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What does "write cache enabled" mean?

Posted on 2005-03-22
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Last Modified: 2007-12-19
In the system log of a server I saw today I found the following warning:

Event ID 32

The driver detected that the device \device\harddisk0\dr0 has its write cache enabled. Data corruption may occur.

Funnily enough, the server in question has been having issues with data corruption. Can anybody give me more info on what this message means, how I can disable write cache and what the performance implications of doing so are?

Cheers

Andy
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Question by:metamatic
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Expert Comment

by:Lee W, MVP
ID: 13602604
See i this helps you understand things  a bit - it's for 2000, so it's not necessarily the answer your looking for, but you might understand things better:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/281672/EN-US/
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Author Comment

by:metamatic
ID: 13602776
Thanks for the quick reply.

Sorry, should have been more precise. We are dealing with a machine running Windows 2003 Small Business Server.

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Expert Comment

by:Lazarus
ID: 13603577
metamatic,

Q233541 describes some of the advanced performance options available if you view the properties of a hard disk. It gives information on the "Write Cache Enabled" feature.

Leaving Write Cache enabled increases speed, but at the same time increases the chances of data corruption in the event of a power failure.
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;Q233541

Lazarus
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Author Comment

by:metamatic
ID: 13603978
So, from what I understand, enabling write back cache is only an issue if the server crashes or is powered off accidentally.

The server I am talking about seems to be quite reliable. As far as I'm aware it is not prone to sudden crashes - it just seems to suffer from data corruption with one particular program.

I noticed the Write Back Cacge warning in the event log and just thought I would check to see whether that could be a possible cause of my problem.

Just out of interest, does anybody know whether write back cache is enabled by default on most systems. I've just checked my home PC and it is.
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Accepted Solution

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Lazarus earned 2000 total points
ID: 13605309
It may not be a problem at all, your Log is just telling you that it is detecting a possible problem with some software that might be asking that it be turned off. Find what particular program might be generating this error and verify that the data is correct. Mostly this is an issue with Datbase progs. It's up to you whether you head the possible warning or not.

I do not have it set on my servers for just the simple reason of possible corruption, on top of that my server are pretty fast anyways.

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Author Comment

by:metamatic
ID: 13616766
Many thanks.
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