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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Enable Intel ICH RAID After Installing Windows Vista

Many people seem to have found my original post about enabling ICH RAID after installing Vista quite helpful, so I thought it would be worth adding a follow-up post to add a few details.
First, some people have suggested that you can simply search for the iastor.sys file instead of navigating to the path I mentioned in the first post.  This should be a fine alternative to manually navigating there, but just be sure to pick the right iastor.sys file.
Second, some people mention that right-clicking on the iastor.inf file located in the same directory as the iastor.sys file gives you an “Install” option.  I have seen that option, and I tried installing the driver in that manner, but it did not  work for me.  Your mileage may vary.
Third, there is the question of ControlSet001 vs CurrentControlSet in the registry entries.  Without getting into too much detail, the CurrentControlSet value in the registry is simply a pointer to whichever Control Set has been loaded by Windows.  For simplicity (and compatability’s) sake, I have changed all entries in the reg file to point to CurrentControSet, rather than to a specific, numbered control set.  More often than not, your system will be using ControlSet001, but that might not always be the case.
Finally, Intel has updated their Matrix Storage Manager software as of 3/13, which means changes need to be made to the registry information in my previous post if you want to install the newest version of the softwareright off the bat.  If you would rather stick with the slightly older build, you can find it here.
What I decided to do was take a snapshot of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE portion of my registry before and after installing the newest version of the Matrix Storage Manager software to see what values might have changed between versions.  I suppose I can’t say that this is an absolutely bulletproof way of determining what has changed, but it’s a pretty darn good attempt.
Luckily, not a ton has changed – in fact, only one section of the registry file has been altered in the new release.
The second key in the registry file that adds data to theHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E97B-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}\0001 key has been slightly altered.  The changes to that section are on lines 2, 5, 6, and 7, which simply denote driver version changes:
"DriverDesc"="Intel(R) ICH8R/ICH9R/ICH10R/DO SATA RAID Controller"
That’s it – those are the only differences, aside from “Enum” entries that are specific to your computer.
Hopefully this helps some of you looking to switch on RAID in your Vista install.
Also, if someone would like to take a registry snapshot of their computer before and after both RAID is configured and Matrix Storage Manager is installed, I would love to see those registry files so I can do a bit of comparison.
Download RAIDFix 1.1.0
45 KB, .exe – Requires .NET 3.5
RAIDFix is a small application that allows you to enable RAID on an Intel ICH-based motherboard after installing Windows with RAID disabled.RAIDFix - Repair Intel RAID Driver issues with a single Click.  No more Blue Screen of Death!
Often, enabling RAID in the system’s BIOS after installing Windows with RAID disabled results in the dreaded Blue Screen of Death and immediate reboots, followed by hours of frustration and searching the Internet for a solution.
I had previously detailed how to enable RAID after installing Windows, which has helped countless people fix their computers without having to reinstall the OS from scratch.  The process is pretty straightforward, but for those afraid to tweak their registry, it can be a daunting task.  Enter RAIDFix.
RAIDFix takes the guesswork out of fixing your system:
Simply download the application, select the driver version you would like to install, choose your system drive (typically C:\), specify whether you have a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows, and click “Patch my System“.  It’s that easy!
The drivers are verified by Intel to work on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7.  Give RAIDFix a try and banish those BSODs for good!

RAIDFix offers the following features:
  • One-click fix for Intel RAID Issues
  • Automatically installs missing drivers and registry entries
  • Easy to use interface
  • UAC Compatability
  • Automatic update notification – RAIDFix will automatically check for application updates so you always have the latest version at your fingertips
Updates to the software can always be found on this page. I can usually be found in the Team Hack-a-Day Chat Room, but feel free to leave comments.
RAIDFix 1.1.0 – 2009.12.08
  • Added Windows UAC compatability to allow for elevated credentials at runtime
  • Added ability to specify different system drive paths
  • Added option to retain temporary files after RAIDFix is finished

 It worked wihtout any issue.
1) Grab the new registry file.
2) Run it, and confirmed script was good and applied changes to registry.
3) Rebooted.
4) Changed SATA mode to RAID
5) Saved Bios and Rebooted
6) I was 50/50 expecting to see the Vista Blue Screen Error, but nothing!
7) After login in Vista, new setup and RAID that I had already configured was recongnized and drivers installed.

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