Vista to Windows 7 Upgrade fails with error 0xc0000359 and reference to iastor.sys

Windows Vista users using Intel Storage Driver (iastor.sys) may fail to upgrade to Windows 7. Microsoft acknowledged this issue through KB 2008373. Using the step-by-step guide, users can successfully upgrade Vista to Windows 7.

When a user using Intel Storage Driver tries to upgrade to the next Windows operating system, they may get the following error message:

Status: 0xc0000359
Windows failed to load because a critical system driver is missing or corrupt

Microsoft identified the cause of this error. In response to the error at the KB 2008373 page, the Redmond software giant said, “during (the) upgrade process the incorrect version of the iastor is referenced resulting in the above error.” The cause is identified, the solution is available too.

The KB (Knowledge Base) post directs users through the process of resolving the error. The necessary steps as posted on the KB post to resolve the error is discussed below. After you complete the steps, you can upgrade your Vista machine to Windows 7.

  1. Access Driver Repository Folder under C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository and move any folders that contain the file: iastor.inf to a temporary location.
To move the files from the FileRepository you may need additional permissions which can be accomplished by taking ownership of the folder:

  • Right-click on the folder and choose Properties.
  • Click Security tab > Advanced button.
  • Click Owner tab > Edit button > Select your account.

  1. Search for references to iastor within the oem inf files in the c:\windows\inf folder.

For Example: findstr \i \c:”iastor” %windir%\inf\oem*.inf

  1. Make a note of the oem##.inf files reported where ## is a numeral. Move the oem##.inf and corresponding oem##.pnf from c:\windows\inf folder to a temporary folder.
  2. Delete $~bt, $~LS and $~Upgrade folders from c:\ drive if they exist
  3. Download and install the latest version of the iastor.sys driver from Intel website on the Vista machine:
  4. Start the Windows 7 upgrade process. It should complete successfully now.
Once the Upgrade process has completed successfully, there is no need to restore the iastore files, or the oem*.inf and oem*.pnf files back to their original location as the devices will no longer be needed.

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