What's the latest on GPU processing when installed as a service in Win 7?


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Questions and Answers : GPU applications : What's the latest on GPU processing when installed as a service in Win 7?

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Profile woodyrox
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Message 1167249 - Posted: 2 Nov 2011, 19:49:46 UTC

I'm wondering if it is possible to install boinc as a service and run GPU tasks while logged in as a regular user under Win 7? I know this was not possible in Vista and last I heard, Win 7 was the same as Vista. Has this been fixed yet? If so, is there a specific level of Win 7 that's needed?

Thanks in advance for saving me from many hours of effort and frustration.
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Message 1167258 - Posted: 2 Nov 2011, 20:10:02 UTC - in response to Message 1167249.

There is nothing to fix, not for BOINC at least. It's a security measure of Windows, where it separates the sessions of where the drivers and services run from where the user accounts run; this is called sandboxing.

It can only be solved by either Microsoft, or by the driver manufacturers, by having them not install (part of) their drivers as a service.

If you're worried about needing to run BOINC Manager all the time, even when BOINC is now not installed as a service, you can run the client (boinc.exe) stand-alone, without the Manager (boincmgr.exe, GUI).
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Message 1167262 - Posted: 2 Nov 2011, 20:34:10 UTC - in response to Message 1167258.

Yeah, all I need to run is the client because I can get to it from a manager running in my session or on the network. But I thought there was still a problem with that approach because when you change users, the CUDA drivers get pulled from the client and it falls back to cpu processing. At least that's how it works on my vista systems.
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Message 1167280 - Posted: 2 Nov 2011, 21:32:51 UTC - in response to Message 1167262.

Ah, fast user switching. Yes, that's correct.

Here another Windows feature gets into effect: the Windows built-in videocard driver. When using remote desktop procedures and the fast user switching procedure, Windows switches to a built-in videocard driver for the user that was already logged in.

His programs, which includes BOINC, will then run on a virtual videocard. This driver doesn't know anything about CUDA/CAL or OpenCL and therefore, BOINC detects that the CUDA/CAL/OpenCL part of the driver is missing and it stops trying to use the GPU, until you switch back to the original logged in user.

The built-in driver cannot be upgraded.
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Message 1167285 - Posted: 2 Nov 2011, 21:49:29 UTC - in response to Message 1167280.

OK, thanks. So it's still the same as I remember. But what do you mean by fast user switching? Is there any other kind of user switching where I can leave a session logged in with all of its drivers connected, and switch to another session with a different permission level? That would be an acceptable work-around. Once in a while, I use tightvnc to access remote desktops, but could give that up if it causes boinc gpu problems.

So here is my question in a nutshell, is there a way, any way, to run boinc full time on a Win 7 system regardless on who's logged on?

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Message 1167296 - Posted: 2 Nov 2011, 22:27:36 UTC - in response to Message 1167285.

As long as you set in the installer that everyone on the computer is allowed to control BOINC, and check and otherwise repair their privileges, then you can just install BOINC and it'll run for whomever logs in.

The normal way to switch users is to log the old user off before logging the new user in.
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Questions and Answers : GPU applications : What's the latest on GPU processing when installed as a service in Win 7?

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