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Diskdump.sys gets OOB update on 5/25

I’m always curious when Microsoft lets another OOB update loose (OOB = out-of-band–that is, a non-Patch Tuesday update release, this time on 5/25/2011, when the company let slip KB2541014). This time, the affected software item is for the Diskdump.sys file that manages data capture whenever a kernel mode error occurs on a Windows machine. It apparently occurs on PCs that use the SCSI miniport device–a Microsoft-supplied driver that defines the interface between a SCSI miniport driver and the OS–that have trouble hibernating (their machines restart instead of going into the deepest sleep mode defined for Windows) or that fail to write a memory dump file (either to the minidump or a full-blown memory dump file) when Windows 7 experiences a kernel mode error.

Should you be concerned about this? Surprisingly the answer is “Yes,” even if your systems aren’t experiencing the problems this update is supposed to address. As it happens, many storage devices–including SSDs, USB flash drives, network storage devices, and even conventional SATA or IDE hard disks–actually include Plug and Play SCSI Miniport drivers among their Host Bus Adapter capabilities. This could be one of those surprising updates that might (or might not) cause heartburn on end-user machines. A little time with this puppy in the test lab on standard configurations is probably in order. So far, all of my test machines appear to be working OK in the wake of the update, but you can’t know about yours until you try it out in the lab.

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