Skip to comments.WindowsXP Gurus - I Need Your Help
Posted on 01/24/2008 6:32:07 AM PST by savedbygrace
I need help. Out of the blue, my WindowsXP (SP2) system has gone crazy. It is frequently giving me a warning message in the System Tray that says:
Windows - Delayed Write Failed Windows was unable to save all the data for the file D:/$BitMap. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.
That file is apparently hidden, but revealing hidden files doesn't show it.
My WinXP volume is on C:/ and the D:/ drive volume is for data files.
I've googled for help, and done everything that Microsoft and others have suggested. Nothing helps. This began suddenly.
Any ideas? Any other info you need before you can help me?
Make sure you have a backup of the data on your D: drive. If this is an internal drive then it could be going bad.
I should add that the warning message always points to that same file, D:/$BitMap. Never any other file.
Also, I built this computer myself, from parts. Don’t know if that’s relevant, but I wanted to point out that it’s not a brand, like a Dell or something, so I can’t call the computer maker, because that’s me.
a disk that is FAILING
Get your data backed up NOW, if you haven't already done so.
Get your data backed up, and replace that disk.
DON'T WAIT for something bad to happen.
It's already happening.
I would only add that you should run chkdsk on the d: drive after doing a backup. This will id any bad sectors. If chkdsk doesn’t id any bad sectors, you may simply have a corrupt file.
Run chkdsk on your next reboot (consult your friendly help system for the how-to).
My first thought would be a hardware failure.
It would be your hard drive controller or your hard drive. It might also be a corruptied partition, if your D: drive is a partition, rather than a separate physical drive.
Back up all essential data to external drive/CD/DVD.
Then run some hardware checks.
If I disabled Indexing on both disk volumes, rebooted, then re-enabled Indexing, would that refresh the Indexes?
I ran chkdsk on both volumes last night. I have no idea what errors were found because it booted into Window after it finished and didn’t show me a log. (I couldn’t keep my eyes open at 11pm last night, and it appeared the chkdsk was going to take another hour or so, so I powered down the display and went to bed.
Is this an external hard drive? The error message you received usually occurs when the communication between the motherboard and the drive is interrupted. You may have a bad cable or a loose connection. Make sure all of your cables are securely seated on both ends. If the problem continues, you may want to try replacing the cables. If that does not work, you should probably run some diagnostics against your hard drive to see if it is going bad.
We need far more information than this. System configuration info, hardware specs, a list of installed programs, updates, etc. Run the free tool Belarc Advisor will give you most of that info. Free user-level, user-friendly tool.
If you wanted on off the cuff guess, I’d say you have a program attempting to write to D:. I’ve seen quite a few XP machines with the oh-so-annoying and system-abuse ‘Waiting to write backup to blah-drive’ in the system tray. 95% of the time, their cd or dvd packet writer software has been configured to either prompt user to backup up or complete a prior attempt at a backup to media(cd/dvd disk).
Need way more info to be sure though.
Your drive is going bad. Save your stuff and put a new one in while you still can.
Here’s a free antispyware program that fixes some problems that many don’t. I had a similar problem and after dozens of searches this was the only thing that fixed it.
One more thing,
What sort of hardware configuration do you have going on?
Number of physical hard drives.
IDE, SATA, SCSI?
Any RAID configuration involved?
Not backing up a disk of data you want - on any computer system - is a mistake for which you may or may not pay. Defrag the disk. If defrag finds disk errors the system will attempt to repair them on the next boot. DO NOT RUN DEFRAG BEFORE BACKING UP. If the disk is going, asking it to run a defrag may kill it.
Go to the disk manufacturers web site and download their SMART tools. Western Digital, for instance, uses Data Lifeguard Tools. The SMART tool should give you an idea of the overall health of the disk.
Google and run "Rootkit Revealer" ... you should find it on a Microsoft.com web page. Rootkits live by the $ sign.
Replace the disk.
(See this Wikipedia article on the Windows NTFS file system, metafiles section)
After making sure you have a good backup
If the disk check doesn't come out perfectly clean, repeat the same procedure until it does. If it keeps finding errors, or finds more each time, then the drive's a goner.
I second the SAS recommendation. Sometimes these messages are due to malware and not actual impending hard drive failure. I would run the chkdsk with /f switch + do an SAS scan, to see what can be ruled out.
I ran into a similar problem when a disk was full, at which point additional saves corrupted the file system.
Before attempting any further saves on the drive, pull up some data files, music files, ZIP files, etc. to make sure they are not corrupt (I discovered the corruption when a music file started halfway though a different song).
If the file system has not been corrupted, do a full backup, then copy some data to a second drive or CD and delete it from the first drive to create additional free space (I like to keep 10-20% of a disk free for performance reasons).
Let us know how this works out for you -
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