The Realm of the Verbal Processor

Jarvis's Ramblings

XP Mass Storage Drivers – a Better Way

Anyone who has done Operating System Deployment with ConfigMgr will tell you that the toughest part of getting it working is mass storage drivers…simply getting XP to be able to talk to the hard disk after the image is laid down. The root of the issue is that the new hardware that we are deploying Windows XP onto didn’t exist when XP was released. In particular, the hard disk controllers are new, and XP doesn’t have drivers to be able to communicate with the newer hardware…it needs a driver. In particular, most corporate computers have an Intel chipset, but XP has no native support for the AHCI/RAID chipsets. XP needs the Intel Matrix Storage Manager driver for these chipsets.

This typically comes out during a deployment as a Blue Screen of Death with a Stop Code of 0x0000007b (0x7b). If you ever see that stop code…most likely it is a mass storage driver issue.

Now…I’ve battled these for a while. ConfigMgr includes the ability to dynamically inject the driver during the deployment which is great. It works well as long as you know specifically which driver goes with a given computer (see my previous post). However it is cumbersome. If you don’t know the driver, you can waste a good bit of time figuring out which driver to inject. There’s got to be a better way…and there is. At the last Minnesota System Center User Group, Joey Gleason mentioned a really helpful portion of a session from MMS related to that. In it Ben Rampe talks about this very problem and does a good job of outlining a better way of handling this. I reviewed the session and found it to be very helpful. The rest of this blog post is a combination of knowledge I had previously and info from that session. The outline of the rest of this post looks a lot like Ben’s slidedeck…which is to be expected in a technical post…there are only so many ways to outline the same process. :-)

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September 8, 2010 Posted by | ConfigMgr | Leave a comment