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Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 7:31 pm
Posts: 26
Location: Enfield, UK
Post Delayed write failure
In the last two days I frequently get an error message with the free edition of Awasu 3.0 saying that the Windows delayed write to C:\Documents and Settings\MyUserName\Application Data\Awasu\archive.db failed. I think this probably is happening during an Awasu channel update. The message suggests a computer failure or my network. I do not believe either is the cause because I never ever get the message with anything else and my wireless signal is very strong as I am using a laptop at home in the same room and only about twelve feet from the router.

In fact, there is no file archive.db and I would have expected it from earlier when there was no such failure. However, I cannot detect any adverse effects resulting from this in my use of Awasu which is very basic. I do not use anything except basic capture from and reading of 9 channels after dragging items from them into Google Chrome.

(The only other slight problem is regular but infrequent scripts errors even with Awasu feeds or accessing the forums from within Awasu's own browser. That does surprise me but is hardly related or, I would have thought, even relevant.)


Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:44 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
As an optimization, Windows can be configured to batch up writes to a disk and as the error message suggests, one of these batched writes has failed. Because it's on your C: drive, it's got nothing to do with your network.

The file definitely should be there - if you open the About box, go to the System page and click on the Local data button, it will open an Explorer window for the appropriate directory (Windows will hide it by default which is maybe why you're not seeing it).

My guess is that your C: drive is starting to fail :bah: Back everything up and run some diagnostics!


Mon Feb 28, 2011 9:56 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
keepfeed wrote:
C:\Documents and Settings\MyUserName\Application Data\Awasu\archive.db

BTW, this isn't right. The file is actually C:\Documents and Settings\MyUserName\Local Settings\Application Data\Awasu\archive.db


Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:05 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
The speed of your replies is fantastic. Thanks for that. I have two follow-up up questions two paragraphs below but I am not holding my breath!

Yes, I was looking in the wrong place and the file is not hidden at all and was there! Although there are other Awasu files where I had said, an ini file and my channels.

I will back up all my data pretty sharpish because, unfortunately, you may be right about computer failure being imminent. Mind you, why am I only notified of delayed write failure with this one file? I would have thought it is frequently invoked and not just by Awasu. Is there anything special in the way Awasu uses this feature or invokes it? I expect you to say there bis nothing explicit in Awasu at all, it is all within the operating system. Am I right?

This is a Dell Mini 9 Netbook with a flash C: drive and that failed before just after the warranty expired. Fortunately Dell replaced it free but I doubt that happening again. In which case I will chuck the laptop and rely upon my Desktop, also A Dell. I would never buy Dell again simply because they castrate vanilla Windows and constrain you bu doing so, plus their support software, which is mostly to support Dell not the user! Their customer service ranges from excellent to not even a reply and you never know which to expect!


Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:30 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
This follows my earlier reply while in Oz you no doubt were and possibly still are asleep. Please, if you can, would you answer those questions I raised a little earlier.

But as well, on a hunch (logical or not), I have changed ChannelUpdateAgentConcurrency from the default to 1 and I have not had a delayed write failure since. Too early to draw conclusions as it may still happen again but it does seem odd to me that it has only happened at all with this one file in Awasu. Perhaps Awasu was putting the delayed write function under pressure more than other applications and my laptop cannot handle it what with a flash drive - and drive compression is only making matters worse, which Dell have forced on me. Is that a reasonable hypothesis?

It remains to be seen what interaction arises with you in the next few days but I will give you feedback after an interval whether or not we do not speak again after your replies her and now. Depending upon the relevance, it may be information of interest or use to you.

But again my thanks for your attention.


Mon Feb 28, 2011 5:22 pm
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
keepfeed wrote:
why am I only notified of delayed write failure with this one file? I would have thought it is frequently invoked and not just by Awasu.

You're almost certainly getting the error because the particular bit of disk that file is on is starting to fail. Awasu is the only program that will be using the file, hence you'll only ever see the error with Awasu.

keepfeed wrote:
I would never buy Dell again simply because they castrate vanilla Windows and constrain you bu doing so, plus their support software, which is mostly to support Dell not the user! Their customer service ranges from excellent to not even a reply and you never know which to expect!

Yes, every time I buy a Dell, I end up swearing I'll never do it again. But the others are not necessarily better :wall: Dell offer a level of hardware customization that the competition doesn't and they still provide a Windows installation disc - the first thing I do with any new computer is wipe it clean and re-install Windows.


Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:10 pm
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
keepfeed wrote:
But as well, on a hunch (logical or not), I have changed ChannelUpdateAgentConcurrency from the default to 1 and I have not had a delayed write failure since.

This might help. Awasu hits the disk pretty hard when it's doing updates and this setting will throttle updates, hence reducing the load on the disk. But this only hides the symptoms and the underlying problem remains: your disk is probably starting to fail!

keepfeed wrote:
and drive compression is only making matters worse, which Dell have forced on me. Is that a reasonable hypothesis?

Disk compression might be making a small difference. If it's a flash drive, it's probably small capacity, which is, I imagine, why it's been turned on. You should be able to turn it off by right-clicking on the drive in Explorer and un-ticking the box. Back everything up first! I'm not sure what will happen, given that everything is already compressed.


Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:16 pm
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
I found quite a lot of info at support.microsoft.com/kb/330174 suggesting techniques that may avoid delayed write failures where they are occurring, including turning off the disk cache. That suggests to me that disk failure is not necessarily around the corner and obviously I hope so. Maybe the specs of the flash drive installed is just not up to snuff.

Evidently, I guessed correctly that Awasu gives the disk a thrashing when updating. That is why I tried changing ChannelUpdateAgentConcurrency. Incidentally, I had stopped using Awasu some time ago with 2.3 which sometimes was dreadfully slow on this netbook but so far 3.0 seems a lot faster. Both have your beautiful GUI which make it a pleasure to use, especially with my minimalist template - See viewtopic.php?f=2&t=20469 where I gave details yesterday. At least one other Awasu user likes it.

I have not changed the compression by turning it off but will do if and when I find out that it can be done dynamically without losing the drive and the operating system. Also, if I do a defrag, that might move the location of Awasu.db. I did run the MS error checking on the drive but that indicated nothing, though I appreciate that is not conclusive. I did not find any other diagnostics I could run.

We are getting off Awasu territory here, but I would love to reinstall vanilla XP Home, a disk for which I have from my previous desktop prior to acquiring my current Dell desktop and, at the same time remove the partition Dell have set up for their version. However, that is not something they tell you how to do and I am scared getting into territory which is unfamiliar to me. My netbook has their version of XP Home whereas the desktop uses XP Professional which I would gladly forego to be in control of my PC as well as my netbook.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 3:46 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
I don't have a flash drive base netbook, so maybe this doesn't apply... :lost:

By the way keepfeed, do you ever delete all of the temp files that accumulate from web browser caching, the %TEMP% folder etc?

I run CCleaner periodically before a Defrag to remove a lot of the useless junk. By removing the junk before Defragging maybe there's a better chance that the Awasu.db file will get moved to a good location.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:30 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
I do exactly the same as you even down to using CCleaner!

(BTW in my private message earlier I meant to say mostly touring in UT and AZ, not NV.)


Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:42 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
kevotheclone wrote:
do you ever delete all of the temp files that accumulate from web browser caching, the %TEMP% folder etc?
I use this to run a RAM disk and put all my temp files there. Of course, I've got 8GB of memory... :whistle:


Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:53 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
kevotheclone wrote:
By removing the junk before Defragging maybe there's a better chance that the Awasu.db file will get moved to a good location.

I'm not a hardware expert but my understanding is that the hardware should automatically switch out bad sectors and move the data to an alternate sector. My guess is that the sector is not quite bad enough for the controller to do this, but bad enough that it's occasionally failing. Running a SMART test might encourage the controller to mark the sector as bad... :shrug:


Tue Mar 01, 2011 4:56 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
I am quite taken over the time you have been giving me, especially as this appears not to be an Awasu bug but reading between the lines I am not altogether surprised. Of all the free software I use, Awasu stands out a mile as being truly well designed and backed up by excellent help text. And as I said before, that GUI is superb.

I have done all you and kevotheclone suggest as that is my normal housekeeping. However, I will have to find out what a SMART test is and try that too. Not that I am expert either, but I would not be surprised to find that a flash drive lacks the sophistication to automatically move data from a suspect area. Now I have strong suspicion that it is not as good as a HDD. At the time I bought it, my thinking was the opposite seeing an advantage in no moving parts on a tiny computer! I bought it mostly to use for surfing for the latest news daily and online banking. My serious stuff takes place on my desktop, in particular digital processing of my photos with Photoshop.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 5:40 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
More info about SMART here.

Flash disks are actually quite sophisticated (they need to be since they have some unique problems they have to overcome that normal disk drives don't) but they're still a relatively new technology, so some manufacturers are probably doing a better job than others. They are blindingly fast, in general more reliable, consume less power, but they're still somewhat bleeding edge technology.


Tue Mar 01, 2011 9:52 am
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Post Re: Delayed write failure
support wrote:
I use this to run a RAM disk and put all my temp files there. Of course, I've got 8GB of memory... :whistle:

A couple years ago we discussed using a RAM disk to speed up a portable Awasu installation.

Maybe I'll finally get around to giving it a try. I should probably also add some additional RAM to my current 4GB! :unsure:


Tue Mar 01, 2011 7:49 pm
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