Error message when you disconnect a removable storage device such as an SD card from a Windows XP-based computer: "Windows Delayed Write Failed"

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Article ID: 925269 - View products that this article applies to.
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When you disconnect a removable storage device such as a Secure Digital (SD) card from a Microsoft Windows XP-based computer, you receive the following error message:
Windows Delayed Write Failed
Windows was unable to save all the data from the file Drive_Letter\$Mft. 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
After you receive this error message, you cannot access the files on the device until you restart the computer.


This problem occurs if the removable storage device has been formatted by using the NTFS file system. For example, this problem occurs if the NTFS file system formatting was performed on a Microsoft Windows Vista-based computer.

Note Windows XP does not support NTFS file system formatting of removable storage devices such as SD cards. NTFS file system formatting of devices such as SD cards is a new feature in Windows Vista.


To work around this problem, use either of the following methods:
  • Do not use NTFS file system formatting for an SD card or for a similar device if the device will be used on a Windows XP-based computer.
  • Before you disconnect the device, right-click the device in My Computer or in Windows Explorer, and then click Eject. Then, disconnect the device.


Article ID: 925269 - Last Review: September 26, 2006 - Revision: 1.0
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
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