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Win XP Pro Delayed Write Failure Message 12/21/04
I received a delayed write failure error messages while copying data from an internal large capacity (200 GB) hard drive to a large capacity (250 GB) Maxtor drive connected to a USB2 enclosure. After copying about 60 GB data, the delayed write failure messages kept coming and the transfer slowed to a halt. I did some research on Google which referenced all kinds of issues and partial solutions. But all I had to do was connect the 250 GB drive internally through the IDE interface and the data transfer was flawless. It appears to be either a buffer or a cache issue and the USB2 transfer for large amounts of data caused problems that the internal transfer didn't. My data is now safely backed up on a hard drive and stored in a bank safety deposit box.

Oct 19, 2007
I recently re-installed Windows XP and I was getting the delayed write failed error with a USB drive. I Googled for solutions but nothing worked. This USB drive was working fine on my previous installation so I figured something new must have been installed. I noticed that my USB drive was constantly being accessed even though I hadn't transferred any files.

It's then that I thought maybe Diskeeper was for some reason accessing this drive. I opened Diskeeper and saw that Automatic Defragmentation was enabled. I disabled this and haven't had any problems with my drive since. I hope this helps you out. Let me know if it works.
Roman Schwendtmayer

Jan 1, 2007
I too faced the same problem with a USB2.0 80GB external disk drive from Seagate enclosed using an Alcor Micro Corp USB-IDE bridge. I tried many tips listed in MS knowledge base and other websites, including yours. Eventually, I accidentally discovered that the problem is due to an incompatible LAN card (Intel PRO/1000 MT Mobile Connection) with the USB device (Intel 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller...). The machine is an R51 IBM laptop.

The only workaround I have found until now is to disable the Ethernet card while using the external disk drive. I also noticed that when the external disk drive is already connected, I cannot make connections to any Internet site through the Ethernet card.

I assume this is due to a PCI device conflict with shared IRQ (currently all PCI devices have IRQ 11). I am unable to assign a separate IRQ to the ethernet card on the laptop. Don't know if this would resolve the issue.

I hope the above information will be useful to others facing "Delayed write errors" in WinXp. Any help in resolving the problem permanently is also appreciated.
Varun Sud

September 18th, 2006
Problem: XP encounters a problem closing files soon after the installation is done by displaying "Delayed write failed". All drivers were installed correctly. No drivers fixed up the problem. No shutting off cache write behind worked. No BIOS update worked. No 40-80 wire cable change the situation. After attempting a new installation on a another hard drive, we encountered the same problem. After 2 days of searching we change HD

Solution: HD brand is incompatible with the motherboard. Change brand (we went with Western digital). In our case it was a HD IBM Deskstar given this problem with MSI VIA chipset motherboard.
Pat Gallant

June 11th, 2005
Jeff Zimmerlin came up with a solution for his fire wire external drives that were giving him delayed write failure error messages. LaCie recommended purchasing a replacement firewire card that uses the Texas Instruments chipset (from Adaptec or LaCie). He purchased and installed a LaCie Firewire 400 PCI card ($29) and never received a delayed write failure on his Windows XP Home computer again!

June 5th, 2003
I received this e-mail Microsoft
I am a Microsoft support engineer for Windows XP and had a customer call in with the write delay error and was able to fix her by downloading a XP driver for her disk controller card. When she installed XP, and this is true for everyone, the installation put a MS generic driver for her controller. We went to the mfg's web site and downloaded the XP driver for the card and her problem is now resolved. She was getting this error when trying to write above 140 gig on a 200 gig Maxtor 2000. Go to device manager and she if you disk controller has a Microsoft driver with a date of 6/2001. If you have that driver installed go to the mfg's web site for your card and get their XP driver and your problem should be resolved

February 20, 2003
Philippe Heeren sent me this link to a patch on
Microsoft's web site

March 12th, 2002
I've still been getting the Delayed Write Failure when trying to copy data from my C Drive to my D Drive. Well, I just broke down and purchased a new hard drive today. It's the 80 gig Maxtor 7200 and I purchased it from Costco's for $169. I had recently been successful in copying the 30 gig's of data I had on my old D Drive over to the C Drive, which put me within 2.5 gig of filling it up. So I installed the new 80 gig as the D Drive. For the first time since I've been having this problem I was able to copy data across the drives without getting an error message. I copied 35 gigs of data to the new drive and when I confirmed the successful transfer, I then deleted it the data from the C Drive and was back in business.
All it took to solve the problem was to replace the hard drive.

*Check out these solutions that were sent to me*

On the day Windows XP was released I made my statement by purchasing Windows 2000 Professional to install on my 550 Megahertz two year old Dell Computer. I had been having problems that seemed to be related to either my hard drive deteriorating or Windows 98SE installation becoming corrupted. I purchased a new 60 gig (7200 RPM) Maxtor hard drive to do a clean install and moved my current 60 gig (7200 RPM) Maxtor hard drive to the D drive position. Installation of Win 2K went smoothly, as did the installation of SR2 and all my important programs. Then I opened the D drive and proceeded to try and delete all the files that I didn't need as a back up, including the Windows 98 system files. That probably was where my problems started. From that point on, whenever I emptied the C drive recycle bin (the D drive recycle bin was always empty), or rebooted the computer, I would receive the following two error messages:
Windows - Delayed Write Failure
Windows was unable to save all the data for the file
\Device\Harddisk Volume 2\Recycled\Desktop.ini
This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save the file elsewhere.
Windows - Delayed Write Failure
Windows was unable to save all the data for the file
\Device\Harddisk Volume 2\Recycled\Info2
This data has been lost.
This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save the file elsewhere.

If you have a solution or suggestion for helping me solve this problem

Some additional background information. I've had missing sector error messages when trying to access some of my back up files on the D drive. Additionally I've been trying to get my network working between this Win2K machine and the Win ME laptop purchased this past May. Both machines recognize each other but ask for a password where non had been configured. I figured that I'd put off solving this problem until the D drive problem was solved. But the error messages mentioning network made me think that it was a possible contributing cause. Also, since my network wasn't working, I've been using a 192 megabyte Sandisk CompactFlash card to move files between the two computers. I found that after moving files onto the CF card from the Dell 550 and removing the card from the card reader, the same error messages appeared and the files were not on the card at all when I installed it in the laptop. My work around was to access the files by opening and closing them before removing the CF card from the 550.
What I've done so far
We went to Comdex last week and came across two utility programs called Diskeeper 7.0 and Undelete 2.0 from ExecSoft. Their technician was very helpful and offered to talk me through a telephone diagnostic of the problem which could possibly lead to a quick solution. He did suggest installing Undelete, which replaces the recycle bin. By doing his suggested installation, I stopped receiving those error messages and the D drive recycle bin now contains the two mentioned files from the error messages, Desktop.ini and Info2.
I've contacted Steve Gibson's company Gibson Research for a copy of their highly regarded disk utility SpinRite to analyze the D drive. It took 31 hours to check the 60 Gig hard drive but it checked out OK. I reformatted it from the Maxtor MaxBlast floppy and have copied my data back successfully.
BUT, I'm still getting the same two delayed write error messages when saving data to the CompactFlash card and removing it from the card reader (Device G). AND, I'm also still getting the top two messages that refer to the D drive when removing the CompactFlash card.
Windows - Delayed Write Failure
Windows was unable to save all the data for file G:,
The data has been lost.
This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save the file elsewhere.
Working with SpinRite
SpinRite is designed to work in DOS. On my now Win2K machine I had to run it in Command Prompt. But on an NT machine it requires that the machine be manually rebooted to a boot disk to run in Command Prompt. Since Win2K doesn't come with a boot disk and I needed to run it on my D drive, I approached it this way. I unzipped SpinRite and copied the file spinrite.exe to the C drive. I then booted to my Win 98SE boot disk and at the A prompt entered C:spinrite.exe. This enabled me to start the utility program from my C drive to scan my D drive.

If you have a solution or suggestion for helping me solve this problem

These solutions were e-mailed to me:
I was getting the error message: “Delayed Write Failed” “Windows was unable to save all the data…” etc.
I solved this problem by going into Start – Programs – Administrative Tools - Computer Management – Storage - Disk Management.
[I found the same program via Start- Settings - Control Panel - Admin Tools. etc.]
In the upper part of the Computer Management window, right click on each of your hard drives in turn and select “Change drive letter and path”. Select Edit, [don't actually change anything] and then click OK in the “Edit Drive Letter or Path” window.
Next, go to the lower portion of the Computer Management window, right click on the gray box for each of your peripheral drives (CD Rom, Zip drive, etc.), and repeat the procedure. Close all the windows and the problem should by fixed. You may have to reboot - I don’t remember if I had to reboot or not.
[I re-booted just to be sure - got the message once more as I re-booted then bingo! Gone - I hope!]
Your note about the delayed write failure on Windows XP is not complete. I also have a Maxtor 60GB hard disk which had the same problem on Windows XP. The IDE card that the disk was plugged into had configured the device as a UDMA Mode 6 device but either the device or the cable wasn't capable of this speed. Switching the device to UDMA Mode 5 solved the delayed write failure message and my machine is now far more stable.

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