HP Laptops and High Capacity WD Hard Drives

Laptop HDDI recently had an HP DV6-2111tcx Laptop come into the workshop that had faulty hard drive and needed to be replaced.

I ordered a replacement Western Digital hard drive with 640GB capacity instead of the 500GB capacity of the original.

Once the system was restored to factory default using the HP Restore Disks, I proceeded to install all the Windows Updates. Well I tried to at least. What I found was that Windows Update produced an error stating that the Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running, and a suggestion that I restart the laptop. The service was running and restarting the laptop was of no benefit.

So I tried an experiment. I did a clean install of Windows 7 using an OEM disk and then proceeded to download and install all the latest drivers from HP. I thought to myself, “well that should resolve the problem”, but wouldn’t you know it, the same problem was occurring.

So I did another clean install, and this time I didn’t install the HP drivers. And guess what? This time Windows Update worked just fine. The conclusion? Well obviously there was an issue with one of the HP drivers. So rather than uninstall the drivers and re-install them one by one, I thought it would be quicker to simply telephone HP and ask them if they knew of any problems with any of their drivers. After all, it is their product and software, so they should be in a position to tell me.

Well after an hour waiting on hold I was eventually tended to, only to be told there was nothing they could do and that they could assure me that if I downloaded the latest drivers from the HP website, there should be no problem. They held this line even though I explained that a clean install solved the problem and it was only after installing their drivers that a problem occurred.

Hmmmmmm. Now what will I do? So after thinking about it for a bit and on the off chance they may be able to assist, I decided to call Microsoft. The service rep at the end of the line suggested I look at the Windows Update log and in there was an error code. I can’t recall the code now, but when I quoted it to him he said he seemed to recall something about this error code and to please hold the line while he looked into it.

Shortly thereafter he got back on the line and requested my email address so he could send me a link to an updated driver for the Intel Rapid Storage driver. And guess where this link was? Yep, Hewlett Packard.

So why couldn’t Hewlett Packard give me this information? Well your guess is as good as mine.

The upshot was that I downloaded the updated driver and Windows Update worked fine. It seems that HP Laptops with a Western Digital high density hard drive, such as 1TB or 750GB or even 640GB may display abnormal error messages if the Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver (IRRT) is not updated. Examples of error messages include:

  • Windows requires a digitally signed driver. This message appears after inserting a media card into the 4 in 1 card reader for the first time.
  • Windows Live Mail could not be started. This message appears after launching Windows Live Mail.
  • Windows requires a digitally signed driver. This error message appears while installing 3G USB dongle.
  • An error message appear while running benchmark software such as PCMark Vantage or MobileMark 2007.
  • Windows Update cannot currently check for updates, because the service is not running… This error message appears while performing a Windows Update.

So if anyone is interested, the link for the updated driver is ftp://ftp.hp.com/pub/softpaq/sp47501-48000/sp47845.exe

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