Windows 10 V1903: Workaround for Intel RST-Upgrade-Blocker

[German]In Windows 10 Mai 2019 Update there is an issue with outdated Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) drivers. Microsoft has blocked the upgrade to Windows 10 V1903. People who installed new Intel RST drivers report that the upgrade is still being blocked. In addition, the upgrade blockade also was observed on systems where no Intel RST driver is installed. However, there is a workaround that may work in such cases.


What's the Intel RST driver issue?

Systems that have certain versions of the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) drivers installed cannot be updated to the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. Microsoft has set an upgrade blockade. I had already reported the issue at the end of July 2019 in the blog post Windows 10 V1903: Upgrade blocker Intel RST & MIT Kerberos. Microsoft has confirmed the problem in this article and documented it in KB4514156

Intel Rapid Storage Technology (Intel RST) Compatibility Hold
(Source: Microsoft)

If the user receives the above message during the upgrade, the Intel RST drivers are obsolete. The Intel® RST drivers versions to are not compatible, the upgrade to V1903 is blocked.

Versions or higher are compatible, and a device on which these drivers are installed can install the Windows 10 May 2019 Update. For affected devices, Microsoft recommends version of the Intel Rapid Store driver.

However, users must check whether the version of the Intel RST driver to be installed actually supports their chipset. That's not always the case according to what I read on the internet – things are a bit chaotic at Intel. At someone points out special issues. Microsoft recommends to check with the OEM if there are updated drivers available. Intel has set up the website Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) User Interface and Driver for driver downloads. Intel has published this readme text file (deleted) with information about supported chipsets.

First steps when the upgrade is blocked

If Windows Update or the Upgrade Assistant refuses to install Windows 10 Version 1903 with the above error message, you can wait, or you can check if there are workarounds. The obvious thing to do is to install an updated driver.


If no driver is available, you should check whether an Intel RST driver is required at all. For example, the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) driver supports configuration and maintenance of RAID 0/1/5/10 configurations. If no RAID is used, an AHCI driver is sufficient and the Intel RST driver can be uninstalled.

No or new driver installed, and upgrade rejected?

If users need the Intel RST driver and have the latest version installed, they should be able to upgrade. Woody Leonhard points out in this posting that some users still receive a warning that the upgrade will be blocked.

And there are systems where the upgrade to Windows 10 V1903 is blockeds, although no Intel RST drivers have been installed (see this Lenovo support forum thread, so pay close attention to the following information). Such threads can also be found in Acer forums, TenForums and SuperUser. On a user posted a workaround on how to update his system, which needs Intel RST drivers.

1. Create a restore point and uninstall the Intel RST drivers from the old Windows 10 system.

This step may not be necessary if you perform step 2 (required in the Lenovo scenario, where no Intel RST drivers can be uninstalled).

2. Then restart and rename the (four) remaining files iaStor*.sys to .old in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers

3. Do not reboot now, otherwise you will get a BlueScreen. Lenovo devices would then be bricked. Rather, the feature update should now be installed on Windows 10 Version 1903.

After this installation, which also requires restarts, you can subsequently install the missing but updated Intel RST driver. The steps are described in this Microsoft Answers forum post. A discussion with experiences can be found at in this thread. Perhaps it will help those affected.

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Windows 10 V1903: Known Issues – Part 1
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