Windows 8.1/Server 2012 R2 Update 1 Failure with LSI 9211-8i SAS HBA

Hello folks, as many of you will already know Microsoft has made Update 1 available to MSDN and TechNet subscribers as of last week, and will pushing the update out through Windows Update on the 8th of April for everyone.

For anyone out there using the LSI 9211-8i SAS 6Gbps HBA card you are in for a surprise as installing Update 1 on a machine with this card in use will cause the system to fail at the Windows boot process with a BSOD (Blue Screen of Death)

I actually came across this issue during testing of Update 1 pre-release versions, as my main desktop happens to use this card for an SSD RAID0 configuration. After installing KB2919355 (Update 1) and rebooting I found that my machine would no longer get past the Windows Boot screen without crashing.

For the record, I’m using the latest IR Firmware/BIOS (P18) and drivers.

Upon further examination it appeared that during the boot process the drive LEDs on the 9211-8i card itself would stay a solid green with no activity, before crashing which would indicate that Windows has failed to load the driver.sys files at boot time, or has encountered a problem trying to do so (hence the BSOD)

What’s even more interesting is that this issue appears to be completely random in the sense that sometimes in that one off occasion the OS will actually boot successfully all the way and function as normal, which makes it near impossible to replicate each time.

Unfortunately due to the nature is which the crashing is taking place, this makes troubleshooting difficult, but not dead in the water altogether, however there is still nothing from either Microsoft or LSI even acknowledging this yet so currently there is no fix.

With that being said, I have configured boot logging and full crash dump generation on my main desktop for when the failed boot occurs, and can only hope that looking through the log and crash dump file gives a bit more insight as to what is going on here.

I will keep you updated on my findings!

 

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