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Can I fix the semaphore timeout period has expired error?

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 24, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

“Can I overcome the semaphore timeout period has expired error?”

If you are a Windows user, you might end up with this error message "semaphore timeout period has expired" along with an error code "0x80070079" when you are in the transferring process of files. So, why such errors occur, or what does the code imply? Like you, I am eager as well to know the secret and related concepts. So, why wait? Let's get in-depth on the 'semaphore timeout period has expired' error, its solutions, and tips on avoiding it in the future. 

Part 1: Overview of the semaphore timeout period has expired error

Introduce the causes, symptoms, knowledge of this issue. Not too long, maybe 2 or 3 paragraphs.

  1. What is the ‘semaphore timeout period has expired error’ or 0x80070079?

This issue mainly occurs on Windows when you are transferring files between external drives or local networks. Usually, the 'semaphore timeout period has expired error' is a pop-up error message when a large file transfer occurs. The code, in turn, also implies when Windows is unable to retry the network connectivity within the given time or timeframe.


Another scenario that results in the semaphore timeout period has expired error is when you process some backup files or attempt to open a portable drive where the location becomes inaccessible.

  1. Causes of the semaphore timeout period has expired error  

So, what causes the “semaphore timeout period has expirederror on Windows. Here is why it is.

  1. Symptoms of the semaphore timeout period has expired error

Since you have walked through the causes for the 'semaphore timeout period has expired error,' here are symptoms or signs to detect precisely where the error has occurred.

Part 2: Solutions to fix the semaphore timeout period has expired error

In this session, we have piled up solutions on how to fix the semaphore timeout period has expired error. Be relaxed and get to know them one by one.

Fix 1: Do a Clean Boot

To overcome some advanced Windows problems and troubleshoot them, you can initiate the "Clean Boot" mode. To execute this, press the hotkeys "Win+R" to get into the "Run" box, enter "MSConfig" that will lead you to the system configuration window of the system from where you can manage and disable the non-windows services.

do a clean boot

Fix 2: Disable Firewall and Antivirus temporarily

During a file transfer from the source to the destination drive, the firewall and the antivirus program can block the process by popping up the semaphore timeout period has expired error. So, you can try disabling the functions for a certain period.

disable firewall and antivirus program

Fix 3: Convert FAT32 to NTFS

As stated before, the transfer of a large file is another probable cause to generate the semaphore timeout period has expired error. To overcome this issue, when you transfer files from external drivers that use the FAT32 file system as the default type, you can try converting the FAT32 to NTFS format. You can use a third-party application for such conversion or try the in-built method too.

  1. Right-click on the drive or local disk on Windows.
  2. Choose the “Format” option and pick the “NTFS” option.
  3. Tap the “Quick Format” button, and proceed with the file transfer again.

convert fat32 to ntfs

Fix 4: Update the Wireless driver Network Adapters

Suppose the "semaphore timeout period has expirederror is due to the failed backup attempt or network file transfer issues. In that case, you need to update the network adapters of the wireless driver. Follow the below steps to accomplish the job manually.

  1. On the search box, enter “device manager” and click the first option.
  2. Unfold the “Network Adapters” option by clicking the tilt triangle option. Right-click the network driver, and click the “Update Driver” option.

update the network adapters

Fix 5: Run CHKDSK or System File Checker

You can run CHKDSK or a system file checker program to find the bad sectors or disk errors and repair the missing or corrupted file systems. If you aren't a tech-savvy person, this fix could be a little difficult as you need to enter the command prompt to fix the disk errors.

run chkdsk or system file checker

Part 3: Tips to avoid the semaphore timeout period has expired error

So, how to avoid the semaphore timeout period has expired error. You can follow the tips or tricks from this session to prevent the "semaphore timeout period has expirederror.

  1. Fix or check for the bad sectors regularly: As the bad sectors are a probable cause of this issue, you should periodically check the conditions of the system driver along with the operating system Read/Write actions. To do so, you can run an administrative command prompt to find out the disk failures.
  2. Keep an eye on the antivirus software: As third-party antivirus software might be a key for this timeout error, you can temporarily disable the application until you find the fundamental cause or fix the issue.
  3. Check for any physical damage: To check any physical damage in the drive, USB, or network cable, check if there is fluctuation in the read/writes actions reverting to this semaphore timeout. While replacing the line is easy, if the damage is on the system hardware, opt for a professional data recovery expert with no second choice.
  4. Importance to file size limit: There are times where the large files aren't transferred within the timeframe leading to the semaphore timeout period has expired error. For example, you cannot move FAT 32 file type more than 4 GB; hence compress it or look for an alternative.
  5. Be updated: Semaphore timeout error raises when the drives are outdated or corrupted as well. This tip refers to the network drivers or networking hardware like connectors and network cards and the external drives like pen drive, which you need to update at times for proper communication.

The Bottom Line

Thus, we went through a few scenarios that can lead us to the 'semaphore timeout period has expired error.' We also discussed the root causes that can generate such a "semaphore timeout period has expirederror and potential ways to fix the semaphore timeout period has expired error. If you face this issue, it's time to become a system analyst and set it as data is always essential. However, don't try any DIY or other tricks, making matters worse!

People Also Ask

  1. When a semaphore error occurs?

The "semaphore timeout period has expired" message occurs when your system fails to transfer files from the source drive to the destination drive due to reasons like failure to connect establishment and inability to locate the source or target. In short, it is an asymptomatic connection issue that might occur if the device has a corrupted data.

  1. How can I fix the error 0x80070079?

If you wish to overcome this error code 0x80070079, formatting your external drive is the best suggestion to format or set the drive to NTFS mode. Ensure you back up all the data before formatting to avoid data loss.

  1. What to do to fix the “location is not available” error?

To fix the issue:

  1. Set or format the drive to its usual mode.
  2. On the drive, repair the partition table.
  3. Run CHKDSK on the command prompt.
Recoverit author

Theo Lucia

chief Editor

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