Newbie stuck at the finish line of getting miner started

I wanted to get involved in mining zcash with my new laptop, so I sat down today set everything up.

I'm pretty new to Linux Debian (my OS) and very new to mining.

I'm interested to learn but at least getting the miner started was my goal and I failed.

I installed zcash according to the guides, and I did both tests it passed with flying colors, those command being:
./qa/zcash/full-test-suite.sh
and
./qa/pull-tester/rpc-tests.sh

I had trouble getting it to start with mining. It started great the first time, but the guide didn't say to add gen=1 the first time, but to stop it and when I tried that it gave an error telling me to set my rpcpassword.
And I tinkered with the .conf file.
And I tried restarting my computer.
Long story short where I'm at now is that issuing command:
./src/zcashd
says I'm mining but also says there is an error:

Thank you for running a Zcash node!
You're helping to strengthen the network and contributing to a social good :slight_smile:

You are mining with the tromp solver on 1 threads.

Since starting this node 0 seconds ago:
- You have validated no transactions.

Init message:

[Press Ctrl+C to exit] [Set 'showmetrics=0' to hide]


EXCEPTION: St13runtime_error
could not load param file at /home/john/.zcash-params/sprout-verifying.key
Zcash in AppInit()

john@cpu1:~/zcash$ ./src/zcash-cli getinfo
error: couldn't connect to server

So I have some questions please:
1. what's wrong; how do I get this server running?
2. if I restart or turn off my computer, is my mining production retained or do I have to do something else first?

My advice do not use a laptop for mining as it creates to much heat and they are not designed to run 24/7 flat out,we use mining frames as the heat is to much for enclosed graphics cards in cases, you will be better investing in one of them GPU docking stations that can be attached to laptop over USB and run a desktop GPU

You need to mine with a pool then all you need is mining software and setup your worker on pool, start your mining software and your mining, move to windows if it's better for you and check out suprnova pool they have a help section with all mining software links and help with bat file for starting miner, there is no point in solo mining you will find a block every couple of years lol

Thanks for the advice and adjustment to my expectations but at the same time I don't see why I should invest more in equipment to run software I can't get running at all because of parameters or factors unknown to me.

I have therefore suspended my interest to get involved at least until I learn more and have more time to figure this out.

@Velexx did you run zcash-fetch-params?

what GPU does your laptop have?