Install Microsoft iSCSI Initiator




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Install Microsoft iSCSI Initiator


The Microsoft iSCSI initiator is a free download from the Microsoft web site. There are versions for x86 (32-bit), x64 (AMD64 and Intel EM64T) and IA64 (Intel Itanium) processors. Version 2.03 of the iSCSI initiator was used on all hosts for this report.

The iSCSI initiator installation process is the same relatively simple process for all the application hosts, and is wizard-based.



By default, the “Initiator Service” and “Software Initiator” features are checked. By default, the Microsoft MPIO multi-pathing feature is not checked. All the installations for this report used the MPIO feature and so this item was checked during installation.

If MPIO is not selected at installation, but desired later, the installer must be run again and the MPIO option selected. Beginning with Microsoft Windows Vista and the next release of Windows Server, MPIO is a feature that can be selected without re-installing.





A command-line utility, “iSCSIcli” is also installed that can be used to configure connections to iSCSI targets from the Windows Server host.

The release notes and user guide are installed onto the local host when the iSCSI initiator is installed. A few items from the release notes are worth mentioning here. Some of the restrictions listed here may change in future releases.


  • Dynamic disks on an iSCSI session are not supported. With Windows Vista and Windows Server Codename “Longhorn”, Dynamic Volumes are supported; however for best performance and redundancy, it is recommended that customers use basic disks or volumes in Windows combined with hardware RAID available in the storage arrays.

  • Note that the default iSCSI node name is generated from the Windows computer name. If the Windows computer name contains a character that would be invalid within an iSCSI node name, such as '_', then the Microsoft iSCSI Initiator service will convert the invalid character to '-'.

  • Both initiator and target CHAP secrets should be greater than or equal to 12 bytes, and less than or equal to 16 bytes if IPSec is not being used. It should be greater than 1 byte and less than or equal to 16 bytes if IPSec is being used.

  • The checked and retail versions of the Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiator will only install on retail version builds of Windows. There is no package that installs on checked builds of Windows.



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Install Microsoft iSCSI Initiator

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