Enable the Intel I217-V NIC in Windows Server 2012

My new Gigabyte Z87-D3HP motherboard with support for 4th Generation Intel® Core™ processors (codename Haswell) has a onboard Intel I217-V NIC. The NIC is not recognized and supported in Windows Server 2012. As with the “Enable the Intel 82579V NIC in Windows Server 2012” blogpost it is possible to enable the NIC in Windows Server 2012. Here are the steps:

  • To be able to modify the drivers you need to run the the following commands:
bcdedit -set loadoptions DISABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS 
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING ON
  • Reboot the system
  • Download the Intel drivers from the motherboard vendor or from Intel. In my case I used the Intel Windows 8 64-bit  drivers Gigabyte has available for the Z87-D3HP motherboard on there website.

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  • Save the drivers  and extract them
  • Open the folder PRO1000
  • Open the folder Winx64
  • Open the folder NDIS63
  • Open the e1d63x64.inf file, I used Notepad++  to edit the file
  • In the [ControlFlags] section delete the 3 lines (see 1)

 

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  • Select and copy the three E153B lines ((see 2)
  • Paste the 3 lines in the [Intel.NTamd64.6.2] section below the %E155ANC lines (see 3)
  • After the modifications the e1d63x64.inf file must look like this:

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  • Save the file
  • Install the Intel driver
  • During the installation the you got a “Windows can’t verify the publisher of this driver software” warning, select “Install this driver software anyway”  and continue

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  • After the installation the Intel I217-V Gigabit NIC is recognized and enabled.

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  • Enable the driver integrity checks and disable test signing again by using the following commands:
bcdedit -set loadoptions ENABLE_INTEGRITY_CHECKS
bcdedit -set TESTSIGNING OFF
  • Reboot the system

Control (remotely) the power of your Home Lab

I have a lab at home to test for example VMware vSphere and  Microsoft stuff. Running your home lab for 24/7 will result in a high electricity bill. For a couple of months I use the Internet Control Station ICS-1000  (ICS-1000) to power on my home lab when needed from anywhere.  The ICS-1000 controls (left picture) controls the receivers (right picture).  The ICS-1000 is connected to my router. In the receivers are the power cables plugged from the devices you manage.

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So when needing my lab environment I  open the App on my iPhone and power on the home lab  from everywhere. After a short time I can remotely access the home lab and connect for example to my:

  • NAS
  • VMware vSphere with ESXi servers environment
  • Microsoft Hyper-V environment

Using the web browser or the iPhone App for example you can program the timers to power on/off devices on specific times and dates.   

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I use different receivers through  the whole house and control it with the ICS-1000.  For example I control the light outside the house with timers I programmed in the the ICS-1000. The App has still some limitations and bugs.  For example it is not possible to edit timers.  To change the timers you need to delete and recreate them. Probably in March 2013 the App will be updated to solve some bugs and add new functionality.

Intel X79 whitebox for vSphere 5 and Hyper-V 3

Updates:

Update August 8 2012: Added Microsoft Windows 2012 Hyper-V screenshots and link to blog post how to enable the Intel 82579V NIC

Update August 9 2012: Updating to the latest BIOS enables support for DirectPath I/O in VMware vSphere. Screenshot added

In an earlier blog post (found here) I mentioned that it is time for a new homebrew whitebox based on the Intel X79 chipset. With the X79 chipset it is possible to install 64GB of memory (8 x 8 GB). Because the 8 GB DIMMs are expensive on the moment, I decided to use 8 x 4GB DIMMs (total 32GB).

I decided to create one physical host for testing VMware vSphere 5, vCloud Director, VMware SRM, VMware View 5 etc. The possibility to create a physical ESXi5 server, create virtual ESXi  hosts on it and start VM on the virtual hosts is great! This feature is called nesting. How to do this, can be found on William Lam blog found here.

Components used for the VMware ESXi 5 / Microsoft Windows Server 2012 whitebox:

  • Intel i7-3820 CPU 3.60 GHz, 4 cores, with Hyper threading 8 cores
  • Zalman CNPS10X performance cooler
  • Asus P9X79 s2011 motherboard. Some specs:
      • Socket 2011
      • 8 DIMM slots, supports 64GB memory
      • Expansions slots: 2 x PCIe 3.0 (dual x16), 1 x PCIe (x8 mode), 2 x PCIe 2.0 x1, 1 x PCI
      • 2 SATA 6 Gb/s port, 4 x SATA 3 Gb/s
      • LAN: Intel 82579V Gigabit LAN controller
  • 2 x Corsair Vengeance DDR3- 1600 16GB (4 x 4) kit, total 32GB memory (max 64GB)

The case, power supply, graphical card, RAID controller and extra NIC(S) are reused. Here are some photos of the configuration:

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When the hardware  configuration was done and tried to power on the system, nothing happened (black screen). The appears that BIOS of the motherboard didn’t know the i7-3820 CPU yet. The cool thing is that the motherboard has a function called “USB BIOS Flashback”. It is possible to flash the BIOS without CPU or memory installed. Here are the steps:

  • Download the latest BIOS from the Asus site;
  • Extract the BIOS on a USB stick;
  • Rename the BIOS file, example: rename “P9X79-ASUS-0906.ROM” in “P9X79.ROM” (important);
  • Place the USB stick in the USB port with the WHITE interior on the back;
  • Press the BIOS flashback button for 3 seconds and the light will begin to flash;
  • Don’t turn of the computer during the BIOS flash;
  • When the flashing light stop, the BIOS has been complete;

After the BIOS update was finished, the system boots and I was able to install VMware ESXi and Windows Server 2012 and enable the Hyper-V role.

vSphere 5 / ESXi 5 screenshots:

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Hyper threading enables 8 cores 32GB memory
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The onboard SATA controller is listed as Patsburg 6 Port SATA AHCI controller.

Software-RAID does not work

The hardware RAID controller is added as extra PCI card

The onboard Intel 82579V NIC is not supported in ESXi5. Use the procedure found here to add the NIC. Use at your own risk!

The Intel 82574L NIC is added as extra PCIe card.

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The latest firmware includes support for DirectPath I/O

 

Microsoft Windows Server 2012

It is possible to install Microsoft Windows 2012 and enable the Hyper-V role. Here are some screenshots:

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The onboard Intel 82579V NIC is not recognized in Windows Server 2012 by default. How-to enable the Intel 82579V NIC is explained in this explained in this blog post.

This whitebox is a great extension to my home lab!

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