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  "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP 
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Michael Yeang Apr 27, 2006, 03:11am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Probably each problem has to be examined on a case-by-case basis. Before my external USB disk 'died,' I had been getting DWFs routinely with it while transferring large files to my internal IDE HDD although indexing was always turned off in XP. My motherboard was an MSI648 Max-F (SiS chipset). Eventually I had other big problems with the MB, and the fault was traced to a bloated capacitor on the MB. Now I have a new MB, an Asus P4P800-X with an i865PE chipset. After I partially resurrected the 'dead' USB disk and managed to transfer files, I have not seen a single DWF yet.

A DWF could be a symptom, like a fever, which has many causes.

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EM3F May 10, 2006, 04:44am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
I Guess I'm having the same problem too. But what's messed about my problem is that my Compaq Presario SR1820NX is 2 weeks old! I haven't gone online with it yet (I'm using somebody elses Computer to acess the internet right now). When I started it up this afternoon, I noticed my computer was running much slower than the night before. I couldn't access any files or programs becuase of how slow it was running, and about 15 minutes later this Message appears "Windows- Delayed Write Failure...Windows was unable to save all the data for the File: C:\$MFT. ETC... after I close the window. The whole system freezes and I have to restart...I did a system restore and deleted all the programs I thought would cause this. It seemed okay for about 4 hours. Then the error popped up again...Should I Re-format my hard drive or have my retailer take a look at it? And What exactly is C:\$MFT?

What I have is a:
.AMD ATHLON64 Processor 3400
.512MB PC2300 DDR SDRAM Memory
.160GB 7200RPM Ultra DMA Hard Drive
.Windows XP Home Edtion
.Intergrated NVIDIA GEFORCE 6150 LE Graphics with 256 shared video Memory

Any kind of information regarding my situation will be most appreciated Thanx a lot

Michael Yeang May 10, 2006, 05:40am EDT Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Since your computer is only 2 weeks old, I would suggest that you have your retailer do some on-site troubleshooting, if that is part of the deal. He should probably check whether the system is properly optimized and whether a virus or trojan was unwittingly included in the installation. There could be an infection causing the PC to be slow. Do you have any antivirus software installed? This is mandatory. I'm using AntiVir Personal Edition Classic Version 7, which is freeware and has been really effective, so far.

Then when the system is functioning well, you can install a program like System Mechanic Professional ( This is an excellent piece of work that should be included in everybody's PC utility toolkit. It takes care of your PCs general performance and health.

Then, since you have a 160GB hard disk, it should be split up into several partitions. Norton Partition Magic is a good software to have which partitions the disk without needing to backup the data first. But of course you should backup your data regularly anyway. Backer ( is excellent. Allway Sync ( is ideal for data synchronization.

Set aside about 20GB for partition C. That's for your operating system and some applications. After partitioning, you can install Acronis TrueImage ( for doing image backups of partition C to D (or E or F, etc). Then when anything goes wrong with your OS that you cannot fix, simply restore the entire C partition from the image backup and you're back in business in 5.

Large applications that you don't want to include in the image backup can be installed in a partition other than C. This can include CAD software, statistics software, games and so on. Games today take up an awful amount of disk territory.

With the above arsenal of utilities to pamper your PC, you should not have to worry about the PC blues anymore!

Oh, by the way, here's a link explaining $MFT:

Eric Taylor Jan 05, 2007, 05:18pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: FIXED! - "delayed Write failure" in winxp fixed.
YES!!!! Thanks Mithrander, for your suggestion re defragging getting tangled up with Norton GoBack and causing delayed write problems. That was it. I had recently defragged with Norton GoBack running. I didn't see any error messages, but immediately afterwards, I started getting delayed write failure balloons. And I've spent days trying to figure out what was wrong, until I saw your post.

After reading it, I uninstalled GoBack, rebooted, and (wham!) -- no more delayed write errors. I used a 2006 version of the Raxco defragger, which appears to be an awesome program, but apparently it was not smart enough to leave GoBack's files alone. I'm going to try it again with "gobackio.bin" excluded from what Raxco defrags, and maybe that will work, but if it still happens again, I'm going to trash the Raxco defragger.

So that was it. I'd suggest to anyone who uses GoBack and who has recently defragged and then found delayed write errors afterwards, do what Mithrander suggested: Turn off Norton GoBack. (You don't have to uninstal it, I think.) Reboot. Then try copying large files and see if it works OK with no delayed write errors. If it's OK, then you can reinstall GoBack, and next time you defrag, try excluding the "gobackio.bin" file from what is defragged. If excluding that file doesn't work, then get a new defragger or remove GoBack before you defrag.

Back up first, I guess, with any program that makes a complete image of your whole drive. Then turn off/remove GoBack. You have to reboot to do this, and GoBack will prompt you to reboot. You don't have to completely uninstall GoBack. Turning it off was enough for my computer. Then run your defrag program, and then copy a large file to the target drive to check that there are no more delayed write errors. If everything is OK, turn GoBack back on. It reinstalls itself, which took around 20 minutes on my ThinkPad -- and a reboot, I think. Then you're finished -- defragged and still protected by GoBack. That's what I just did and everything is working fine right now.

There has apparently been a lot of head scratching and a lot of people suggesting a lot of different solutions in various forums, but this was the only one that worked for me. I hope it will help other people.

Thanks again, Mithrander! :) :) :)

Eric (

Mike Peters Jan 30, 2007, 10:58pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
To Eric Taylor and Mithrander....

Thank you! thank you! thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! thank you!!
I was at wits end with my delayed write failure, but your solution cure it! Thank you, Thank you!!

Mike DeFina Jan 31, 2007, 12:59am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Why is everyone still writing about this delayed write problem ???
It's the damn hardware - just get a new modern USB Pci card and it fixes the problem. It's the hardware circuitry. These engineering guys just got lazy and never did any testing for large files. Only the newer motherboards and newer USB 2.0 cards will work properly.

Eric Taylor Jan 31, 2007, 12:36pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
With all due respect, it's not necessarily a hardware problem. Pls see my post of 1/5 and another post replying to me on 1/30.

In my case, my hardware had been working fine for almost 3 years. The problems only began when I defragged with Norton Go Back running, and they stopped after I uninstalled Go Back. Clearly, in my case, it was not a hardware problem.

You might be right for some cases, but lumping everything together under "hardware problem" oversimplifies things and could send some people on a wild goose chase.


Mike DeFina Jan 31, 2007, 01:43pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
yes, that is true. I guess in some cases it could be software. My case it was the poorly engineered hardware. In your case it's the poorly engineered/coded software... Go back software really sucks. I just use driveimage - it's the best and it runs automatically.

Edsel Delmiguez Jan 31, 2007, 05:32pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
To Mithrandir Greybeard, Eric Taylor,

Thank you. This solution worked for me. I defrag using Diskeeper and I excluded the "gobackio.bin" file from what is defragged. That file is suspect because it shows up as another hard drive partition in some disk utilities and maybe the defragger's protocols clashes with those of GoBack's. Thanks again! :)

Eric Taylor Feb 01, 2007, 12:54pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
I'm glad Mithrander and I could help. The problem was driving me nuts for weeks before I saw Mithrander's post. I just followed what he suggested and then reported what happened, so the credit for finding this solution should really go to him.

I'll add one other comment though: It seems clear that several different bad things could be happening on different systems, but they all show up as this one less-than-helpful delayed write error message.

Better guidance and better error messages from Microsoft are clearly called for here. Why don't they provide them? I guess when you own the market, it's easier to just leave it to the peasants to solve our own problems.

Linux is looking better and better, no?

Edsel Delmiguez Feb 01, 2007, 07:39pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
I won't be surprised if Bill Gates wakes up one morning and finds his desktop PC loaded with some open source OS. Microsoft doesn't admit it, but they know their OS sucks. I have logged 379 crashes (BSD's) against 1189 boots with XP just last year alone. But when it comes to stabiltiy, I guess no OS beats FreeBSD (no pun intended). It's even used by Yahoo to power their servers with zero crashes. Microsoft could be secretly using it too. :)

james payne Feb 07, 2007, 03:43am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Ok, I am happy for you, Eric, but I don't use anything Norton, and my problem has nothing to do with USB, so....
The Maxtor 120g IDE internal hd I've been using for over two years as my secondary drive, problems began after reinstalling entire system into a new case/new ps. *Note: Delayed write failures have happened before (up to 2 yrs. ago), but it was infrequent, and went as follows:
Here's what happens: When doing any work with files of any size over 2 - 3 MB (I only use this drive for audio and some video files), "DWF" comes up, and drive "disapears", though system still works. Reboot, drive comes back with all data intact, until I copy/work with any files on the Maxtor, then same thing happens.
Un-plugged/re-plugged IDE cables, still no change. MB is an all Via chipset, I think (ECS?), and have had no trouble before.
Maxtor is on IDE 1, DVDRW is on IDE 2, System hd is a SATA channel.
I'm not too tech savy and am at a loss.
Any suggestions for a non-Norton "Go Back", non USB/Firewire HD user?

james payne Feb 07, 2007, 03:54am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Oh, and I should add, this system has not been online (internet) since I first built it and updated some MB drivers, and maybe some WXP SP 2 patches (that was about 1.5 yrs ago. It is an audio recording and Photoshop system only, with a limited number of services running (it is very streamlined).
I did install a trial version of Clone DVD, and AnyDVD a few weekis bfr the constant DWF's began, however, but have since un-installed.
The Maxtor 120G IDE drive is the only problem device, here.

Mike DeFina Feb 07, 2007, 09:52am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Very simple solution. First, ghost the maxtor. Second, Throw it out the window.
Third, Purchase 250GB SATA drive. Fourth, Purchase SATA PCI controller.
Install purchased items, ghost back the data, done.

Mark Blair Feb 07, 2007, 10:05am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
For me the problem was due to a bad SATA cable so purchasing all those additional parts may be overkill for such an issue. Plus my drive was a Western Digital, not Maxtor (I wouldn't trust a Maxtor with my life). ;)

Mark Blair
Eric Taylor Feb 07, 2007, 01:34pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Try the two suggestions above. They sound plausible.

I'm not a strong tech guy.

I just know what worked for me and wanted to share it.

Good luck.


james payne Feb 07, 2007, 03:50pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Yes, I appreciate all your suggestions.What amazes me, is this thread is something like, 3 years old? Yet, these Delayed Write Failed problems persist! It's probably the Maxtor, but who really knows? Obviously, from this thread and the many others just like it, it is impossible to pin it down and, like you said, it's like a fever caused by any number of things. I don't know, it's one of these nebulous things that really could be solved, if the manufacturers and software writers all focused some attention on it and acted with some responsibility. That Maxtor drive is only a bit over two years old, I've only used it moderately since purchased, and it's still only about 1/8th full, and now I will not be able to use it (I probably won't throw it out, but should I ever risk using it, even for back-up, long-term storage of files I don't access too often? It works ok, like that, but could this problem spread if I leave it in the system?
I ordered a Western Digital caviar, 160 SATA on Newegg last night (52.99 oem, thanks NE!), to replace the Maxtor. My system/program drive is a WD Rapture SATA and has been totally reliable, so I'm banking on the hope that the problem was with the IDE, and sticking to sata will be better in the long run.
(*note: my dvdrw, a good NEC, has also been having weird hiccups since these other problems started, also it sez it is running in ultra dma mode - isn't that mode only for hd's?
hmmm, another mystery).
Okay, people, if I figure-out anything new(good/bad) you will be the first to know.
Much Thanks,

james payne Feb 07, 2007, 03:54pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Sorry, Michael, I credited Eric with the following statement, and it was you who said:

Michael Yeang said:
Probably each problem has to be examined on a case-by-case basis ... A DWF could be a symptom, like a fever, which has many causes.

Cheers, Ya'll,

Michael Yeang Feb 07, 2007, 09:31pm EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
james payne said:
Sorry, Michael, I credited Eric with the following statement, and it was you who said:

Michael Yeang said:
Probably each problem has to be examined on a case-by-case basis ... A DWF could be a symptom, like a fever, which has many causes.

Cheers, Ya'll,

That's quite alright, James. I don't have a copyright on that statement! :)

Anyway, after my external Maxtor 120GB drive and my motherboard both bit the dust, I had them replaced - an external Samsung 120GB drive and an Asus P4P800-X motherboard. Now I do not experience DWFs anymore, unless a drive runs out of space, in which case the message appears because the system cannot write anymore stuff into the full disk.

When data appears to have been written into the destination disk, it is actually still being written from the cache, hence the term "delayed write." When the destination disk is full or a damaged sector is encountered, the writing is interrupted, and therefore you see the "delayed write failure" message.

After that experience, I'm prejudiced against Maxtor drives, as I'm sure you agree. Maxtor would have to give me a free drive in order for me to ever use this brand again. In your case, have you done a "chkdsk x: /f" (where "x" is your external drive letter) yet? If you find bad sectors in your drive, chances are that it's going to get worse and worse. I wouldn't recommend using it as a drive, maybe as a paperweight!

Eric Taylor Feb 08, 2007, 11:56am EST Report Abuse
>> Re: "delayed Write failure" in WIN XP
Hi James and All --

Yes, this problem has been around for a long time, but it's not limited to Maxtor drives. I've had a Maxtor 250 gig for over 4 years and it's still running OK.

Once I messed up the gobackio file on my ThinkPad by trying to defrag it with GoBack running, I was getting DWF errors on all of my drives, including the 40 gig Toshiba drive which is the C:\ drive on my ThinkPad. That was very scary. So I don't think it's only Maxtor drives. I've also seen the same problem with other drives on other boards.

IMHO I regard it as a Windows problem, in that the Win error message doesn't tell you enough about what's going on to help you properly diagnose and troubleshoot it. Maybe checking the event viewers in "administrative tools" would help, but those message are pretty hard to read, too.


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