Windows Delayed Write Failed – Latest Solution

By | 09/06/2008

UPDATE: Latest article: Window Delayed Write Failed – Solutions –> 

A while back, I wrote a post about the “Windows Delayed Write Failed” error message, and I presented ways to resolve the problem. That worked for many people.

Recently, after installing a fresh copy of Windows XP (with SP3), I got the same problem, and I tried everything I knew to solve it, but no luck!! As the problem’s to do with the USB caching and data transfered from the cache to the disk, I went to my favorite search engine again!

The last thing I found, which solved the problem is to use a piece of software from SysInternals (actually aquired by Microsoft) called Cacheset !


Easy Steps to do:

– Download from my Downloads Page,

– Extract it somewhere on your computer,

– Run Cacheset.exe from where you extracted the file,

– Click on “Clear” button to clear the current working cache.

– Set the maximum working cache to either 64 MB or 128 MB,

– Click Apply.

– Buy me a coffee if this worked for you!  (Link is in the sidebar)

I tried it and now, after one week of intensive tests, I didn’t get the Delayed Write Failed error! I suppose that the problem is solved.

Anyway, if it happens even after setting the cache, do the same process of cache setting (to 64 MB or 128 MB) again as Windows has tendency to go back to its initial configurations.

Note1: Test both the cases; 64 MB as cache and then 128 MB, if you get your disk working on 128 MB, so keep it, as it runs faster.

Note 2: When applying the “Working set maximum” value in Cacheset, calculate the number by multiplying the required cache by 1024. example:  64*1024=65536 which is the value you should give.


This is tested and it works! Digg it if useful.


UPDATE : Latest article: Window Delayed Write Failed – Solutions –> 

Category: Informatique - Computers Tags: , , , ,

About Gi

I love new technologies and try to use them in my everyday life. Since many years ago, I write about these technologies, and provide solutions to the issues people might get using the new world. I tested and experienced the solutions I provide. I love helping people, and that's why my publications have been free until now.

111 thoughts on “Windows Delayed Write Failed – Latest Solution

  1. Palinair

    Yes! This is working for me 🙂

    Kudos for you!

  2. Bob

    Thanks so much. First tried to fix by disabling System Restore for external hard drive and eliminated all but one DRF message (i.e., $Mft). Download the cache set fix, maxed-out the working set, rebooted, and problem resolved. Can’t imagine how annoying those DRF messages are that pop up on the system tray every 10 seconds.

    Thanks, again!

  3. eli

    hey thanks for this, I did it and it seems to have stopped all my delayed write problems BUT now Im getting a new problem where after awhile (sometimes a few hours) my external usb drive just decides to stop showing me any files, I can still go into any folders in it but all of them show completely empty in windows explorer, yet if i right click the drive and goto properties it still shows how many GB are being used up. the folders dissapear too if i close that explorer window and try and get back into the drive.

    do you know what could be causing this problem? (im using windows XP sp3, WD1.5tb usb drive)

      1. kunle

        please how do u apply this to usb?

  4. Simontini Sen

    Dear ‘!’,

    The Cache settings unit has KB while ‘u’ advice in MB, Okai! I’ve do all the relevant in correct size as 128 MB, nothing can happen, yet. Let’s see after restart, till then, I’ll do my other jobs 1st, Okai!

    Thanx with Nice

  5. Amol Vhawal

    Hi Dear,
    I tried this, restrated the machine but still no go, user is saving MS Excel file which contains Macros and other functions, and trying to save it on network drive mapped in his profile, which he is not able to save getting the Windows Delayed error, Can you please help in solving this, as I tried searching, but no go.

  6. Jhay

    cool. it works man, been giving me a headache the whole night . . thanks thanks

  7. Hal

    I tried all of these recommended solution with the WD HD connected with the light continuously blinking. The Ext HD doesn’t show up as connected to my WinXP PC so what do I do? I did clear the Cashe and set it to 128*1024.

  8. geo

    thanks…..this is working for me too….you have a beer from me..

  9. Ian Mckenzie


    Worked first time. Brilliant!!!!!

  10. Angshu

    Hi. After searching for 3 days, I’ve come to this page. had to refine my search criteria.
    I’ve one 320 GB Seagate external. one 500 Gb Seagate external, One laptop worth 160 GB memory, another netbook of 160 gb.

    I’ve kept back up, and Back up of back up, and back up of that too.

    My primary memory storage is obviously the 500 Gb because it’s the largest.

    Since 3 days I’m getting ‘Write delay Failure, Path is too deep, I/O error, etc whenever I’m trying to move data from 500 Gb disc.

    It all started when I tried to defragment the disc. Oh, by the way , my mistake, the 500 Gb has no partition. So when defragmentation procedure said it would take 32 hours, I just detached it. And yes, the Hardware policy IS kept under Optimum for Quick removal tab.

    I never had this problem with any other drive.

    Most probably there’s a reason. I’m not a technically literate, but my experience….

    I always keep my other 320 GB hard disk in 4 partitions, as well as I regularly defragment it, and do some chkdsk operation, and disc cleaning. So far, the disc is charming, even after 2 years.

    500GB one…well, I never did all these. I think the problem lies there.

    So, my latest effort is, to salvage max possible data from 500 Gb, to other drives, and format, and then apply this application about which you’ve discussed here. This is my crude idea.
    Do I have your vote?

    1. Gi Post author

      @Angshu: I beleive that your usb host is faulty. So, before doing any though action, just use a new and recent USB host that you can get for a few dollars. Best choice is to connect your drive directly to a (S)ATA port and check that your data is healthy.

      Changing the usb connector (usb casing for the drives) to a recent model might save you a lot of headache.
      Keep us informed.

  11. Kythorne

    This fixed a problem we are having syncing data to a Buffalo 12TB USB Array drive.
    When the problems came back, I noticed the cache resets itself to default after a reboot. At least it does on our Server 2008 box; not sure about 2003. Thus, I created a scheduled task to run CacheSet command-line at each boot. No more “Windows Delayed Write Fail”.

  12. Abhisek

    Recently I formatted my desktop with win xp(sp2). After that I found there is a problem with my external drives (2GB transcend, 16GB Kingstone, 1TB Segate ). All these external drives are working well with other computers, but with my desktop all the drives are showing write protected. I can copy files from them to my internal hard disk but can’t write to the externals. Also, in safe mode, the external drives work normally. Can you please suggest some fruitful way to get out of this??

    1. Gi Post author

      @Abhisek: Hi, I believe this might be a Windows related issue. Either a spyware or a virus is present on your system. Try Spyware Doctor to clean up you system and test again. To temporarily bypass this issue, you may create another windows user account, login with it and try to access your drives.
      Let me know about the outcome.

  13. jorko

    Very,very cool! Cacheset work perfect! Many thanks!

  14. takis g

    I can’t make an hdd that i have to work. Can you help me? I get a I/O error


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