Feeds

Dell in Vista RAID debacle

Not very Dimensional

3 Big data security analytics techniques

Frustrated Microsoft Windows Vista Home PC users are pointing the finger at Dell for continuing to sell machines that foul up when configured with the RAID facility.

The apparent issue with certain Intel RAID controllers and Microsoft's latest operating system, Vista - which got its long-awaited retail release on 30 January 2007 - has been a hotly debated topic in online forums for several months.

RAID (Redundant Array of Inexpensive or Independent Drives) pulls together multiple hard-disk drives into a single logical unit, which should simplify what the operating system sees while improving fault-tolerance for the user.

Though it is a system typically used in servers where file-sharing is intensive, RAID has become increasingly popular with home PC users too.

However, Vista users are complaining that they have to disable the RAID facility to make their Dell Dimension 9200 PC work fully.

On Dell's "community forum" many of the posts say that an Intel iastor driver (iaStor.sys) error is causing Vista to regularly freeze.

It seems that combinations of RAID configuration, including striped (RAID 0) and mirrored (RAID 1), are affected on Dell's 9200 model, which ships with Vista and Intel's matrix storage system.

A Reg reader alerted us to the posts and said, "I'm pretty narked after spending a grand on a supposed high-end system that doesn't work reliably."

El Reg put in a call to the Dell home support team to try and work out why this has been happening and see what advice we would be given.

I explained to the chap on the other end of the line that my brand new Dell Dimension 9200 PC kept freezing and that it was reporting an iaStor error every 15 minutes or so, without hesitation he responded: "Yes Ma'am, this is a known problem with Dell PCs and Vista and it can be easily rectified."

He told me that all I needed to do to fix the problem was to open up the Dell PC, disconnect the cable at the back of the CD drive and then re-connect it to another port in the machine.

I expressed concern about my RAID configuration but was told that "the fix is very straightforward" and that he believed the problem was completely unrelated to RAID or Microsoft and instead pointed to a simple hardware conflict.

When asked if it would be a good idea to install Linux on my new Dell PC to work around the problem he advised that it would be a bad idea as Dell does not support the operating system, making the warranty invalid. A Compaq user was told similar some weeks back, according to Linux.com.

"There is a fix and the solution Dell offers is a permanent one", he added.

But online at least, the debate rages on. ®

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
Leaked pics show EMBIGGENED iPhone 6 screen
Fat-fingered fanbois rejoice over Chinternet snaps
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
True optical zoom coming to HTC smartphone cameras
Time to ditch that heavy DSLR? Maybe in a year, year and a half
Rounded corners? Pah! Amazon's '3D phone has eye-tracking tech'
Now THAT'S what we call a proper new feature
Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER
Too much pixel dust for your strained eyeballs to handle
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Leaked photos may indicate slimmer next-generation iPad
Will iPad Air evolve into iPad Helium?
US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code
Slow and kludgy rollout will protect corporate profits
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.