the client executable to something shorter and easy to remember is suggested. Right-click on the executable file, select Rename and change to fah6.

Note: Depending on the file and folder display settings, the file extension may or may not be shown.

Rename Folding@home-Win32-x86 to fah6 or rename Folding@home-Win32-x86.exe to fah6.exe.

Renaming the client is not required.

The next step is to configure the client. Open a Command Prompt and change directory to the location where you unzipped the FAH client.

Note: To install the FAH client to run as a service (a bit later in the setup), the Windows XP user account running the setup must have Administrator privileges. In Windows Vista and newer, the Command Prompt used to setup the FAH client as a service must be opened with Run As Administrator privileges. Do this by clicking on the Start button. In the Search box, type command prompt. In the list of results, right-click Command Prompt, and then click Run as administrator. If prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, enter the password or provide confirmation. This would be a good time to change to a user account with Administrative rights, or to open a new command prompt using the Run As option.

Type this in the command prompt to begin (assuming you renamed the FAH executable to “fah6″ or “fah6.exe” depending on the file view settings as noted above):

 fah6 -configonly

The client will display some information and then prompt you for answers to configuration questions. Note that for most answers, the default setting is the recommended setting. Here is an example of what is displayed on screen, with an explanation of each option:

 Launch directory: C:FAH
 Executable: fah6
 Arguments: -configonly

 [16:25:22] Configuring Folding@Home...  

 User Name [Anonymous]?
Enter your FAH User Name (not the Windows user name). Or press enter to accept the default user name Anonymous. Almost everyone selects a personalized user name.
 Team Number [0]?
Enter your FAH Team #. Or press enter to accept the default Team # 0 and go to the next question. You can join a team at any time by configuring the client again and entering the new team number. This applies to all client settings.
 Passkey []?
Enter your passkey, or press enter to leave it blank and go to the next option. Use of a passkey is optional. You can find more information about Passkeys here.
 Ask before fetching/sending work (no/yes) [no]?
If you have a dialup internet connection, you may want to set this to yes. Then the client will prompt for your permission to upload / download work units. If you have a full time internet connection, just press enter to accept the default setting of no.
 Use proxy (yes/no) [no]?
If you are connected to a proxy, enter yes and configure the proxy options for proxy user name, password, address, etc. Or press enter to skip.
 Acceptable size of work assignment and work result packets (bigger units
 may have large memory demands) -- 'small' is <5MB, 'normal' is <10MB, and
 'big' is >10MB (small/normal/big) [normal]?
This option states a preference for the size of work units downloaded and uploaded to the project servers. Bigger units will also have bigger memory requirements. If you run on a slower broadband or dialup internet connection, small is the recommended setting to ease your bandwidth usage.
 Change advanced options (yes/no) [no]? yes
If you want to change the advanced options, enter yes. It is not mandatory.
 Core Priority (idle/low) [idle]?
This adjusts the FAH client priority level. This is similar to, but not the same as the Windows priority setting. In most cases, the default idle setting is recommended.

Note: For better performance when mixing CPU or SMP clients with GPU clients, raise the priority of the GPU clients by selecting the low priority setting. Do NOT change the Windows priority settings for the client or fahcore.
 CPU usage requested (5-100) [100]?
This will adjust the percentage of CPU usage. The FAH client only uses spare CPU cycles not used by other programs, so reducing this setting is not typically necessary. However, if you want to lower system temperatures, or reserve CPU cycles for more intensive computer tasks, enter a number below 100.
 Disable highly optimized assembly code (no/yes) [no]?
If you are having issues running the client, disable this. For 99.9% of the users, leave this at the default setting since this reduces the client performance a lot.
 Pause if battery power is being used (useful for laptops) (no/yes) [no]?
If you run a laptop, set this to yes to pause if the laptop is not plugged on the wall. This will avoid the client draining the battery.(if name WinSMP*:)In the SMP client, this setting may not behave as expected.(if name WinGPU*:)In the GPU client, this setting may not behave as expected.
 Interval, in minutes, between checkpoints (3-30) [15]?
Number of minutes between each checkpoint where the client is writing the client progress to disk in case of unexpected interruption. 15 is the recommended setting.
 Memory, in MB, to indicate (1013 available) [1013]?
Sets the amount of memory seen by the work servers. By default, it shows the full system memory amount. Note that reducing this setting does not reserve more memory for other programs. However, reducing this setting will prevent the client from downloading memory intensive work units. A setting too low may prevent the client from getting any new work. (if name WinSMP*:)In the SMP client, .5 GB per CPU core is the minimum, while 1 GB per core is recommended.
 Set -advmethods flag always, requesting new advanced
 scientific cores and/or work units if available (no/yes) [no]?
This is the same as using the -advmethods command line flag, except -advmethods will not appear on the arguments line in the fahlog. This option states a preference to request late stage beta work units, which may be less stable than regular work units. May cause work unit size and PPD to increase, decrease, or not change.
 Ignore any deadline information (mainly useful if
 system clock frequently has errors) (no/yes) [no]?
Only set this to yes if your local computer clock is having issues keeping the correct date and time.
 Machine ID (1-16) [1]?
This is the Machine Number of the client. If you are running more than one client under the same operating system, you need to have a different Machine ID for each client on that machine. If you are installing a single client on multiple computers, you do not need to change this since this is only for installing multiple clients on the same computer.
 Launch automatically, install as a service in this directory (yes/no) [no]?
If you want the client to run as a service, say yes and it will install a new entry in the services list. The next time you restart the computer, the service will start automatically and run in the background.

Note: The current Windows user account must have Administrator privileges to install FAH as a service. And rebooting the computer to start the client running as a service is required.
 The following options require you to restart the client before they take effect
 Disable CPU affinity lock (no/yes) [no]?
If you disable the affinity lock, the client will pick any free CPU core. Leave set to no if you want the client to be locked to a CPU core.
 Additional client parameters []?
You can enter the client flags here so you don’t have to type the flag each time you run the client. flag, especially when running as a service. Do NOT enter -config or -configonly or any single-use flag in this field to avoid problems.
 IP address to bind core to (for viewer) []?
For future use when the Viewer is working better. Specifies the IP address of the machine of which the viewer should display the client output.

When you press enter after the last question, the configuration will end and you will be back to the command prompt. You have successfully configured the client so the next step is to start the client. Here are 3 ways:

  • By clicking on the executable icon (this assumes you entered the proper flags during configuration).
  • By typing fah6 on the same command prompt window. Enter the necessary flags if you didn’t enter those during configuration.
  • Create a new shortcut to the FAH executable, and double click that shortcut icon (assuming you added all needed flags to the client setup).

Normally, if everything is done correctly, the client will be folding along fine. To verify the client is progressing, open the task manager and make sure there is a process called FahCore_xx.exe in the list. Or you can open the fahlog.txt file to see the client’s progress.

Installation for a multi-CPU system (Console version)

This Guide section describes how to install one or more additional copies of the CPU Console (Classic) client for use with multi-core processors. This section is based on the CPU Console client installation, and assumes the first CPU Console client is already installed and running well. If not, please follow the CPU Console version install guide before continuing with this multi-client setup. It is much easier to make additional copies from a working client.

Open Windows Explorer and find the directory where the first Console client was installed. These are typical locations, but may vary:

XP/2003: C:Documents and Settings[username]FAH
Vista/Win7: C:Users[username]FAH

After locating the directory, copy the FAH folder (contains the client executable) and paste it back into the same location. Rename the new copy by removing the Copy of and by adding a -2 after the directory name. Repeat the same steps again for each additional client (one for each processor core). The second client directory should look like this:

XP/2003: C:Documents and Settings[username]FAH-2
Vista/Win7: C:Users[username]FAH-2

Note: Please delete the work folder and queue.dat file in the newly copied FAH-x client folder to prevent the new client from duplicating the work unit from the original client folder.

Open the original FAH client folder again. Find the FAH client executable and make a new shortcut (right-click on the Folding@home.exe icon and then select Create Shortcut). After creating the shortcut, move the shortcut to the desktop. Rename the shortcut with a convenient name like CPU1 as pictured:

new client shortcut

Now that the shortcut for the first client has been created, it is time to make another shortcut for each additional client. Open the second client folder (FAH-2). Find the client executable and make a new shortcut (right-click on the Folding@home.exe icon and then select Create Shortcut). After creating the shortcut, move the shortcut to the desktop. Rename the shortcut as CPU2 and continue making shortcuts for each FAH-x client location.

When done creating each shortcut, click on the second client shortcut (the first client should already be configured during the original install above) and configure the client as demonstrated in the Console version installation guide above. The key option to set correctly for multiple clients is:

 Machine ID (1-16) [2]?
This is the Machine number of the client. When running more than one client under the same operating system, the client needs to have a different Machine ID for each FAH folder. FAH-2 set to Machine ID 2, FAH-3 = 3, etc.

Repeat the setup above for each shortcut and make sure to pick a unique Machine ID for each client on that machine. When done, all that remains to do is double-click every shortcut to start all the clients. Monitor them closely to make sure they run well.

Uninstall (Console version)

If the client is running as a service it is best to uninstall the service first. Stop the service and reconfigure the client (-configonly flag) to run interactively as a console, then uninstall the client.

  • Start the client, adding the -oneunit flag
  • Finish the current work unit
  • Remove or rename any shortcuts that start the client
  • Delete the entire folder containing the FAH client.

Repeat the process if multiple clients are installed.

Uninstall (Systray version)

  • Right-click on the tray icon and select Pause When Done
  • Wait for the current workunit to finish (yellow slash through icon)
  • Right-click the tray icon and select quit
  • Remove the data files
    • Select Start/All Programs/Folding@home/Folding@home data files – expert only
    • Delete all of the data files and folders
  • Remove the client
    • Open Windows Explorer and browse to the Program Files folder
    • Delete the Folding@home folder
  • Remove the client shortcut
    • Select Start/All Programs and then right-click on the Folding@home folder
    • Select Delete

Repeat the process if multiple clients are installed.

Install Guide Updates

I found a better way to install the CPU client, where can I make a suggestion?

The install guides are written and updated by the folding community, and managed by the Pande Group. Please post any suggestions, corrections, or update recommendations to the corresponding Guides topic in the Folding Forum. And thank you for helping to improve the install guides.

 

For More Information, Please See:

Last Updated on February 10, 2011, at 04:01 PM

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