I recently had a Z220 delivered to use as a dev server for a Remote Desktop Session Host solution I’m designing. Windows Server 2012 installed ok, and the workstation was left powered on overnight. I checked it was running in the morning then went to make a coffee. When I returned the system had rebooted and was showing the following text on a black BIOS-style screen:
A disk read error occurred.
Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart
Not really what you want to see on new hardware. Anyway, I power-cycled the workstation and it booted into Windows again. The event viewer showed the bugcheck details as follows:
0x00000133 (0x0000000000000000, 0x0000000000000281, 0x0000000000000280, 0x0000000000000000)
A quick Google search directed me to an article which pointed the finger at a hardware or device driver issue.
I copied the memory.dmp file onto my Windows 7 PC, installed the latest Debugging Tools for Windows and fired up WinDbg. After configuring the symbol server I loaded the memory dump file and ran !analyze -v
The finger was pointed to the iaStorV.sys driver, which is the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver. Time to look for an update on HP’s website. I posted the full WinDbg output into the Technet Forum post above.
Time to be dissapointed. The only storage driver currently showing for the Z220 under Windows 8 is Intel Rapid Storage Technology Utility and Driver (Beta), v. 126.96.36.1991 Rev. A. Now I don’t know about you, but considering that I actually want to get some work done on this Z220, having a beta storage driver is not something I want to be using.
Time to go and look on Intel’s website. There, after the automatic driver scan tool failed to find anything useful, I searched for and found a driver for AHCI: Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver for Intel Desktop Boards v. 188.8.131.523, which is both newer than the one available from HP and also not beta. It installed, and after a reboot, in Device Manager under Storage Controllers the Intel Desktop/Workstation/Server Express Chipset SATA RAID Controller is using iaStorA.sys as its driver file, with the version matching that of the download.
The system has been stable so far, just over 24hrs, but one thing still slightly concerns me: The BIOS message saying “disk read error”. That indicates that the problem wasn’t just a Windows driver issue, it persisted after a reboot. I suppose it’s possible that the original driver somehow put the storage controller into some kind of strange state
In the Ctrl-I BIOS option, the Intel Rapid Storage Technolgy option ROM is showing v. 184.108.40.2063 – I didn’t check this before installing the driver, but I’m assuming that the driver didn’t update it. Intel state that the option ROM is integrated with the system BIOS, and I’d count it as firmware rather than a driver anyway. The BIOS on the Z220 was v1.14. There are no BIOS updates listed under Windows 8 on the HP website, but there is a v1.21 Rev. A listed under Windows 7. I’ve just installed this and the Intel option ROM version has increased to v. 220.127.116.118.
So we’ll see what happens.