Windows 2012 servers that use HpCISSs2.sys become unresponsive typically every 3-7 days

(updated 11/4/2013)

Just a quick note out there on a specific issue we’ve been seeing lately. It is the really the only issue with Windows 2012 server hanging or becoming unresponsive that we’ve had up almost a year into the release of this OS.

On Windows 2012 running on HP servers that use the October 15th 2012 version of HpCISSs2.sys, those servers will run into an issue were we have an IO stall accessing the disk.  This stall happens when we hit the HpCISSs2.sys and will never recover.  The first time it happens the servers don’t actually hang but that is when the traffic jam starts to backup.  Meaning – someone can have a car accident block the highway 5 miles down the road. You wouldn’t stop moving right away but eventually you’re going to be stopped in the resulting line of traffic.

Some of the symptoms you may see is that the server will show you a grey screen instead of the logon option. You may not be able to RDP to the server but if you test ports such as 3389 135 445 with port query they will be open.  Remote WMI queries may fail. Ping will work. File shares will not be accessible.

For those familiar with the Windows debugger the driver version info is:

14: kd> lmvm

start             end                 module name

    Loaded symbol image file: HpCISSs2.sys

    Image path:

    Image name: HpCISSs2.sys

    Timestamp:        Mon Oct 15 14:09:41 2012 (507C5165)

    CheckSum:         0002A400

    ImageSize:        00028000

    Translations:     0000.04b0 0000.04e4 0409.04b0 0409.04e4

From Microsoft diagnostics reports (MPS or MSDT) we see the file as:

STORAGE (SCSI) HPCISSS2.SYS       Hewlett-Packard Company          10/15/2012       153 KB    (156,992 bytes) Smart Array P410i Controller

Although MSinfo32 may show a different date, the version number in these cases has been

Driver c:\windows\system32\drivers\hpcisss2.sys (, 153.31 KB (156,992 bytes), 7/2/2013 12:28 AM)


Customers with this issue have  followed what HP has documented here for a separate issue involving HpCISSs2.sys on 2012.

If you have that version of the driver, are running Windows 2012 and are running into this behavior please contact HP and open a ticket with them to investigate this further.

To get conclusive data that confirms this is the issue, a Kernel Memory dump is the best route. Since Servers are typically setup for a Kernel dump by default the only change that would be required is to setup the system to generate that dump on an NMI signal:

How to generate a complete crash dump file or a kernel crash dump file by using an NMI on a Windows-based system

Not having to get a Full memory dump and only needing a Kernel dump greatly reduces the resulting size of the dump file, which is becoming problematic when generating dumps on systems with a large amount of RAM.

Comments (12)
  1. Anonymous says:


    I believe there might be a small hickup in the article.

    We had the hang problem on our HP Windows Server 2012 hosts with upgraded firmware/driver versions and version of the Smart Array driver (February 2013 version in SPP-2013.02).

    In fact we had to downgrade to the October 2012 version which SOLVES the problem. More recent versions have the hang problem as documented in this HP article.…/Document.jsp

    Kind regards

  2. Graeme says:

    This has been an issue with HP Servers since Server 2003 with that hpciss2 driver. That and storport don't play well together unless they are at specific versions.

  3. kimberj says:

    There have been issues in the past with that driver, yes.  I cannot tell from the data that we have if the cause here is due to similar code issues with that driver or if we're getting stuck down another code path.  Unfortunately, once we hit that driver the debugging goes into a black box.

  4. Kimberj says:

    All the Server 2012 hang cases we have seen have been with the October 15th 2012 version of that file.

  5. julian says:

    we are experiencing the exact issue on our HP Blade server all of sudden.  hopefully the downgrade of the driver will fix this problem.  Thanks for the article!

  6. PersAU says:

    Hi Guys,

    I face some similar issue to this . See below

    I got HP server 2012 storage box (HP Store Easy 1430) running which is member sever in domain.

    This server hanged two times last two months and when this happens AD users can't log-in there computes either, Not sure this because of storage box.

    I can't shutdown or restart the server2012 storage box ((HP Store Easy 1430)and only option it to power off.

    After powering on back the server2012 storage box everything comes back to normal.

    You guys reckon that I should downgrade  the   hpciss2 driver in HP Store Easy 1430?



  7. Olson says:

    Worked for me. All systems stable after downgrade! thanks!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Pingback from Emerging issue with Windows Server 2012 and the HpCISSs2.sys driver | UC3

  9. gata says:

    HpCISSs2.sys new version – with SPP2014020 was released on February 18th 2014.

  10. alex says:

    DL360p Gen8 here
    Symptoms: Disk Management – Connecting to Virtual Disk Service

    as per this and following topic

    i upgraded HpCISSs2.sys to

    After restart still Connecting to Virtual Disk Service problem

  11. alex says:

    F9 in BIOS then Advanced – Disable virtual install disk

    All is ok now

  12. Agustin says:

    i was trying to install W2012 R2 on a DL380 G5, it was giving an error in the last part of the installation, something about corrupted files, this last reply from Alex fixed the issue (F9 in BIOS then Advanced – Disable virtual install disk)
    Thanks a lot!

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