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"Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file" upon user logout

Most of the time (about 75%) when my users logout they get the following error when trying to save their profile;
"Application popup: Windows - Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file \\vicky\UserHome\harmanc\Profile\prf41A.tmp. 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.  " (this is the error from the computer system)

and sometimes there is the error that "the semaphore timeout period expired"

This is causing me no end of grief, and I can't seem to isolate it as a network problem.


Tom H
1 Solution
Hi tommyh,

Does your server have the latest service pack?

tommyhAuthor Commented:

I located the key specified in those KB articles, but it is the hotfix value already.

Also both machines are automatically udpdated at 9am, so will be current on service packs and critical updates as of today,

Is your server using RAID? The reason I ask is that about a month ago I had a customer that had almostm the same problem. It wasn't on the user profiles, but it was giving the same "Delayed Write Failed" error in the event viewer. I ended up having to recreayed the RAID array and restore from backup the partition that I was having trouble with.


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tommyhAuthor Commented:

Yes. the server does use raid 5 for that volume. It would be an absolute nightmare to try to restore the data as it also contains all the user exchange mailboxes and about 50GB of assorted other files. (In this case the cure would be very much worse than the disease)

I tried moving some of the users home directories to another share, which is on a raid 1+2 (mirrored and striped), but that made no odds. I also deleted a few of the profiles and recreated them empty, which for a while stopped the error occuring, but as the profiles started getting bigger again as the data was put back the error returned with a vengance.

I'm thinking that it is a microsoft error of the type suggested by that KB article, but something that has not been picked up yet.
It looks like a Raid failure. Boot into raid bios and see if one of the disks is down, and if so, replace the disk.
tommyhAuthor Commented:
After much trial and error I have isolated the problem to the
"HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\Lanmanworkstation\Parameters\enablesecuritysignature" entry.

According to microsoft the problem was fixed with windows 2000 server SP4, however my W2K server and all my XP pro workstations have current updates and still had this problem.

I wrote a batch script that sets lanmanworkstation\enablesecuritysignature to value 0 using the reg tool, and run it as a startup script under GPO computer configuration. This eliminated the problem from all the workstations. And as a final confirmation of this, I had cause to reinstall an XP laptop from scratch, this machine immediately had the problem I described above upon logout, but as soon as I rebooted it, and it picked up the GPO and the startup script the problem disappeared.

There is a discussion of the problem here;

Which actually provides a fairly detailed discussion of the issue, and the correct fix. Though I didn't find this article until after much searching and testing, and having already found it myself. But that's just my luck. ;->

Glad your systems are now working!

tommyhAuthor Commented:

interestingly, I have been monitoring the event logs for the specific error, which is Event ID 50, Source MRxSMB, and it is still occuring on occasion. ie it happened twice today from about 50 logouts, rather than about 100 times a day (each logout generated more than 1 of these errors in the event log)

so its not totally fixed, but these I can possibly put down to more general networking problems. its a shame as I thought I had cracked it.
IF you go to "My Computer" right click "C" drive - "Properties" "Hardware" select Local HDD and "Properties" select "Policies" and remove the tick from "Enable Write caching on the disk"....
I have done this on a few machines and it has not returned. I haven't seen the problem since. I have not had this confirmed 100% so please leave more feedback
tommyhAuthor Commented:

Some time later after this issue I discovered that there was a duplex setting inconsistency between 2 switches, in the intervening network, which cleared up that problem and some others as well.

I no longer work on those systems, so this one is defnintely closed.

However I would point out that if you are experiencing this problem, then I would make 110% sure that the network is fine. Look for dropped packets and errors on switches. try and find something like that before messing about with the windows networking settings.

There is a tool for testing local network throughput, which I can't remember offhand, if you are not getting something like 80% of the expected max throughput for the network, then I would look to solve that before doing the windows hacks stuff
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