Folding@home is a distributed computing project where people from throughout the world download and run software, banding together to make one of the largest supercomputers in the world to study Protein Folding. The console application can be run as a Windows Service using FireDaemon Pro, which allows you to have the application start automatically at boot prior to login, start multiple instances of the application and more. This HOWTO will show you how to set it up. You can also use FireDaemon Fusion to manage FireDaemon and other Windows services via a web browser.

Folding@home Setup Under FireDaemon Pro

Download the Folding@Home software from the official website.

The Vista console version does not have an installer, so unzip it to a directory on your computer. For the purposes of this guide, we will be using the directory C:\Folding@Home

Manually run the Folding@Home executable and configure all your options (Username, Team, Keypass, etc.).

Download and install FireDaemon Pro into the directory of your choice, typically C:\Program Files\FireDaemon.

Next, start the FireDaemon GUI from the desktop shortcut. Click on the "Create a new service definition" button in the toolbar (or type Ctrl+N) and enter the information into the fields as you see below. Adjust the paths to suit your installation. Note that no parameters are required.

  • Executable: The path to your Folding@home-Win32-GPU.exe file. For the purposes of this guide, the path is C:\Folding@Home\Folding@home-Win32-GPU.exe.
  • Working Directory: The directory containing your Folding@home-Win32-GPU.exe file. For the purposes of this guide, the path is C:\Folding@Home.
  • Parameters: None. Leave this field blank.

Now click on the Settings tab. If you DON'T want to see Folding@Home running, uncheck the Interact with Desktop check box & select “Hidden” from the “Show Window” dropdown. You can optionally run Folding@Home as the user you installed it as. In the Logon Account field type your username (eg. Administrator) and then enter the user's password twice in the Password and Confirm fields. You can change the Process Priority to allocate more CPU time to Folding@Home or specify which CPU or core Folding@Home will run on (in the case of multi-processor, hyperthreaded or multi-core CPUs).

Now click on the Lifecycle tab. Uncheck Graceful Shutdown as Folding@Home doesn't respond to it. Make sure "Console Application" is checked.

Note: In Vista and Windows 7, a popup error displays because it cannot find your GPU. To fix this, you will also need to make a Dialog rule. On the downside, the popup keeps displaying every 5 to 6 seconds, so you'll get the Interactive Services nag screen popup. Folding@Home still works though.

Title String: Folding@Home
Response: OK

Now click on the OK button to install and start Folding@Home!