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Error 0x80070079: the semaphore timeout period has expired

By Blackbox86 ยท 5 replies
Sep 17, 2007
  1. This error keeps happening to me in Windows Vista Basic when trying to copy a doc file to my SD card (Built-In). I have a Dell Vostro 1500 Laptop. Is this because of the simple file system? I have checked the SD card and it transfers files fine on both my PC and Dell Axim. Any Ideas would be appreciated.Thank You.

  2. MrsBunnsy

    MrsBunnsy TS Rookie

    Not really a fix but it helps

    The only way around this error, with regard to SD cards, is to lock the card using the switch on the side of it. You cant delete the files using the computer but you can copy and paste them and it won't freeze.
  3. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

  4. MrsBunnsy

    MrsBunnsy TS Rookie

    Vista can handle word 97-2003 documents, I have to save them in that format with word 07 so that I can use them in college.
    I have a dell xps 1330 and I don't think that it is only big files that cause these problems, the file above is only 26kb, and the files i'm trying to copy are all around 1mb. The error also occurrs with different files of different sizes on my SD. I have tried it with a new SD, I got a new motherboard and reinstalled the OS and all the updated drivers and still nothing. As far as I can tell there is no fix for this problem (with the SD cards) as yet.
  5. Bobbye

    Bobbye Helper on the Fringe Posts: 16,335   +36

    Mrs.Bunnsy, the person having the problem might indeed have different size files. You apparently are reporting a similar problem. However, the cause "may" be different; here is the first page of 168 hits on Google using search term "semaphore timeout period has expired+error 0x80070079+Vista":

  6. MrsBunnsy

    MrsBunnsy TS Rookie

    I had a look at semaphores and their uses in windows and they apparently limit the amount of threads that can access a resource. Windows semaphores work by counting. Threads enter the semaphore by "calling the waitone method". Once the call is returned the semaphore count goes to 0 and is then blocked so that no other threads can enter. When a thread releases the semaphore, the next thread may enter.
    Possible reasons for sempahore timeout are (from IBM page):

    1. A heavy load on the server is causing processes to be delayed from releasing semaphores.

    2. A process has crashed while holding a semaphore, causing other processes to block when trying to acquire the semaphore.

    3. Deadly embrace, semaphore contention where two tasks are waiting on each other and neither task is able to break the loop. In the simplest case, thread A is trying to get a semaphore which is owned by B, while B is trying to get a different semaphore which is owned by A. More complex combinations are also possible: A wants a semaphore owned by B, who wants a semaphore owned by C, who wants a semaphore owned by A, etc.

    4. If a process was to fail to set a semaphore during execution, another process dependent on the semaphore will be blocked awaiting the semaphore.

    Perhaps someone could make sense out of why locking the SD card prevents this error. Perhaps it is something to do with the third one? I have no idea though.
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