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Old 14-04-2009
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 31
"Delay Write Failed" on External USB Drive

Hi All!

I am having a External Hard Drive of 320 GB, but my computer is giving me an error saying "Delayed write failed". I tried reinstalling the drivers again, but was not worth.

I tried connecting it with SATA, it did not showed up but while starting it showed up in bios.

Can anyone HELP..!
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Old 14-04-2009
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 5,936
Re: "Delay Write Failed" on External USB Drive

Windows uses a special subsystem for certain disk functions, which caches write operations and performs them when the system is idle. This can improve system performance, but it's typically turned off by default. The term for this kind of operation is delayed writing.

You can see how write-caching is handled for a particular volume by right-clicking on the icon for the drive in the "Disk drives" subtree of the Device Manager and selecting the Policies tabs. The options typically are "Optimize for quick removal" (everything is written to the drive immediately) and "Optimize for performance" (writes are cached).

The first option lets you quickly disconnect drives -- for instance, hot-pluggable USB "pen" drives -- without first disconnecting them via the Safely Remove Hardware icon in the system tray. If all the options are grayed out, this means write-caching is probably handled at the discretion of the device driver. (You can see more information about the way the defaults for write caching work in the Microsoft article, "Windows XP and Surprise Removal of Hardware"

In Windows XP, the system may pop up a "Delayed Write Failed" notification balloon, which means that something has gone wrong with the delayed-write system. This does not always mean there has been a fatal problem, but you should take it seriously.

Some common reasons for a delayed-write failure are:

1. Problems with a device driver, especially a SCSI or RAID device driver. Some RAID device drivers are known to issue spurious "Delayed Write Failed" errors in XP Service Pack 2. Most manufacturers have been alerted to this, so check to make sure the disk drivers are up-to-date.

2. Cabling problems. A faulty or broken cable -- especially for an external USB or Firewire enclosure?can generate this error. It can also happen if the cable is too long, or if it is hooked up through a hub that isn't up to spec. Another possible culprit is if you have a UDMA drive that requires an 80-pin cable, and you are using a 40-pin cable.

3. SCSI termination errors. This has become less likely with the advent of self-terminating SCSI hardware, but it shouldn't be counted out.

4. Media errors. This is the worst possible scenario -- essentially, drive failure. If you can garner statistics on the drive via SMART (such as SMART & Simple, you may be able to determine if there's a mechanical failure in the offing. Gibson Research's SpinRite tool is also useful for assessing media errors, but be warned: It may take a long time to do a thorough test.

5. BIOS settings on the computer are forcing faster UDMA modes than the drive controller can handle. This is unlikely, especially with newer hardware (which can support UDMA far more flexibly), but it can usually be fixed with a BIOS upgrade, or by resetting the BIOS entries for the hard drives to auto-detect settings. Devices set to UDMA Mode 6 that produce this error, for instance, might need to be set to Mode 5.

6. Controller issues. I've observed that USB controllers that contend strongly with other hardware can produce this error. In systems that have both "long" and "short" PCI slots (i.e., 64-bit and 32-bit), try moving the USB controller to the long slot. Older PCI cards will not fit in such a slot.

7. Memory parity issues. If the problem appears after installing new memory, the memory in question may be faulty or not of the correct type for the motherboard in question. (This may go hand-in-hand with other problems such as random lockups, too.)

8. The LargeSystemCache Registry tweak and ATI video adapters. One peculiar set of circumstances that has been observed on multiple machines with ATI video adapters and more than 512MB of memory involves the LargeSystemCache Registry setting, a DWORD entry found in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management. This setting governs the amount of memory set aside by the system for certain kernel processes. If it's set to 1 (which allegedly improves performance on systems with more than 512MB of memory), it can cause data corruption on some systems, and produce the "Delayed Write Failed" error. Try resetting it to 0 if it's been set
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Old 14-04-2009
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 6,878
Re: "Delay Write Failed" on External USB Drive


Application popup: Windows - Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file [name_of_the_file_you_want_to_save].

The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.


This problem occurs when the data redirector of a System flushes the contents of the file, and writes to a file handle with read-only access instead of to a file handle with write access.

When the redirector received an opportunistic lock break to none, it purged the cache for the file, but did not uninitialize the cache for the file.

More Information:

The redirector also needed to purge and uninitialize when the set end of file occurs because the opportunistic lock break is asynchronous. Because it did not uninitialize the cache for the file, it wrote to the incorrect file handle.


Warning: Serious problems might occur if you configure the registry incorrectly by using the Registry Editor. Microsoft recommends that you create a backup of your current registry before making changes.

1. Click Start, and then click Run.

2. In the Open box, type regedit, and then press ENTER.

3. In Registry Editor, locate the following subkey in the registry:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet \Services\LanmanServer\Parameters

4. In the right pane, click EnableOplocks, and then press ENTER.

5. In the Value data box, type 0, and then press ENTER.

6. Quit Registry Editor.

For more detail Click HERE
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Old 14-04-2009
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,545
Re: "Delay Write Failed" on External USB Drive

You might be getting the following Display :

Here is How To Fix It :

This kind of problem is observed when the drive is almost full and there is some problem being faced by the disk in maintaining the file allocation table. This problem can be fixed in some easy steps:

1. Delete some un-necessary stuff from your drive and make at-least 5% of the total disk space as free space.

2. Open My Computer, right click on the USB drive, click on properties.

3. Go to Tools > Error-checking and select option to check now as shown in the image below.

4. This will show a window like the one below. Check the check-boxes to Automatically fix the file system and Scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors. Click Start.

NOTE: If you are not able to run this scan, disconnect the drive and try again. If the USB malfunction error is received.

This scan may take a few minutes to a few hours depending on the disk size and type of file system. Keep patience and let it complete properly. Once this is done, re-start your computer.
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