Error 832 - I/O Error 121 - semaphore timeout

Posted on 2002-05-24
Last Modified: 2013-12-28
What does this error tell you?
Server: Msg 823, Level 24, State 1, Line 3
I/O error 121(The semaphore timeout period has expired.) detected during read of BUF pointer = 0x14235a40, page ptr = 0x15602000, pageid = (0x3:0xb88), dbid = 4, status = 0x801, file = ...
This occurred after I screwed up by adding a SCSI device with the same SCSI ID as I was already using. However, the disk check did not find any errors. Obviously I'm looking for an answer other than "restore from backup".
Question by:pkohlmil
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 7034946
The error simply means that there was a SCSI error.
Did it go away when you corrected the SCSI ID ?

That kind of error can cause unpredictable results with 2 drives, since you can  not be sure what is written properly.

I would try reading the drive in another machine with SCSI.

I hope this helps !

Author Comment

ID: 7039768
Correcting the SCSI ID did allow the machine to boot up and no disk errors were detected but the problem noted here occured after the machine was successfully rebooted.
LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 200 total points
ID: 7040417
1) It could be a hardware error on the Controller or the drive.

2) It could be a termination problem on the SCSI line.

3) I would also set the SCSI controller to default value after writing down the values you have in use now.

4) can you run SCSI diagnostics and/or other harware diagnostics ?

I hope this helps !
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Author Comment

ID: 7040648
Here is some additional information. The file in question is a SQL Server data file. However, when I turn off SQL Server and simply try to copy the file, I get this error.
"The file path is too deep." Now I file path too "long" I could understand even though the path in this case is less than 50 characters. Is it possible that this file lost its EOF marker and I just need to fix that (and how would I do that)?
LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 7040757
I would be extremely careful here, since any changes you make could prevent later data recovery.

If this data is critical, contact and send the stuff to their labs to be recovered.

It costs $$$, but it may be your best chance in the long run.

Do you have any backups ?

Is this RAID or a single drive ?

I hope this helps !
LVL 23

Expert Comment

by:Tim Holman
ID: 7058896
To get round "File path is too deep", you could use the SUBST command to shorten it.


subst g: c:\winnt\system32\drivers\etc

The only semaphore errors I've seen are down to either bad hardware or bad drivers.  I suggest checking to see if there are any later SCSI drivers available for your device.

Author Comment

ID: 7060026
So far, nothing has worked. I don't have the option of sending the disk to They don't respond to e-mails regarding my particular problem. They have an eval copy of their software which at one time did detect a suspicious "lost file" that might have contained my missing data. I then bought the product (because the eval version doesn't let you save the file) and that product did not find the lost file. Going back to the eval version doesn't find it anymore. Also, this product bombs repeatedly when attempting a rescan. One good thing about this product. It was able to make a copy of a file that the O.S. could not (path too deep) and this copy doesn't have that problem anymore. This does not have anything to do with the file path and I don't understand the message.

I submitted a problem report with Microsoft and they were not able to help but they still want me to say that they did a good job. I'm going to try some more and then punt.

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