Beginners Guide to Farming Chia in Windows
Rev 2.0, by JM Hands. This guide is written to Chia version 1.3, and a beta version was used in the video.
- Prepare your system for farming
- Install Chia
- Get xch from the faucet
- Create plotnft (this will allow you to join a pool)
- Plot with madMAx chia-plotter
- Start farming!
Step 1 – prepare your system for farming
- Desktop with at least 4 cores and 16GB of RAM, but recommend 8 core and 32GB of ram.
- SSD to store the database. You are fine to use your boot drive, but the Chia db is around 40GB (v2) and will grow about this much every year. You are running a full copy of the blockchain! SATA SSD or low capacity NVMe is fine, if this is your boot drive I would highly recommend 500GB and NOT 256GB. You should be able to find 500GB NVMe for $40
- A hard drive to store the plots on – you can use any HDD, but it is recommended that you use something greater than or equal to 8TB.
- A secondary SSD for plotting. Follow the guide here for some recommendations.
- If you are just going to farm a few hard drives, a standard consumer NVMe is just fine
- If you are planning on farming many hard drives you need a data center SSD, which can be found used for under $200.
The hardest part of farming Chia is just getting the system set up properly before you start. There are many viable approaches to farming, but desktop remains the most popular because the barrier to entry is very low. You will want a separate hard drive for Chia farming, and it is recommended that you get one that is a relatively high capacity (greater than 8TB). If you followed some of our guides, you will see that if you are also plotting, you will want a dedicated SSD for temporary storage. Consumer M.2 will work ok if you are plotting just a few hard drives, but if you are getting serious about Chia you will want to buy a used data center SSD that has good endurance (how much data you can write to the drive before it wears out), and sustained write bandwidth (for fast plotting speeds!).
Step 2 – Install Chia
Go to chia.net/download and click on Windows. This version of the guide was based on the beta of 1.3, and the latest production version will always be right here on the top.
Double click to install
Select Farming Mode
This little Windows firewall thing will pop up twice, for now just click accept. If you want to have the most peers (remember, this is a fully peer-to-peer blockchain) you will want to have the ports opened up and setup a port forwarding rule on your router (optional).
Click on create new private key
Grab a pen and paper now!! Write down these 24 words, in the exact order they are shown. This seed will be able to recover your wallet if lose access to the system you are setting this up. You will want to store it in a safe place, like a home safe.
Don’t take a screenshot of your words, since a hacker could try and get it! I am doing this here to illustrate the process.
Optional – change to dark mode (who on earth uses light mode anymore??)
Step 3 – Get XCH from the Faucet
Click on the wallet, and copy your receive address
Navigate to https://faucet.chia.net/ and put in your address and click submit
The Chia database will start to sync in the background. Just let this go, it will take about a day to sync on standard desktop but now with version 1.3 you do not need to wait for the full node to sync to move on to the steps to create a plotnft and start plotting!
Step 4 – Create PlotNFT for Pooling
Click on pool tab, and select join a pool
You can start with self pool and change pool later, or you can put in a pool from these lists
You now sent your first transaction on the Chia blockchain! You can use a zero fee, but it is recommended to use 5 mojo, 0.000000000005 xch. This will ensure that the transaction doesn’t take a long time if there is high transaction volume or spam on the network.
You will now see a plotnft with a funny name. This is what you will use to tie your plots to, so the plots know which pool they are part of.
Step 5 – Plotting
If you haven’t formatted your new SSD or hard drive, you will need to do that now. Click the Windows key and type in “Disk Management” and hit enter
Your boot drive will show up as C: drive. You can click on your SSD and your hard drive and format them to NTFS with defaults, and select any name you want. In the example below I have a 1TB NVMe as my boot drive and a 3.84TB enterprise NVMe that I am using for plotting. In your system you will also have your destination drive for farming which is the hard drive.
Select madMAx plotter, k=32 plot size (108GB). Start with one plot to test.
Input number of threads equal to the number of physical cores in your system. You can leave the rest on default. Don’t put anything in for farmer key or public key, these are for if you are creating plots on a machine that does not have any keys present.
Select your SSD as the temp directory, and your HDD as the final directory. This is where the plot file gets copied to when it is completed. Make sure you select your plotNFT from the dropdown
Check that your plotting started and view the log!
You can also view task manager and make sure the CPU is ramping up. On a standard desktop machine with a consumer NVMe you can expect plot time to be between 30 minutes and an hour for each plot. So be patient, and run this with a higher number of plot count and let it run overnight.
When the plots are done you can see them in Windows explorer. These are 101.3GiB, 108GB or 106,000,000kB (stupid Windows displaying in kilobytes)
Step 5 – Farming
To start farming, you need the full node to be synced. Remember this takes a day or so. When the database is fully synced and you have the latest and fully validated copy of the blockchain, you will see it say “Synced”
Click on the farming tab, you should see your plots show up here. If they are not, click add directory and find your HDD where the plots are located. If you are farming correctly, they should show up green like this!
If you selected self-pool above, now you will want to join a pool so you can actually get some farming rewards. You can click the pool tab and select join pool
You can switch pools as many times as you like, there is usually a time period of a certain amount of blocks you need to wait before switching again to prevent people from trying to cheat the pool when they win a block. That is it! You can check the website for you pool for some statistics on the partial proofs of space (these prove to the pool you have plots and are indeed farming).
That is it! Please check out some of our other build guides if you get serious about Chia and want to build some real plotting machines and want to expand your farm.