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Nonresponsiveness Due to iaStor Error Solved

January 27, 2010

Two days ago, my Media Center Extenders became extremely non-responsive when I tried to play recorded TV. Perhaps playing TV would have been impossible, but I did not wait that long before restarting the Media Center PC.

That restart failed, with the Windows logo staying on the screen indefinitely. Attempts to fix the boot process from the Windows boot menu proved useless as that diagnostic revealed no error. Running a similar diagnostic from the Windows 7 install DVD provided me with a boot issue to fix and Windows restarted, but was sluggish when accessing my recorded TV.

A diagnostic run on that drive revealed nothing.

A look in the Windows Event log revealed a series of the following errors that began several hours before the nonresponsiveness:

Source: iaStor

Event ID: 9

The device, DeviceIdeiaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.

Some web searches revealed substantial frustration with this problem dating back to the introduction of Windows Vista, but also suggested that updating Intel’s disk drivers might solve the problem. At least sometimes the problem is related to hard drives and LPM (link power management):

A change was made by Microsoft* in the Windows Vista setup process. The result of this change is that the Intel® Matrix Storage Manager LPM registry settings that were intended for mobile installations are added for desktop installations as well. These LPM registry settings are added for both the Intel® Matrix Storage Manager RAID driver on the Windows Vista installation disk, as well as for any drivers added during the installation process.

Various desktop Serial ATA devices such as hard drives and CD/DVD drives have been reported that do not comply with the Serial ATA LPM device specification and display erratic behavior when LPM is enabled.

Given that the hard drive in question was a new “green” drive. I suspect this may have been part of the problem. A new set of Intel drivers addresses the problem by disabling LPM. I installed these drivers (for the Intel Matrix Storage Manager (my system is RAID capable, although I do not use RAID)) and the problem has not recurred in the last 48 hours.


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