Intel RST/RSTe Drivers (latest: v19.2.1.1006 WHQL/v8.0.0.2752)

@ all users with an Intel AHCI or RAID system:



Intel’s RST/RSTe AHCI/RAID/VMD Drivers

inclusive details about
a) their RST Console Software (>post #2) and
b) the different Intel SATA AHCI/RAID Controllers (>post #3)


(last updated: 04/18/2022)
Changelog:

  • new:
    • 64bit Intel RST AHCI & RAID drivers v17.11.1.1002 WHQL dated 10/26/2021
    • 64bit Intel RST AHCI-RAID-NVMe drivers v18.37.1.1003 WHQL for Win10-11 x64 dated 01/13/2022
    • 64bit Intel VMD driver v19.2.1.1006 WHQL for Win10-11 x64 dated 02/14/2022


History of Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology
Since the beginning of 2009 the Company Intel worked on the development of a completely new AHCI and RAID drivers and software technology named “Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology” (IRST), which should replace the old Intel AHCI/RAID storage management named “Intel(R) Matrix Storage Manager” (IMSM). The first final version of the IRST series was v9.5.0.1037. It has been compiled by Intel on 10/23/2009, got the WHQL stamp from Microsoft on 10/09/2009 and has been officially released by Intel on 01/16/2010.
In July 2011 Intel decided to change their IRST driver management and functionality by adding a separate SCSI filter driver named iaStorF.sys and renaming the AHCI/RAID driver from iaStor.sys to iaStorA.sys. The first IRST drivers series with the new 2-drivers-strategy were v11.5.0.1149 and released in March 2012. Due to the presence of the additional SCSI filter driver the behaviour of these new IRST(e) drivers from v11.5 up is considerably different to the “conventional” RST series using just 1 single driver named iaStor.sys (last version: v11.2.0.1006) and very similar to the special IRST “Enterprise Edition” (IRSTe) v3.x.x.xxxx drivers for X79 chipsets. To make these differences as clear as possible for the users, I have added an “e” in brackets to all IRST drivers from v11.5 up.

Function and (dis)advantages of the IRST/IRST(e) Software
The Software, which is part of all complete IRST packages and will be installed automaticly by running the installer, has the following main components:
  • the IRST Service (IAStorDataMgrSvc.exe), which is monitoring the IRST functions in the background as a special Win7/Win8 Service, and
  • the IRST Console (IAStorUI.exe), which gives the user some storage system informations and the opportunity to create a RAID array and to do some RAID settings from within the running OS.
Although the IRST Service and Console may be useful for Intel RAID or AHCI users, they are not really essential. The management of the Intel SATA AHCI and RAID Controllers is exclusively done by the IRST/IRST(e) drivers without the assistance of any IRST software component (except the “Write-back Caching” feature for RAID users). That is why it is possible to waive the IRST/IRST(e) Software completely and to just install the Intel AHCI/RAID drivers manually from within the Device Manager without risking any errors or malfunctions.

Advantages of the IRST Software installation:
    1. AHCI and RAID: monitoring of some details regarding the drives, which are connected to the Intel SATA AHCI resp.RAID Controller
    2. only RAID: creation, repairing and modification of a RAID array from within the OS
    3. only RAID: enabling of the “Write-Back-Caching” feature (boost of the write performance in RAID mode)

Disadvantages of the IRST Software installation:
    1. extension of the boot time
    2. additional demand of resources (the IRST Service usually runs permanantly in the background)
    3. possible increase of system instability (some IRST Software versions have severe bugs)

Tips:
    AHCI users, who want a stable, performant system, should only load/install the IRST drivers and not the complete IRST package.

    For RAID users I recommend to temporarily install the complete IRST/IRST(e) Drivers & Software Set just to get benefit of the “Write-Back-Caching” and the related write performance boost. After having enabled this feature, the “Intel(R) Rapid Storage Technology” software can be uninstalled from within the Control Panel.
    Important: Once the “Write-Back-Caching” is enabled, the OS will keep this setting even after an update of the in-use RAID driver- no further RST Console Software installation will be equired.




I. Newest/best Intel RST/RSTe Drivers


Download Links:
  • A. “Classical” Intel RST Drivers and their RST Software:
    (Note: These 32/64bit Intel RST driverpacks contain just 1 single driver named iaStor.sys and are designed for Intel systems with a Southbridge from ICH7R/M up except X79/X99/X299.)

    
    
  • Latest/best Intel RST drivers:
    Remark: Additional download links to some “modified” versions of the previously mentioned Intel RST drivers and the related IRST Software can be found within >this< thread.