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I have a brand-new Windows 7 laptop that was hanging from time to time with the message (in Event Viewer) "\Device\Ide\iaStor0 did not respond within the timeout period." It would typically hang for 15-30 seconds and then come back to life.

I have found what I think is the source of the problem, and have a workaround. I am reporting it here in case other people are having similar problems. If I'm right, the problem comes about on machines with RAID controllers (Intel Array Storage, otherwise known as Rapid Storage Technology) with disks (in my case, probably a Samsung SSD) that do not support a feature called "Link Power Management."

Link Power Management (LPM) is described by Intel as a “feature described by the Serial ATA specification to overcome the power demand of a high-speed serial interface, SATA and providing the capability of SATA at the minimum power cost.” Apparently, for it to work, it has to be coupled with a disk drive that supports it correctly. If the disk does not support the feature, various people online have reported exactly the symptom I’ve been seeing: The system hangs, and then the Array Storage reports an error code 9 (\Device\Ide\iaStor0 did not respond within the timeout period).

Intel says that it is possible to disable LPM selectively by port. The relevant information is in registry key
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\iaStor\Parameters\Portn\

where n represents the port number, starting from 0. Within each of those keys are the following DWORD values:

LPM: 0 (disable) or 1 (enable); default = enable
LPMSTATE: 0 (partial), 1( slumber); default = disable; ignored when LPM = 0
LPMDSTATE: 0 (partial), 1 (slumber); default = enable
DIPM: 0 (disable), 1 (enable); default = enable

I tried disabling LPM for all six of the ports on my machine, by setting LPM, LPMDSTATE, and DIPM to 0 in the registry for the key corresponding to each port (0 through 5). I have not had a single disk error report since then.

Obviously this experience does not prove for certain that this is the source of my problems. But if you are having similar difficulties on your machine, and you have a RAID controller, and especially if you have a Samsung SSD, I would think this is an experiment worth trying.
 
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