Anyone who has been reading for any length of time knows that I'm a bit of a stickler when it comes to keeping track of data, so a message like The Data has Been Lost is a killer. Some people might even call this behavior anal, but it is what it is. So when the message comes up - repeatedly - telling me that the Delayed Write Failed and that the data has been lost, it ate at me. Really. I didn't know what to do. I think most people might take issue with it, but hey. What can I do?
Now it's not as if I'm talking government secrets here. I'm just doing a typical backup of data across a pretty simple home network (and a wired one at that). If it was on the wireless portion of the network, I could perhaps consider that maybe the neighbor's signal got in the way. But why it decided to start happening - and happening all the time - was driving me absolutely nuts.
To make matters worse, this was the backup that I run to make sure that all my goodies are, well, backed up. Now my original copy was fine. But this meant that I didn't have a backup of the data, so if something were to happen to my primary PC, I'd be a bit out of luck, and as paranoid as I am, that just wouldn't do. So I started scouring everything to try and figure out the problem.
Unfortunately, absolutely nothing seemed to help. As is typically the case, there were all sorts of seemingly helpful people out there, but none of them appeared to have the same problem, and perhaps most importantly, none of them made the problem go away, which is what I was really after.
Of course I rebooted, applied updates, checked caching, installed drivers, looked for device errors, you name it. There was nothing. Until one day I came upon an obscure reference to taking the network adapter out of auto-negotiate mode.
In other words, rather than letting the adapter determine the speed of the network, tell it what speed to use. As you can imagine, at this point I was out of ideas, and while I didn't figure it had any bearing on the problem, it's an easy enough fix. I simply went into the properties (this process may vary a bit, depending on your adapter), changed auto-negotiate to 100Mbps and full duplex, and guess what? The problem completely disappeared. I haven't seen it since.
So apparently something in the auto-negotiation code had a problem, and by setting it manually, it fixed itself. Absolutely unbelievable. I have no idea if this will help anyone else, but if it does, have at it. I have unfortunately misplaced the link to the person who helped me, but wherever you are, thank you. Thank you thank you thank you.