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Windows – Delayed Write Failed – Solved!

Find the solution to Windows Delayed Write Failed error message that happens with hard disk drives, and mostly external ones…

UPDATE 2: Latest article: Window Delayed Write Failed – Solutions –>

UPDATE 1: New post with new solution: Click Here

I bought a 500 GB Western Digital My Book Premium external hard drive. For few days, everything was working fine, but suddenly the Delayed Wrifte Failed error started to pop up and my drive was no more accessible. Here’s the error displayed on Windows:
“Windows – Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file X:\$Mft. 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.”

I searched a lot but nothing came up. I had to restart the drive, disconnect and reconnect it again to make it work which was a lot of pain!

I bought a 500 GB Western Digital My Book Premium external hard drive. For few days, everything was working fine, but suddenly the Delayed Wrifte Failed error started to pop up and my drive was no more accessible. Here’s the error displayed on Windows:
“Windows – Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file X:\$Mft. 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.”

I searched a lot but nothing came up. I had to restart the drive, disconnect and reconnect it again to make it work which was a lot of pain!

Well, before we get to the working solution (for my case), read and see the following :

From Others:

According to the article “8 common causes for ‘delayed write failed’ errors” by Serdar Yegulalp , from which was published on 01.05.2005,
Western Digital My Book 500GB
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: <strong>HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE >SYSTEM >CurrentControlSet >Control >Session Manager >Memory Management</strong>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.

Now that you have read the 8 common causes for this error, let’s see about what worked for my case.

Recently I found another solution to this problem that really worked for me. It’s on the next page…

90 replies on “Windows – Delayed Write Failed – Solved!”

starting on the 29th I had the error come up abruptly, and i had to restart, and got the same error over and over such a frustration, i was so disapointed tried another computer with checkdisk (vista) and it failed too. planned on calling tech support, (really dont want to reformat, return the harddrive) i have just to many things on it. i let it cool down for a day. and so i did a few google searches, and i beleive we have returned some of the same result. i dug deeper and eventually found something that as far as i can tell works im currently playing some songs and so far havent had the songs start skipping, and the dreadful errror return yet, :P lets hope for the best anyways, this discussion
led to microsft support, suprise suprise the workaround actually worked, atleast as far as i can tell
heres the instructions, well anyways i found this page on digg and i was so excited to see a picture of my harddrive with someone having the same problem with a solution, anyways i havent ttried the filter but ill check it out if i have further problems
ps. my grammar is pretty bed, i wrote this as i go. cheers.
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management
3. In the details pane, right-click the SystemPages value, and then click Modify.
4. In the Value data box, type the following value, and then click OK:
5. Exit Registry Editor.

Hey, I followed the workaround you gave:
“Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management
3. In the details pane, right-click the SystemPages value, and then click Modify.
4. In the Value data box, type the following value, and then click OK:
5. Exit Registry Editor.”
It works, I can now transfer to my Flash drive……1 problem though :
I have an external harddrive plugged to my system too, even at the moment I changed the registry value but now I cannot delete anything from it. It says the folders are empty but when you try to deleete them it says :
“Cannot remove folder (folder name) : The directory is not empty.
Truth is I do not want to delete the – there are a lot of important files in those folders which are very important and I cannot acess them as it says the folders are empty. Even if you open them it shows you nothing.
Note only folders are affected, other documents lying outside folders are still acessible.
Please help. Urgent.

I also have this problem just very recently show up about a week ago. The 330174 MS kb did not help in my situation. It occurs on two XPsp2 machines I have access to. I have tried the max128k device driver but comparing the output of IOCTL, the only thing that changed was the BusType in the Adapter section of the log. MaxTransferLength=65536.
I will test the ext USB drive to see if the delayed write errors continue.

Hello, and Happy New Year to all! I have the same external drive, a 500GB Western Digital My Book Premium. Everything was working fine until today when I tried to download a TV show from iTunes and began to get the Delayed Write Failed error messages described above. I tried the regedit fix (resetting the value data to ffffffff). After I restarted my computer my external drive (e: on my computer) had disappeared. I am a bit panicked about it; it holds all my iTune files, pictures and c: drive back-up. Has this happened to anyone? Sorry if this a really newbie question, but please let me know how to get my system to recognize the e: drive again.

Hi CatBlue. Happy new year to you too.
Well, first of all, let me know exactly what did you do with the registry? what did you change?
I advise you to get back to the previous entry which was already in the registry and then try the “MAX128K Filter” solution that I explained in this post. and also you may apply the “LargeSystemCache” fix too. but note that if you connect your drive with USB, then you should look up for the write key while editing your registry!
Don’t panic, I’ll try my best to get your drive working again, cause I’ve had the exact drive and exact problem. But remember that it is not the drive’s issue! It’s memory caching issue related to the adapter bus.
Please be aware that modifying the registry requires a good understanding of the matter. I take no responsibilities for the damage you might cause to your system/data.

Hi there, my problem is the same but my hard drive is not external it’s the one that am using regulary as an extra hard disk for saving files … I did this workaround or i dont know wat u call it
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management
3. In the details pane, right-click the SystemPages value, and then click Modify.
4. In the Value data box, type the following value, and then click OK:
5. Exit Registry Editor.
ok it came with results one is good and one is bad
1.the delayed write failed message has gone (good)
2.the same hard drive has disappear (very bad)
i tried everything even i tried to replace the cables numerous times but with no any effect am afraid to bend on of the hard drive pins while doing that so i stopped, I read this ( n did the same but without any success :( please help me guys this hard drive has alot of valuable music video clips hope u can help me .. thanks in advance

Hi Gi! The change I made to the registry is the one described above by a:
Click Start, click Run, type regedit, and then click OK.
2. Locate the following registry key:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSession ManagerMemory Management
3. In the details pane, right-click the SystemPages value, and then click Modify.
4. In the Value data box, type the following value, and then click OK:
5. Exit Registry Editor.
I did the computer “magic fix” i.e., I turned it off and on a couple of times, disconnected and reconnected the hard drive and my external drive finally reappeared in My Computer and Device Manager. Whew! All the files in the external drive were there and I have been able to access them just fine without the DWF error.
However, there is a new twist. When I went back into iTunes to download a free 30 minute video, the transfer is now incredibly SLOW. How slow? Try over 45 minutes to download! I do connect the external HD via USB; will the MAX128K Filter download rectify the slow transfer rate? I did look at the instructions via your link, but it was a bit confusing (firewire vs. USB instructions?)

i had the same problem to, but it was with another type :p
i couldn’t find my original cable to connect so i took a longer one…
now i found my original cable back ( short one) and it works perfect :)
maybe this could help idk

I have the 1 Terabyte version of the Western Digital Book External and it worked for about a month then nothing. I open a folder and when I retrieve something it pops up that darn Delayed Write Failed. I’ve tried these tips but to no avail. I will not buy one of these again I can tell you that. Of the 6 externals I now have, the Western Digital and Seagates are the worst. My Iomega and Acomdata deliver every time.

Help! Just purchased an ishuffle and then the problems started. Says my usb’s are not 2.0, they are (I havea 4th gen ipod that works fine), then delayed write failure to my external G:$Mft, but I can view my files on the external hard drive. What gives? Memory failure? Appreciate the help!

Hi.. I think I have the same problem, I have a new HD with external case 2.5″, tested and working properly at the shop but always show delayed write failure messages when I tried it at my computer with OS Windows XP SP2 (working well with another device), nothing help with any hotfix or change any windows settings including registry. But finally the problem just solved when I buying a new PCI to USB card (4 port at front & 1 port inside), all things working normally when the HD connected with the new USB port.

@Achmad: After researches I’ve done and as I wrote it already in my articles on the topic, the Write delayed failed error concerns USB controllers cache and the way the host controllers manage the cache and the way they communicate with the motherboard and the OS. Simply put, it’s the USB port! I’m happy and thankful that you have shared your experience, and now we have another way to solve the issue. Thanks.

Another way is to turn off disk caching on external hard drives. Select (any) hard drive from the explore menu, click properties, then hardware, double click on the drive, select policies, un-check caching. Worked for me.

Hi just wanted to thank you for your article. Its clean and clear for someone like me to understand. Great!! What is interesting is I have just got this error ..also with a new Western Digital (500Gb). Ok its in an external case connected by USB but the name Western Digital is cropping up lots. I also have a semaphore timeout period error coming up so at the mo I am looking into both these errors and hoping it is down to my cheap 4.5m USB cable.

Just an update.
Put my WD drive in external enclosure onto a different, shorter, USB cable. That is everything but the cable was the same. Under this configuration both “Delayed Write Failure” and “Semaphore time out” have vanished.

Im having this issue with an internal WD 250gb hdd… ive tried everything but the cache limiter as id realy prefer to NOT have to run something as the issue has only jst started after 2 yrs of running fine… Is there anything else i can try?

Just clearing out old favourites and ended back here.
Frank…difficult to answer as you say “ive tried everything” “Is there anything else i can try?”. No one can really suggest anything if you have done everything. I’d guess if you listed what you have done then some smart cookie could see what you havent. Not tryin to be pedantic…just for you to be aware.

Thanks for the help on this page.
I tried everything and the ‘disable write caching’ under hardware/properties/policies on my SATA Seagate external drive worked -the ‘Write Delayed Failed on J:/$MFT’ error has ceased. My 300gb of data appears to be safe now!
Thanks you.

Hi all,
Will not the Max128K Filter reduce the data transfer speed to the external drive.
I have Transcend StoreJet and facing the Windows – Delayed Write Failed problem. I usually end up rebooting the system because it hangs each time.

I would like to posit another cause and solution. I have made several of my own external drives becuase of this recurring issue.
What I have found to be the cause in commercially produced external drives is heat. Many of the drives today leave out a critical piece of hardware, a small case fan to move air through the system. I had an old external device that had two small fans and never had a problem with it until the internal fans went out. Then the problem began to occur during long file transfers. I replaced the fans and the problem went away.
I purchased a new external drive later no fans just a few poorly place vent holes and I had the problem with any transfer that lasted more than 5 to 10 minutes. I cut a hole in the side of the box and installed a 30mm fan. No more Delay read/write errors until the fan failed.
The bottom line look for a system with a fan or buy a box with a fan and add your own HD.

well just to update about this, i’ve tried every solution including the cacheset settings and it still screwd up showing me with the write delay error… however, i decided to pop open my HDD take note it’s a WD500GB My Book because i thought it could possibly be a heat issue since this drive has no internal fan. So far it’s working great, all i did was pop the case open and it seems to stay cool enough now, working over 2 hours without giving me an error where it would ussually give me the first 10 minutes of being plugged in if not instantly..
Now if you’re having trouble accessing your drive right away.. as in as soon as you plug it in and autoplay pops and then you get the write delay error this might be your boot sector that’s been damaged.
If you didn’t reformat your drvie after you bought it you should be using a FAT32 format. There’s a microsoft solution to this where you can revert back to a backup fat32 sector that is stored on sector 6 of the drive.. To do so you require a simple utility contained in your windows xp setup disc.
for more info on this :

@Andrew: Hi! Your last comment was posted on and not here! From the info you’ve provided in your comment, I believe that you should check your hard disk with a checkdisc utility like windows’s built-in chkdsk command. On the other hand try to use the cache set utility as mentioned on the post and do it before you connect your hard drive. You might also try to connect your hard drive to a recent PCI – USB expansion card, as this problem is sometimes related to the USB Controllers. If all fails, try to connect directly your hard drive to your motherboard with the IDE (or SATA) cable.
As other visitors also mentioned these errors might happen due to temperature increase on the disk, see if you can do something to keep your hard drive cool.

WXP SP3,250GB USB drive…read,thied this and that,about to pull my hair out when I read the suggestion to disable all power management…PRESTO!!!!…solved the problem!!!

It was never clear to me in your post but were you able to again access the files on your external hard drive after the fix? I’m in panic mode right now since my computer is not able to access the external hard drive and I get the error message you posted. I haven’t tried the fix yet but assuming I do and I don’t get the error after restart, should I expect my files to still be there, corrupt, or gone??

@Philip: If you restart your computer, you would probably get your drive and files back. in some cases the drive file allocation table becomes corrupt, not because of the solutions proposed here, but only due to the error itself. All solutions provided to you on this website are safe and tested. Anyway, let me assure you that even if you loose access to your drive and even if it shows it as an unformatted drive, you can always get your files back! (be carefull NOT to format the drive or write ANY data on it if you don’t find your expected files on the drive!)
In the following days, I will publish another article that is explaining all the possible solutions for this issue. And soon after, I’ll post another article on how to recover your files from a corrupted hard drive (even from a formatted one). Stay tuned.

Overnight unattended transfer of several comparatively compact image files, after the DWF etc. and kybd lockout, upon power off-on, the VIA/SATA150/RAID1 controller disappeared and so did the WD 250GB RAID1 array. VIA/SATA still in HKLM/…/CurrentControlSet in registry, but gone from BIOS. reinstall VIA/SATA/RAID driver. array still broken and drives will not link master – mirror. other problems beyond the current thread, no?
Waiting for your next article, on recovery.

Anyone can suggest, is it the same error like external hdd. coz i am also facing “Delayed Write Failed” error , while files are archiving or making backup from Harddisk to DVD-RAM with timer according to software program. But the DVD-RAM itself show in My Computer as Removable Disk (E:) . That DVD is double side and panasonic DVD-RAM LM-AD240ME. Is it can solve with Cacheset ?

I am so glad I found this article. I was starting to think that I had wasted money on the MyBook 1TB. After installing the driver, and adjusting the registry settings, all works well. Thanks a bunch for investigating this, and providing a simple solution!

I have the same issue with a StarTech SAT2510U2 external SATA enclosure. I’ve tried every solution listed in this article and everywhere else. I’ve tried two different physical SATA drives.
I *think* I may know what the problem is. The USB cable was running fairly close to a set of speakers. I’ve rearranged and we’ll see what happens.
Is there a way to reproduce to error messages on demand, for test purposes? Large file transfer?

Here is a very simple fix that I found on Toms Hardware.
This solution worked beautifully, at least it seems to so far, to fix my 500 GB Western Digital USB Mybook, which was throwing up the Delayed Write Failed error (even tho write caching was disabled). In fact, XP had begun refusing to even allow me to Explore my Mybook.
My problem apparently was related to System Restore trying to write to the USB drive. So I needed to stop System Restore from trying to protect the USB drive.
THE FIX: To prevent System Restore from messing with your USB drive: Start, programs, accessories, system tools, system restore, then on the left side you see Change Settings, then highlight your external drive and uncheck Monitoring for that drive.
When I followed this procedure, I plugged the drive back in and the problem disappeared immediately.

I have been having this problem for some time. It happened on two different external drives ( a western digital my passport and a generic USB 2. firewire drive). I had the generic drive with my previous pc running window 98 and the problem only started on the new xp pc.
Switching the system restore off has fixed this so many thanks Tim (and Toms Hardware)

Hia everyone. I had the windows delayed write error /$Mft on my Seagate ST315005FPA2E3-RK Ext 1.5TB Freeagent Drive. I’m using Windows XP SP2 and the drive has SATA IEEE1394 and USB2 ports on it. I was using the USB2 cabling thru a powered USB 8 port adapter. I’ve been using this drive for more than a year, and never had a problem. (I also have a second drive, exactly the same Freeagent drive, used as a mirror- but was not connected at the time of the errors). It seemed like the directories and files were disappearing more and more, every time I restarted the drive. I finally disconnected the USB cable from the powered USB poit adapter and plugged it into the Main board. All is well. my Mft index was rebuilt (apparently from a backup on the drive) and all files are accessed. Apparently the USB Port adapter is bad. Hope that helps someone. Thanks for all the ideas..

Hi Guys,I started getting this problem with my newish 1TB Western Digital Elements external hard drive.Folders were coming up empty that weren’t empty before and that pi**ed me off!
However after reading a few of the posts here I tried plugging it into a different USB port and whaddaye know?! It’s working perfectly now AND the missing data is showing up again.
Hallelujah brothers!

Hi all. Just want to say thanks to all for the solutions provided. I’ve been to many sites and they all only have one solution. This is the only place that gives many solutions to the same problem. I’m hoping to try some tonight on my internal Seagate 500gb sata drive. Hopefully something works.
Keep up the good work.

I have 3 almost identical HP Pavilion XP MCE machines, all with the space for their Personal Media drive. I have installed a 500gb one in each machine. All machines are completely updated. I discovered that one hasn’t run a successful Backup for a while (it’s used only as a big TIVO), and the issue is Delayed Write Fail errors. The bulk of the C drive ‘source’ data is dvr-ms files, each about 2gb. The K drive, the internal, so to speak, USB drive, was the destination drive, and also where MCE was recording files for the last 6 months. Lo and behold, magically the TV Recording Storage Setting was, I found, back to C:. This happened before 9/13/09, when the first recording in a week was made.
Anyway, I tried simply copying TV files to K and the error continued. I tried, for kicks, copying across my network to a different PC, and also got the error, though I am not sure if it was to that machine’s C or its own USB internal drive. So I decided the error was not destination-related. Apparently this was wrong?
I called HP, who pointed me towards 330174 on MS Support. I also opened a case with MS, because at this point it seemed related to the large update recently out.
Disabling write caching, reenabling it, etc etc etc, nothing works. This machine is 3 years old or so, the USB drive was installed this past spring. My other machines are not having the problem.
All my workaround attempts have caused even a no TV, small-file only Backup to run for days. No one seems to have commented on that; if disabling write caching doesn’t affect other people’s thruput, what else could be going on here?
Thank you.

I tried the walkaround shown above and now I can see my drive but it is REALLY slow. i.e. 3-5 minutes to open a folder. I don’t remember what the value was to change it back from FFFFFFF!!! YIKES! I’m now scared to reboot as the comments on losing the drive!

Hi everyone!!!
about a wk ago i started experiencing “WINDOWS-DELAYED WRITE FAILED”, is this MAX128K Filter Driver really helps? and is it a trusted download?

It didn’t work for me. Although I did the walkaround and saw the previous problems. I still had the errors.
I did finally get it to work long enough to get my files. to do this, I had to keep it COLD. for example, in front of the vent when the air conditioner was running, or in the window when it was only 10 and windy! and the cover was off it!!!!
I don’t trust it anymore and have bought a new one!

I have recently been getting the same error on a DiskGo 400gb Drive.
Delayed write error:
Windows – Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file G:$Mft. 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.”
Where “G” is my external drive connected to the laptops USB, and it has its own power supply.
I can access the files, it will sometimes disappear, but if I turn it off and turn it back on it comes back.
I have a lot of movies on this drive, I also had a lot of music on the drive, I recently moved the music to another 100gb drive to gain more space on the 400gb drive. I receive the error and also cannot defragment this drive, it will not complete, gets to 98% and stops. I have run the disk check utilities and it completed and did not indicate any errors.
I have tried many of the fixes here, except the registry fix…. I’m a bit cautious on that one, as I have just completed reloading my machine to a new 300gb laptop drive and I do not want that messed up. Oh I was getting the error before I did the new drive. I have XP Pro, SP3.
I went into the registry and looked at the system pages files and it reads: “0xffffffff (4294967295)”, so I have not modified this entry.
I was thinking of reformating the drive, and then transfering the data back to it, but 200gb of movies is a lot to have to move, and then move back.
Any suggestions anyone?

im having the same problems here. i tried chkdsk, defrag, reformat, and the regedit thing but still i cant transfer bigger files from my internal hdd(seagate500gb) to my external hdds(120gbWD and 1TBSeagate). i tried transferring from my laptop to my external hdds and it worked. what could be the problem?

why can my laptop do it and my desktop can’t? my desktop is more powerful than my laptop in terms of specs. any suggestion guys?

I have exactly the same problem as Johnny V, where I can access my files on my IOMEGA 500GB External Hard Drive, but after a few seconds the thing freezes my whole PC. To unfreeze it, I’m having to unplug it from my USB port and XP runs fine again. Problem however is obviously the fact that my 500GB isn’t plugged in anymore and that thing holds everything I need for work. I’ve been using it for roughly 2 years now and suddenly yesterday the problem started. The first indication of the problem was that my music started freezing and then I got an error about a “semaphore” issue. Then I started getting the ‘Delayed Write Failed’ error. Here’s the things I tried:
Took HD out of case (it was really really hot!! However the error still comes up after a few seconds even after cooling down!)
CHKDSK (gets stuck on phase 1 and freezes PC for more than 1 hour – had to unplug HD from USB to unfreeze XP)
AVG anti-virus (The scan froze – disconnected HD from USB again to unfreeze)
Checked my BIOS setting (did not find any UDMA settings – I’m using an ASUS MOBO)
Switched to another USB port (still doesn’t work)
Checked cables (looks completely fine)
Disabled Write Caching on all my Internal Hard Drives (I have 2 HD, 19GB and a 90GB)
Set External Hard Drive Hardware policy to: ‘Optimize for quick removal’
Large System Cache registry tweak at default value of 0
Set the systempages value to: FFFFFFFF
The things I did are not in order because I can’t remember what I did first and last. Like most people I also panicked and googled my problem to find a solution. All the things I did (as listed) did NOT WORK for me.
Later on today I will try a new cable. I will let you guys know whether this solution worked for me or not later on tonight.
In the meantime any other suggestions to try and fix this problem will be appreciated. That 500GB HD holds too much work for me to lose, as is the case for most of you facing this nightmare!

Thanks, System Restore method worked for me atleast it seems so thus far. I just finished copying 4 GB of data to Seagate 500GB external hard disk and “Delayed write” problem is no more troubling.
Thanks to Tim and Tom’s hardware.

I lost both external drives 500gig western digitals, when I turned off system restore for them, and had to go back to yesterday to see them agian. When plugged in each would beep on the windows alert but never showed up on mycomputer untill I rolled back with system restore to yesterday. Not a problem but still does not explain why the write error showed up in the first place,other than the fact that I had a third 500 gig western digital drive in the same manufacturer “InfoSafe” external case that I made a back up of the two existing ones to be stored off site and removed it this morning for transport. Is Windows complaining that it is not there anymore and is that the error. All in InfoSafe external enclosues.

Your solution did not solve my problem. I stumbled upon this problem during a backup operation using Windows Backup program included in XP SP3 operating system.
Any ideeas?
Thank you kindly.

I had this problem with an external USB HD drive. I noticed that the cause of the problem was I had two external drives connected to the same USB PCI extension card. I just exchanged USB slots with the webcam, which was connected to one of the original USB ports on the mainboard. I seems that two HD on the same card is too much effort to work properly. I also works much faster now.
Hope that helps.

hmm im in same situation with you, a seagate 250gig and some random one with 1TB. they were both on the same PCI extention card, and i was keep getting this message, so i thought maybe the USB port is faulty, so i put it into some other port, and running virus scan on it, and it seems it’s working fine as of now.
hopefully it will continue to work fine

THANK YOU x 100 times!
I have a Seagate Free Agent Pro (1TB) and i couldn’t solve the ‘delay write failed’ until now. For me worked the solution describet by you, amazing! Thank you again!

I have found two workarounds for my external USB harddrive that experiences this problem.
– Increasing the ‘PCI bus latency timer’ from 32 to 128 greatly reduced the frequency of “delayed write fails” from an average of once per day, to once per week. My theory behind this is, since the USB ports are intergrated on the motherboard, they are essentially also PCI devices and thus affected by this setting. The ‘PCI bus latency timer’ controls the amount of time that a single device can reserve the PCI bus; it’s a trade off between performance and stability by increasing this value.
– Once a “delayed write fail” DOES occur, I normally had to reboot to make the drive reappear in Windows. I’ve now discovered that if I remove the USB controller (‘USB root hub’) from the Windows device manager (found in Control Panel -> System) and then let Windows scan for new hardware (thus reinstalling the device), my USB harddisk reappears and works again. The reason why this works is because this will reinitialize the USB ports, just like an ordinary reboot would.

I have a 500GB seagate external portable hard drive with similar problems. So far this is what I have done:
1)defragmented the external drive
2)ran chkdsk e:r for 7 to 8 hours
3)reviewed the seagate log
4)tested my hard disk using seagate manager
5)contacted seagate and reported the varioius error messages found in the log. Seagate had me uninstall all of the seagate software on my laptop reboot and reinstall all of the seagate software.
6)switched USB cables
So far all of the above has not corrected the windows – delayed write failed. Windows was unable to save all the date for the file E: |Mft. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by failure of tyour computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save the file elsewhere.
When I have the delayed write failed I usually cannot go through remove hardware as the drive continues to spin. I have to pull out the usb cable. I also close any programs like itunes that I was using to save files onto my esternal drive. I run disk clean up and start all over again. I do not know how to correct the problem of the delayed write and would appreciate any information.
I read about installing a filter or setting the cache to 0 above but have not yet tried those methods. Not sure how to make those alterations and am hesistant to anything further until I can diagnose the problem. I realize that I could try lots of things but the trial and error methos that take a lot of time. How can I diagnose the problem causing the delayed write? If there are no diagnostic methods what method has the greatest likelihood of success after doing the above steps?
Also I have automatic backups of my laptop hard drive which is about 75 GB. I sometimes delete all the backup files and let it backup again. This too has not altered the problem as with a temporary increase of 75 GB in free space the problem occurs.
Again any insight in diagnosing and correcting the delayed write is appreciated

I have experienced the same thing with my Seagate 500. I backed up my entire
Owners Document and Programs from XP and just happened to check a few of the
files and nothing works. I’m getting the exact error message and am heartsick as
I was counting on this to salvage some of the most important files of my life.

Hi! ,
I am also having the similar problems with my Transcend StoreJet 25M. I took a backup of by Dell Inspiron some 8 months back and since then never used the drive. Now when I tried to attached it to any other computer (Inspiron is in repair shop now and so can’t use the same), although I was able to see it as F: drive, was not able to access. Tried running chkdsk f: /r, it worked for some steps, but ended incomplete with soem “Unrecognized Error” message. Finally as I had mos of my stuff in my new Laptop, I tried to do a full format using disc manager ( Windows XP SP3). It ran for hours with no ending, so had to break in between. Then I ran a quick format and wow! I was able to access the drive. Also could copy some small files with success on it. But as soon as I tried to copy a bigger file I get a “delayed write” error, though file gets copied. But then the drive gets locked.
As suggested above, thought of setting the LowerFilters. But before that I downloaded and ran IOCTL utility, to my surprise for this drive the MaxTransferSize is specified only 65536, which is less than 128Kb. Not sure whether setting this to 128k will help or not.
Adapter Details
Version: 32
Size: 32
MaxTransferLength: 65536
MaximumPhysicalPages: 17
AlignmentMask: 0
AdapterUsesPio: 0
AdapterScansDown: 0
CommandQueueing: 0
AcceleratedTransfer: 0
BusType: 190471
BusMajorVersion: 0
BusMinorVersion: 60833

I am having exactly same problem. Request the author of the article to solve this query. Thanks.

Gad, you should really learn to type a path so it’s understandable, example-. control set>control session>etc. where ever the heck your trying to point to

You guys know that Seagate has a hardware failure on their 500GB and 1TB (and possibly 1.5TB) drives that?
Same issue happened to me with the Delayed write failed issue occasionally since Sep 2009, and only this month did I discover that it is a Seagate issue!
Check out:

Went to see my loco PC shop and the guy advise me to buy a new power supply. It’s all ok now. Thanks

i have a seagate 500gb ext hardisk on plugging it gives windows delayed write failed..
some times it works and sometimes it don’t… and it gives this error only on my pc so plz help me out.

Hai guys, I also experienced the same problem with my usb flash drive “Delayed Write Failed” and when i troubleshooted it everything seems alright.
Please check whether other USB devices drawing too much power from the hub?
The device you are trying to use might require all the available power or bandwith that your USB bus can provide. If other devices are connected to the USB bus and are drawing power from it, the first device might not work.
If any other devices are drawing power from the hub, try disconnecting them, and then see if your device works.
If this solves the problem, you might want to obtain a USB hub with its own power supply, so that you have adequate power for all devices.
Hope this will solve your problem…

My problem was as follows: all music was stored on an external usb drive soon as our newest ipod shuffle was connected it would bring about this error on the drive (not the shuffle)…after speaking with apple it comes down to one thing..they did not essentially design within USB specs and the newest generation of shuffle sucks up ALL of the power the 2.0 port can muster, not leaving enough for the external drive…thereby causing the error.
The solutions? moving all the files back to the main hard drive defeats the purpose of the external drive…
a firewire card moves the power requirements to separate
or another pci usb 2.0 hub could be added ..either of these
may require an upgrade to the power supply
one possible solution which I am currently investigating is a USB 2.0 hub which many people tell you to remove in trying to solve this problem, however, it is my hypothesis that a powered USB hub (yes another plug which is just for the hub itself) may resolve this issue…provided adequate power for both the shuffle and the drive. I hope this helps alleviate at least some of the frustration anyone in a similar bind has. My conclusion? If the new Shuffle were not designed to take all the power…there would not be a problem (my older shuffle as well as nano works just fine, not to mention the new kindle I gave my wife …)

Well the max 128k solution WORKED FOR ME!!! So far no more annoying windows delayed write failed errors! I was getting the error on an external FireWire (SBP2) drive. Thanks very much for sharing the solution with us!!!!

my simpletech 500gb external USB HDD has been crapping out with the dreaded “delayed write failed” and since it’s now been discontinued there was no more support or drivers update either.
Been reading up on the myriads of solution offered online including here but none works! I’ve got WinXP SP3 fully loaded.
What actually solved it was :
Go to My Computer, right click on the SimpleDrive, click Properties, click on Hardware tab,
highlight STECH Simple Drive USB Device, click Properties, click on Policies, check Optimize on Performance. Press OK.
You’re done.

Ultimately I had to replace my hard drive which was creating these problems but fortunately I had backed up the whole drive before it stopped working..

I added an unpowered USB 500GB drive to my Presario, and got continual Write Delay Failed messages. I found the Max128K filter, and it seems to have worked. I did have a problem with the home page of the author, though. After he explained how to install the filter, he wrote:
“All Done! If the enclosure was plugged in while you were making all the changes, just disconnect it and reconnect it again to load the filter driver.”
When I did this, I lost the drive completely, all my email folders included. I had to use System Restore to get it all back. But the filter itself seems to have worked. I tried to contact the author about his questionable instruction to unplug the device — rather than reboot, for instance, — but the email address given doesn’t work. Still, I haven’t got any Write Delay Failed messages since — and it’s been at least thirty minutes.

After my computer didn’t recognize my Wd Smarware i almost died, after a lot of hour invested, tears and well basically pain and suffering my pc recognize my driver but give me that annoying message, thank you now it’s fixed and you are my new god…thanks

I have 3 WD 1TB MyBook, when I was transferring large size data from my desktop running winXP sp2 to one of them it hanged up on me and after restarting it gave the write delay error msg. I already know the cause is the cable I used. And now whenever I connect it to my desktop it appears as a blank drive w/o volume. I was still able to transfer the files from it by connecting it to my notebook running in linux and trasfer it to the other 2 MyBook. The other 2 works fine on my desktop so my question is what can I do to work again on my desktop, I’t does not allow me to format it on my desktop is there a registry entry I need to change or delete?

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