How do I install the SMP Console client in Windows Vista?

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Contents


Introduction

The SMP Windows client began open beta testing on 06-Nov-2006. Installing the Folding@home SMP Windows client in Windows Vista and Windows 7 is similar to previous versions of Windows, but with a few additional steps due to new higher default levels of security. This procedure should also work for Windows XP.


Note: With the release of the v6.30 SMP Windows client in July of 2010, MPI software (MPICH, Deino) is no longer used, and so this article has become outdated. Please use the new SMP Installation Guide on the F@H project web site for now. There is a discussion thread open on the Official Folding Forum for your feedback. Thanks.


Note: The instructions below apply only to the versions of FAH which use MPICH, which was deprecated 07/2010.

Notes Before Installing

If you already have the SMP client installed, and need to update the client, skip down to the Update Section.

Note 1: Be sure you are familiar with the information in the Known Bugs list and the SMP FAQ. The client is called "beta" for a reason.

Note 2: As with all beta software, not all features may be available, and the client may have limitations or problems. Do NOT install this client if you or your machine cannot tolerate even the slightest instability or problems. Please make a system backup before attempting to install the client.

Note 3: The Windows user account that will be running the SMP client must have a non-blank password for the client to work correctly. Create a password now if needed. This can be the Administrator account or any other user account used to run the client. Special characters are not supported in passwords, just like in your FAH user name. (See also note 7)

Note 4: The Windows Firewall and Vista User Access Control (UAC) do not need to be disabled to install and run the SMP client, but be sure to answer each Firewall and UAC prompt to enable the FAH client to run and connect to the internet as needed.

Note 5: Vista comes with .NET 3.0. There is no need to install .NET 2.0 like in Win XP. Please do install any .NET updates from Windows Update.

Note 6: With the new v6.xx SMP client for Windows, the -smp switch is needed to run SMP work units. Otherwise the client will default to CPU work units. -smp -deino is required if running the client with the Deino executable (formerly v5.92).

Note 7: Even though a Windows password is REQUIRED, it is possible to configure Windows to automatically log on a particular account without entering the password. - Click on the Start button and type in ‘netplwiz‘. This will open the Advanced User Accounts menu - In the Users tab, highlight the password protected account you want to login to Vista automatically with, and then disable ‘must enter a username and password to use this computer’ - Click on ‘Apply’. A new window will now popup asking you to enter the password of the account you've just highlighted. Do this, and then click ‘Ok’ - Click ‘Ok’ on the Advanced User Accounts menu to finish

Run The SMP Client Installer

  • Log in to Vista with the user account (and password) that will be running the SMP client. (This can be an end user account, administrator access is not needed to run the client.)
  • Make a new directory in your Users folder, such as C:\Users\%username%\FAH (where %username% is your user name)
  • Download the SMP console client into the new directory.
  • Double click the SMP client installer. (currently named: Folding@Home Windows SMP Client.EXE)
  • Windows Security will now ask if you are really sure you want to run the SMP installer. Click the Run button.
  • If UAC is not disabled, you will now be asked if it is okay to run the installer again. Click the Allow button.
  • Follow the SMP installer setup prompts. Click Next.
  • Read the ReadMe information for crucial setup steps and requirements! Click Next.
  • Select the appropriate Destination Profile. All Users or Only Me. Both work. Click Next.
  • Click the Browse button, and navigate to the directory created above. Click OK. Click Next.
  • Review the current installation settings. If correct, click Next to start copying the installation files to the directory created above. Click Finish.

Run install.bat

The install.bat file installs the SMPD service, and registers MPICH2 with your user name and password that will be logged in to Windows while running the client.

  • Click the Start button. Click All Programs, then click Accessories, then right-click the Command Prompt. Select Run As Administrator.
  • If asked, click Continue or Run at any additional UAC or FireWall prompts, etc.
  • In the Command Prompt window, navigate to the folder where you installed the SMP client, and where the install.bat file is located. (i.e. - cd to C:\Users\<%username%>\FAH\ )

Note: If you don't know how to change directories in a command window, just type in each line below and press Enter.

C: 
CD \
CD Users
CD <%username%>        <-- where %username% is your user folder
CD FAH                 <-- enter the folder name where you installed the client above
install 
  • When prompted for a user account name, do not type anything, just press Enter (FAH will enter the default user name displayed in the prompt, so no need to type it again. This is Windows user account that will be running the client, not necessarily the administrator account).
  • When prompted for the password, type in the password for user account that will be running the client, and press Enter. Do not be concerned, no characters or asterisks are displayed as you type in the password.
  • Type in the password again to confirm, and press Enter.

Note: You should see prompts like this when you follow the above instructions closely:

C:\Windows\system32> C:\Users\%username%\FAH\install.bat  <-- The command prompt, and the full path
 
MPICH2 Process Manager, Argonne National Lab installed.   <-- Displayed when it works correctly
account (domain\user) [(yourhostname)\(yourusername)]:
password:
confirm password:
Password encrypted into the Registry.
If you see this twice, MPI is working                     <-- Appears twice if all went well
If you see this twice, MPI is working                     <-- 
Press any key to continue . . .
  • Press any key, and close the Command Prompt window.
  • If you do not see this line 2 times (as seen in the example above) --> If you see this twice, MPI is working, do not start the client. MPI is not successfully installed, and the client will not run successfully. Please review the steps above. If all steps were followed correctly, please post on the Folding Forum for assistance.

Run the SMP Client

  • Browse to your folding directory. C:\Users\%username%\FAH Double click fah.exe to start the client. (Remember, with v6.xx clients, you will need to create a shortcut to the fah executable, and add the -smp switch BEFORE running the client. See the wiki entry on adding switches.
  • Answer the client setup questions as usual. Be sure to answer No to the Install as a Service question (its unsupported at this time). Be sure to answer Yes to the Accept WUs > 5MB question. And entering a Passkey is a must to receive bonus points on the new A3 SMP work units. (In Windows, copy the passkey # from the email, right-click on the title bar of the FAH setup window, then select paste.)
  • An error message (Opening Service Manager failed (5) etc.) may appear after you enter your fah user name and/or team #. Ignore the error, the client runs fine anyway using this procedure. You can avoid this error by setting the properties of the fah.exe file to Run As Administrator, but is not required.
  • Done. **


Note: The SMP client can be installed in C:\Program Files\<folding directory>, but you would need to do several additional steps, such as turn off User Account Control and/or log in and run the client as the Administrator. And as seen above, this can be and should be avoided if possible.

Send me PM on the Folding Forum with corrections, suggestions... PM Link Thanks. -7im

And there are many ways to complete the steps above, such as running a command prompt as the Administrator. But those alternative steps can become more complicated, and harder for some users to follow. Please take this in to consideration before "improving" the above setup process.

Alternate Methods to run install.bat with Administrator Privileges

Alternate Method 1 - Enable and Use the System Administrator Account

Warning: Enabling the Administrator account simplifies the F@h client installation process, but also has potential system security implications not fully explained here. You may wish to disable the Administrator account after the F@h client is installed, or research those implications yourself, or use one of the alternate methods listed below to run the Install.bat file with Admin privledges without enabling this account.

In Windows Vista, the Administrator account is disabled by default. Enabling this account will simplify the client installation process, and will be used in the setup steps below. To enable the Administrator account...

Alternate Method: Open the Start menu, right-click on Computer and choose Manage. Next, expand Local Users and Groups and select the Users folder. The final step is to right-click on the Administrator login and choose properties. Clear the Account is Disabled checkbox and the Administrator account is enabled.

Method2: Open the Start Menu, type cmd in the search box, and then press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to open cmd with Administrative rights. Type the following in the command prompt and press Enter:

net user administrator /active:yes

To assign a password to the Administrator account, type the following in the same command prompt and press Enter (replace "mypassword" with the desired password):

net user administrator mypassword

Adding a password to the Administrator account is not a requirement when running the SMP client from another user account that has a password. However, adding the password to the Administrator account is a strongly recommended security measure. Do not forget that password.


Alternate Method 2 - Browse with Administrator Privileges

  • Click START and search for explorer.exe, right click on explorer.exe and click Run as Administrator.
  • Browse to your SMP directory and double-click on install.bat


Note: NOD32 as been found to interfere with the fah client, cause file IO error messages, etc. Try disabling NOD32 to see if the client works better.


Updating Existing SMP Client

  • Updating all versions

Stop the SMP client (ctrl+c or stop the service). When running the client as a service, you must uninstall the service before updating the client. Run the client with the -configonly switch, and answer Yes to the Stop the Service question to uninstall it.

Rename your client.cfg file to client.old as to force the new client to create a new configuration. Now go to the section for updating your specific version, v5.91 or v5.92, depending on which version you are running now.

  • Updating v5.91

Download the MPICH version of the new SMP client. Run the installer to place the new files in to the same directory as your previous client. Rename the new fah client executable to match your previous client's name. (Typically, people shorten the long names to something like fah.exe.) This new client must be started with the -smp switch to run SMP work units, otherwise the client will default to running CPU work units. Answer the setup questions a needed. And re-enable the client to pass through any anti-virus or firewall programs.

Note: The -smp switch can either be added to the new Additional Parameters setting in the advanced section of the client setup, or you can edit the shortcut that starts the client. When running as a service, be sure to add the setting to Additional Parameters, or edit them in to the registry as before.

  • Updating v5.92

Download the DEINO version of the new SMP client. Run the installer to place the new files in to the same directory as your previous client. Rename the new fah client executable to match your previous client's name. (Typically, people shorten the long names to something like fah.exe.) This new client must be started with the -smp and -deion switches to run SMP work units, otherwise the client will default to running CPU work units. Answer the setup questions a needed. And re-enable the client to pass through any anti-virus or firewall programs.

Note: The -smp -deino switches can either be added to the new Additional Parameters setting in the advanced section of the client setup, or you can edit the shortcut that starts the client. When running as a service, be sure to add the setting to Additional Parameters, or edit them in to the registry as before.

See Also

SMP FAQ

CoreStatus = 63 (99) SMP Permissions Problem

List Of Known Bugs (during beta test)


Updated 11-Mar-2008 to add more detail to the install.bat setup process. -7im

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