WinPE 3.0 Storage Driver Issues

I was using the iaAHCI driver (dated 08/07/2009) from Intel in WinPE 3.0, on a Lenovo T60 (and other models), and when I tried to browse the fixed disk (c:), I get this message: “The volume does not contain a recognized file system. Please make sure that all required file system drivers are loaded and that the volume is not corrupted.” This driver is available from Dell, if you choose for example, the Dell Latitude E6400 from their support site, and select Windows 7 32-bit drivers (see link below). Intel does not currently host this driver version on their website. The latest version of the Windows 7 Matrix Storage Manager Driver that Intel offers directly is, dated 06/04/2009.

Naturally, you may want to use the “newer” driver that Dell offers in your boot image, for better compatibility. Unfortunately, I’ve found that this driver from Dell causes the error referenced above. That said, MDT 2010 is still able to format, partition, and write to the disk, although I’ve been experiencing some performance problems that I believe are related to this incorrect driver.

Be careful about which drivers you add to your WinPE 3.0 / Win7 boot images!

Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver

Dell Intel Matrix Storage Manager Driver

Update (2009-11-05): After some further testing, it appears that the driver from Intel does not work with the Latitude E6400 in Intel Rapid Restore Technology (IRRT) mode, which is the factory default setting. I added the driver back into my boot image, so that the E6400 will work, but at the expense of the error message on the T60. At least this configuration allows MDT to do its work, it just prevents browsing the filesystem from within WinPE 3.0.

I have been spending hours testing various configurations, with different driver versions, and so far I have not been able to come up with anything perfectly stable. There are two other iaStor/iaAHCI driver versions I have seen that seem to work with a full Windows 7 OS, 8.6.x and I don’t have all the other exact information handy at present, but I believe the 8.6 driver is included in the Windows 7 installation.

That’s all for now …