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Thread: disabling write caching in winxp-pro SP3 - greyed out

  1. #1
    Tim Guest

    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.....



  2. #2
    Uwe Sieber Guest

    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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