When it comes to computers, I like to think that I am pretty competent. I built a couple for myself, friends, and family and they work just fine. Unfortunately, experience is no substitute for common sense...
Windows - Delayed Write Failed : Windows was unable to save all the data for the file F:\WINDOWS\system32\config\SysEvent.Evt. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save this file elsewhere.
One of the recurring consequences of this failure was that the Current Transfer Mode: for Device 0 would spontaneously change from Ultra DMA Mode 5 to PIO. This happened a couple of times before, but never as frequently as in recent months. I was a little worried that my relatively new (February 2003) Western Digital: Special Edition hard drive was defective so I did a little research with Google.
For repeated DMA errors. Windows XP will turn off DMA mode for a device after encountering certain errors during data transfer operations. If more than six DMA transfer timeouts occur, Windows will turn off DMA and use only PIO mode on that device.
As I read on, I came across the following:
All CRC and timeout errors are logged in the system event log. These types of errors could be caused by improper mounting or improper cabling (for example, 40-wire instead of 80-wire cable). Or such errors could indicate imminent hardware failure, for example, in a hard drive or chipset.
The bold type is my own correction. It actually says, "40-pin instead of 80-pin cable," but this is a misprint. This set off alarms in my head, so I quickly turned off my computer and pulled the cable for my hard drives. Sure enough, the specially rounded IDE cable that was supposed to have 80 wires only had 40. I even found the bag that the cable came in.
As you can see, the label on the bag is wrong. D'oh! I didn't even bother to check when I bought it a couple years ago when it was all the rage, and here I am paying for that tiny lapse in judgment. Go ahead and laugh at me; I deserve it. I was running my system at less than half its capability with many errors and crashes for the past 10 months, all because of a stupid little cable. I probably didn't notice any errors from the bad cabling before since my previous main hard drive was ATA-66, and I was running Windows 98 SE, which I simply grew to ignore weird things happening - it's Microsoft after all.