08 Mar 2007 10:01 am

Intel RAID problem under Windows Vista

UPDATE – 15 Apr 07: I’ve now had time to apply the registry tweak suggested by Intel to address this issue. For me, it works! I can now use my Maxtor drives in the system with zero iastor errors.

Note that I have NOT tried to install Vista using the higher-numbered ports on the ICH8R controller, so I don’t know whether that part of the fix works.

Here’s what my registry looked like before the fix (click on the thumbnail for a full-sized view):

Reg before tweak

And after:

Reg after tweak


FLASH UPDATE – 2 Apr 07: Finally the vendor community has stopped pointing fingers at each other and recognised the problem – well, sort of.

Special thanks to commentor HÃ¥kan Andersson for linking to this page on intel.com. In summary, Intel claims that Microsoft made changes to the Vista installation process that resulted in some disc power management features being activated for desktop PCs as well as for laptops. Desktop drives that don’t correctly implement the power management features then cause probles such as we have all experienced (and as are set out in the many fora linked below).

Intel suggests a number of workarounds. I haven’t yet tried any. My initial comments on the workarounds are:

  • if available, install updated firmware for the device
    • I have latest firmware on my motherboard, and it makes no difference
    • I have installed latest firmware to my Maxtor HDDs and it makes no difference
  • switch to IDE mode in the system BIOS
    • this is not a viable workaround if you actually want to use the RAID features of the controller (which features are not available in IDE mode)
  • attach the device(s) to ports 3-5 on the Intel® 82801HR/HH/HO I/O controller hub (ICH8R) or port 3 on the Intel® 82801GR/GH I/O controller hub (ICH7R)
    • not a viable workaround if you have more than three HDDs (I have 5)
  • delete the iastor(v) Parameters registry key by using (listed steps)
    • this suggestion holds the most promise — perhaps it disables the unnecessary power management features.

If you try out Intel’s suggestions, please post your results as a comment.


Update – 19 Mar 07: after many hours of work I have uncovered strong evidence of a conflict between certain Maxtor hard drives and the Vista/ICH8R combination. The symptms of the conflict are listed below.

I have COMPLETELY removed the problem from my system by replacing ALL Maxtor drives with other brands (I avoided Seagate as my supplier says that, since Seagate bought Maxtor, the Maxtor drives are just rebrands).

I have received new firmware from Maxtor and will install it when I get a chance, to see whether it helps.

For more details, see (especially) the first of the Asus threads listed below, and also the Microsoft TechNet thread.


Intel, we have a problem!

All around the web, PC users installing Microsoft’s new Windows Vista operating system are striking problems when they try to use hard drives in RAID (Redundant Array of Independent/Inexpensive Discs) arrays.

Impacted configurations:

The problems appear on PCs in which the hard drives are connected to Intel’s Matrix Storage controllers. It’s not completely clear which products are effected. Here is the list of members of the Matrix Storage product family:

  • Intel® 82801HR/HH/HO I/O controller hub (ICH8R) – RAID and AHCI
  • Intel® 631xESB/632xESB I/O Controller Hub – RAID and AHCI
  • Intel® 82801GHM I/O Controller Hub (ICH7MDH) – RAID only
  • Intel® 82801GBM I/O Controller Hub (ICH7M) – AHCI only
  • Intel® 82801GR I/O Controller Hub (ICH7R) – RAID and AHCI
  • Intel® 82801GH I/O Controller Hub (ICH7DH) – RAID and AHCI
  • Intel® 82801FR I/O Controller Hub (ICH6R) – RAID and AHCI
  • Intel® 82801FBM I/O Controller Hub (ICH6M) – AHCI only.

These controllers are widely used on motherboards based around the various Intel chipset families. The chipsets are:

  • Intel® G965 Express Chipset
  • Intel® P965 Express Chipset
  • Intel® Q963 Express Chipset
  • Intel® Q965 Express Chipset
  • Intel® 5000P Chipset
  • Intel® 5000V Chipset
  • Intel® 5000X Chipset
  • Intel® 975X Express Chipset
  • Intel® 955X Express Chipset
  • Intel® 945 Express Chipset family
  • Mobile Intel® 945 Express Chipset family
  • Intel® E7230 Chipset
  • Intel® 925X Express Chipset family
  • Intel® 915 Express Chipset family
  • Mobile Intel® 915 Express Chipset family
  • Intel® 910GL Express Chipset
  • Mobile Intel® 910GML Express Chipset

It’s quite possible that not all of these chipsets are effected.

Problems appear to be evident for all types of RAID configuration (RAID 0, RAID 1, RAID 10, RAID 5) supported on these controllers.

So, what’s the problem?

Symptoms vary, but all of the following have been observed (not all at once!):

* It’s not possible to do a ‘clean install’ of Windows Vista. The installation often freezes with the Microsoft copyright notice on the screen, and with the green progress bar (sometimes known as the ‘Cylon Eye’) moving across the screen.
* It’s not possible to complete a Vista upgrade from Windows XP. The first part of the upgrade process appears to go OK (‘hosted’ by Windows XP) but when the PC reboots to let Vista take over and complete the process, the system freezes with symptoms similar to the above.
* Some users get repeated ‘STOP ERROR’ failures – often with error code Stop: 0x0000007b.
* Some users see system random system slow downs and freezes. Error logs show that this is because of ‘iastor not responding’. (Iastor is Intel’s driver for the RAID controller.)
* Some users have seen random data corruption and/or reboots (BSoD).

In most cases, evidence seems to point to the Intel RAID drivers as the root cause of the problem. There is some evidence of conflicts and/or incompatibility between the Intel controller and certain Marvell Yukon LAN controllers – but this is not always the case.

Motherboards manufactured by Asus and Gigabyte are impacted, as are those used by Dell in various systems. Other manufacturers’ products may also be hit.

Current status

Many users have reported problems to Intel and/or their motherboard manufacturer. So far, Intel and Asus seem to be having difficulty reproducing the fault in lab conditions. The various players seem reluctant to acknowledge the existence of a widespread fault.

There is no ‘silver bullet’ fix.

Many workarounds have been suggested. Different workarounds work for different people. For some users, no workaround seems to provide a solution that allows the RAID array to function under Vista.

Strong evidence suggests that the early Vista builds (Beta builds – prior to RC builds) worked OK, and that the problem has crept in recently.

In almost every case, the systems worked fine under RAID when using Windows XP. This seems to suggest a software error rather than hardware problems.

In almost every case, reconfiguring the Intel controller to work in IDE mode (this reconfiguration must be made in the motherboard’s BIOS settings) allows Vista to be installed and work fine. However, for most users this is only a short term workaround. There’s a reason to use RAID (speed increase under RAID 0, redundancy under RAID 1) – and it’s not possible to enjoy those RAID benefits in IDE mode.

Active discussions

I’ve collected all the active discussions of this problem that I can find on the web. Please add a comment if you find another, and I’ll put it on the list.

Microsoft TechNet: this is the motherlode, folks. A very long and detailed discussion of the problem, spanning Asus, Gigabyte and Dell products. Many workarounds discussed.

Dell Forums: a discussion about the problem as manifested on Dell systems. Some evidence here that the problem is exacerbated when SATA optical drives are also connected to the Intel controller.

Tom’s Hardware: a discussion of the problem appearing on Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 motherboards.

Asus forums: a thread regarding the problem on P5B Deluxe Wifi-AP motherboards.

Asus forums: as above, but for P5B Deluxe.

Kapersky Labs forums: initially, these folks thought they had an antivirus problem – but they soon figured out it was Intel RAID!

Microsoft Windows Vista Community: an online interaction with a real MS support person – pointing to bad drivers (on P5B Deluxe).

Discussion on Lockergnome: possible workaround.

Intel support form: fill in your details here and report the problem to Intel (again).


Gigabyte page to download updated Marvell Yukon LAN ROM code

Intel download page for latest drivers (select your OS from the list)

If you find anything useful (links or resources) that I should add here, please leave a comment.

139 Responses to “Intel RAID problem under Windows Vista”

  1. on 25 Jan 2008 at 7:37 (Sydney) 1.ugo said …


    I forgot to mention that I tested the Motherbord under Win Xp 32 bit and Vista 64 bit


  2. on 20 Feb 2008 at 14:32 (Sydney) 2.me said …

    I have had this problem with several motherboards: several ASUS P5B models and my current: Gigabyte GA-965P-DS4 rev3.3
    I had this problem with these hdd’s:
    2x320GB Maxtor
    1x320GB WesternDigital
    2x500GB WesternDigital

    Have tried to use any of the disks on the ICH controller in all modes (IDE, AHCI or RAID). No mather what I do the system is not stable when the disks are connected to the ICH. Generaly, the problems occured during prolonged intensive hdd workload, but in some situations they occured even when there was allmost no disk activity. I have noticed that just before the BSOD there is a sound comming from the HDD as if it has been turned off and back on. Has anyone else noticed such sounds comming from the hdd just before it freezes or BSOD?

    Since, I have managed to reproduce the errors in every mode of the ICH, I think that it is actualy related to hardware problem in the ICH or the firmware of the ICH. But, I recently upgraded from 2x1gb to 4x1gb and noticed that the problems are occuring more frequently. This makes me doubt that it might not be a h/w issue.

    I have connected 2x500GB to the jMicron controller and disabled everything possible relating to the ICH. Now the system is working in RAID, I have no timeouts (since the ICH is disabled), no hdd data corruption, I can install any OS I choose without any problem.

    Long live JMICRON !!!

  3. on 20 Feb 2008 at 14:40 (Sydney) 3.me said …

    One more thing ….

    I tried to do a “Drive Test” with Ontrack Easy Recovery and noticed that:
    1) Each disk is 100% error free
    2) When testig the RAID array then there are there are several I/O errors. This might be the reason for the timeouts.

  4. on 27 Feb 2008 at 4:59 (Sydney) 4.ugo said …

    At me:

    Have you tried to disable the suspend to disk from Vista control panel?



  5. on 29 Feb 2008 at 9:18 (Sydney) 5.me said …

    No, I have not tried that.

    I have lost a lot of time with this problem and I am tired from the ICH crap. I don’t ever want to even try installing anything on the ICH (at least for the next 5-10 years).

    I have found some cheap pci-e sata raid controlers (~15euro) and if I ever need additional sata ports I might try some of them.

  6. on 12 Mar 2008 at 16:38 (Sydney) 6.Alpha said …

    After trying several things in last 3 days, this was the solution I did find.

    I did use Vista Setup Screen to quick format RAID 0 partitions. It allowed me sucessfully install vista and able to boot with zero problem..

    My guess is something wrong with MBR if you do not use Vista Setup Screen. Somehow it can not boot from partitions which formatted by other tools.


  7. on 20 Mar 2008 at 2:48 (Sydney) 7.Jack said …

    Could you pls tell me the registry tweak to fix this Intel RAID problem?

  8. on 28 Mar 2008 at 6:41 (Sydney) 8.Lewis Barclay said …

    I’d really appreciate some help here.

    I own an ASUS PW5 DH Motherboard with a ICH7R controller.

    For the last 12 months I have needed to rebuild my Vista RAID0 PC at least once every other month. I’ve backed up, so it’s not as stressful as it could be. However, for the last 2 months I’ve had to rebuild every month…For the last few weeks probably every other day and this is after a Vista SP1 install.

    Normally what happens:
    Disks work fine for ages, then I get a time out error iastor.sys –>
    BSOD –>
    Intel Matrix Storage Disk failure or disks not bootable (disk read error on start up)

    the I have to rebuild / restore.

    I have two Samsung spinpoint 401 drives installed as a RAID0 set and have read all the stuff about the Intel Matrix Storage Manager problems. I have the latest BIOS and the latest windows updates as well as trying the drives on different Intel Ports.

    I’m beginning to think that this is a hardware problem because for example with the most recent restart…
    The machine has a ‘disk read error’ on startup, when I got home after a successful rebuild last night. I try to repair with the vista CD and am told that the boot sector is corrupt. I ignore this and don’t do anything.
    I turn the machine off for 30 minutes, turn it back on and it works perfectly!

    I’m seriously thinking that this might be a hardware issue now! I could do with some pointers from anyone.

    Could this be the error with the Intel drivers (of which I have the latest). I want to try to erradicate any possible driver errors before I start buying a new motherboards and/or new hard disk drives.

    Anyway, I’m happy my machine is up and running for ‘n’ number of hours / days!


  9. on 02 May 2008 at 13:47 (Sydney) 9.Rick said …

    I had the exact same problem you descibe using WD Raptors in RAID 0 on my ASUS P5E. I was always able to install Vista (Ultimate/x64) only after several days I’d get the iastor.sys blue screen. Upgrading to the latest Matrix manager (7.8 1013), moving the RAID Array to SATA ports 2/3, and deleting the registry keys as described above seems to have stabilized my PC…so far. Definitely agree that this is related to power management, as I would consistently have the problem after the PC woke from S3 suspend…Your research was very helpful – Thank you.

  10. on 04 May 2008 at 1:49 (Sydney) 10.René Vaessen said …


    Having the same problem.
    Check this out: http://forums.microsoft.com/TechNet/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=1858200&SiteID=17

    Maybe Intel is right. It is the combination of their chipset with the asus motherboard.

  11. on 06 May 2008 at 8:53 (Sydney) 11.simple said …

    Hi there!

    I have another problem: The ICH9R on my ASUS P5E3 Deluxe works fine with Vista SP1, but I’m not able to install WindowsXP (SP1 or SP2, it doesn’t matter). In an early stage of the installation I get a BSOD. So it seems, Intel has fixed the problem with ICH9R for Vista, but you can’t use XP anymore.


  12. on 12 May 2008 at 9:54 (Sydney) 12.chilio said …

    Hello there.

    I have slightly different problem. I was able to build/install at least 3 systems using VISTA x64 and RAID combinations. Always RAID 0 + RAID 0 or 5.
    Using ASUS Comando, ASUS Striker Extreme, ASUS MAXIMUS FORMULA
    And recently Gigabyte x48 DQ6.
    There are huge issues installing Vista x64 on RAID. Always get the latest drivers in the first place that’s what helped me installing former systems.
    Unfortunately I do have a problem with completing installation with Gigabyte mobo.

    Because of problems caused by placing the Vista boot record in different drives I decided to install system on 2 Raptors in Raid 0 on separate controller (in this case ADAPTEC 1435). After a lot of hours configuring system installing updates etc. I ‘ve just hit onto the problem:

    I tried to connect 4 HDD (RAID 5 infact) to ICH9 on MOBO (the drivers were propperly installed – i had no unrecognized hardware).
    Efect – the system doesn’t see the RAID because it has problem configuring the drivers for ICH9 but only if I plug the drives.
    The ICH9 driver doesn’t start because of mysterious error parameter unknown. Maybe anyone knows what it is all about.

    And… I know the solution. I only need to do new install of the system with all drives conected. (In fact I did it twice already with Comando and Maximus). Someone might think that I got problems because of lack of knowledge, but that’s not my case I live with RAID systems from the beginning and believe me there are even more problems now then 5 years ago.

    BUT F.CK we do have 21 century and we really do need sometimes to exchange data between systems, we sometimes do need that type ‘sophisticated’ functionality like attaching new drive to the system.

    We are living now in sad times, where clients do work for companies like testers, and receive only buggy hard and software.
    Is there any company on the IT world you coud count on? I doubt it.
    I used to think that you could rely on Intel, but surprisingly I had even more problems while using their mobo’s.
    These days companies struggle to put the products to the market ASAP which causes unbelievable number of errors.

    What could we do? Nothing? No you can always stop researching for them.
    Stop striving to find the solutions. You can always return the goods to the producers if they don’t meet your expactation. It’ is their task to cure the problem.
    It is all crap, believe me. So if you have working system don’t change it because you saw new chipset or technology came to the market – wait and get only reliable solutions, unless you want to be …. by them. (Use the word you like).

    Hope you’ll have better experiences.

  13. on 16 May 2008 at 1:12 (Sydney) 13.Snowshine said …

    I am still troubled by this iaStor [Device/Ide/iaStor errors-event9] about once a month.
    Mine has the latest Intel ICH8R/ICH9R/SATA RAID Driver v7.8.0.1012.
    Chipset p965 V8.3.0.1011.
    HD: 640GB Serial ATA RAID 0 Stripe[2x320GB]
    I am running VISTA Home Premium SP-1[32bit]

    Can som one give me a solution to stop this iaStor recording in my Event Viewer?

  14. on 04 Jun 2008 at 7:51 (Sydney) 14.p5k premium said …

    p5k premium /wi-fi plus q9300 2xSEAGATE 1TB the same problems with raid like above… i am really angry … i decided to buy Adaptec RAID 1430SA insted of intel shitty solutions

  15. on 10 Jun 2008 at 18:03 (Sydney) 15.BitCrazed said …

    I have had *enormous* problems with Intel’s RAID too.

    I have a Dell Precision 370 with an Intel P4 3.2GHZ CPU, 925X Express Chipset (ICH6), 4GB RAM and 2 x WD Caviar 160GB SATA HDD’s.

    Was up until 4:00am last night trying to get Vista to install on a RAID0 stripe. Eventually got it to install, but wow, it was slow! Vista gave the machine’s HDD throughput at 2.2 in the perf results!

    Am horrified that Intel have done nothing to remedy this. RAID is all about perf and stability, no? Intel is delivering NEITHER! It’s not as if Vista is new or anything too – it’s been around publicly for over 2 years now.

    The ICH6 drivers are still at rev 7.0 despite Intel’s site suggesting that v7.5+ should be installed. They published new v8 drivers a couple of days ago, but the v8 drivers don’t support ICH6.

    C’mon Intel – time for you to support your products. Please fix your 7.x drivers too.

  16. on 14 Jun 2008 at 7:34 (Sydney) 16.UncleVic said …

    I’m having something of the same issues. Hardware: DFI Lanparty UT P35-T2R, Q6600 (G0), 8GB Ram, 4x500GB disk on ICH9R RAID10. Multiboots to WinXP x86, Win2003 x86, Win2003 x64; but neither to Vista SP1 x64 nor Win2008 x64. Distribution boot hangs on the second screen (small green left-to-right progress bar keep repeating indefinitely). Even managed to get to a custom “Load Driver” option and tried the latest Intel Matrix x64 drivers ( with no better success.

    Intel’s own website at http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/cs-025783.htm talks about recently introduced issues with the now bundled drivers screwing up the LPM registry settings for the drivers. I think Microsoft needs to get it right first instead of making ME the “beta tester”.

  17. on 25 Jun 2008 at 3:41 (Sydney) 17.UncleVic said …

    This is a follow-up to the issue…

    UPDATE: I came a lot closer to the real problem yesterday. If I disconnect the one SATA HDD that I have on the JMicron controller (JMB36X), the boot for Win2008 and Vista SP1 will both proceed.

    I don’t know if it takes both ICH9R RAID and JMicron SATA HDD to create this problem, but a “problem” it certainly is. At this point, I have a workaround, but it certainly is not satisfactory–I want to use HDD’s on the other controller too!

    Situations I’ve tried:

    1. with JMicron (Native IDE or AHCI+IDE) SATA HDD attached when booting from DVD*: HANGS
    2. with JMicron (Native IDE or AHCI+IDE) SATA HDD attached after O/S* is installed: HANGS on boot
    3. with JMicron (Native IDE or AHCI+IDE, default drivers) SATA HDD attached after O/S* is up: IGNORED
    4. with JMicron (AHCI+IDE, Jraid.sys driver installed) attached after O/S* is up: will connect successfully
    5. with JMicron disabled: Install works, O/S* boot also works
    6. with JMicron and IDE Optical only (Native IDE or AHCI+IDE): Install works, O/S* boot also works

    *the operating system is either Windows Vista x64 with SP1 bundled in, or Windows Server 2008–their behavior in this regard is identical.

    OS: WinXP x86, Win2003 x64 & x86, Win2008 x64, Vista
    CPU: Intel Q6600 Quad Core
    Video: ATI HD 3450 PCIe with 512MB, with latest ATI Catalyst Drivers.
    NIC: Marvell 88E8052 Gigabyte LAN PCIe
    Mobo: DFI LP UT P35-T2R
    Mem: 8GB (4x2GB Patriot Viper PC2-8500, 5-5-5-15)
    Disk: 5 x WD 5001ABYS, 500 GB each
    Raid: ICH9R 4xHDD RAID10=1TB
    Other HDD: AHCI on JMicron SATA
    DVD: HP DVD Writer 1040r (IDE)

  18. on 16 Jul 2008 at 6:28 (Sydney) 18.UncleVic said …

    This is another follow-up to my issue:

    Problem identified with both the “Native IDE” and “AHCI+IDE” modes of the
    JMicron (JMB36X) onboard controller. Issue went away when I:

    1. Removed all SATA HDDs from the JMicron
    2. Disable the JMicron controller at the BIOS level
    3. Use the “RAID+IDE” mode of the JMicron.

    This last solution worked well for me. All 5 O/S’es can now use the 1TB
    RAID on the ICH9R, and one or both HDDs on the JMicron (I’m currently running
    the latter in non-RAID configuration). Apparently, the default SATA IDE
    driver of Vista x64 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 cannot handle the JMicron;
    and even JMicron’s own Jraid.sys driver has issues when running “AHCI+IDE”
    mode. Under the “RAID+IDE”, I get NCQ and hot swap features, even when the
    drives are not actually runing in a RAIDset.

    I talked (emailed, actually) to both JMicron and DFI. JMicron believes that
    DFI’s BIOS needs an update. DFI tells me that they are working on such an
    update, and hope to have it ready soon.
    OS: WinXP SP3 x86, Win2003 SP2 x64 & x86, Win2008 x64, Vista x64 SP1
    CPU: Intel Q6600 Quad Core
    Video: ATI HD 3450 PCIe with 512MB, with latest ATI Catalyst Drivers.
    NIC: Marvell 88E8052 Gigabyte LAN PCIe
    Mobo: DFI LP UT P35-T2R
    Mem: 8GB (4x2GB Patriot Viper PC2-8500, 5-5-5-15)
    Disk: 5 x WD 5001ABYS Caviar RE2, 500 GB each;
    and Samsung Spinpoint F1 HD753LJ, 750GB (external enclosure, eSATA)
    Raid: ICH9R 4xHDD RAID10 = 1TB
    Other HDD: non-RAID config on JMicron SATA (running in RAID+IDE mode)
    DVD: HP DVD Writer 1040r (IDE)

  19. on 17 Jul 2008 at 18:13 (Sydney) 19.Swede1 said …

    Vista and RAID on ICH8R problems

    Current Setup
    – Vista Business 32 SP1
    – Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 Rev 3.3 (Intel P965 chipset, with ICH8R & Jmicron controllers on board) Both RAID controllers are enabled in BIOS and set to RAID mode and “SATA Port0-3 Native Mode” enabled for the ICH8R and “RAID/IDE” (for the Jmicron) enabled
    – Intel Q6600 Quad CPU (no overclocking)
    – BIOS: F12L
    – 4 GB RAM (Corsair, no overclocking)
    – 1 RAID0 (drive C:\) consisting of 2x WD Velociraptor 300GB disks on ports 0 and 1 on ICH8R
    – 1 RAID0 (drive E:\) consisting of 2x WD 750GB disks on ports 2 and 3 on the ICH8R
    – 1 Samsung DVD burner (drive D:\, SATA on port 4 on the ICH8R)
    – 1 WD MyBook 1 TB external harddrive (Drive G:\) connected on the firewire port on the MoBo
    – Graphics card on PCI-E slot
    – Soundblaster X-FI on PCI slot
    – Floppy drive

    Was originally able to install Vista fine (using latest “F6” drivers for both ICH8R and Jmicron controllers) on the first of the two RAID sets. All Windows patches applied and was pleased to see incredible performance numbers for the RAID disks using HDTach. But as soon as you start intense filecopying or moving (either between disks or from the external drive), problems occur. I get timeout errors for “iastor” in the Event log, systems grinds to a halt and eventually BSOD with STOP error in iastor.sys. My problem seems to be very “heavy load” related as is many other peoples problem.

    I dare to say I have tried all combinations of suggested fixes on the net that I could find (and then some) including :
    – Latest BIOS w. “stock” parameters
    – Deleting registry key “Parameters” for iastor and iastorV
    – Onboard Marvell LAN ROM update,
    – Latest Intel Matrix drivers, (
    – Latest Intel INF
    – Removing external HD
    – Rolling back Vista SP1
    etc. etc. to no avail.

    Options remaining:
    – Move second RAID set off ports 2 and 3 on the ICH8R
    – Buy new Motherboard
    – Buy external RAID controller to put in one PCI slot.

  20. on 19 Jul 2008 at 1:39 (Sydney) 20.Swede1 said …

    RESOLVED Vista and RAID on ICH8R problems!

    Finally!!!, moving one RAID set off the ICH8R controller to the Jmicron controller and moving disks off ports 0-2 on the ICH8R did the trick (so far anyway).

    I have no been running for about 24 hours with no timeouts, bluescreens or Error messages in the Event log under heavy disk load.

    So, now I have:

    1 RAID0 (drive C:) consisting of 2x WD Velociraptor 300GB disks on ports 3 and 4 on ICH8R

    1 Samsung DVD burner (drive D:, SATA on port 5 on the ICH8R)

    1 RAID0 (drive E:) consisting of 2x WD 750GB disks on ports 0 and 1 on the Jmicron controller.

    The Jmicron controller on this Gigabyte Motherboard (Gigabyte GA-965P-DQ6 Rev 3.3) is usually referred to as the GIGABYTE GBX336 RAID controller but is actually a Jmicron made controller. I installed the latest Jmicron windows driver ( from the Jmicron site and it now shows up as “JMicron JMB36X Controller” in Windows device manager.

    For some reason HDTach now shows insane numbers for the WD Velociraptor RAID set, with Sequential Read Speeds peaking at 400 MB/s and burst speed of over 1000 MB/s. Must be software error.

    HDTach for the other WD 750GB RAID set show a more (but still good) believable Sequential Read Speeds peaking at 140 MB/s and burst speed of 430 MB/s.

    I have also overclocked again with stable results.

    Keep in mind that the Registry “hack” and LAN PROM update are still in effect, so I guess if I want to be really scientific I should roll those changes back and see if the problem re-occur. But somehow I’m not so motivated to do that, at least not right now 😉

  21. on 30 Jul 2008 at 7:52 (Sydney) 21.JohnnyW said …

    The fix is apparently this: Upgrade to the latest version of Matrix Storage software from Intel. This fixes all the problems without the need to edit your registry, apparently.

  22. on 06 Aug 2008 at 0:54 (Sydney) 22.Pete Horridge said …

    What is the most reliable version of Intel matrix manager? I have had 4 probs with my RAID1 on a dell inspiron and each time I am told to use a different version of it

  23. on 05 Sep 2008 at 12:25 (Sydney) 23.Lest8 said …

    Tried all of these hacks on a Dell XPS One. Registry change, new BIOS, latest Matrix software. Nothing helps. It’s not even actually running RAID.


  24. on 12 Sep 2008 at 3:54 (Sydney) 24.johny_smith said …

    OK, this is how I solved my RAID AHCI issue with clean install of Vista :

    1. Install Windows XP (that’s right)
    2. After installation is done, exit XP and insert Vista DVD disc
    3. Boot Vista DVD. In the installer, select ‘Load drivers’ and load the Intel Matrix Storage manager drivers (download the 32bit / 64bit Floppy Configuration Utility from the download site, save the files in the zip file into a USB stick/external drive etc.)
    4. ‘Load drivers’ – select the USB stick/external drive folder that contains the 32bit / 64bit Floppy Configuration Utility
    5. Click Next, and Vista will install the RAID AHCI drivers
    6. Now, you can install Vista as usual on the partition you installed XP (you can format the partition, no problem…) – no problemo !

    I used to get stuck at the load screen (green bars) and get BSOD. No more! I am absolutely thrilled by this. I have no idea why I have to install Windows XP first.

  25. on 14 Oct 2008 at 6:36 (Sydney) 25.Kazi said …

    Here is how i got my two 300GB Velociraptors working in Raid0 on my ASUS P5E3 Premium wifi_AP @n (ICH9R).

    1. Make sure you PC is disconnected form the internet.

    2. Disconnect any additional devices from the Intel Matrix Controler

    2. Delete your current array

    3. Plug drives in SATA-ports 3 and 5 (you can try port 4, but mine dint work, if you have more then 2 drives in the array you have a problem)

    4. Use the Free Dos version of killdisk on both drives for atleat 30 mins (it will kill all little partitions on the drives and zero most of the sectors)

    5. Rebuild the raid0 array (CTRL+I).

    6. Launch Vista instal from dvd. At the drive screen load the latest driver for the Intel® Matrix Storage Manager (current v7.0.0.1020). Delete any current partition (if there is any), then make new partion and format it. Press next to start installation.

    7. First time you get to desktop enter registies. Delete both Parameter folders from the iaStor and iaStorV registry folders in the the Vista registry.


    8. Reboot. Now you shouldnt experience any system freezes/pauzes, lockups or BSOD’s

    9. Install latest ICH9R drivers from Intel and other device drivers for your system.

    10. Reboot. Connect your PC to the internet and run Vista Update for the first time.

  26. on 03 Dec 2008 at 10:48 (Sydney) 26.Jono said …

    Are you still having this problem, or is it completely resolved?

    I’ve got a Asus P5Q deluxe ICH10r and 2 x Velociraptors. I’ve tried all of your fixes and my system still fails badly. BSOD’s and hangs. Most of the time the array is corrupt and won’t even boot anymore.

    This is a rediculous problem and I wish someone would release a firmware update or some kind of a real fix, instead of ignoring it.

    Shame on Intel and Western Digital.

  27. on 18 Dec 2008 at 3:31 (Sydney) 27.willysp said …

    A possible fix from WD here:


  28. on 20 Dec 2008 at 19:11 (Sydney) 28.MrMonk-E said …

    Perpetual rebuilds on my RAID-5 and not even a log entry as to why.
    I bought 4 new disks to create 1 big RAID-5 volume but i guess after having tried pretty much ANY tip i could find on the internet i will have to go either back to XP or put my drives in non-RAID. (In wich case some people still have problems)

    I blame Intel for not logging when a rebuild restarts when it’s already in the rebuild state. It’s realy anyones guess why it does it, it at least could log it.

    Maybe it shows a notification.. but i’m not sitting behind my computer while it does it’s 40+ hour rebuild.

    I think Intel should be ashamed.
    I think Microsoft should be ashamed.

    Maybe someone in USA could start a class-action against intel as their Chip/RAID clearly does not function in Vista as advertized.

  29. on 23 Dec 2008 at 9:37 (Sydney) 29.MrMonk-E said …

    I think it’s working..
    Deleted my 2nd array (the one that kept rebuilding)
    Booted into VISTA (On the 1st array)
    Created a new array from withing VISTA using the matrix managent tool.
    Had it initialize completely, only took 8 hours or so.

    I’m scared to say it aloud, but it seems to be ok now.
    I’m just scared that *IF* a rebuild is ever required it will go in the infinite rebuilding loop as described above.

    Also, i think it is safe to conclude that -since the HW setup is identical- it is not a HW issue but a software issue.

    That’s me sorted.
    Only took me a week and several light stress related heart attacks.

    Best of luck to all who read this, and hopefully my post helps you or at least gives you some hope.

  30. on 23 Dec 2008 at 9:38 (Sydney) 30.MrMonk-E said …

    Also, i think it is safe to conclude that since the HW setup is identical it is not a HW issue but a software issue.

    ^^^^^^^^^^^ My hardware IS identical!!
    i just put – around it and now it’s strike trough.. FAIL 🙁

  31. on 05 Jan 2009 at 12:01 (Sydney) 31.Roboghost said …

    I’ve been dealing with this Intel “raid volume error” too and one thing is the SATA cables can be an issue. I just jiggled them and it went away! One problem is that my SATA cables are seriously squeezed up against the long VGA card and I’m going to re-engineer the cables to fit better (left angle SATA’s etc.) Quality counts on some of your cables for sure. My WD VelociRaptor 2.5-inch are cute, but probably are going to be a technical headache I see and forsee…

  32. on 13 Feb 2009 at 6:43 (Sydney) 32.warner recabaren said …

    In under 4 days two seperate clients each having dell vostro 400 computers with intel chipsets/ vista/ raid 1 mirror both failed to boot. Dell offers to replace the hard drive- all the drives pass all tests- they fail to see thats there is an issue comming down with the latest upgrades. To get the system to boot- break the mirror setting the second to not an array disk. Boot- raid software will ask to rebuild- NO- continue and system will boot. Dont know how to get drives bootable as a non-raid (PERMANANTLY) short of reinstall at this time- any ideas?

  33. on 15 Feb 2009 at 7:09 (Sydney) 33.Are Muggerud said …

    This is my silver bullett: http://tw.giga-byte.com/Support/Motherboard/FAQ_Model.aspx?FAQID=2372. On my P5K PRO, the Marvell Yukon Pci express gigabit ethernet controller was the problem. I figured it out by starting a stress test (Bart’s stuff) on the ich9 raid 0 and then disabling the ethernet controller in device manager in vista. The system crashed every single time. Then i did the update from gigabyte’s site, it did some changes to the controller and voila.

  34. on 08 Apr 2009 at 4:11 (Sydney) 34.Roland said …

    You know what, the problem emerged on my PC after half a year of usage after I accidentally install the Intel Matrix Storage Console, which comes with it new drivers.

    Originally when I got iastor timeout Event errors, I reinstalled Vista, using F6 method and deleting parameter registry before Vista finishes the setup by pressing shift+F10? near the end stages of the install. My PC had no problem ever since.

    Now I don’t get Windows event errors at all, yet HDD LED light stays on for half a min up to a min in some cases, extremely slow disk access during so, and unpredictable occurrence rate. I have deleted registry, reinstalled Intel Storage Matrix driver, Jmicron driver, etc. Marvell ROM code is rev 14 updated. I am using Asus P5K-E, couple of RAID0 and normal drives and a full usage of the SATA ports.

  35. on 15 Apr 2009 at 19:18 (Sydney) 35.quack said …

    Had this issue with my P5B deluxe for 2 years (since I switched from xp to vista actually) : computer working fine but random lockups (vista completely frozen, I had to power off/on the computer).

    Last week I updated the intel matrix storage manager with the latest version from the intel web site and now everything is working fine, the freezes are gone !! Shame on you Asus, the beta version you are offering on your web site is crappy.

  36. on 13 Jul 2010 at 4:37 (Sydney) 36.Perplexed with this one :x - FreddysHouse said …

    […] Seems the problem is my OS… The Flying Nerd Intel RAID problem under Windows Vista […]

  37. on 13 Jul 2010 at 4:40 (Sydney) 37.Dominic said …


    I am running an amd phenom 9600 on an a770m-a elite group board. My sata raid is not working period. It’s not even reading my dvd rom drive. I read your article with interest but it appears that my Windows Vista basic would be the problem. I have spent hours trying to find a solution on the web with no joy. Can you help me?

  38. on 04 Jan 2011 at 7:45 (Sydney) 38.pcunite said …

    On any motherboard using the onboard Marvell Yukon 88E8056 will have stability problems unless it is updated to REV 14 (Marvell PXE


    Flashing the 88E8056.
    Download the faq_marvell_eeprom.zip file.
    Boot into dos.
    Run the eep.bat file.

    Reading on the subject:

  39. on 30 Oct 2011 at 23:29 (Sydney) 39.Ken said …

    Your post was helpful in resolving my issue. Here’s the summary… Hope it helps someone out.

    My buddy has a Dell XPS410/Dimension 9200 with Vista 32-bit which was giving a variety of problems, including startup errors and general instability, as Vista has a tendency to do. I tried several fixes, including an in-place upgrade of Vista and a clean install on the existing Vista partition (you know, the one where the existing Windows folder & profile are moved to Windows.old). In both scenarios, the installation stalled out after the reboot around the 67% mark, during Completing Installation. The system hung, the pointer wouldn’t move, fans shut down and the HDD stopped spinning.

    System config:
    Dell XPS410/Dimension 9200
    Mobo: Dell E210882
    Chipset: Intel P965/G965
    Intel 82801 HH I/O controller
    CPU: Intel Core 2 E6300 1.86GHz

    A quick scan of the internet revealed that this is a known issue with this particular motherboard/chipset/onboard RAID controller. I tried a variety of install strategies, all including the Load Drivers option early in the install process. I also tried installing Windows 7 and that hung at the same place, so the problem was not a Vista issue.

    The problem seemed to be with the drivers for the RAID controller.

    After endless web searches and multiple failed install attempts, it finally worked. Here are the steps:

    1. Flashed BIOS to 2.5.3
    2. Start off with clean hard drive if possible (used WD Data Lifeguard to zero out an existing hard drive)
    3. Connected the HDD to SATA port 3 on the controller hub and the DVD to port 4 (suggested on Intel’s site: http://www.intel.com/support/chipsets/imsm/sb/CS-025783.htm) .
    4. BIOS: set Autodetect ATA/SATA
    5. Start Windows 7 (or Vista) installation
    6. Load Intel Matrix Storage Manager drivers (version 7.5 or later) for 82801HH AND ICH8R from USB thumb drive (leave it in the USB port throughout the install process)
    7. Allow OS install to continue through reboot
    8. CRITICAL: On reboot just before Completing Installation, change BIOS: SATA
    9. Also, change boot sequence to actual HDD (in my case, Maxtor) – you may have to save/exit BIOS setup, let the reboot start and enter BIOS a second time to make the actual hard drive show up in the boot sequence.

    If you’re having this same problem, I hope this saves you some pain & frustration.

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