Mining crypto can be fun, frustrating, rewarding and risky however a little planning can reduce the risk and frustration significantly. Unless you have the time and skill to write your own mining software, the majority of people will download third party software to mine using their CPU, GPU, ASICs and a myriad of variations.
Experienced miners usually segregate their mining hardware and software from their computers which contain valuable documents image and/or other software. It makes sense to do so from a risk perspective as mining software comes in a variety of open source and propriety formats.
As with any industry where money is involved there are some people who’ll try to exploit a large user base with viruses, botnets and malware. If you don’t have a the money to separate your mining activities from your core computers, a number of people have setup virtual machines to provide a barrier between the core operating system and the mining setup.
Whilst you significantly reduce the risk with a virtual machine, you still need to be diligent about sharing any files between your core operating system and the virtual machine. Having said that what are the features that make a virtual machine attractive ?
- Virtual machines (VMs) can still support CPU mining if they are configured correctly – PeerHash will work in a 64bit Windows OS virtual machine.
- VMs are portable, you can move them to another computer relatively easily
- They provide a method to sandbox your mining software and test appropriately
- You can also create a VM for your wallets if you wish
- VM software is available in low cost or no cost versions
In this post we’ll create a virtual machine using Virtual Box, Windows 10 64bit and PeerHash. Skill level is intermediate Windows however if you’re unsure you should enlist support from a friend who has the expertise. Here’s the step by step:
Active internet connection with reasonable speed (greater than 500kb/s), at least 30 Gigabytes free, 64bit Windows 10 O/S installed
- Download the latest VirtualBox for Windows link: https://www.virtualbox.org/wiki/Downloads
- Download the latest Windows 10, 64bit ISO (use the media creation tool and download the 64bit ISO) link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-au/software-download/windows10
- Install Virtual Box and then you will likely need to reboot your computer. If not prompted you should do so anyway as sometimes 64bit is recognized as an option when setting up your VM
- Set up a new 64bit Virtual Machine with 2Gb of RAM at least 20Gb of space. Dynamic resizing is OK to use
- Start the VM and you will be prompted for a source – browse for the Windows ISO you downloaded and install Windows Home
- Install VirtualBox Guest Additions
- Shutdown your VM if it is running and go into the configuration setting for your VM and change the network setting to NAT if it is not already configured as such.
- Click on start and the Windows O/S will load up. Log in to Windows and remember this Windows VM will not have an additional antivirus installed nor anti-malware, just the default Win apps.
- Open a browser window – Edge or IE and go to the PeerHash.com website. Download the latest PeerHash and extract the EXE into a directory of your choice eg PeerHash.
- Double click on PeerHash and enter your Monero address. You may get Defender Smartscreen examining the file and try to block PeerHash. Click on ‘More Info’ and click on ‘Run Anyway’
- Click on ‘Download XMR CPU Miner’ and accept the warning and once complete you may need to close the zip window. You may get an error when the Miner is extracted, that’s because you don’t have a default zip application installed. Acknowledge the error and you should see on PeerHash that beat becomes ‘1 min(s)’
- In about a minute PeerHash will attempt to launch the XMR miner. You will likely get the following error regarding a VC redistributable being missing. If you do, this is easily remedied.
- Download the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 here https://www.microsoft.com/en-gb/download/details.aspx?id=48145 and install it. Make sure you use the 64bit version.
- Close PeerHash, Browsers and reboot the VM
- Log in again and run PeerHash again and wait a few minutes for the miner to start
- You should see the following screen and hopefully you will see the message ‘result accepted by the pool’ which means you have mined Monero at the pool and earned some coin !
What’s next ?
- Leave PeerHash running – to have a chance to win the hashing lottery you need to keep PeerHash running
- Tweak the number of CPUs in your VM Virtual Box manager as the more CPUs the more hashing power you will have.
How Much Will I Make ?
Here’s a quick calculation of how your coin earnings will increase by using PeerHash:
Let’s say you mine Monero using 1 CPU @ 30 Hashes/s
Let’s mine for 1 hour, then:
total hashes = 60min x 60sec/m x 30 H/s = 108 000 hashes
No let’s say there are 20 miners using PeerHash @ 30 H/s. If you win the hash lottery you will have 20 miners hashing for you for:
total hashes = 20 x 5min x 60sec/min x 30H/s = 180 000 hashes !
Happy PeerHashing !