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delayed write error writing to a 1394 HDD

 
 
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      27th Dec 2004
I have a problem with writing to an external 1394 disk. I got a "delayed
write error" practically every time I tried to copy a large folder tree to
the disk (say >50Mb). After the error, the drive is detached from its letter
in explorer and often the file system gets corrupted.

My configuration is:

Toshiba SP6100 (Satellite Pro 6100) Pentium Mobile 1.60 512Mb RAM
Microsoft Windows 2000 Professional Service Pack 4
Adaptec DuoConnect PCMCIA 1 x 1394 + 2 x USB2.0
Iomega External HDD 250Gb Firewire/USB2.0 (FAT32 formatted)

Notably the drive works smoothly when connected to USB2.0: I have written
more than 8Gb in one session without a problem. It must be a 1394 related
problem.

After some searching and surfing I got here:

http://www.bustrace.com/products/delayedwrite.htm

The author of the page above claims a large number of "delayed write error"
problem instances are due to attempts to write more than 128K in one I/O and
a hard limitation of some 1394/ATA "bridge" chipsets used in 1394 HD drives
tat makes them unreliable with such long writes. Windows rarely writes so
many data, but when it does, the disk drive hangs. The author makes a test
program available which writes and verifies data using I/Os of increasing
length, up to 512K. I ran the program and it failed at 227.

I tried to disable the write cache in the Iomega HDD's properties window but
that makes the drive unusable. (The idea came from a Microsoft article in the
KB about the "delayed write error" in XP.)

Now the question. It has been reported that Windows XP Service Pack 2 fixes
the problem. However I use Windows 2000 Professional. Does Microsoft make a
patch available for Windows 2000?

Any other hint is of course appreciated.

 
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