Why are my IDE drives seen by Device manager as SCSI drives-Delayed Write Failure?

Hello,  I recently installed a Western Digital 250GB hard drive.  I now have 4 hard drives (sizes 20, 40, 160 and 250GB) and 2 CD/DVD roms along with my floppy A drive.  The 20 and 250 are connected to an adapter card (PCI) which came with the 160GB drive and the other 4 drives are connected as normal to the motherboard.  My problem is that I've been getting a "Delayed Write Failed" message for the 250 drive - for some reason windows wants to use this drive for temp files to install updates to the OS and IE6 and it keeps giving this message (If you know how to fix this problem too, that would be great).  (Windows XP Home, 512MB ram, Pentium III, 930MHz)

I  looked around on here for some solutions to that, and in the process discovered that in the Device manager that the 20 and 250 drives on the PCI adapter card are listed as SCSI devices, which totally blows my mind because everything I have is IDE.  I wasnt sure how to know the Physical difference between SCSI and IDE but I just found a post that confirmed for me that SCSI cables and IDE cables are different and not interchangeable.   All of my cables have the standard number of holes (two rows of 40 i think)  and FIT the drives so there can't be some kind of mix up - as in an ide cable connected to a scsi drive, or vice versa.  

I'd like to get rid of the Delayed Write failed error message, (or get windows to try and install updates using temp files on a different drive) and figure out whats going on with those two hard drives and how to get them back to IDE status.

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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hello CianCW,

The most common reason for "Delayed write" Failures is the IDE cable itself, make sure you use the newer 80 wire (40 pins) IDE cable instead of the older 40 wire (40 pins) cable. The added wires are only for shielding, but with the speeds of the recent harddisks, you'll need it.

Some more information about this error:
"Delayed Write Failed" Error Message When You Manage Files in Windows XP

For your other issue, if you're 100% sure you've installed the right drivers for your PCI IDE controller you shouldn't worry about it, windows doesn't know what the devices look like physically. Most likely the PCI IDE controller identified itself as a SCSI controller (very common) so all disks will be recognized as being SCSI also.


"Finally, there can be complications if you try to use a SCSI host adapter and some types of add-in IDE/ATA controllers in the same PC. IDE cards like the Promise "Ultra" series appear to the system as if they were a SCSI card. If there is also a real SCSI host adapter, which drives are recognized first comes down to which card is seen first by the operating system at boot time. If you have this configuration and the drives are being seen in the "wrong order", you may be able to fix the problem by manually changing the various cards' resource settings. Swapping the PCI slots used by the two cards may also correct the problem."

Taken from here:


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CianCWAuthor Commented:

I did check my cables and they are all 80wire/40pin cables so that is not the problem.  As the second comment mentions, I am using a Promise Ultra series IDE card, however, I do not have any SCSI host adapters (as far as i know)-I only have the graphics card, sound card, Promise IDE card, USB 2.0 card, modem card, and ethernet card.  Nothing on my pc is SCSI.  The cable to the 250 drive is a little bent from alot of twisting and turning but I switched to a new cable so I'll see if that helps the problem at all-but this same cable was connected to the 20GB drive and I was not having any delayed write failed problems there.  In the mean time, I unhooked the 250GB drive so I could use the windows update feature and my updates installed just fine.  If anyone knows why windows was trying to specifically use the 250GB drive and can tell me how to change that I'd appreciate it.  Even with the 250 disconnected, the 20GB drive on the Promise card is still coming up as SCSI on my device manager.  I'm going to hook the 250 back up with the new cable and see what happens, then check that Delayed Write Failed article again.  Once I try a few things I'll decide where the points go.  Thanks  Cian
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CianCWAuthor Commented:
PS to my comment above,

I forgot to mention that I had to format this drive as NTFS when I got it, because it was not formated.  I do not know if this is causing any of the problems but its something that is different about the 250GB drive from all my other 3 drives (which are all FAT32's).  Cian
The OS is looking for the biggest place to run its temp files (depents on the application). However, you may set the temp file location via doingthe following steps:
Right click 'My Computer' and choose 'Properties' => Choose the 'Advanced' tab and click 'Enviroment Variables' => Edit the TMP and the TEMP enteries...

There you go...

CianCWAuthor Commented:
Followup - checked the MSKB article referenced in the first comment above - since my cable is correct I was looking at the second option in the article: disabling disk write caching for that drive.  I followed the steps and under the policies tab for the 250GB drive, both options to enable and disable the disk write caching are "greyed out" and unavailable to me to change, although it looks like the write caching is "enabled" on this drive.  So other than some way of getting the greyed out options back again, I'm not sure I want to mess with my BIOS which is the 3rd option.  The 250GB drive is hooked up again on its own separate cable to the Promise IDE card, but I just got another "delayed write failed" message when system restore tried to save some settings on that drive.  This is really annoying because I'm afraid I'm going to loose data on this drive or something - Yeah i have 3 other drives to move the data to, but I really dont want to eat the cost of this brand new, month old 250GB hard drive.

Follow up to Cyber's comment above - dont know if disconnecting the drive did this for me or not, but the TMP and TEMP entries under the environment variables point to my C:\documents and settings\Cian\local settings\Temp and \TMP directories.  So maybe that fixed the problem with windows looking for the largest drive.  

Something weird to me though, below in the "system variables" section, under "OS" variable the value says "WINDOWS_NT"  I am not running windows NT, I have windows XP home - is this a problem?

Nope, its not a problem... its just a variable which is properly configured (Windows XP = Windows NT (6.0))...

Do you have any settings on the alledged SCSI adapter? (Right-Click the adapter and 'Properties' within the Device Manager)

Also, check the following:

Change the 'Default=' loader...


Good luck

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