Event ID 9: iaStor0 did not respond within the timeout period

Just tonight, after 40 mins after waking my computer from sleep, my CDROM empty drive started to randomly attempt to read/seek and hang the entire system. The hard disk activity light was also constantly on. Thinking that it was some sort of issue with a rogue program trying to open a file on a CDROM and failing, I rebooted my computer. It took forever to get past BIOS, and the computer hung on the “Starting Windows” screen while booting windows.

At the end, I disconnected the SATA cable connecting the CDROM and attempted to boot the computer again. This time, without the CDROM drive connected, the computer boots as it always had! Looking at Window’s system logs, the error “The device, \Device\Ide\iaStor0, did not respond within the timeout period.” began flooding the logs approximately 40 minutes after my computer turned on. The full error goes as follows:

- <Event xmlns="http://schemas.microsoft.com/win/2004/08/events/event">
- <System>
  <Provider Name="iaStorV" /> 
  <EventID Qualifiers="49156">9</EventID> 
  <TimeCreated SystemTime="2011-03-02T08:09:59.225343600Z" /> 
  <Security /> 
- <EventData>

A quick google search turned up that it is most probably some issue with the Intel RAID firmware I have on my motherboard. Now, I’m left with one question: What suddenly caused this error to occur? There was no hardware or software changes. The computer had no problems for the past 3 years prior to tonight.

At any rate, I have no problems living without a DVD drive. Who uses those these days anyway (other than to reinstall windows, still haven’t gotten PXE boot to work for WinPE).

Addendum: I recently needed to read some DVDs and replugged in the DVD drive without issue. I’ve no idea why this error occured, but it appeared to have resolved itself during the 2 months when it was completely unplugged from my computer.