NTBACKUP causes Windows Delayed Write Fail

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rrrich

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May 14, 2010
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My client has a set up of 4 PCs and 2 laptops which are all networked together without a dedicated server. It has a 500GB RAID1 network drive which is directly connected to the network using an ethernet cable. At various stages throughout the night, each PC uses ntbackup as a scheduled task to backup the important files on that computer and backs up to the network drive. The network drive is mapped as drive Z on each computer. The network drive is set to have permissions so that everyone can read, write, etc.

On all PCs the backups work fine transferring many GBs of data across the network. Except one. Windows XP Professional with SP3. When I run the backup, at different points within the backup (but usually quite early one) the pop-up saying "Windows delayed write failed" appears and the backup is stopped. I have tried numerous work-arounds which I will list below. Also, it is interesting to note that if I backup to C:\ and then copy and paste the file to Z:\, everything is fine.

Things I have tried:
  • changing the transfer rates of the network card to 10Mbps and then 100Mbps and back to Auto
  • Updating the network card drivers
  • Updating the chipset drivers
  • Updating the BIOS
  • Disabling write caching on the drive
  • changing certain registry keys to do with ATI drivers

I'm struggling to think of anything else to do and just wondered if any one else out there has had the same problem and knows how to fix it. The interesting thing to note is that transferring a large file across the network works fine and so it must be something to do with the way ntbackup works.

I could in theory backup to c:\ and then just have another scheduled task to copy this to Z:\ but this will take a lot of time and the backups are about 20GB each. (Ideally I want to run a differential backup as only some of the files change - I think there's a sysinternals tool that checks the archive flag to see whether to copy...)

Anyway! Thanks in advance!

Rich.
 
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