I’m a great fan of various web sites that track and announce new software and device drives. Two of my particular favorites include MajorGeeks and Station Drivers. While visiting the former this morning, I was alerted that a new version of Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology had been released: version 188.8.131.521, to be specific. A quick check to the about screen on my production desktop showed me that I was running version 184.108.40.2066, so I decided to download and install that update.
Ultimately, I did produce this screen from the latest Intel RST Help-About display, but not without some fear and loathing along the way.
Everything seemed to go swimmingly with the install, right up to the warning at the end of the process that the new version wouldn’t activate until after my next reboot. I elected to delay that reboot for a while, so I could work on other things. But as the following snippet of events from Event Viewer after ultimately firing off the reboot clearly show, something “interesting” happened on the way to a successful restart.
Please note the eight-minute gap from 9:35 to 9:43 in the event log.
The machine started to shut down as usual, and ended at a blue screen with the message “Restarting windows” with the cycling balls. Unfortunately, there it stayed for the next eight minutes, at which point I took my heart in mouth (and some comfort from a nightly image backup schedule) and hit the reset button on my production PC. My burning question while taking this action was, of course: “Will the machine boot correctly, or is this installation now hosed?”
Luckily for me the answer was “No, it’s not hosed” as Windows then promptly restarted without even complaining about an abnormal shutdown (nor does the event log include such a notification either). What’s highlighted in the event stream above apparently flags my hitting the reset button after eight minutes had elapsed since beginning the restart process. It looks like Windows didn’t hang until the shutdown process was nearly complete, since the OS didn’t complain about an abnormal shutdown. Fortunately for me, that also means that the processes involved in switching from the old version of RST to the new one (or at least flushing out the remains of the old one to be replaced by the elements of the new one upon the next successful boot-up) had already completed. I have to imagine that’s why my machine rebooted properly and is running correctly at this very moment.
But dang! I really HATE when this kind of thing happens because when storage drivers get interrupted in mid-update, there’s always the potential that the entire storage subsystem will be corrupted, damaged, or completely unusable. Although today may be Friday the 13th, I find myself thanking my lucky stars that whatever provoked my system hang didn’t strike until after key changes to my system had already been completed. And while it may have been completely in character to be reinstalling the old OS image from last night’s backup, I’m grateful to have been spared this unscheduled administrative chore. Whew! That was a close call…