What the HAL is going on with these E6510 and E6410s?

At my place of employment, we recently ran into some issues integrating Dell’s newer model of laptops, the E6510 and the E6410, into our imaging process for the deployment of Windows XP SP3.

We experienced 3 varied issues that are described as follows:

  • ·         The first occurs on both the E6410 and 6510 XP SP3 is related to the ST Micro Accelerometer driver (Version 1/4/2010) that is included with the E6510 and E6410 XP SP3 x86 driver cab file downloads. If at any point this driver is installed, regardless of installation method, the system will lock up at shut down and sporadically during startup. Simply disabling this driver in SCCM fixed the issue. I also downloaded this driver individually and ripped it apart. I found that it is the same version and modify date as the one included in the CAB files. I can only tell you what I know, which is I have never seen this driver installed without the side effect of random lock ups. I am assuming this is a problem with the driver. As of now, the workaround is to avoid this driver entirely.
  • ·         The second issue we are experiencing is related only to the E6510 model. When utilizing only the drivers provided in the CAB file, ours locks up during the sysprep process. Reviewing the setupapi.log reveals that it is indeed locking up during the installation of the “Intel(R) Active Management Technology – SOL” (Version 9/17/2009) driver. Disabling this driver in SCCM was a workaround this issue for us and presented a new problem. Now it will finish sysprepping and run the image, however the mouse and keyboard will not work due to an IRQ conflict. We are still troubleshooting this issue with Microsoft, as we are trying to get this driver to install properly.
  • ·         The third issue we are experiencing is related only to the E6410 model. When utilizing only the drivers provided in the CAB file, we experience a lockup when resuming from standby. We are utilizing Intel(R) 82567LM-3 Gigabit Network Connection (Version 12/10/2009). We were able to develop a workaround by downloading a later version from the Intel website (Version 9/29/2010) and creating a software package for installation, as the driver would not natively plug-n-play for this device. This is a temporary workaround, but we are watching for the latest version to be approved on the Dell website. We found this article to be very useful. http://communities.intel.com/thread/15350?start=0&tstart=0

The root cause ended up being the version of the HAL that was in our base image. You can read up on the different versions here. In short, we were building our gold standard image on Microsoft Virtual PC, which is an addition to Windows 7 and the successor to Virtual PC 2007. When we built our image on the Microsoft Virtual PC, the HAL type chosen by Windows when installing XP SP3 was “Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) PC”. Based on some recommendations on the Dell Techcenter site, (Thanks Warren!) and the evidence that others were having success with a HAL switching script, we decided to rebuild our gold standard image on a VMware based machine, which will choose “ACPI Uniprocessor PC”. After we made this change we no longer had the issues listed above. To check what version of the HAL is installed on your installation, you can simply go to device manager, and look under the computer node.


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