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Disappearing external firewire drive.  Delayed write message

Posted on 2007-08-07
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Last Modified: 2010-04-03
I have multiple combo (USB and FireWire) external hard drives connected via firewire.  My OS is Windows Server 2003.  One ext. drive is connected per day for a large backup.  When all works correctly, I use the "Safely Remove Hardware" the next day and replace it with another drive to do the same backup that night.  We have a little C program that kicks off and runs a backup around 1:00 am.  The drives range from about 150GB to 250GB.  My problem is quite often there is a "Delayed write failed" message and the drive disappears.  The Safely remove hardware icon exists but there is nothing to remove.  After the external drive is powered down and backup it can be seen and used again.  I've tried formatting the drives before every backup and that helps some of the times, but not all.... Any suggestions would be great!
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Question by:bretthonn13
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by:SysExpert
ID: 19647405
1) I would try using the free MS robocopy for backups since it has error logs, ad can skip files if needed. See the MS site for more info, and/ or the Server resource kit.

2) I would check the external drives using the Vendor's diagnostics to make sure they are oK.

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 19652083
you can set the drive not to use delayed write : in device manager, right click the drive, select properties, and in the management tab, select optimise for fast removal
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19656060
I'm going to look into the Robocopy thing.  Is it pretty simple and straightforward?

Nobus - if I set it to "optimise for fast removal", does that change speed or anything?  Why would it not be set that way inthe first place?  
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LVL 63

Expert Comment

by:SysExpert
ID: 19657162
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=9d467a69-57ff-4ae7-96ee-b18c4790cffd&DisplayLang=en

Robocopy is part of the resource kit in any version of Windows server. It is probably on the NT4 and win2K server CD also.

I hope this helps !
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 19660095
it is one of 2 choices, and they choose the other setting . .
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19824733
I can't accept the solution because it will work great for about 4 to 5 days and then out of the blue give me the error again.  It could happen on a drive that it's done in on before or a brand new one.  This has really got me!
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 19825748
can you check if it has the same problems on other PC's and OS'es ?
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19825828
I can certainly check for other pcs but not OSes.  The way I can check is to backup the same amount of data across the network from the server.  Unless you know of a way to write a bunch of junk data to a drive....  I just don't have enough on my local hard drives to simulate the amount on the server.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 19825868
i don't think it has to do with the amount of data, but you can try of course
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19825900
OK, next time I get the error on the server I will imediately take the drive off and attempt a copy from my local machine.  I'll let you know what I find.  
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19825909
Actually, I just checked my daily backup and it did error out, so I will be trying it right now.
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Expert Comment

by:nobus
ID: 19826447
'k
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19842841
It has to be the OS, the hardware, or the FIreWire cable???  When I hook it to my local pc I use the USB instead....
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Accepted Solution

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nobus earned 1500 total points
ID: 19845737
by eliminating devices, and OS'es you'll find the real cause
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19861408
what does "Tagged for future cleanup" mean?
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19991293
looks like it has to do with my Firewire card.  I've quit using that and use the onboard USB instead and I have not had any troulbe for over a week....  
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19991348
Then please close the Q,

Thanks,
rindi,
EE Cleanup Volunteer
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19991431
rindi, you smart A$$, maybe if you would have read some of the previous posts you would realize that sometimes the amount of time was didn't matter.  Why is it so important to you to close these out.  I pay for this so just relax!  When I am confident the issue is solved I'll close it, how about that???
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19991550
According to you you've found a "fix" to the problem. There is no point in keeping "solved" problems open. Also, I have to go through all the unclosed Q's, and when I come accros old Q's I voluntarily do the cleanup.
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19991754
I didn't find a "fix" it's just a way around it.  The drives are designed to work with both Firewire and USB and at this time I can't figure out why it's only working with the USB cable.  

I appreciate that you volunteer but this one just needs to be open for a while.
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LVL 88

Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 19991851
Then I suggest you create a new 20 Point Pointer Q, with the word "Pointer" in the title and a Link to this Q inside it. That should attract new experts.
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Author Comment

by:bretthonn13
ID: 19991897
good thinking
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