BITS, IAS, VSS and RRAS May Stop Responding on SBS 2008 With a Particular NIC Driver

Directly from the official SBS Blog:

We are investigating an issue with certain Intel PRO/1000 EB with I/O Acceleration network card drivers on Windows Server 2008 that can cause the BITS service to become unresponsive after a few hours to several days of operation. When that happens, the entire Network Service hosting service (SVCHOST) also goes unresponsive causing the COM+ EventSystem to also become unresponsive.  This can cause issues with the following services:

  • BITS
  • IAS/Network Policy Server
    • This can cause VPN and RWW login failures
  • VSS
    • This can cause backup failures and shadow copy failures
    • VSSADMIN /ListWriters will be empty
  • RRAS
  • WMI

Note: This issue will disappear after a reboot only to return a while (hours to days) later. 

The current resolution is as follows:

  1. Update network card’s firmware
  2. Update network card’s drivers
    Note: If this NIC is an onboard NIC, you may need to search on your Motherboard Make/Model to find the updated drivers. Use drivers from 2009 or the last half of 2008.  Here is a link to some or the more popular motherboards with this adapter.
  3. Install hotfixes KB959816 and KB961775 (Will be included in SP2 for 2008)
  4. Disable RSS and Offloading on the network card’s advanced features
  5. Set the following values on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetServicesTcpipParameters:
    1. EnableRSS = 0
    2. EnableTcpa = 0
    3. DisableTaskOffload = 1
  6. Reboot

If for any reason you must disable BITS as a temporary solution, follow KB922330 to prevent WSUS from losing functionality.

Note: The third-party product(s) that are discussed in this post are manufactured by companies that are independent of Microsoft. Microsoft makes no warranty, implied or otherwise, regarding the performance or reliability of these products.


  2 Replies to “BITS, IAS, VSS and RRAS May Stop Responding on SBS 2008 With a Particular NIC Driver”

  1. Chad
    July 31, 2009 at 3:13 am

    I really appreciate this information, but this should be made a LOT more public, and easier to search for.
    On the last two SBS installs I’ve done, I have spent at least 24 hours solid without sleep trying to determine why WSUS3 seems to stop working and also break the backup functionality (through Symantec or the microsft offering). In the end, I removed WSUS on both occasions which cured the problem, but obviously left me without updates.

    After all the research, it became clearer that it was BITS and VSS that caused the problem, and a quick search on that took me straight to this page.

    Unfortunately, there are an awful lot of people who will only search for Backup or WSUS. I’m hoping that these comments might make it easier to find!!

    Now that I have found this, I am off to bed and will deal with it later on this afternoon!!

    Thanks again for the info – I’ll pass it on to my supplier too.

  2. Max Grillenberger
    July 5, 2010 at 7:08 am

    Hi Nick,

    I’m at a client and i’m in trouble with Broadcom NIC BCM5708C in a Dell PE 2950. SBS2008 2008SP2 installed and sometimes I’m able to connect via VPN, but up to 95% we egt failure 800. Is there a way to fix this nic problem ?

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