Qaisar shows you how to
upgrade the PV driver
for your Windows EC2 instance


I want to ensure that I have the latest PV drivers installed for my EC2 Windows instances. How can I do this?

Amazon EC2 Windows AMIs contain drivers that permit access to virtualized hardware. These drivers are used by Amazon EC2 to map instance store and Amazon EBS volumes to their devices. These drivers also improve the stability and performance of your EC2 Windows instances. For Windows Server 2008 R2 and above, Amazon recommends installing the latest version of the AWS PV drivers.

Before you begin, make sure you understand these important considerations:

  • When you stop an instance, the data on any instance store volumes is erased. Therefore, if you have any data on instance store volumes that you want to keep, be sure to back it up to persistent storage.
  • The public IP address for your instance is released when it's stopped or terminated, and a stopped instance will receive a new public IP address after it has restarted. Ensure that you don’t have applications that depend on the public IP address, because it cannot be recovered. Assigning an Elastic IP is a recommended best practice because it will remain with the instance when it is stopped and restarted.
  • If the instance you want to update is functioning as a domain controller, additional steps are required. For more information, see Upgrade an Instance that is a Domain Controller (AWS PV Driver Upgrade).

To upgrade to the latest PV driver:

  1. In the Amazon EC2 console, choose Instances from the navigation pane.
  2. Choose the instance that requires the driver upgrade, open the context (right-click) menu, choose Instance State, and then choose Stop.
  3. After the instance is stopped, create a backup. Open the context (right-click) menu for the instance, choose Image, and then choose Create Image. For more information, see Creating a Windows AMI from a Running Instance.
  4. From the context (right-click) menu for the instance, choose Instance State, and then choose Start.
  5. Connect to the instance using Remote Desktop Connection (RDP). For more information, see Connecting to Your Windows Instance.
  6. For the latest PV drivers, go to Upgrade Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012, and 2012 R2 Instances (AWS PV Driver Upgrade), and then choose Download.
  7. Extract the contents of the folder, and then run AWSPVDriverSetup.msi.

After you run the MSI, the instance automatically reboots and then upgrades the driver. The instance will not be available for up to 15 minutes. After the upgrade is complete and the instance passes both health checks in the Amazon EC2 console, connect to the instance using Remote Desktop Connection and verify that the new driver was installed. In Device Manager, under Storage Controllers, locate AWS PV Storage Host Adapter. Verify that the driver version is the same as the latest version listed in the Driver Version History table. For more information, see EC2 Windows PV Driver Version History.

You should now have the latest PV drivers installed for your EC2 Windows instance.  

pv drivers, instances, windows, ami

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Published: 2017-03-13