Solo mining for profit is not possible. There are a fixed number of bitcoins released. This means the more people that mine Bitcoin are fighting over the same amount so each miner gets less and less as more people do it. This is called the “difficulty” increase. As a result miners form groups called pools where everyone gets a share of the reward when a reward is obtained. This is because solo mining will takes months, years, or even decades before a reward would be obtained on average.
Solo mining with your computer processor (CPU mining) will simply heat up your computer system. It would take many decades to get a reward (most likely never) and you may damage your system due to the heat.
Solo mining with graphics cards (GPU) is now not profitable even with a pool. A solo mining effort would take many years to see a reward on average (again, most likely never) and may shorten the life of the graphics card.
Even with the new ASICs miners, there are so many people doing it that unless you have a large and expensive setup seeing a reward via solo mining could take months or years. Mining solo with ASIC’s requires different software or you may lose a significant amount of your hashing power. The mining software used for CPU’s and GPU’s uses the ”getwork” method and will not work well with ASICS. You must run software using the “stratum” method. the way to do this is to run the same software used by mining pools. According to the developer of the mining software installing the software to mine with ASICs will not work well with Windows so there is no Windows release. You must run Linux and the pool software must be installed locally on Linux. The instructions for installing eloipool software to this is found at https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=158105.0.
If you wish to run a CPU or GPU just to see how it works you should understand that Mining has 3 parts.
- Bitcoin-QT. This communicates with the Bitcoin network and communicates the transactions, blocks, etc. In order to run solo mining the bitcoin.conf file must include “server=1″ so the miner software can communicate with Bitcoin-QT and the Bitcoin network.
- Mining software (see https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Mining_software). This manages the CPU or GPU that is doing the calculations. In the old days this software was included with Bitcoin-QT but there are many specialized miner programs that were developed during the GPU mining era.
- Driver for the specific cpu or gpu you are using. This is so the device doing the calculations (CPU or GPU) can communicate with the miner software. You may need something such as OpenCL to set it up on Windows.