Installing Server 2012 Release Candidate on the Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

• August 7, 2012

I had been running Windows 8 Release Preview on my GA-Z77X-UD5H and when I noticed on July 26th that the official Gigabyte Windows 8 drivers were posted on Gigabyte’s website.  I downloaded them and found that they loaded well and actually cleared up a minor issue or two I had been having with with Windows 8 Release Preview.  Before that I had loaded all of my drivers in Windows 8-RP by first loading Windows 7 onto my GA-Z77X-UD5H and then upgrading to Windows 8 RP.

I decided to again rebuild my Z77 and try installing Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate using the new drivers from Gigabyte. (I’ve lost counts the number of times I’ve rebuilt this machine, moved parts around, and load different/new operating systems.)  I am using the current the F8 BIOS.

Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate (“Server 2012RC”) installed very smoothly onto a Corsair GT 240GB SSD mounted on GSATA III Port 8.

On SATA III Port 0 I had a Corsair GT 60GB SSD to eventually be my ISRT Cache SSD and on SATA III Port 1 I had a ST3000DM001 that would be my drive for VM’s for Hyper-V.

Server 2012RC recognized my Atheros LAN NIC immediately so I didn’t see the need to install its drivers.

I installed the following drivers next:

1. Intel Management Engine Interface 8.1.13.1502 7/25/2012

2. Intel INF Installation 9.3.0.1021 7/25/2012

3. Intel LAN 82579V NIC Driver 17.2 7/25/2012 – This installation Failed

4. Intel Rapid Storage Technology (“IRST”) 11.5.0.1207 7/25/2012

5. Intel VGA Driver 9.17.10.2792 7/25/2012

6. Realtek driver 6.0.1.6662 7/25/2012

I was not that concerned about the installation failure of the drivers for the Intel LAN 82579V NIC since this had happened before when I had installed Server 2008R2SP1I used the procedure outlined earlier on how to modify the inf files for the Intel 82579V NIC Driver installation for Server 2008R2SP1 with these changes to modify the Windows 8 drivers to work with Server 2012 RC:

  • The file downloaded from Gigabyte was mb_driver_lan_intel_v17.2_w8.exe
  • I went to the subfolder Intel that contained the extracted files from the Gigabyte file
  • I opened folder Pro1000
  • I opened folder Winx64
  • I opened folder NDIS63
  • I opened the file e1c63x64.inf with NotePad

Note in the [Manufacture] section Ntamd64.6.2.1 refers to Windows 8 while Ntamd64.6.2.2 refers to Server Next (I believe Next is a placeholder for Server 2012)

  • [Manufacturer]
  • %Intel% = Intel, NTamd64.6.2, NTamd64.6.2.1

In the [ControlFlags] section – I deleted all 3 lines of that section following the section header so that all was left was the section header [ControlFlags] – I left a blank line after [ControlFlags] which then leaves the [Intel] section next. So it looks like

  • [ControlFlags]
  • [Intel]

At the [Intel] section, the [Intel.NTamd64.6.2.1] relates to Windows 8 and the [Intel.NTamd64.6.2] relates to Server 2012; you can see that the five E1503 lines in the Windows 8 section are missing from the server section, I copied/pasted those five lines from the Windows 8 section to the bottom of the Server 2012 section. So it looks like:

 

  • [Intel.NTamd64.6.2.1]
  • ; DisplayName Section DeviceID
  • ; ———– ——- ——–
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502&SUBSYS_00011179
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502&SUBSYS_00021179
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502&SUBSYS_80001025
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_00011179
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_00021179
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_80001025
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_04911025
  • [Intel.NTamd64.6.2]
  • ; DisplayName Section DeviceID
  • ; ———– ——- ——–
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502&SUBSYS_00011179
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502&SUBSYS_00021179
  • %E1502NC.DeviceDesc% = E1502, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1502&SUBSYS_80001025
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_00011179
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_00021179
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_80001025
  • %E1503NC.DeviceDesc% = E1503.6.2.1, PCI\VEN_8086&DEV_1503&SUBSYS_04911025

 

I then saved the e1c63x64.inf file then backed out of subfolders until I was in the folder Intel and clicked AutoRun.exe.

The installation with the modified inf file failed.

I then went and attempted to install the Intel 82579V NIC driver manually and got an error message similar to what Phil Howard had gotten referring to “The Hash for the file is not present in the specified catalog file”

 

The light bulb finally clicked – this was different than the error messages I had gotten before and wasn’t so much an error message as announcement that my digitally signed driver had been modified and Windows was refusing to load it. The solution was/is to Disable Driver Signature Enforcement for the installation of this driver.

There are a number of places on the web that explain how to Disable Driver Signature Enforcement — I followed the steps outlined at http://laslow.net/2012/03/14/disable-driver-signature-enforcement-in-windows-8-cp/

Once driver signature enforcement was disabled I was able to manually install the Intel 82579V LAN NIC Drivers.

The next time I rebooted my 82579V driver was installed and driver signature enforcement was again enabled.

Using the methods outlined in the Home Server Show Forums I next installed ForeFront Client.

 

Performance of Initial Set-Up After all Drivers Installed but ISRT not enabled

I first loaded Server 2012-RC with the following setup (for information about RAM, CPU, etc. please see the 1st report ins this series):

SATA III Port 0 === Corsair GT 60GB SSD to eventually be the ISRT Cache SSD

SATA III Port 1 === ST3000DM001 that would be my drive for VM’s for Hyper-V

GSATA III Port 8 == Corsair GT 240GB SSD OS drive

(Note: The SSD’s I had used in earlier builds (see references) had been cannibalized for parts on other projects during interim rebuilds with the GA-Z77X-UD5H.)

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The Corsair GT 60GB SSD on Port 0 performed well and was consistent with its projected specs of Max Reads up to 555MB/s and Max Writes up to 495MB/s.

The ST3000DM001 on Port 1 performed well and was consistent with what I had been seeing with ST3000DM001’s on my MicroServer as well as earlier builds with the GA-Z77X-UD5H on SATA II and SATA III ports.

The Corsair GT 240GB SSD performance on Port 8 GSATA III was dismal when compared to its projected specs of Max Reads up to 555MB/s and Max Writes up to 525MB/s. I suspected that the issue was having the Corsair GT 240GB SSD attached to a GSATA III port instead of a regular Intel SATA III port.

I decided to experiment by moving the ST3000DM001 to an Intel SATA II port and putting both SSD’s on Intel SATA III Ports.

 

New Configuration:

SATA III Port 0 === Corsair GT 240GB SSD OS drive

SATA III Port 1 === Corsair GT 60GB SSD to eventually be the ISRT Cache SSD

SATA II Port 2 ==== ST3000DM001 that would be my drive for VM’s for Hyper-V

SATA II Port 4 ==== WD30EZRX that would be my Server backup drive

clip_image005 clip_image006 clip_image007

I was very pleased with the improvement of performance of the OS drive Corsair GT 240GB on SATA III Port 0.

It was time to engage the IRST/ISRT and check it’s acceleration performance.

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This is excellent performance for what will be my drive for VM’s in my Hyper-V lab.

On a whim I also tested the performance of a WD30EZRX Green drive that I attached to SATA II Port 4:

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The WD30EZRX’s performance with acceleration from the IRST/ISRT was actually slightly better than that of the ST3000DM001 – which is interesting indeed.

The final moment of truth arrived when I decided to test my Seagate GoFlex USB 3.0 4TB external drive to confirm that I had true USB 3.0 speeds.

clip_image012

Apparently, I do have USB 3.0 speeds – this had been the major issue when I had installed Server 2008R2SP1 last Spring.

When I had shut down my machine earlier in the week, before this latest rebuild, I had exported all of my VM’s that I had been running in Hyper-V under Windows 8 RP. It’s now time to copy those VM’s into Server 2012-RC and add a few more.

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It’s a start – plenty of room to grow!

Things wouldn’t be complete without turning on backups. The local backup drive is a WD30EZRX.

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References:

A Server Build with a GA-Z77X-UD5H in a Lian-Li PC-K9WX

A Server Build with a GA-Z77X-UD5H in a Lian-Li PC-K9WX–Part 2

Updating a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H and i7-3770 in a PC-KW9X with a Zalman CPU Cooler

Intel 82579V NIC on GA-Z77X-UD5H and other Motherboards with Server OS’s

Gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD5H

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Category: Hard Drives, Review, SSD, Virtualization, Windows Home Server

Comments (4)

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  1. @welchwerks says:

    Very Nice write up, And for your next homework assignment… :)

  2. miles267 says:

    I noticed that the Atheros NIC driver built into WS2012 only supports 100 Mbps vs. 1 Gbps. Did you force speed/duplex or set to Auto Negotiation?

  3. Andrew Davis says:

    Nice write up. I am just doing the same with exact same Mobo, Ram, and CPU, just slightly different Hard Drives (Samsung 830 512Gig SSD, ST2000DL003 x 2)

    Out of interest i have cut and paste your report and taken ATTO benchmarks from my drives/system. If you would like a copy of my results send me an email andrew at andlin . com . au

    Thanks for the time saving on the intel nic.

    Also miles267 My system runs the Atheos at 1Gig.

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