Problems When You Eject FAT16-Formatted Removable-Storage Devices

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Under the following conditions, the file system on your Sony memory stick, Compact Flash card, or other similar device may remain in a non-flushed (dirty) state:
  • Your removable-storage device is formatted with the FAT16 file system.
  • You have ejected your device approximately 5-8 seconds after data was written to the device.
If your device remains in a non-flushed state, you may experience any of the following symptoms:
  • You may lose data that is stored on your removable-storage device.
  • You may experience problems or receive error messages when you insert your removable-storage device into other host devices.
This problem may be caused by the 8-second write-flush delay on FAT16 file systems. This delay was originally created for performance reasons. FAT16 partitions range from 16 megabytes (MB) to 2 gigabytes (GB). This was a common size for hard disks but has become popular again as removable-storage sizes increase. FAT12 volumes do not have this problem because they are primarily used for floppy disks and are not designed to use a write-behind delay.
To resolve this problem, obtain the latest service pack for Windows XP. For additional information, click the following article number to view the article in theMicrosoft Knowledge Base:
322389 How to Obtain the Latest Windows XP Service Pack

Hotfix information

A supported hotfix is available from Microsoft. However, this hotfix is intended to correct only the problem that is described in this article. Apply this hotfix only to systems that are experiencing this specific problem. This hotfix might receive additional testing. Therefore, if you are not severely affected by this problem, we recommend that you wait for the next software update that contains this hotfix.

If the hotfix is available for download, there is a "Hotfix download available" section at the top of this Knowledge Base article. If this section does not appear, contact Microsoft Customer Service and Support to obtain the hotfix.

Note If additional issues occur or if any troubleshooting is required, you might have to create a separate service request. The usual support costs will apply to additional support questions and issues that do not qualify for this specific hotfix. For a complete list of Microsoft Customer Service and Support telephone numbers or to create a separate service request, visit the following Microsoft Web site: Note The "Hotfix download available" form displays the languages for which the hotfix is available. If you do not see your language, it is because a hotfix is not available for that language.

File information

The English version of this fix should have the following file attributes or later:
   Date         Time    Version      Size     File name    Platform   ----------------------------------------------------------------   19-Jun-2002  12:06   5.1.2600.48  137,088  Fastfat.sys  Intel				

To work around this problem, wait at least eight seconds after you write to your device before removing the device.
Microsoft has confirmed that this is a problem in the Microsoft products that are listed at the beginning of this article. This problem was first corrected in Windows XP Service Pack 1.
Note This is a "FAST PUBLISH" article created directly from within the Microsoft support organization. The information contained herein is provided as-is in response to emerging issues. As a result of the speed in making it available, the materials may include typographical errors and may be revised at any time without notice. See Terms of Use for other considerations.

Article ID: 320284 - Last Review: 01/12/2015 20:03:09 - Revision: 1.0

  • Microsoft Windows XP Professional
  • Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
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