Thursday, March 13, 2008

Vista, nvstor32.sys and the BSOD!

I recently upgraded my computer with some larger hard drives, allowing me to run internal backups. My plan was to use the inbuilt Windows Vista backup tool to run both file and complete backups (I'm running Ultimate) and things were going great until about 80% of the way through a complete backup. At this stage my computer crashed to the dreaded BSOD (blue screen of death) and the error message listed a file called 'nvstor32.sys'. After a quick google search I found this file to be part of the nForce SATA drive for my motherboard (a DFI Lanparty UT nF4 SLI-DR Expert).

So I now knew what was causing the fault and assumed that a simple driver fix would solve the problem. I navigated my way over to the nVidia downloads section only to find that the current drivers found in the 15.01 nForce package were the ones already installed on my computer. This forced me on a journey through the series of tubes that is the internet to find some sort of magical updated driver.

After a while and with some random luck, I found a few threads where people were talking about a secret 5.10.2600.995 SATA & RAID driver. I was hoping that this was the key to fixing my problem and all I needed to do was find download link (which didn't take long). But the real great news only came after I had installed the updated driver and found that it did fix my problem. Allowing me to use the Vista's backup tool the way it was intended, with the added bonus of no crazy side effects.

If you are having problems with your nForce motherboard and would like to try out these updated SATA & RAID drivers, click on the appropriate download link below and extract the files do your desktop.

Download nForce SATA Driver 5.10.2600.995
Download nForce RAID Driver 5.10.2600.995

Then open up 'Device Manager' expand 'IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers' and repeat the following steps for all the items listed as 'NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller'.
  • Right click the 'NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller' item and select 'Update Driver Software'
  • Click 'Browse my computer for driver software'
  • Click 'Let me pick from a list of device divers on my computer'
  • Click 'Have Disk'
  • Now select the extract folder on your desktop and follow the rest of the on-screen instructions

Once you have completed the above for ALL listed 'NVIDIA nForce Serial ATA Controller' items the properties of each one should look like the following....


and that's it, your done! If you have any questions just fire away and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.


Anonymous said...

I was so brave to install the commended driver by you, Astro.
This, because I had the problem, when \Device\RaidPort0 was resetted, the system was dead for 1 minute.
Looking to the driver properties I saw, that the driver before was a newer one:
File version: 5.10.2600.998
Product version: 5.10.2600.0998

The driver commended by you, Astro:
File version: 5.10.2600.995
Product version: 5.10.2600.0995

both properties from nvstor32.sys

But in the first 2 hours there was no reset logged in the event protocol.

Good luck

AstrO said...

Hi Erhard, any chance you could post what motherboard you are using (or the chipset it's running?

Anonymous said...

NF-SPP-100 / nForce Go 430
is the analysis of

Good luck

Anonymous said...

Hello once more,

Today I tried to make a full backup from my Vista Ultimate 32 SP1
and I got the reset event again.

The backup stopped with a timeout
error belonging semaphores
and in the event protocol was an entry from the source nvstor32 with the ID 129.

So I installed the driver before and disabled the command queuing option.

I retried the system backup and
struggle with the break off caused from a
backup error event ErrorCode 2147942401 .

I saw, that the big file from the interrupted backup
is near the 16 GB size.
Is this a boundary for NTFS?

Good luck

AstrO said...

NTFS shouldn't be the problem here (see but the backup software might be having issues with such a large file??? Any chance you could share what the brand, model and size of the hard drives in your current system? Also are you running a RAID array or just a standard SATA drive setup?

To give you some information about my current system, I'm running 4 hard drives (2 x 250 GB WD + 2 x 750GB WD), all running off the default nVidia SATA controller. The controller is set to SATA mode in the bios (I'm not running any form of RAID) and I'm backing up the two 250GB drives to one of the 750GB drives using Windows Vistas Default Backup Software (this happens daily at 8am).

AstrO said...

I will also add that my last complete backup (limited to my C: drive) came in at 49.6GB. So it doesn't look like backup software has any problems with large image files.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to give you all a heads-up on my experience with this problem and the resolution I found.

My system is using the 590 SLI chipset on an Asus M2N32-SLI Deluxe board. I'm running RAID 0+1 across four Seagate 320 SATA II drives. Windows Vista Ultimate 32-bit is the OS.

It started with resets on \Device\RaidPort1 showing up in Event Viewer attributed to a problem on SATA port 2.0. The array degraded, and forced me to do a rebuild at boot (F10 on system startup). Nothing was wrong with the drive, and I assumed that the system had overheated as my room was boiling that day.

Once the system restarted it would lock at various stages of boot. Sometimes I could get to the login screen, sometimes I only got a black screen. Again, thinking it was heat, I took steps to cool the machine and tried again. I got to the desktop and the rebuild started. Within a few seconds I had deadlock again.

Eventually I was consistenly receiving a blue screen, DRIVER_IRQL_NOT LESS_OR_EQUAL, STOP 0x000000D1, nvstor32.sys. I was pretty sure at this point what was happening. The driver was crashing on the rebuild. It wasn't merely heat. I knew as long as the system would try to rebuild I had no hope of keeping it running.

I disconnected the drive and forced the RAID array to degrade, but did not initiate a rebuild. I was able to get the system into Windows with no issues from there.

That's when I read this blog post.

I was running the 5.10.2600.998 drivers. Uninstalled them and installed the 5.10.2600.995 instead. I didn't use the download links on this site, though. I went NVIDIA's website and download the 15.08 nFORCE driver (the latest for the 590 SLI), which includes the 5.10.2600.995 SATA and RAID driver files. I uninstalled using Programs and Features > NVIDIA drivers, removing all but the video driver. After installing the 15.08 nFORCE driver package I verfied that I now had 5.10.2600.995 as my SATA and RAID driver versions. I know I installed the latest package when I last updated my nFORCE drivers, so this may indicate at some point NVIDIA pulled the 5.10.2600.998.

Anyway, I hope my experience can help others in a similar situation. Just don't expect my pulling the drive trick to work on a RAID 0 ;)

AstrO said...

Thanks for the details Razor =)

Anonymous said...

Same issue with a HP tx1000 (BSoD + really slow ROM drive and hard drive access)

Updated driver = no BSoD (yet) + noticeably faster drive access on both DVD and hard drive.

Rocky Mountain Writer said...

I had the problem of Vista pausing for a minute or two. I was glad I found your post via google. It's been two days problem free. I can't thank you enough for chasing down the working drivers. Before all of this I was getting BSOD pointing to nvstor32.sys. I rolled back the driver to work at getting at the problem. Thanks again.