The mining process involves writing a short script to run in the command prompt. It’s only a few steps, which you muist follow exactly to ensure success. 

First, select a currency to mine—you can find a list of the most active altcoins at CoinMarketCap. You can pick any coin you'd like, the process will be virtually identical for any other coin.

Go to the homepage for the currency and download the client, which allows you to store coins in a “Wallet” on your computer. Once the client is installed it will have to download the entire blockchain for the altcoin. You can join a mining pool before this process is done, but because you might need to run it overnight you should start now.

mining

The first is whether to mine solo or participate in a mining pool. When Bitcoin mining, payments aren’t received in a steady, gradual flow. Instead, they’re given out in big chunks when particular milestones are hit, to whoever hits those milestones. If you’re not running a bunch of super-fast mining computers, it’s possible you’ll never be the one to hit the milestone and receive the payment.

In a mining pool, many users join forces to mine as a group, and all reward payments are split up among the group, according to how much computing power they’ve been contributing. This streamlines the reward structure and makes your payments more reliable. You can choose to mine solo, but for anyone just getting into altcoin mining, a pool is a better choice—especially if you’re not mining with a room full of powerful PCs. The rest of this guide will assume that you’re mining in a pool.

There are different pools for each altcoin, though some pools switch between different currencies, based on rising and falling values. There are pros and cons to each pool, but for the most part it won’t matter which one you choose. To find a popular pool, visit a community site for the coin you’re interested in mining.

You’ll need to make is whether your want to use a CPU miner or a GPU miner. These are different forms of the mining software designed to utilize either your PC’s computer processor or its graphics processor.

GPU miners are much more efficient, but only if you have a discrete graphics card. AMD cards are much more efficient at altcoin mining than Nvidia’s, so much so that the street prices of Radeon cards have skyrocketed in past months.

If you’d like to mine on a laptop or low-end desktop with integrated graphics, you’re better off using the CPU miner. We’ll show you how to use either one. You can even mine both ways at the same time, if you want to really get all the mining power you can out of your computer. Just watch that heat and power usage!

Solo or Pool Mining

To mine with your computer’s GPU, you’ll need a piece of software called cgminer. You can download a Windows executable at http://k-dev.net/cgminer/. You specifically want version 3.7.2 of cgminer, because later versions removed support for the scrypt hash function used by altcoins. (GUIMiner-scrypt is an alternative that also supports altcoin mining and uses a graphical interface, rather than the command line.) In our tests, Chrome said the cgminer software was malicious and blocked the download, but it’s not; you can either disable Chrome’s malware protection or use an alternative browser to download the program.

Make sure to update your graphics card drivers, and if you have an ATI graphics card, download the optional OpenCL driver.

You don’t need to install cgminer; just extract the contents of the zip file to a location on your hard drive. Cgminer works from the command line, but you can also run it using a batch file. If you’re not familiar, a batch file is basically just a saved command prompt script, and you can write it in notepad. Before you do, you’ll need to get a few pieces of information from your pool service. You’ll need to know the following for your batch file:

URL: The URL of your pool service. Not the one you plug into your browser, but the one specifically for mining. Any pool service will make this information readily available on the help or getting-started pages. Many have multiple URLs you can choose from, so you can pick the server closest to you. The URL will likely start with the word “stratum.”

Port: The port number will also be provided by your pool service. It’s usually written immediately following the URL, separated only by a colon and no spaces.

Username: The username you created when you signed up for the pool

Worker name: Before you can mine you have to create a “worker” on your user account on the mining pool. Each worker has a name, either picked by you or assigned automatically by the pool.

Worker password: Similarly, every worker has a password.

When you’ve created a worker and have all the info you need, go to the folder containing the cgminer.exe file, right-click anywhere and choose to create a new text (.txt) file. In notepad, type the following in, substituting your personal info for the bolded words:

cgminer.exe —scrypt -o url:port -u username.workername -p workerpassword

GPU Mining

Another easiest way to setup mining is thru MINERGATE. It has the simple UI and most suitable for beginner. You just need to download there software and everything is done. It is a mining pool created by a group of cryptocoin enthusiasts. It is also the first pool which provides service for merged mining. This means that while mining on our pool you can mine different coins simultaniously without decrease of hashrate for major coin. You can mine with your own CPU and GPU without purchasing.

It is most problably the most user-friendly interface. Beginner can start mining in just a few minutes. Click here to sign up.

gallery/minergate

CPU Mining

If GPU mining isn’t feasible for your PC, you can still mine, though not as quickly. The process is pretty much the same as for the GPU mining process, and you’ll still need the same information described above. The main difference is that instead of cgminer, you’ll download a program called cpuminer. Just like with cgminer, you'll need to create a batch file by creating a new text file in the cpuminer folder, entering a short script, then renaming it to a .bat file. For cpuminer, your script will look like this:

minerd.exe -o url:port -u username.workername -p workerpassword

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