Setting up ASICMINER Block Erupters on Windows 7

Four Block Erupter USB devices from Asicminer, connected into a 4 amp usb hub.

Four Block Erupter USB devices from Asicminer, connected into a 4 amp usb hub.

These are instructions on how to setup the Erupter USB Bitcoin miners on Windows 7. These steps are not entirely my own. They are based on Bitcoin Talk forum posts. I participated in a group purchase for four of these devices. They arrived in the mail yesterday. Here’s what I did to get them mining Bitcoins on Windows 7, using CGMiner 3.1.1.

UPDATE (November 23, 2013): The instructions provided below are for an older version of CGMiner, version 3.1.1. Please refer to CGMiner’s instructions and readme files when downloading more recent versions of this miner. I am no longer mining on Windows. I have not tested newer versions.

STEP 1: Download and install CGMiner.

A windows binary can be found here: http://ck.kolivas.org/apps/cgminer/.

STEP 2: Download and install this driver.

The driver can be found here: http://www.silabs.com/products/mcu/Pages/USBtoUARTBridgeVCPDrivers.aspx

This driver will allow you to “see” your Block Erupters in the Printers and Devices section of the PC’s Control Panel.

STEP 3: Plug in the USB miners.

If you have more than one Erupter, consider that they consume about 560 milliamps. You will most likely need a powered USB hub. I have 4 Erupters and they work very nicely as pictured in a Plugable 7 Port USB 3.0 Hub with 4A Power Adapter (VIA VL812 Chipset – USB 2.0 compatible) from Amazon.com

STEP 4: Note down the COM Numbers for each Device.

- In Windows 7, go to Control Panel
– Click on Printers and Devices
– You should see USB devices similar to what is shown below:

Erupters as seen by Windows 7 Device Manager

Erupters as seen by Windows 7 Device Manager

Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COM3)
Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COM4)
Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COM5)
Silicon Labs CP210x USB to UART Bridge (COM6)

STEP 5: Create a Desktop Shortcut.

To launch cgminer, create a shortcut with a target command line that looks like this:

C:\cgminer\cgminer-nogpu.exe -o [pool]:[port] -u [username].[worker] -p [password] --icarus-options 115200:1:1 --icarus-timing 3.0=100 -S //./COM3 -S //./COM4 -S //./COM5 -S //./COM6

Notice that pool, port, username, worker and password are private credentials you provide for your pool worker.

Notice that COM3, COM4, COM5, COM6 are the COM numbers for my four miners. Yours will be different depending on what is reported in your Device Manager. You would need as many of these in your target line as you have miners.

STEP 6: Launch CGMiner.

Launch CGMiner from the shortcut and you should see something like this:

CGMiner 3.1.1 mining with 4 Block Eupters on Windows 7

CGMiner 3.1.1 mining with 4 Block Eupters on Windows 7.

That’s it.

Interesting Notes: I wanted to see how much power these consume. Using a Kill a Watt device, I measured that the USB hub and the four miners together consume 0.19 amps and 13.2 watts while mining. With only one Erupter in the hub, the Kill a Watt reports 0.05 amps and 3.4 to 3.6 watts. As mentioned in the forum, the Kill-a-watt is not precise for milliamps, but it does show that these devices consume a lot less power than say, GPU miners.


CEX.io

45 thoughts on “Setting up ASICMINER Block Erupters on Windows 7

    • *THANK YOU*! Not just for the guide, but for the version number! (I was using 3.3 and getting the “-S: unrecognized option” error. I was about to start losing hair in handfuls when switching to 3.1.1 made everything work like silk! :)

    • *THANK YOU BOTH*! Not just for the guide, but for the version number issue! (I was using 3.3 and getting the “-S: unrecognized option” error. I was about to start losing hair in handfuls when switching to 3.1.1 made everything work like silk! :)

  1. Pingback: Block Erupter ASIC Miners are Here! | SKYBIN.NETSKYBIN.NET

  2. Hi I am using a ASIC block erupter that I just got and following your instructions
    as well as I can. I can see my device in the device manager, but cgminer does not see it.

    cgminer version 3.1.0 – Started: [2013-07-09 23:19:18]
    ——————————————————————————–
    (5s):0.000 (avg):0.000h/s | A:0 R:0 HW:0 U:0.0/m WU:0.0/m
    ST: 2 SS: 0 NB: 1 LW: 6 GF: 0 RF: 0
    Connected to stratum.bitcoin.cz diff 1 with stratum as user **********.******
    Block: 005cb46c0b057e7e… Diff:21.3M Started: [23:19:18] Best share: 0
    ——————————————————————————–
    [P]ool management [S]ettings [D]isplay options [Q]uit
    ——————————————————————————–

    [2013-07-09 23:19:16] Started cgminer 3.1.0
    [2013-07-09 23:19:16] Icarus Detect: Failed to open //./Port_#0009.Hub_#0001
    [2013-07-09 23:19:16] Avalon Detect: Failed to open //./Port_#0009.Hub_#0001
    [2013-07-09 23:19:16] No devices detected!
    [2013-07-09 23:19:16] Waiting for USB hotplug devices or press q to quit
    [2013-07-09 23:19:16] Probing for an alive pool
    [2013-07-09 23:19:17] Switching pool 0 http://api.bitcoin.cz:8332 to stratum+tc
    p://stratum.bitcoin.cz:3333
    [2013-07-09 23:19:18] Network diff set to 21.3M

    Any ideas?

    • Did you specify the com port number? You should see the correct com port number in device manager. How about power? Is the Erupter in a powered USB adapter that gives it 500 ma at least? When you plug the Erupter in the USB port, it should light up green and blink a few times, then, the LED should stay solid green until you start cgminer. Try a different port if you’re using your PC’s ports. Try a different hub if you’re using a hub. How about the driver? Did it install correctly. I assume it did since you can see the device in Printers and Devices. However, if the driver did not install properly, then you would see an unknown device instead. So then, what does the Erupter show up as?

  3. hopefully someone can help me…
    I purchased two ASICMINER Block Erupter both worked great for about 4hrs using bitminter downloaded the drivers plugged them in and off to the races…. after the 4 hours I shutdown my computer all seemed well until I restated bitMinter v1.4.0 and one of the miners started to give me hardware errors “error, Self-test error 3D0E2D38,0X963DCE0…” Then I started getting “self-test timeout 2000ms errors” after the timeout errors the miner just stopped! then I used a second computer and got the same result… now I using cgminer v3.30 installed the Winusb v6.1 drivers that are needed and now both are hashing @ 335.5 +/- but only the “one” good miner is accepting work…should I use cgminer v3.1.1? do you think that might help for both miners for accepting work?
    sorry for being long winded….. but…. is this “user” error or a hardware issue?
    any help is appreciated
    Thanks!!!

  4. OK great work here! thanks for the head start on this. Now can you tell me how to add the parameters to include other GPUs in the config when I start cgminer?

    • You might want to start a second instance with cgminer.exe for your GPU mining and see if that works. I haven’t tried GPU mining on Windows at the same time as running Erupters, but I have had success running both FPGAs (Lancelots) and Erupters on Windows by starting different instances for each type of device. At this point, I’m no longer mining in Windows. I transferred my Erupters to a Raspberry Pi setup running Minepeon to save on power.

      • OH so maybe I will set up command line to run the usb on then continue to start my gue miner for the gpis im running

  5. I confirm also that version 3.1.1 is the one working for this command line.
    Thanks for this great guide!! It is very helpful!

  6. Can this be set up to run script mining rather than sha?? Also is there a limit as to how many you can run on one PC. Oh and thanks for the set up advise its great.

    • You cannot scrypt enable these as far as I know. Block Erupters are ASICs which means they are Application-Specific Integrated Circuits. So they have been designed for the specific task of mining Bitcoins by definition. If you find out differently, let me know. I would venture a guess they can be used to mine other sha256 coins, but I haven’t looked into that.

  7. i have a question, are you telling me to create a txt file with that command line? if not please help me out because im a newb and just got my 2 asicminers.

    • No. The instructions called for a desktop shortcut (step 5). Right-click on your desktop > New > Shortcut. Once the shortcut is created, right-click on it and insert your command line in the input field called “Target”. However, you could also create a batch file instead. A batch file would allow for a longer set of commands than the target line of a Windows shortcut, if you have many erupters.

      • ya i bought 8 but only have 2 currently. i plan on using slushs pool so what line of command should i put in the batch file? something like -u 123haku123 -p 8830 ?

      • With Slush’s pool, you would use something like this:


        mode 80, 50
        C:\cgminer\cgminer-nogpu.exe -o http://stratum.bitcoin.cz:3333 -u myfakeusername.myfakeworker -p myfakepassword --icarus-options 115200:1:1 --icarus-timing 3.0=100 -S //./COM3 -S //./COM29


        The mode is used to size the command window when the default isn’t large enough. Just customize those lines for your needs and save them as a batch file on your desktop. That should get you started. Keep in mind, this is for cgminer 3.1.1. I am now mining on Raspberry Pi, so I have not tried the latest versions of cgminer on Windows. I don’t expect you need all those options on the newest version of cgminer. Take a look at the README and instructions that come with cgminer for more information.

  8. I’m trying to run 27 USB Erupters on one PC using three powered hubs. CGMiner seems to have a limit of 12 USB Erupters. Is there any way to extend that? (I’m using cgminer 3.1.1)

    Thanks…..

    • I haven’t tried that many Erupters on a Windows system. I am currently running 24 Erupters reliably on an rPi (b) with Minepeon 0.2.0 and 6 D-Link HUB-7s. 3 hubs are connected to the first rPi USB port and the three others are connected to the second port. So, 3 hubs per rPi USB port with the first hub connecting the other two through its charge ports. The Erupter configuration per hub is in this order (3 + 6 + 3) and (3 + 6 + 3) = 24 Erupters. The rPi draws its power from another source. I will try adding more Erupters in the third hubs one day at a time and see if it remains reliable.

  9. Hi there, just wondering if anyone or Marc himself has experienced HW”s? (Hardware errors) seem’s pretty high on my rig, not sure what to do/tackle it with.

    Thanks

    • Hi,
      In my case, when I get a bunch of hw errors it’s because I accidentally closed the powerbar of the usb hubs, then the miners don’t get enough current for them… Or also if the room gets hot and the fan isn’t cooling them enough.

    • That’s a good question. Thanks. I’ll collect my stats when I have a sec. So far, I haven’t paid much attention to hardware errors. What I have noticed with the Erupter setup I am now building, is that a couple of Erupters “turn off”, that is, their light goes solid green and they stop mining. I’ve had to reset every day for the last few days. I am trying to narrow this down. Not sure yet if it’s a bad hub, dammaged erupters, too much heat, a bad mining software setup or what exactly.

      • This afternoon I did an other error, and left unplugged one of my 6 hubs (I got 34 Erupters plugged on my Raspberry Pi), then I had every few seconds some Erupters going solid green staying for a few seconds, which gave me overall 8% HW error for the whole afternoon and a part of the evening! I thought the Raspberry was bad. Now that the power is it’s plugged back, no more solid green lights every few seconds, all is back to normal! The Raspberry is great to mine a bunch of Eruptors, but not too many, I got to order a second one…

  10. Hi buddy,

    What’s up? Do u know if i’ll need an ATX 500w power suply to miner 10 asicminer usb block erupter, or the powered hub can do that??? Tkx a lot!!

    • Block Erupters themselves won’t need that. If you’re mining off a Windows PC, what you need is a powered USB hub. Find a powered hub that supplies at least 500 miliamps to each port. For example, a D-Link Hi-Speed USB 2.0 7-Port Powered Hub (DUB-H7) that comes with its own 5V 3A power supply is good enough to power 5 to 6 Erupters. (Note: I’ve purchased many of these hubs, but I’ve had a few with bad PSUs that couldn’t handle 6 Erupters.) Alternatively, on Windows, I’ve tried Anker and Pluggable brands. They both make high powered USB 3.0 hubs that will work nicely for Erupters.

  11. So, these things do not work directly into the desktop usb ports? Okay, well this is good to know. This is a minor setback. I will be ordering one next week. Perhaps, I can get another erupter or two also.
    I am a bit confused on setting up the configuration with this CGI miner. I have everything completed up until the author of this post has stated to set up a shortcut. I am lost on this set of instructions. Does anyone have a clearer way of explaining it.
    Thank you

  12. I tried to download version 3.1.1 of the CGminer off the http://ck.kolivas.org/apps/cgminer/ link. And my Avast Antivirus says it contains a Virus the Java.trj (Trojan horse), and would not let me complete the download, stopped the download dead in its tracks. I am a first time Miner and I’m trying to setup my ACIS Usb rigs to mine bitcoin but im looking for a mining software that does not contain a Virus that I can safely install on my computer. Has anyone been infected by downloading and installing the software?? How do I solve this problem, and why would an open source software freely exchanged contain a computer virus??

    Thanks again,
    TH

  13. Having a prob – Can you help?

    My miner is only recognizing 1 erupter. I have five hooked up.
    It’s a powered USB 6 port hub (6th one is the fan)

    One is slow blinking (mostly off and then briefly on)
    One is slow blinking (mostly on and then off for a second)
    Two are dark
    One is steady lit

    I plugged in the usb’s first and waited for the drivers to successfully install first, then ran the miner. I have “-S all” in my code to find all of them.

    I tried the device manager to add and find and even targeted the exact COM, but it doesn’t find any new driver.

    Any advice?

  14. just get my two asic miner and cgminer and bfgminer keep crash on me, i try all of it latlest miner they just won’t work , hear what happen after i give password and hit enter it crash. i have also try make a bat file to crash right away. also try bfgminer too they crash too. and make a target config does not work . said it in void code. so please help me find a way for them to stop crash one me.

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