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Delayed Write Failed

I'm having a nasty, inconsistent problem in Windows 2000.  I'm getting the following error when the computer tries to write files--sometimes, but not nearly always.

Windows - Delayed Write Failed

Windows was unable to save all of the data for the file \Device\HarddiskVolume1\[Location of a File on the Drive].  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.


If I recall correctly, this problem started after updating my BIOS the other day--which happened to fix other problems I was having in both 2k and 98 (I'm dual booting).  The problem got so bad a few days ago that I couldn't write a single file in 2k without the error (the Software registry file eventually got corrupted and I couldn't boot into 2k; I had to revert to the file in the "Repair" folder.) and I couldn't write to the HDD in 98 without the computer locking up.  I thought I fixed it by changing a new setting introduced in the BIOS (Delayed Transaction) to Enabled, and I was able to run 98 just fine and, after reverting the registry, 2k just fine, but then this problem cropped back up again in 2k.  I've run a virus scanner--none; I've run scandisk using the thorough setting--no problems.  I've run out of ideas--need help.  If you've got any theories at all, please let me know.

I've got an ABIT KT7A mainboard, and the ZT BIOS version.  I'm reluctant to upgrade to the next BIOS (3C) in case it causes even more problems.  And I have no concrete evidence that the problem was caused by the new BIOS; the problem started on the same day, but I was able to run for several hours (and several reboots) before the problem started.
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Artine
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Artine
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
I forgot to note something--and I have no idea if this has anything to do with anything, just thought I'd mention it--since reverting to the default Software registry, there have been a lot of software programs that I can't run, even after reinstalling.  (I understand them not working without reinstalling since their registry entries are gone, but shouldn't they work if I reinstall?)

Also, usually, even though I get the error about not being able to write the files, it does write them...


(Lastly, is there any way to "repair" the old, corrupted Software registry file?  I have it saved as Software Backup or something to that effect just in case)
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jhanceCommented:
The most common cause of this is a failing hard drive.  When Win2000 writes data to the disk, it doesn't do it right away.  The data is buffered in RAM and Windows gets around to writing it whenever it seems appropriate.  This really speeds up disk access since multiple blocks on the disk can be written at once.  The drawback is that you don't get an indication of the error until the actual write takes place.  Hence, the "delayed write error".  

I'd suggest you make a COMPLETE BACKUP of any important data IMMEDIATELY!!!  Your drive may be failing and could fail completely at any time.

After, that, check the Windows 2000 even log for information about where on the disk this is happening.  If the locations are all the same or the same set of locations then there is probably just a bad block that had developed.  Scheduling a disk scan at the next startup should locate this and lock it out.

If, however, the bad blocks are all over the place, this is a really strong indication of impending failure.  I'd suggest a replacement drive immediately.
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
I'm going to make a full backup tonight and use the computer as little as possible until then.

However, why would scan disk not have noticed any bad blocks?  (Although I have noticed that most of the errors seemed to have been in the folders \temp and \WINNT\Temp, although some of them were in completely random folders)  And I don't see a scandisk utility in Win2k--I ran it under Win98 before.

(Also, the event log has an unbelievable amount of disk errors starting 10 minutes after booting into Win2k with the new BIOS; it's error 51: "An error was detected on device \Device\Harddisk0\DR0 during a paging operation."  I also have a lot of error 50: "{Lost Delayed-Write Data} The system was attempting to transfer file data from buffers to \Device\HarddiskVolume1. The write operation failed, and only some of the data may have been written to the file. " which starts around the same time.)

Why would I not get this error (often) before updating the BIOS, but all the time after?  (I noticed that the error did appear a few times before the BIOS update, but not many)
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
(I repeal my comment about the errors appearing before the BIOS update; they didn't actually, I was misreading the information.  All of the errors started after the BIOS update)
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jhanceCommented:
Why did you update your BIOS?  This is usually a foolish thing to do unless:

1) You are 100% positive that the BIOS is the correct one for your make/model/revision of the motherboard.

2) You are having a problem of some sort and the BIOS update SPECIFICALLY states that it fixes this problem.

Otherwise, you are playing "Russian Roulette" with your system.  Hopefully you saved an image of the old BIOS.  You may want to revert back.

To do a scan on W2K, choose the PROPERTIES menu for the drive out of "My computer" and choose TOOLS.  Then click CHECK NOW.  If this is your boot drive (which I assume it is) this will not happen but you'll get it scheduled for the next reboot.  Reboot your computer.

But....MAKE A BACKUP FIRST!!  Some outcomes from a disk scan are unrecoverable and you may lose EVERYTHING!!!!
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
I updated my BIOS in the hopes that it would fix a bug with Win2k and USB (which it did fix quite nicely) and I was 100% positive that it was the correct BIOS.  ABIT provides all BIOS revisions on their website; is it possible to simply reflash it with the older one at some point if I decide that's the necessary solution?


And I will run the disk scan.  (I've got my ultra important stuff backed up; everything else I can afford to lose.)  I'll report back with the results.
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stevenlewisCommented:
In additiion to the good advise above, please see here
http://support.microsoft.com/support/kb/articles/q159/8/65.asp
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
jhance:  Okay, I told it to scan the disk, and, well, it never scanned; I tried it twice.  I assume it would tell me while it was scanning, but it booted in the normal amount of time and i never saw anything that gave me any idea that it was scanning....

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jhanceCommented:
The disk scan starts during the Win2000 boot process and it is obvious when it's running.  You see a scan disk screen that shows it working.  If it's not starting there is something wrong.

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ArtineAuthor Commented:
Seems to me that there is something wrong, then.....  I tried again and it's a no-go...  Tooo strange...
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
Another note: since this problem began, the mouse has been painfully sluggish while the HDD is reading/writing under Win98 (this is not a problem in 2000)....
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stevenlewisCommented:
Who makes the drive? go to the mfg's website and download the diagnostic tools they have and check the drive
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
WD makes the drive, and I downloaded their diagnostic utility: according to both the quick and the extended tests, the drive is just fine.

Is it safe to flash the BIOS with the old version?  Will that ruin anything?  More and more I'm thinking that it's just a stupid BIOS problem...
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jhanceCommented:
If you have saved a copy of your old BIOS, then I'd suggest going back to it.  If nothing else, you can eliminate the new BIOS as the source of your problem.
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
Okay, I'm back to the old BIOS now.  I don't have the HDD problems anymore, but my scanner won't work again.  So apparently, I have to choose between my HDD and my scanner...  Or not?  Maybe there's another solution?  Here is the page that has all of the BIOS versions available for my computer; take a look and tell me if I should try the latest one or an intermediate between WZ and ZT or what?  http://www.abit.com.tw/eng/download/bios/bios-kt7a.htm
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
Okay, I repeal my last comment; it is not fixed.  I still get errors under Win2k, and the mouse is still sluggish during periods of HDD use on Win98.  This is just bizarre....  If it's the HDD, why won't _any_ diagnostic programs show any errors at all???
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ArtineAuthor Commented:
Problem never solved.
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aaronkempfCommented:
dude why do you use registry repair tools anyway?

do you trust them?

are you going to continue using these/breaking your machine in the future?

the _only_ company i trust with my registry is microsoft...
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DwizdofozCommented:
Try this fix in Microsofts KB. It worked for me.

http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;293842
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cempashaCommented:
Dear questionner/expert(s)

No comment has been added lately, so it's time to clean up this TA.
I'll leave a recommendation in the Cleanup topic area that this question is to be:

- PAQ'd and pts removed

Please leave any comments here within the next seven days.

==> PLEASE DO NOT ACCEPT THIS COMMENT AS AN ANSWER ! <==

PaSHa

Cleanup volunteer



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moduloCommented:
Finalized as proposed

modulo

Community Support Moderator
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