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[New Revised] Windows SMP2 v6.34 Install Guide

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Senior Member
Apr 12, 2004
SMP v6.34 Installation Instructions and Notes

The instructions presented here and on the Stanford Link presume that you have a basic understanding of how Folding@Home works and that the SMP client is awarded a quick return bonus. If you don't, read this. The SMP client is a HIGH PERFORMANCE CLIENT and as such it should not be installed if you are not going to run it 24/7/365 or at less than 100% cpu usage. You must obtain a passkey and run 10 FahCore_a3 or a5 Work Units to qualify for the Quick Return Bonus.

The OFFICIAL STANFORD GUIDE for SMP2 v 6.30 can be found here. You MUST use v6.34 to run FahCore_a5 (-bigadv) WUs. v6.30 will work on normal size a3 core WUs for some time, at least until v7 of the client is introduced.

v6.34 is a drop in replacement for v6.30. On non service installs, stop the client, download the 6.34 executable, remake your shortcuts and restart. On service installs, run services.msc, stop the v6.30 client, run 6.30 from a shortcut with the -configonly flag and remove the service in advanced configuration, download the 6.34 executable, create a shortcut with the -configonly flag, start the client from the shortcut and install the service in advanced configuration. Run services.msc and start the 6.34 service.

The quick and dirty directions for version 6.34 of the SMP client.

1. Create a FAH directory anywhere you want except \Program Files or Program Files (x32) in Windows 7 or Vista.

2. Navigate to the beta High Performance Windows Clients section of the download page and download Windows XP/2003/Vista/2008/7 SMP2 client console version 6.34 to the FAH directory you created.

3. Right click on the file you downloaded and select Create a shortcut. Right click on the shortcut, select properties and add -configonly to the end of the target line. It is important to use -configonly and not - config. If you follow these directions but use -config, the first WU you download will be a uniprocessor WU and the client will continue to download and complete uniprocessor WUs until it is restarted. Using -configonly, the first WU will be a SMP WU.

4. Double click on the shortcut in XP or in Vista or Win 7 right click on the shortcut and select run as administrator and:
- Enter your User name
- Enter Team Number 32
- Enter your passkey (YOU MUST DO THIS)
- No to ask before fetching work
- No to use Proxy unless you know what you're doing
- Big for WU size
- Yes to change advanced options
- idle core priority
- accept the defaults you get to memory
- 2001 MB memory (some -bigadv WUs require a minimum reported memory of 2000 MB)
- no to advanced methods
- No to Ignore deadlines, unless your clock is wonkers
- 1 to Machine ID (each FAH instance on a machine must have a different machine ID)
- Yes or No to Install as a service depending on your needs
- No to disable affinity lock
- Extra parameters: -smp -verbosity 9
- Accept default

The client will close. If you installed as a service, run services.msc and start the Folding at home sevice. If you don't want to run as a service, edit the shortcut removing the -configonly flag from the target line and run it. The service no longer requires interaction with the desktop, meaning it will run on windows boot up, without a login.

Note: The SMP client (a3 and a5 core) will default to running the same number of threads as the client detects cpu cores, if you enter -smp without any number. If you manually enter a number larger than the number of cpu cores detected, the a3 or a5 core will spawn a single thread and take hours to complete a frame. Unlike the old Win SMP client that spawned 4 FahCore_a1 processes, the SMP2 client will spawn a single FahCore_a3 or a5 process. -smp X is useful only to on run less than the number of cores detected by the client. FahCore_a5 will not run on an odd number of processors. Setting -smp 7 will result in 6 a5 threads.

Note: Anti-Virus programs can be problematic for FAH clients. Please be sure to set an exclude on your FAH Client directories.

Note: You will not recieve the bonus value for a WU until you have first completed 10 qualifying WUs with your passkey. Qualifying WUs are Linux or Windows SMP2 a3 and a5 core WUs.

Note: If you have never used a passkey and intend to run -bigadv WUs, enter your passkey and run 10 regular a3 WUs before adding the -bigadv flag to extra parameters. You must have an 8 core (physical or logical) cpu to run -bigadv WUs.

Note: You may find the gpu client(s) slow -bigadv production significantly and result in very little net gain.

Note: If you are running the SMP client along with the GPU client, you should run the gpu clients at low priority to avoid priority conflicts and maximize ppd. Win SMP production will vary depending on the WUs on the GPU(s).

Note: You should use HFM to monitor progress if you want to see the ppd including the bonus.

This thread is linked from the Master Folding Sticky Windows Install Section
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IMHO I've noticed that installing to places like C:\Users, C:\Program files, and C:\Documents and settings has caused many issues with FAH being able to get the hardware abstraction that it needs. I've even seen SMP throw the 8667 error. Which is usually password related for being installed in the above mentioned directories.
I've always used something like C:\FAH\SMP, C:\FAHSMP, or C:\FAHGPU
All my XP installs are in /program files. Never had a problem. In my limited experience with Vista and Win 7 it works in /Users/FAH(whatever) of in the root or the drive with the OS. It doesn't work well in /Program Files or /Program Files (x86) in Vista or Win 7. This is as described in the Install guide and pretty much exactly as the author, Harlam, wrote it.

I figured everybody had .net framework by now, but I'll add the link.
ah ok so this just gives *some* bigger WUs (or a more efficient core) to the windows clients but the bonus WUs are still linux only, got it.

*edit* make that way more efficient. on my main rig (i7) it used to get only about 3500ppd using 2 smp clients in windows (1 client wasnt any better) now HFM is showing almost 10k ppd for just one client. Id say that is an acceptable boost lol.
I think you have to consider all the a3 WUs "bonus" WUs, even though you may make fewer ppd on them than you did on a2 WUs. If you're slow returning a WU, you'll get far fewer ppd. If you stop the client, on a Q6600 running p6012, or lose net connectivity, so that it takes you 3.0.....01 days to send in the WU you'll see your ppd fall from the 5800 ppd you made finishing the WU in .43 days to 157 ppd. The difference would be considered the early completion bonus.
Thanks. Lets see if that does it. Since my last post I went from 0% to 1% so I hoping its cause I only set it to one. i changed it to three
If you had set it to one, it may not be running an SMP work unit, and you won't see any change in the percentage times.

Also I set my GPU to Low like it says in the guide, it still uses about 30% CPU. DO you have a recommended CPU limit? IE If I set it to max of say 15% CPU usage would that affect my GPU PPD?
If you have an ATI card, there are some environment settings that you'll want to use. (I run all Nvidia, so I can't help you there) If you're running an Nvidia card, you probably need to update your drivers.
If you had set it to one, it may not be running an SMP work unit, and you won't see any change in the percentage times.

If you have an ATI card, there are some environment settings that you'll want to use. (I run all Nvidia, so I can't help you there) If you're running an Nvidia card, you probably need to update your drivers.

Yeah I have always ran Nvidia. However I am now using ATI so things are a bit different. My 8800GT were doing like 5kppd. this 4850 is like 3kppd
4850 Environment Variables (entered in control Panel/System/Advanced/Enviornment Variables/System Variables):

As FLUSH_INTERVAL is increased, cpu utilization decreases. Set too high, and VPU recovers will become routine. THe sweet spot for a 4870 is from 192 to 256. I assume a 4850 would be a bit lower, but you might start at 192 and see what happens. CPU utilization should be under 5%. If you get the GPU utilization of the CPU down to 5 %, run the smp client on 4 CPU cores and turn off the affinity lock on both the GPU and SMP2 clients.

Because of the way the bonus works, it pays to run on all cpu cores. What you'll find however, is the ATi card is quite expensive to operate in terms of ppd/watt. You'll net perhaps 1000 ppd more than the SMP2 client alone (on all cores) at a cost of about 100 watts (10 ppd/watt). In comparisson, the better nVidia cards (GTX260 for instance) are producing 50+ ppd/watt net, while running along with a SMP2 client.

I used the term processor because FAH uses the term core to refer to the various apps that perform the calculations, (ie FahCore_a3) and I didn't want there to be any confusion. Technically, a Quad Core chip consists of 4 physical processors on a single die. processor = core.

If you set the -smp flag to 1, you will be running a uniprocessor WU. If you stop the client and change to either -smp, -smp 3 or -smp 4, you may kill the current WU. Best to run the client with the -oneunit flag and change the -smp flag when the current WU completes.
Sorry for double post but I opened the client and I just wanted to make sure this was the correct Window that should be up. Does this mean it's now folding? Also WTF is with my cores their all at 100% couldn't this wear down my CPU?

Lastly I wanted to ask how can I have this all monitored so I can measure how many ppd and see all my statistics and such I downloaded HFM.NET like the guide suggests but I'm not sure the setup.


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Yes, only your machine... get HFM.NET and it'll tell you a whole lot more and aggregate all your clients into one view. :)
Yes, only your machine... get HFM.NET and it'll tell you a whole lot more and aggregate all your clients into one view. :)

I'm currently using it but status bar is yellow and it says RunningNoFrameTimes when I hover over it.

It could just be a folding issue I'm having because it's been stuck at 1% for about an hour now
I thought you didn't have to have the -advmethods flag anymore because A3 does that by default?

Nope, -forceasm is built in. ;)

On a side note, there is a simpler SMP install method now available.

Download and run the v6.29 SMP installer.
Install to c:\users\<username>\fah
Download the v6.29 drop in binary in to your fah folder (this is actually v6.30).
Skip the install.bat thing. (v6.30 doesn't require MPICH)
Run the client with -config -smp -advmethods switches.
Answer setup questions, and away you go.

Easy Peasy. No more of this crap ---> :bang head with install.bat. :)

P.S. Service install is much easier now too. No need to edit service login like before.
You don't have to use the installer if you don't want to. If you're running a first time install, download the 6.29 drop in, which is as 7im says really 6.30, into your FAH folder (not under \program files for vista and win 7 users). Run the client with the -configonly flag to set it up. No Windows user password is required. No MPICH is required. A service install no longer requires interaction with the desktop, so a machine will run SMP2 without a login, it merely has to boot into windows.
So I can do the drop in executable client 6.29(6.30) over my previous SMP2 installation and it won't use that MPICH anymore?

Do I need to clear out any of the old crap in the folders like MPICH?

I hope this takes care of that BSoD issue I kept having almost daily while running the windows client version.

You don't have to per se, but you can safely toss it all in the trash, for sure. ;)

Edit: here's what I kept:

[email protected](the new one).

Everything else got dumped.
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The drop in doesn't have an installer, it is merely the 6.30 executable. Create a directory, I use c:\FAH for instance, download the drop in to it. You should run it with the -configonly flag instead of clicking on the executable, because arguments entered in extra parameters, such as -smp, and service installs aren't picked up until a restart of the client. IIRC, Double clicking on the executable without a client.cfg in the directory is the equivalent of running -config, wherein the client runs immediately without a restart. If you do that the -smp flag will not be picked in extraparamaters up and you'll get a uniprocessor WU.
Just in case anyone looks at the last post, I've edited the first post with new instructions for v6.30 of the SMP2 Client.
I've edited the instructions again to emphasize the importance of using the -configonly flag and to change the memory to accomodate the largest reporting requirement for -bigadv WUs.