How to Fix “The semaphore timeout period has expired” error code 0x80070079 on Windows 10?

by Ugnius Kiguolis - -
12

Question

Issue: How to Fix “The semaphore timeout period has expired” error code 0x80070079 on Windows 10?

I get an error message “The semaphore timeout period has expired” on my Windows 10 PC. This happens when I try to open files and folders on HDD connected via USB. Besides, when I try to disconnect HDD safely, it says “Windows is unable to stop the device…” What can I do to fix that?

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Solved Answer

“The semaphore timeout period has expired” is yet another commonly encountered Windows bug. Usually, it is referred to as a backup error and marked with an error code 0x80070079. In most of the cases, the problem occurs when the PC’s/laptop’s user attempts to backup huge size files or create Windows image backup. Sometimes “The semaphore timeout period has expired” error may pop-up when trying to open or transfer some files from/to a external hard drive (HDD).

Although the 0x80070079 error has been harassing people for many years (the last related threat has been submitted in 2007), it seems that Microsoft did not manage to solve it permanently. To tell the truth, there’s no relevant information both from Microsoft and other reliable sources at all. Out team analyzed the “The semaphore timeout period has expired” error, but, unfortunately, we did not revealed the culprit, but there are several methods that may help you to solve it.

Fixing “The semaphore timeout period has expired” error on Windows 10

Option 1. Run SFC and DISM tools to check for corrupted Windows files

Any operation on Windows can be terminated if the system contains damaged/corrupted files or is missing for some core files. To check that, you should run System File Checker (SFC) scan and run the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool

  • Press Windows key + R, type sfc /scannow.
  • Press Enter to execute the command.
  • Then right-click Windows key and select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • Copy and paste \\DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command.
  • Press Enter to execute it and close Command Prompt.

Option 2. Update Wireless network adapters

If the 0x80070079 error shows up during file transfer to the cloud over wireless network, you should temporarily disable your antivirus and Windows Firewall. After that, update Network adapters:

  • Right-click on Windows key and select Device Manager.
  • Expand Network adapters section and click on your network adapter.
  • Select Update Driver Software and wait for the update to be finished.
  • Finally, reboot your PC.

Option 3. Remove HDD entries via Device Manager

If “The semaphore timeout period has expired” error prevents you from using HDD normally, you should check for old entries of external drives on Device Manager and, if there are any, remove them.

  • Right-click on Windows key and select Device Manager.
  • OR press Windows key + X and select Device Manager.
  • Expand the Universal Serial Bus Controllers section.
  • Check the list of devices. If you HDD is included in that list, right-click on it and select Disable device.

If these steps did not help, we would also recommend formatting the external hard drive. For this purpose, make sure to transfer all needed files to another device because formatting will erase all data. To format HDD, plug it into the computer and open This PC. Right-click on your HDD entry and select Format.

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About the author

Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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