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RstMwService stops and won't restart, prevents running Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management

GraniteStateColin
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Note: I had previously reported a variant on this same problem at https://community.intel.com/t5/Rapid-Storage-Technology/Intel-Optane-Memory-and-Storage-Management-fails-to-launch-Error/m-p/1502452/emcs_t/S2h8ZW1haWx8bWVudGlvbl9zdWJzY3JpcHRpb258TEpSS1ZaSFdIV1Q1VUp8MTUwMjQ1MnxBVF9NRU5USU9OU3xoSw

Unfortunately, Intel closed the ticked while I was working on gathering the requested information. That information plus additional information I learned from further testing is all included here.

 

I've used Intel RST for at least 14 years, maybe longer (don't recall when I started using on-board RAID as good-enough and much less expensive than a dedicated RAID card) for monitoring RAID integrity, tuning cache levels, rebuilding volumes, etc., across dozens of systems. I do NOT have any Optane volumes, just using the software for RAID management and testing to ensure drives and arrays are all in good shape and to be aware of any problems before they affect system stability. Drives in my systems have shifted over time from HD to SATA SSD to PCIe SSD.

I know that more recently (a few years ago, under Windows 10) Intel and Microsoft moved from the Intel-provided GUI to the one in the Microsoft Store, the "Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management" application. I believe the back-end drivers remain the iastor drivers, which seem to work fine for my RAID array (at least, I can always read and write data, but not sure if the RAID management, TRIM, etc. are all happening properly in the background).

But between the drivers and the new GUI, Intel appears to have a middleware layer via the RstMwService. That service always runs fine for a few days following a restart (so the software DOES WORK), but after that, possibly associated with PC going to sleep (but not every time it goes to sleep), the RstMwService (appears in Services management as "Intel(R) Storage Middleware Service") stops and won't restart, preventing running the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management application (the GUI manager for the RAID system).

This is how the service appears after it has stopped:

GraniteStateColin_0-1690721155718.png

When that's stopped, if I try to launch the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management app, I get this:

GraniteStateColin_0-1690720559867.png

Attempts to restart the RstMwService yield:

GraniteStateColin_1-1690721206503.png

 

And the Event Viewer shows 3 errors every time I try to restart the RstMwService with ID's 207, 1000, and 7034:

Event 207, AppModel-Runtime

0x800702E4: Cannot create the process for package AppUp.IntelOptaneMemoryandStorageManagement_19.0.1042.0_x64__8j3eq9eme6ctt because an error was encountered while launching. [LaunchProcess]

 

Event 1000, Application Error

Faulting application name: RstMwService.exe, version: 19.5.2.1049, time stamp: 0x637b7d85
Faulting module name: RstMwService.exe, version: 19.5.2.1049, time stamp: 0x637b7d85
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x00000000000c1889
Faulting process id: 0x0xF570
Faulting application start time: 0x0x1D9C2DE5B0AD731
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\iastorvd.inf_amd64_74e28d819fb21cc3\RstMwService.exe
Faulting module path: C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\iastorvd.inf_amd64_74e28d819fb21cc3\RstMwService.exe
Report Id: a49a2d5d-9b9c-46d5-928d-82249a756c8d
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

 

Event 7034, Service Control Manager

The Intel(R) Storage Middleware Service service terminated unexpectedly. It has done this 2 time(s).

 

But again to be clear, it always runs fine for hours to days (varies) after a restart. So I think we can rule out corrupted files or anything that would prevent the service from running at all.

Also, I never seem to have any problems with my RAID array or drives, but I confess if it were just not writing the parity or mirror bits, I might not have any way of knowing until a drive failed. 

 

Additional background:

I run RAID 1 on the computer in question (others run RAID 5 and RAID 10). I set that up in the BIOS (various MoBo's, but this one happens to be MSI, using Intel's Z790 chipset). In order to install Windows, I need to install the RAID drivers from the f6vmdflpy-x64 folder during Windows installation, which is the same process I've used for more than decade. Without the drivers added during install, the Windows installer doesn't even see the drive and won't install. So I know that from the moment of install, it's using the Intel drivers. So far, so good.

Then, once Windows us up and running, I can install the Intel Driver and Support Assistant and the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management apps. The Intel D&SA used to also update RST, but now it seems to ignore it and only address networking and embedded graphics. The Optane Memory and Storage Management app seems to require a current version of the RST software to be able to provide a report on the RAID array and drives. 

As noted above, the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management starts and runs fine without any error for the first few hours or days following a restart.

I see these in my Device Manager on the PC that I am currently troubleshooting:

GraniteStateColin_0-1690721932199.png

The Intel RST VMD Controller A77F is version 19.5.2.1049, dated 11/21/2022.

The Intel RST VMD Managed Controller 09AB (both of them) show the same version and date.

 

On another older PC that does not have this problem (older system is 8th Gen Intel, this problem system is the latest 13th gen Z790 chipset) it has a very different list in Device Manager:

GraniteStateColin_1-1690722252837.png

The Intel Chipset SATA/PCIe RST Premium Controller shows a version # of 16.8.3.1003 on that other older Z390 chipset system that's running with no errors.

 

In the Intel RST drivers at Intel.com, I see drivers that at first look like the might be newer, dated in 2023, version # 19.5.2.1049.5 ( https://www.intel.com/content/www/us/en/download/720755/intel-rapid-storage-technology-driver-installation-software-with-intel-optane-memory-11th-and-12th-gen-platforms.html?wapkw=rst ). However, when I install those, it appears to show the same version and date I had previously. Problem still occurred after a few days of working fine. I also don't know if these include the RstMwService or only the underlying drivers.

 

Questions:

  1. For my understanding, how are the RST drivers supposed to be updated? They do not appear to be touched by the Intel Driver & Support Assistant. Is it Windows Update? Is it the Intel D&SA?
  2. Do the driver updates include the RstMwService file or is that installed separately? If separately, how do I keep that up to date?
  3. Does the problem shown above indicate a driver issue or only a problem with the Intel Storage Middleware service (RstMwService)?
  4. Is there any way to know if when RstMwService is not running, is the RAID array still providing writing parity/mirroring to protect against a drive loss? My hope is that the middleware is only about the display and no errors with the drivers themselves means that part is working fine.
  5. How do I fix the stopping and failing to restart of the RstMwService so that I can run the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management application and check the status of drives and RAID volumes?
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23 Replies
DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,468 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin,  



Thank you for posting on the Intel® communities. I am sorry to know that you are having issues with the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST).

  

In order to better assist you. Before I investigate further the questions asked, I would like to confirm the following:  


1. How many units are affected by this error?

2. What is the brand and model name of the units affected?

3. What is the operating system installed, as well as the version and build in the units affected?



Regards,  

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


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GraniteStateColin
10,442 Views

1. How many units are affected by this error?

 

I only know of the one unit, first one we've upgrade to 13th gen and Z790 chipset. So it could affect all Z790 chipset systems, but we only have one of those so far.

 

 

2. What is the brand and model name of the units affected?

 

MSI PRO Z790-A WIFI with Samsung 980 Pro Evo PCIe drives in RAID 1.

 

 

3. What is the operating system installed, as well as the version and build in the units affected?

 

Windows 11, 22H2, Build 22621.2070.

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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,383 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 


  

Thank you for the information provided 


  

I will proceed to check the issue internally and post back soon with more details. 


 

Best regards, 

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician 


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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,371 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 



Thanks for your time, I am still checking on this behavior. However, we only provide the driver tool and a generic driver, the manufacturer of the motherboard can provide you with their Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) customized driver and tool.


I would like to know if you have checked this issue with MSI.



Regards,  

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


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GraniteStateColin
10,368 Views

I don't believe it's a driver issue. But even if I'm wrong and it is a driver issue, both MSI and Intel are providing the same driver as of the time of my testing, so we can rule out the source of the driver as a possible factor. When I first had this problem, I was still using the drivers I had downloaded from MSI before trying drivers downloaded for Intel. They were the same.

I believe the problem is related instead to the middleware layer (RstMwService) that bridges between the driver and the UI from the MS Store. 

How should I update RstMwService?

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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,360 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 

 

 

Thanks for the confirmation. I will continue with the investigation and as soon as I have details I will let you know.

 

 

Regards,   

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  

 

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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,329 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 



Before I continue further, I would like to know if you unistall and then reinstall the Intel® Optane™ Memory and Storage Management. If have not performed this step, please give it a try:


Intel® Optane™ Memory and Storage Management: https://apps.microsoft.com/store/detail/intel%C2%AE-optane%E2%84%A2-memory-and-storage-management/9MZNG5HZWZ1T


If the issue persists, please save and send the report from the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU):




Regards,  

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


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GraniteStateColin
10,319 Views

Yes, I had tried that originally before I tracked down the problems. I now know that really has nothing to do with the problem. The reason the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management app doesn't run is, as noted in the original post, because the RstMwService is not running. After a restart it all works fine. The problem is that sometime, several hours to a few days AFTER a restart, RstMwService stops and won't restart. And it stops, then the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management app won't run: it depends on the RstMwService. 

Note that RstMwService always runs fine after a restart, so it's not like it's corrupted or broken. It just stops several hours or a few days after a restart (maybe related to the PC going to sleep), and THEN, AFTER it stops, I can't find any way to restart it w/o restarting the PC.

So what can we do to get the RstMwService started again when it stops? Why does it stop? 

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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,306 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 



Thanks for the confirmation and the additional details. In this case, I will investigate more about this behavior and confirm if it is related to Intel or maybe the motherboard manufacturer can help you further on that.


But, to confirm the previous statement I will need the report from the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU) to continue. Please save and send the report from the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU):




Regards,  

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,221 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 


I am following up to confirm if you would like me to continue with the support, If the answer is yes, do not forget to provide the information requested.


Save and send the report from the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU):



Regards,  

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


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GraniteStateColin
10,186 Views

Deivid, can I run that tool at any time, or only while the computer is exhibiting the problem and RstMwService is not running and won't start? Right now, following the recent August Windows update (MS rolls these out the 2nd Tuesday of every month), the PC just restarted this morning, so everything is working. It will probably be Friday or the weekend before the problem recurs (usually takes a few days after a restart).

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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,177 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 



I understand that you have an inquiry related to the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU). In this case, there is no need to replicate the issue to run the tool.


You can run the tool at any time, however, send the SSU (attaching it to your response) only if the issue persisted. I will wait for you to confirm if the issue continues with these Windows updates.



Regards,  

Deivid A. 

Intel Customer Support Technician 


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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,089 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 


I am following up to check if the issue related to "RstMwService" persists, let me know if you need additional assistance or if the issue is solved.


If the issue continues, do not forget to share the Intel® System Support Utility (Intel® SSU).



Regards,  

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


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GraniteStateColin
10,072 Views

This is interesting. At least so far, no problem. This may be the longest since a restart without a crash. Now, I did Hibernate the computer, which I don't usually do. MAYBE that full power down reset some things and delayed the problem? Or, maybe the last Windows update changed something and now the problem really is solved. Because it had been going on for a year, across every other monthly update, it seems unlikely that it's fixed, but maybe it is. 

 

Please keep this open for another week to see if the problem recurs or stays away. 

 

Thanks.

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DeividA_Intel
Employee
10,062 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 



Thanks for the confirmation, I am happy to know that you have not experienced the issue so far and I understand you would like to continue with the testing to be sure.


I will be waiting for the outcome



Regards,  

Deivid A. 

Intel Customer Support Technician 


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DeividA_Intel
Employee
9,967 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin, 


I am following up to confirm if you have encountered the issue with the Intel® Rapid Storage Technology (Intel® RST) service this past week or if the issue is completely solved.


Let me know if the issue persists.


Regards,  

Deivid A. 

Intel Customer Support Technician 


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DeividA_Intel
Employee
9,918 Views

Hello GraniteStateColin,  


I was checking your thread and saw that we have not heard back from you. I’m going to close your post, but if you need further assistance, please do not hesitate to create a new thread. 

 

Regards,  

Deivid A.  

Intel Customer Support Technician  


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GraniteStateColin
9,851 Views

The problem has not recurred. I'm not sure if it just got better, or if it's a change in the way I launch it. 

 

In case it helps others, I have set the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management app to run at startup at every launch. This is a bit more complicated that adding typical apps to run at startup, because it's a rare mix of needing admin access to run and it's a Store app, so doesn't have a normal EXE to run. To address this, I set it to launch at Startup in Task Scheduler. The Program/script to run should be: 

c:\Windows\System32\cmd.exe

 

And the "Add arguments" must include: 

/C "start shell:AppsFolder\AppUp.IntelOptaneMemoryandStorageManagement_8j3eq9eme6ctt!App"

 

Again, I'm not sure if this is why it always works or if that's a coincidence. Originally, I just set this because it wouldn't run later and I wanted to at least get an alert about a failing drive one per startup.

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AlanSmithee
Beginner
9,716 Views

I have EXACTLY the same issue, but this method does'nt resolve the problem. Uninstall the management app and set Intel Storage Middleware Service as disabled is the only solution for me.

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GraniteStateColin
9,681 Views

@AlanSmithee , but if you uninstall the app, then you have no way to manage your RAID array or even check the status of your drives to even know if one is failing, right? Assuming you really have "EXACTLY the same issue," that seems like your solution is worse than the problem it solves. Even if it the Intel Optane Memory and Storage Management app only runs for a bit after startup, that's better than nothing -- at least you can check the drives and RAID integrity during that window, hopefully catching any serious problems before your data is at risk.

 

Or am I missing something?

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