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I am trying to solo mine bitcoin but the blockchain has been downloaded to an external hard drive.

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You don't need to store the full blockchain in order to solo mine. A pruned node works just fine and requires only a few gigabytes of storage.

If you join what's called a "solo mining pool", you don't need to run a node at all, provided that you're okay with a small level of trust towards the mining pool and with a small percentage fee taken from your reward in the highly unlikely event that you actually manage to find a block.

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  • Is there a solo mining pool with Getwork protocol? My ASICs can't connect with stratum..
    – 1n4ho12
    Sep 18 at 21:13
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    According to this answer, no mining pools have supported getwork since 2011. Sep 19 at 11:45

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