Server 2012 R2 BSOD iastorS.sys

Brand new install of Intel Server system P4308CP4MHGC system with C600 RKSATA8 RAID Key and 8 X WD2000FYYZ 2TB Hard drives in a RAID 5 configuration using on board RSTe software RAID with 1 1.5TB partition and the balance (Something over about 10TB).

Install Server 2012 R2  Load RAID Drivers downloaded from Intel website during install in order to be able to see the hard drive partitions.  Proceed with the install of Windows without any errors or issues.  Install the updated chipset drivers downloaded from Intel site.  Device Manager shows no problems.  

Continue with windows updates (About 117 in first session, Reboot server, another 116 updates, Reboot server plus another 20 or so updates with 2 - 3 additional reboots.  Windows updates Says no more available updates. Also installed the Intel Windows RSTe program to monitor the initialization of the hard drives (This was actually done during the first round of updates).   The 1st partition (OS) finishes initializing.  Check periodically on initialization of other drive.  At last check it got to 35% the second time and about 40% or so the first time.  This took probably about 4 - 6 hours (I think this is probably normal for 10TB plus partition?).  I don't know at what point it crashed but came back to the computer to find it waiting at the "Troubleshoot" windows screen.

From then on the computer will not see the OS RAID drive but I believe it does see the "Reserved" partition because it begins to start windows and attempts a repair which fails.

Things I have tried:  (Including with Microsoft on the phone walking me through some things.  They have now said they need to perform additional research and I am waiting for them to call me back).  This is the second round with Microsoft support.  They tried to help fix the issue for several hours the first time before deciding I should just reformat and re-install which ended up in the same place in the end.

Boot up with the Windows DVD.  Can't attempt a repair directly because OS drive not visible due to RAID drivers not loaded.  Start Installation of Windows to he point of installing the RAID drivers so that it can now see the RAID array.  Then cancel the Installation and go back to the "Install" or "Repair" screen from the DVD. At this point I can now see and work with the OS drive.  If I run checkdisk /f it goes through all the options without any errors but BSOD's at the end and instantly reboots.   If I run chkdsk without the "/f" option it completes and says there are no problems found.

Microsoft has had me try various things in the Registry such as finding the iastorS.sys entry and changing the parameter to (4) and a few other things all within the System Registry.

I have now installed Windows 2012 R2 twice and gotten to the exact same point after no problems installing all updates and rebooting multiple times etc...

Also possibly of note.  I have not gotten to the point of Setting a "Role" for the server or any other configurations.  I was waiting for the drives to finish initializing and also the server is not in it's final environment for network configurations etc...
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
This is definitely intel driver problem. The fact that you are using onboard fake RAID Controller is a bad sign. I would strongly recommend you goong with a real RAID conteoller. The onboard fake RAID conteollers are known for many problems. If you go with real controller then you save lots of nerves and time.
jctcomAuthor Commented:
Unfortunately your suggestion is not actually a solution.  I believe the problem is with Intel's / Microsoft's "Signed" RST drivers which are just junk.

I have resolved the issue by using the on board eRST / LSI RAID system instead of the RST.  Things seem to be running smooth now.

Though I wish Intel and Microsoft would get together and test their RST drivers more thoroughly especially when they cause problems like this (Which I have seen in the past as well.)  I have reported and had Microsoft troubleshoot the issue and they also could not resolve it instead blaming the hardware and requesting extensive hardware tests. (I did do many of them with the results being there is nothing wrong with it).  

I doubt much will come of it from Microsoft's or Intel's end though.

In any case.  The problem is resolved now.  Thank you for your suggestion though.


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jctcomAuthor Commented:
This is more of a work-a-round than a solution.  But I did not have time for Microsoft or Intel to fess up and admit their drivers are bunk and do something about it.

The reason I wanted to use the RST drivers in the first place is that they allow for multiple virtual drives in a single RAID array which would have allowed for installation of MBR on one virtual drive and GPT on the other thus accommodating the lack of Windows 2012 R2 to be able to be installed on a GPT partition without EFI enabled.  (Apparently as soon as you enable EFI on this board the RAID controllers are no longer accessible!).  With the eRST / LSI controller I was able to create 2 separate arrays.  1 with a RAID 1 and using MBR and the other being RAID 10 with the additional 6 drives and formatted using GPT from within Windows.

Not ideal as it forces me to make the MBR partition much larger than it needs to be and wastes that space as I don't want any Data on it.  But the work-a-round should suffice.

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Windows Server 2012

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