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disabling write caching in winxp-pro SP3 - greyed out

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Old 27-04-2009
Tim
 
Posts: n/a
disabling write caching in winxp-pro SP3 - greyed out

Hi,
been searching the web for hours on this - I have (after 3 years) suddenly
developed "delayed write failure" problems on ONE of my HDD (non-boot). Not
sure if it coincided with the most recent Win update or not. No other
changes that I am aware of.
The MS site suggest disabling "write caching " on the disk. However, this
option is greyed out and inaccessible on my system (administrator account)
under disk policies.
It is a western digital drive, and WD ALSO suggest disabling write caching
on there website as well. (this is a 160gb sata HDD in a NON raid
configuration on a dell 8400)
Anyone have any idea? I have run every diagnostic I can - including CHKDSK,
WD life guard diagnostics, dell diagnostics etc but all come through with
flying colours. SMART data is also fine.
I suspect IF I can disable write caching it may be ok - (although it has
been fine for a couple of years WITH write caching enabled..)
Anyone have any idea? Is there a reg tweak that will disable write caching?

Thanks


PS originally posted - incorrectly - to
Microsoft.public.windowsxp.general.....



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  #2  
Old 27-04-2009
Uwe Sieber
 
Posts: n/a
Re: disabling write caching in winxp-pro SP3 - greyed out

Tim wrote:
> Hi,
> been searching the web for hours on this - I have (after 3 years) suddenly
> developed "delayed write failure" problems on ONE of my HDD (non-boot). Not
> sure if it coincided with the most recent Win update or not. No other
> changes that I am aware of.
> The MS site suggest disabling "write caching " on the disk. However, this
> option is greyed out and inaccessible on my system (administrator account)
> under disk policies.
> It is a western digital drive, and WD ALSO suggest disabling write caching
> on there website as well. (this is a 160gb sata HDD in a NON raid
> configuration on a dell 8400)
> Anyone have any idea? I have run every diagnostic I can - including CHKDSK,
> WD life guard diagnostics, dell diagnostics etc but all come through with
> flying colours. SMART data is also fine.
> I suspect IF I can disable write caching it may be ok - (although it has
> been fine for a couple of years WITH write caching enabled..)
> Anyone have any idea? Is there a reg tweak that will disable write caching?


"delayed write failure" is usually a hardware problem.
The Windows write cache wasn't able to flush its
data to disk.
Try to change the SATA data cable.

Deactivating the write cache will change the
problem but will not fix it.

The option "Enable write caching on the disk"
means the drive's internal cache but not the
windows' write cache.
If it's grayed out then the SATA driver does not
support 'SCSI pass thru', so Windows cannot send
the right commands to the disk.
Usually the drive's write cache can be deactivated
by means of a tool provided by the manufacturer.
Usually a bootable floppy or CD.
As mentioned, this will not fix your problem.

Deactivating the Windows write cache might be possible
by means of the dskcache commandline tool:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/811392

The error message might be different then but
the problem will still be there...


Uwe
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