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"Delayed Write Failure", but disks seem OK

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Anonymous
August 14, 2004 6:02:03 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

I have the following hard disks on my machine:

C: Maxtor 6L040J2 (40GB) 2.5 years old
F: Maxtor 6Y080M0 (80GB) 1 year old

Other specs are: A7A266 motherboard, 2600+ Athlon
(currently running as a 2200+), XP Home. The machine
has performed for 2.5 years without significant problems.

Last night when I booted up, at the Windows XP login screen I get
the following error:

Delayed Write Failed:

---
"Windows was unable to save all the data for the file C:$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."

http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=330174
---

I get a series of these error messages; the file mentioned is
usually "C:$Mft" (whatever that is), but other files are also
mentioned. Eventually, there are no more dialog boxes displayed,
but the system hangs, and I can't log in.

I got one or two of these messages last week, but while logged
in, and they didn't cause a system failure. I took the action
recommended at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=330174
and turned off "Enable write caching on the disk" for both hard disks.
(However, since this had been turned on for 2.5 years, I'm not sure
why it could have been a problem).

Suspecting hard disk problems, I used Maxtor's PowerMax program (which runs
from a floppy, so I don't have to be able to log in to use it)
to check the disks. I ran both the Advanced test and the Burn In test
on both drives, leaving the Burn In test to run on the C: drive for
7 hours. Both passed with no errors. However, I realise these tests
are only read not write.

My questions are:

* Does anyone know any other tests I could run (from a CD or floppy)
to check the hardware? For example, are there any tools to test the
drives' write capabilities?

* Does it sound like a hardware failure, or is it likely to be
another cause? Perhaps nothing to do with the hard drive?
What other hardware in the machine should I check?

* The only thing I did differently recently was to install a DSL
modem (connected by Ethernet). I use a firewall and run an
anti-virus regularly, so think a virus/trojan is unlikely, but
thought there may be an issue there?

Any help appreciated,

P.
August 15, 2004 4:40:42 PM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Can not comment on the exact cause of your situation but... several weeks
ago an email info sheet which I read regularly had some "tips" for speeding
up your PC (memory speed to be exact) with several registry changes. Great
their info is usually very reliable.

Made the three reg changes they suggested (being very careful not to stray
from their direction!) and the outcome was... The exact same errors that
you have! These errors had absolultely nothing to do with the hardware as I
restored the drive with an image I had made (don't trust ANYONE 100%) and
all was well.

The down side is that unfortunately I HAD to restore the image because the
XP installation partition became totally unusable! I know my way around
'puters and an OS (XP since BETA 2) and when I say it was unusable this is
after several hours of trying to repair it.

I am hoping for your situation that you have a good backup that you will
never need. But for me that was the only alternative.

Good Luck,
Len
"Paul Moloney" <paul_moloney@hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:b917d6bd.0408140102.2d282552@posting.google.com...
>I have the following hard disks on my machine:
>
> C: Maxtor 6L040J2 (40GB) 2.5 years old
> F: Maxtor 6Y080M0 (80GB) 1 year old
>
> Other specs are: A7A266 motherboard, 2600+ Athlon
> (currently running as a 2200+), XP Home. The machine
> has performed for 2.5 years without significant problems.
>
> Last night when I booted up, at the Windows XP login screen I get
> the following error:
>
> Delayed Write Failed:
>
> ---
> "Windows was unable to save all the data for the file C:$Mft. The data
> has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer
> hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file
> elsewhere."
>
> http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=330174
> ---
>
> I get a series of these error messages; the file mentioned is
> usually "C:$Mft" (whatever that is), but other files are also
> mentioned. Eventually, there are no more dialog boxes displayed,
> but the system hangs, and I can't log in.
>
> I got one or two of these messages last week, but while logged
> in, and they didn't cause a system failure. I took the action
> recommended at http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=330174
> and turned off "Enable write caching on the disk" for both hard disks.
> (However, since this had been turned on for 2.5 years, I'm not sure
> why it could have been a problem).
>
> Suspecting hard disk problems, I used Maxtor's PowerMax program (which
> runs
> from a floppy, so I don't have to be able to log in to use it)
> to check the disks. I ran both the Advanced test and the Burn In test
> on both drives, leaving the Burn In test to run on the C: drive for
> 7 hours. Both passed with no errors. However, I realise these tests
> are only read not write.
>
> My questions are:
>
> * Does anyone know any other tests I could run (from a CD or floppy)
> to check the hardware? For example, are there any tools to test the
> drives' write capabilities?
>
> * Does it sound like a hardware failure, or is it likely to be
> another cause? Perhaps nothing to do with the hard drive?
> What other hardware in the machine should I check?
>
> * The only thing I did differently recently was to install a DSL
> modem (connected by Ethernet). I use a firewall and run an
> anti-virus regularly, so think a virus/trojan is unlikely, but
> thought there may be an issue there?
>
> Any help appreciated,
>
> P.
Anonymous
August 16, 2004 5:30:10 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

"Len" <len207@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<#pjAcaugEHA.644@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl>...

> Can not comment on the exact cause of your situation but... several weeks
> ago an email info sheet which I read regularly had some "tips" for speeding
> up your PC (memory speed to be exact) with several registry changes. Great
> their info is usually very reliable.

Hmmm, this rings a bell. Was it WinXPNews by any chance? I think I made those
exact same changes (but I've forgotten what they were!). If you can
remember these changes and post them, I'd appreciate it.

I also tried to repair my installation from the recovery console
without any luck; the recovery console just left me with a C:> prompt
from which I could do nothing but run "exit". In the end, I simply did
a complete reinstallation.

P.
Anonymous
August 16, 2004 5:32:25 AM

Archived from groups: microsoft.public.windowsxp.hardware,comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

"Len" <len207@hotmail.com> wrote in message news:<#pjAcaugEHA.644@tk2msftngp13.phx.gbl>...

> Can not comment on the exact cause of your situation but... several weeks
> ago an email info sheet which I read regularly had some "tips" for speeding
> up your PC (memory speed to be exact) with several registry changes. Great
> their info is usually very reliable.

Hi Len,

Are these the changes you are talking about:

===

http://www.winxpnews.com/index.cfm?id=134

[...]

Open your favorite registry editor and navigate to the following key:
HKEY LOCAL MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session
Manager\Memory Management

DisablePagingExecutive - Double click it and in the decimal value
field, put a 1. This will allow XP to keep data in memory instead of
paging sections of RAM to the hard drive.
LargeSystemCache - Double click it and change the decimal value to 1.
This will allow the XP Kernel to Run in memory.
Create a new DWORD value and name it IOPageLockLimit - Double click it
and set the value in hex to 4000 if you have 128MB of RAM, 10000 if
you have 256MB or 40000 if you have more than 512MB of RAM.
===

P.
!