I noticed some stuttering in gaming recently and before I dug into xperf, procmon, or anything else, I opened Event Viewer, ’cause it’s there for a reason.
Lo and behold, Event ID 157 errors were occurring at the same time I noticed stuttering in games. “Disk 20 has been surprise removed.” and so forth.
So that’s awesome right? Normally with this I’d be freaking out that my motherboard or disk was going bad. But, that’s kinda a high value in disk land for a workstation, let’s take a look at Device Manager.
I do have a few SSDs. But I don’t have a bunch of drives named xvd….or do I?
So I started poking around in Device Manager, the properties of one of the Xvd’s specifically. It’s an interesting glimpse into how Microsoft Store game apps work actually. What’s happened is, I’m using the Microsoft Store with Xbox Game Pass. And the games install to a directory but are contained in vhd files. Sort of like a hyper-visor might run a virtual machine. But instead, they are just disk containers for games. If you show hidden devices in Device Manager, you’ll note a disk controller named “Xvdd SCSI Miniport” in the Storage controllers section.
The random disks being surprise removed seem to be reflected inside the Events tab of this device.
So, what’s the fix for gamers who don’t want stuttering while these disks are being surprise removed? I’d expect disabling the Gaming services in service manager would do the trick. I think the removals are game updates or licensing validation checks happening. All the network traffic for the Microsoft store games is encrypted, so who knows.
Until next time,