"Write delay failed" error on NTFS formated HDs, USB mounted under Win 2000 pro SP4 & XP



It happens when I copy or make operations (zipping or ckecksum calculations)
on large files (i.e. 500 MB or more).
Similar issues look to be very common, and there are thousands internet
pages about it.
However I didn't succeed to find any relevant information concerning my
specific trouble.

Two HDs (40 MB Maxtor, ATA133 plus an adapter, 80 GB Lacie 2.5" mobile)
both are NTFS formated and present the same anomaly on two different
computers (a recent HP portable running XP and an home made Asus A7N8Xdeluxe
running Win 2000 pro SP4).

On the home made, I've on a regular basis, two other HDs, USB mounted but
FAT32 formated. One has two 95 GB partitions (SATA), one with two 120GB
partitions (PATA). Eventually other FAT32 disks are also connected to the
computer, with the same brand of USB to IDE adapters. No issues.

From the tons of information I read, the issues concern as well Win2000 as
I'm really focussing on the association of the USB -and- the NTFS -and- the
huge files. Consequently, I excluded the adapters and the disks.

* The "Write to cache enabled" option is greyed in the "disk properties" for
the USB disks.
* In the performance options of the system properties, "optimize the
performance for:", I disabled "the applications" and ticked "background
services". I didn't have the usual error ultil the _last_ big file,
resulting into the complete loss of the partition table of the failing disk.
* No UDMA parameters seem to be adjustable for the USB mounted disks. If
there are, please, tell me where.

For the moment, I'm investigating on the registry, what keys & parameters
should I look for ?

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory
Management ?
SystemPages ?
IoPageLockLimit ?
Since I don't know the effects I prefer not to modify them, waiting for

Thanks in advance


Chris Hill said:
On Mon, 28 Jul 2008 12:52:43 +0200, "frischmoutt"

SystemPages ?
IoPageLockLimit ?
Since I don't know the effects I prefer not to modify them, waiting for

Here's a clue. Bad drives.

I can't believe: A brand new external Lacie, incoming retested by the
Computer Department of my company, one Maxtor, 40 GB, ATA133 (mine), and
recently another one Maxtor, 20 GB, ATA133 as well (mine). Two different
computers, three different mobile USB adapters.
Failures appear on both computers with each of these equipment. Windows is
well known to have developped this issue on Win2000 & Win XP.

I connected today the 20 GB (NTFS) with an IDE cable. It didn't fail. I
reformated with a FAT 32 partition then I used the same USB-IDE adapter
(supposed to be participating to the failure). No issues.

It's clear that on both computers the problems come with the association of
the USB _and_ the NTFS _and_ huge files. I've no mean to modify the
configuration of the company's computer nor to dive into its guts.
Unfortunately !



nospam said:
Highly, in fact extremely doubtful. Bad/inadequate cables? Maybe.
Bad/flaky hard drive adapter? Overclocking or incorrect system bios
setting(s)? Outdated chipset driver(s) (especially "VIA")?

The reason this problem is such a bitch to find is because so many
things can cause it.

Thanks for the different feedback messages.
I'd like to re-focus the question:

The_NTFS, USB, huge files_ only association does trigger the issues.


No cables between the adapters and the disks, except inside the Lacie (TBC).
One of these disks FAT reformated is fine with the two USB adapters.
A brand new Barracuda, 500 GB NTFS formated, but IDE mounted, is fine.
No OvC. BIOS parms unchanged for months.
Anyway, no place for UDMA & USB. No VIA, NVidia inst. Drivers refreshed last

=> Where, in the registry, to look at for entries related to these three
contributors together ?

Thanks again


John B. Smith said:
I chased one of these errors for quite a while. I was failing most
consistently when backing up one small partition with DriveImage7.
Long story... coming to a conclusion that it was the UDMA number
assigned to the backup drive by the Promise RAID controller. It would
come up with the Delayed Write Error, but also go into a system hang.
Eventually I blew a sector on my C: drive. Part of the trail to
getting to this point was that I'd cloned my old C: drive for a new
one and still had old one with a 2-week old C: on it. (that's when I
found out that image backups WON'T work if you blow a sector) so just
put old drive back in.

In my case that 'small partition' was what was doing me in. It would
error check just fine though. Eventually, after wiping and making a
new partition, PartitionMagic said there was something wrong with it,
did I want to fix it? I did, and no more troubles with that back-up. I
know, you'd think that would have been my first suspicion, but the
trail had been long getting here and it clouded the facts.

If you CAN find out more about Delayed Write Errors I sure do appaud
you. PLEASE post your answers here and we'll all be eternally
grateful. They're one of the most aggravating Windows failures I've
run into.

Digging a bit more, I just found a clue. I'm not experimented enough to deem
of its importance, however it rings the bell!
Here's the article:
and quoting it:
" c. Because of how NTFS works,
" __more writes are done to your drive with NTFS than FAT__
" so you may decrease your UFDs life span."

May a guru elaborate a bit more this statement, and, if possible condidering
the USB interface, to draw the conclusions and the related recomms?

Thanks in advance

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