Managing Error Detection

Applies To: Microsoft iSCSI Software Target

Error detection is the process of ensuring that data sent between two network nodes arrives as intended. Error detection mechanisms include the following:

  • Checksum

    The iSCSI protocol runs on top of TCP/IP, which provides a checksum mechanism to ensure data integrity. However, over unreliable and noisy links, TCP/IP checksum may not be sufficient to detect all error conditions.

  • Digests

    The iSCSI protocol offers an additional safeguard called digests. Digests use 32-bit cyclic redundancy checksum (CRC). The iSCSI protocol provides error detection by using the following digests:

    • Header digests: Ensure the validity of the header portion of the protocol data unit (PDU).

    • Data digests: Validate the data segment of the PDU.

    These options can be used separately or together. Microsoft iSCSI Software Target supports header and data digest. For more information about the PDU, see Overview of Microsoft iSCSI Software Target.

    To use header or data digest, or both, enable the appropriate digest on the iSCSI initiator. iSCSI Software Target then automatically uses it for any iSCSI target to which that iSCSI initiator is assigned. This simplifies the configuration of the storage server.


Enabling the use of digests will result in a slight increase in CPU utilization due to CRC computation.

To enable header digest or data digest

  1. Click Start, point to Administrative Tools, and then click iSCSI Initiator.

  2. On the Targets tab, under Discovered targets, select the applicable target, and then click Connect.

  3. In the Advanced Settings dialog box, on the General tab, under CRC/Checksum, select the Data digest check box or Header digest check box as needed.

Additional references

Managing Advanced iSCSI Initiator Access

Overview of Microsoft iSCSI Software Target