Windows SMP Client setup and backup guide

Running Symmetric Multi Processing (SMP) Clients on Windows, Linux, MAC or VMWare/Linux will give more benefit to the FAH project as it will allow you to run more advanced projects, complete tasks more quickly, etc. It will also benefit the team due to higher points generated (1148-1760 points vs 100-500ish points.) :wink:

In addition to the FAQ-SMP, here are some guidelines and instructions to setup Windows SMP Client.

Requirements:

  • Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003/Vista
  • Windows account password (blank password will cause FAH cores to fail)
  • Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 installed, download here (Vista has it built in)
  • Dual core 64bit machine and higher
  • At least 1GB RAM

Installation guide:

  1. Download Windows SMP Client here or check the download page for updates.

  2. Unpack the files. I simply unpack to the root (C:\FAH or D:\FAH) since I need to access the directory quite often to make backups.

  3. First you need to run Install.bat. Grant access to the firewall pop up if exists.

  • account (domain\user) [xxx\yyy]: simply press Enter
  • password: enter your Windows password
  • confirm password: re-enter your Windows password

You will see two lines below confirming that smpd/mpiexec were installed fine.
If you see this twice, MPI is working
If you see this twice, MPI is working

If you don’t see the two lines above, then there is something wrong with your setup, please post the problem/screenshot in this thread so we could try to solve it.

  1. Press any key to close the window

  2. Now run FAH.EXE, and grant access to firewall pop up if exists. Don’t forget to enter team 13505. :wink:

  3. You can put a link to FAH.exe in your Startup so it will automatically starts whenever your machine restarts.

Backing up Windows SMP:

Since the client is still in Beta release, we need to backup the running FAH often to avoid the painfully project setback to 0%. It sometime happens especially after you restart your machine. Follow these simple procedures to backup your FAH folder.

  1. Create a new directory for backup, e.q. C:\FAH_backup

  2. Allocate the FAH directory (C:\FAH) and highlight it.

  3. Press Ctrl-C to copy the FAH directory (this will include the Work folder)

  4. Go to the backup directory C:\FAH_backup and press Ctrl-V to paste the files into the backup directory

Note: You can do the backup while FAH is running.

Restoring Windows SMP:

In case your project crashed and/or setback to 0%, you will be able to restore the project to the point you backup the FAH folder. There are many ways to restore it but basically I delete the crashed FAH and restore it back from the backup.

Note: You will need to close the running FAH window, if any, before restoring.

  1. Allocate FAH directory (C:\FAH) and highlight everything EXCEPT smpd.exe (you will not be able to delete it since it’s a running process). To do this, press Ctrl-A to highlight all, and while Ctrl key is still pressed, click on smpd.exe.

  2. Delete all highlighted files and the work folder (press Del key)

  3. Go to the backup directory (C:\FAH_backup), copy everything EXCEPT smpd.exe (to do this, see #1)

  4. Go to original FAH directory (C:\FAH) and press Ctrl-V to restore the files.

  5. Run FAH.EXE again and it will start folding from the last point you made the backup.

Good luck and have fun folding! :wink:

Excellent guide, thanks Zevia :clap:

Even though you talked me through the initial installation and setup, this should do just perfectly for when I next need to reinstall the OS etc :flower:

Psssst. I would sticky this :iagree: (edit: my bad, looks like it’s stickied already ;))

Is there a reason you can’t just backup the work folder & replace that if something happens?

Good question. I like to backup everything including the FAHlog.txt so I can see how well my PC running various projects previously, or what’s the error when it crashed etc etc.

Anyway, I haven’t test it but I think you might be right that we can backup the Work folder only.

Thanks for the answer, I haven’t tested it either & I would hate to try it out & find out you can’t. I guess you could backup the whole thing for a while & the work folder in another folder, then if something goes wrong, you try out the work folder & if that doesn’t work, retry with the folder that contains everything. Thinking out loud, again thanks.

great guide zevia :clap: :clap: :bow:

one small nit-picking though, win SMP doesn’t require 64bit :flower:

NEAT tip - especially with how bad my short term memory can be at times :o

Since i reported my SMP client ran as a service - which it does - its just in practice for me its turned out too unreliable to use :doh: - reseting the WU back to 0% on restart :disagree: But this tip automates the manual process - which has yet to have me needing to use a backup :crosses fingers: - so not being unable to use service mode isn’t such a loss imo :cool:

Hi Zevia - just installed the SMP client onto my C2D, thanks to your guide it went swimmingly.

Now to see if it’s any faster than my PD :wink:

Thanks again :flower:

:frowning: i was hoping you would go for Ubuntu and VMware :rolleyes: :bigsmile:

Jeez I haven’t even started playing with this machine yet. Give me time :bigsmile:

Runs a good 11 degrees cooler than my trusty Pentium D, though it’s not a great deal faster (folding wise) :slight_smile:

Whatcha been doin’ :stuck_out_tongue:

I guess helping set up your mums huh? :bigsmile:

Got it in one. Also I had to copy a load of stuff off the other machine to this one. :slight_smile:

We’d better get this thread back on topic :wink:

In my experience, a non-OC 2MB cache E4300 like the one you own will not be much faster than a Pentium D 3.4Ghz folding wise. Unless you overclock it, but I guess your dell mobo can’t do? :slight_smile:

The SMP client is really benefiting from the cache size, I can fold the same project on E6600 (4M cache) in 10 mins per frame while my E6400 (2MB cache) is doing 20-ish mins. Both machines are OCed at about the same clock.

Glad you find the guide helpful, Arachne and al53A. :flower:

Nah, stupid Dell LOL. It’s probably the only beef I have with it though, as I mentioned temps are really nice. Going to “burn it in” overnight and see how it is in the morning :slight_smile:

20-ish mins, that’s what I get :iagree:…about 5 minutes faster than the PD :slight_smile:

Yep, with your guide, I had it set up in less than 2 minutes. Not like the first time I set up the SMP client if you remember LOL :bigsmile:

Like zevia said the SMP client is still in beta and of who wants to lose a WU. I back my SMP folder up using Cobian backup (it’s free) http://www.educ.umu.se/~cobian/cobianbackup.htm

It can be scheduled to run and also keep any number of backups to restore from. I back mine up hourly and keep 4-8 depending on what I am doing. Each backup is ~38MB

In reference to posts #3, #4 & #5. I just had a power outage, & when the power returned, I initially tried starting up Folding@Home, wouldn’t start properly. As I save the complete folder on another drive, I decided to try just copying the work folder itself in to my C drive SMP Client folder after moving just the work folder from the SMP Client folder to my desktop. So far so good, started back up & still going from where I saved it instead of starting all over. If this WU completes I will update this thread. Just thought you should know.

Update as promised: Work unit completed without any further problems.

awesome, glad it worked out :slight_smile: :cool:

I must say this is an awesome guide Zevia, I had win SMP up and running in under 5 minutes without a hitch :clap:
I also found out with a little googling that if you type “control userpasswords2” into the XP run dialog (not sure if it works with vista) you can setup auto login for your account if you’re lazy like me and can’t be bothered typing a password every time windows boots :stuck_out_tongue:

Or use the microsoft powertoy - TWEAKUI , which also does other nifty little things besides automatic login :wink: