How to fix the Semaphore Timeout Period Has expired (0x80070079)?

You may encounter “Error 0x80070079: The semaphore timeout period has expired” OR “Location is not accessible, the semaphore timeout period has expired.” while trying to do the followings:

  • Trying to transfer or copy files from one disk to another
  • Access a portable drive
  • Trying to take a backup of the system

Semaphore Timeout Period Has expired

This typically happens when your system fails to transfer files/data from one drive (source) to another drive (destination) because it couldn’t establish a connection, or couldn’t locate source or target. There could be several reasons for this lack of communication, and hence for this error. It goes without saying that if the root cause of the error is disk/drive related, you are at the risk of permanent data loss. Seek the help of a Professional Data Recovery Service provider in such cases.

In this blog, we’ll troubleshoot to know the exact cause(s) of the error to fix it. But before we do that, it’s important to know what could be the root causes of this error. Once the reason (s) is known, you can find a fix or at least a workaround.

Jump To:

1)  Causes of semaphore error
2)  Methods to fix semaphore error

  • Change the USB/Network cable
  • Use USB 3.0
  • Update the network drivers
  • Do a network reset
  • Disable Windows firewall temporarily
  • Clean Boot your PC
  • Convert the target drive’s file system to NTFS

Causes of “Semaphore Timeout Period Has Expired (0x80070079)” Error

Following are the causes of the error:

 1. Source or target drive’s file system corruption

Disks are formatted with a file system such as NTFS, FAT32, etc., which act as an index for the OS. They tell the physical location of the stored files and the spaces on the disk which are available to store new data. Imagine a situation where you are supposed to pick up a parcel from a particular address and drop it to another address. If you don’t know these two addresses, you won’t be able to deliver the parcel. The same goes for the OS, which doesn’t get to know the location because of the corrupt file system—source disk, target disk, or both—and may throw the error “Location is not accessible, the semaphore timeout period has expired.

2. Bad sectors on the drive(s)

If the drive(s) has bad sectors, the OS couldn’t Read/Write data on those sectors. This could also be the probable cause of the error.

3. Physical damages to drive(s)
A physically damaged drive may not respond to Read/Write operations. This may lead to failure of data transfer to/from it, causing the error. There is nothing much that you can do on your own to fix the semaphore timeout period has expired 0x80070079 error if the drive is physically damaged.

In case of physical damage, this error is a potential indicator of imminent permanent data loss. To prevent this happen, contact a professional data recovery expert immediately.

4. Damaged USB/Network cable
If the cable is used for data transfer is damaged or incompatible, you may encounter the “Error 0x80070079: The semaphore timeout period has expired”. And if such is the case, simply replacing the cable would fix the error.

5. Issues with other networking hardware
Apart from cable, there are other hardware components such as connectors, ports, network cards, etc., that form the part of the connection between the two or more drives. Failure of any of these may lead to the failure of data transfer, resulting in a semaphore 0x80070079 error.

6. Corrupt/Outdated network drivers
Network drivers play a vital role in setting up communication between the system and the devices such as a network drive. Corrupt or outdated network drivers might result in broken communication and hence, to the error message.

7. Network firewall or Antivirus preventing the access to drive
At times, the Windows firewall or the Antivirus is responsible for this error. As they are meant to protect your system, they may not allow communication with the external drive that you’ve connected to your system.

8. File size limit
Some file systems, such as FAT 32, has file transfer limitations. For instance, a drive formatted with the FAT 32 file system couldn’t transfer a single file larger than 4 GB. If you are transferring a file larger than 4 GB and getting this error, your file system may be the culprit.

9. Device driver(s) corruption/Outdated driver(s)
Device drivers help external devices such as pen drives to communicate with the OS. If the installed device driver is corrupt or outdated, the system may fail to communicate with the device and throw the semaphore 0x80070079 error.

10. Other programs preventing data transfer
You may face this error if any program prevents you from transferring data.

Now that you know the probable causes of error semaphore timeout period has expired, you could troubleshoot accordingly. Once the exact cause(s) is known, you can take action to fix the error. Let’s start troubleshooting the issue and fix the error.

How to Fix “The semaphore timeout period has expired 0x80070079” Error?

Following are the methods to troubleshoot and fix the issue:

1) The cable in use may be damaged. Replace the USB/Network cable with a new one and see if it works.
2) If you’re using USB 2.0, replace it with USB 3.0. This may fix the error as it may be happening because the system isn’t supporting USB 2.0.
3) Update the network drivers.

         a)  Press Windows + R, type MSC on the run dialog box that opens, hit enter. This opens device management.
         b) Expand Network Adapters Right-click the appropriate network adapter, click update driver.

       c) Choose, Search automatically on the next prompt.

      d) Restart the system after updating the network driver.

4. Do a network reset

[CAUTION]: Resetting the network to its defaults uninstalls and then reinstalls all the network adapters, and set other networking components back to default settings.

To do this, follow the steps given below:

    • Click the network icon at the bottom-right corner of the screen
    • Click Network & Internet settings
    • Click Network reset on the window that opens next
    • Click Reset now

5. Disable Windows firewall temporarily

Follow the below-given steps to do this:

    • Type Control panel on windows search at the bottom-left corner of the screen to launch the Control Panel
    • Click Windows Defender Firewall
    • Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off
    • Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall under Domain Network Settings, Private Network Settings, Public Network Settings
    • Click OK

6. Clean Boot your PC

Doing this will bypass any 3rd party program that may be preventing data transfer or hindering the communication between the drives.

    • Press Windows + R
    • Type MSConfig on the run dialog box that opens and hit Enter
    • Select Services tab, Check/Tick Hide all Microsoft services and hit Enter
    • Now click Disable all
    • Click Apply and then click OK
    • Restart the system and see if this resolves the issue

7. Convert the target drive’s file system to NTFS

This solution is valid only when you want to paste the data on a disk whose file system has file size transfer limitation such as FAT32, which couldn’t transfer a single file larger than 4 GB.

[CAUTION]: This solution would need formatting the target disk, which will result in complete data loss. Go for this solution only when the data stored on the target disk isn’t important to you or when the disk doesn’t contain any data. And, you can do this as follows:

    • Navigate to This PC
    • Right-click the target drive
    • Click Format
    • Choose NTFS as the required file system

If none of the methods mentioned here fixed the error Semaphore Timeout Period Has Expired, don’t use hit-and-trial methods. As drives are delicate, doing this may worsen the situation and may result in permanent data loss. Contact a Professional Data Recovery Service provider immediately.

Conclusion

In this blog, we got to know the scenarios when we may encounter the error Semaphore timeout period has expired. We also discussed the probable root causes of the error in detail, along with the ways to fix the semaphore 0x80070079 error. Your data is important to you, and hence we emphasized contacting a Professional Data Recovery Service provider if the methods mentioned here couldn’t fix the error. Using hit-and-trial methods may result in permanent data loss.

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