The Semaphore Timeout Period Has Expired

Windows users, especially those who use Windows 8, 10, can sometimes run into the SQL error 0x80070079 error. It is an error that usually happens while copying or transferring files from your PC or laptop to an external device. The device suddenly stops responding, and you receive a message saying, “The semaphore timeout period has expired” or “error 0x80070079,” followed by the previous message.

Not everyone encounters this issue daily, so it is common to start panicking when you face it. But, thankfully, it can be solved easily with some methods and tricks. So, let’s know about this error and how to solve it!

What is “The Semaphore Timeout Period Has Expired”?

semaphoreAs explained before, the semaphore timeout error usually happens with Windows 8,9,10 users when their device cannot transfer files to the desired external destination. It can also occur if you try transferring files from a driver that has become inaccessible during the transfer session.

In other words, this system error only happens with the local network or the files and drives involved with your PC or laptop. It can also occur if you attempt to create a network between the device and portable file storage.

There Can be Different Scenarios Like-

  • You are in the middle of copying large files, and the file transfer suddenly stops with this message on your screen- “Error 0x80070079: The semaphore timeout period is”
  • You are wanting to transfer some files or documents to an external drive like a portable hard disk or a pen drive, and the file transfer suddenly stops. Your device displays the message “Location isn’t accessible; the semaphore timeout period is”

What are the Causes For the Semaphore Timeout Period Having Expired?

Well, There Can be Different Causes Behind this Error Like-

1. Drivers

Outdated drivers are sometimes the leading cause of the semaphore error. The drivers will only work correctly if updated to their latest versions. That means some files may become inaccessible or corrupted, or the drive may even frequently stop while transferring work is going on.

2. Corrupted Systems

In case your device’s systems become corrupted or the memory sectors do not work correctly and you can encounter the semaphore error.

3. Antivirus and Firewall Protection

Sometimes, antivirus or firewall protection can also cause a semaphore error while you are attempting file transfer to an external device. The external storage is probably corrupt, and the antivirus protects your device from cyber-attacks by preventing file transfer.

How to Fix the Semaphore Timeout Period?

1. Do a Clean Boot

Sometimes, performing a clean boot can solve this semaphore error. When the device boots, it gets a fresh start and most problems are solved. Here is the step-by-step guide-

  1. Press the windows and ‘R’ keys together to open the ‘Run’ box.
  2. In the dialogue box, type ‘msconfig’ to open system configuration
  3. Under the “Services’ tab, navigate to “Hide all Microsoft Services” and tick the box beside it.
  4. Now, click “OK” to save the changes.
  5. Restart your device to get a clean boot.

2. Disable Firewall and Antivirus Temporarily

You can also disable the firewall and antivirus protection during file transfer. It can solve this issue if the antivirus is the main reason behind the error. Here is the method-

Disabling Firewall

  1. Press the Windows and ‘S’ keys together to open the Windows Defender Firewall. Alternatively, you can also type “fire” in your search bar to find it. Click on it to expand it from the control panel when it appears.
  2. Next, locate and click “Turn Windows Defender Firewall on / off” on your left pane and wait for the new window to open.
  3. After that, click “Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (isn’t recommended)” for private and public networks.
  4. Finally, click “OK” to save the changes.

Disabling Antivirus

If you are using the Windows default antivirus, follow these steps-

  1. Click on “start” and type “Windows Security” on the search bar.
  2. Select “Windows Security app” when it appears and expand it.
  3. Click “Virus & threat protection” to open “Virus & threat protection settings.”
  4. From here, navigate to “Manage settings.”
  5. After that, turn off the “Real-time protection.”

If you are using any third-party antivirus software, then follow these steps-

  1. Right-click on the antivirus icon appearing on your screen or system tray.
  2. Wait till the pop-up menu appears. From here, disable the antivirus.

3. Convert the FAT32 to NTFS

Often the file system causes the semaphore error. For example, the FAT32 file system has a limit of 4GB, while the NTFS file system has no file transfer limit. That means chaining the FAT32 files NTFS file system can help you to solve the error, specially, if you are dealing with larger files.

Please remember that the conversion means you will lose all your data. So, make sure to take this as a last resort.

4. Update the Wireless Driver Network Adapters

Outdated and corrupt drivers are the leading cause of semaphore errors during file transfer. Hence, make sure to keep the drivers updated to their latest version. Here is the method to check for driver updates and install updates-

  1. Open the Run dialogue box by pressing the Windows and R keys together.
  2. In the dialogue box, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter key
  3. In the Device Manager tab, click on Network Adapters to expand it.
  4. Now, right-click on “network driver.”
  5. After that, choose “Update Driver Software” from the pop-up box.
  6. Now, click on
  7. Search automatically for updated driver software.”
  8. After that, Click “OK.”
  9. If there is any update available, the device will display it. Wait till the update is complete. Now. Restart your device and try transferring the same file again.

5. Run CHKDSK or System File Checker

Disk errors can also be another reason behind the semaphore error. If your drivers are all updated, and there is no issue with the firewall or antivirus, you can try CHKDSK to find out if your device has any disk errors-

  1. From the start option, go to the search bar and type “cmd ” to open Command Prompt.
  2. Click on “Run as administrator.”
  3. Now, type “chkdsk *: /f /r” [put the drive letter in place of *].
  4. Press the Enter key
  5. Wait until CHKDSK scans the disks, finds the errors, and solves them.

6. Removing HDD Entries

Removing the HDD Entries Guide Step By Step-

  1. Press the X and Windows Keys together.
  2. Next, select Disk Manager to expand it.
  3. Now, right-click on all the HDD entries to want to disable
  4. After that, open Properties
  5. Now, under this section, click on the Driver tab
  6. From here, click on Disable Device

7. Check TCP / IP Settings

Sometimes incorrect TCP/IP settings can also cause this error. Switching to a static IP can help in solving the semaphore error. Here is how to check the TCP/IP settings-

  1. In the search bar, type “command” and click “Command Prompt” when it appears.
  2. In the command prompt, type “ipconfig/all.”
  3. Press Enter
  4. Now, check the TCP/IP settings of the primary network adapter from here.

Semaphore Timeout Period – FAQs

1. What would cause a timeout error?

Ans: The timeout error is mainly caused when a communication gap between the content classification client and server and the file transfer channel is interrupted.

2. What is error code 121 on the semaphore timeout period that has expired?

Ans: The 121 semaphore error can result from network connectivity interruption, which can happen due to configured packet size, network adaptor issues m, packet drop, NIC configuration or speed, or even duplex settings.

3. Is the error message “the semaphore timeout period has expired” specific to a particular operating system?

Ans: No, it can happen with any Windows OS like 8, 9 or 10. It occurs primarily due to system issues like outdated rivers, corrupt files, etc.

4. How can I identify which device or component is causing the “semaphore timeout period has expired” error?

Ans: Well, there can be different causes, like corrupt files, outdated drivers, weak signals, etc. So, you need to use other methods to find the reason.


Semaphore Timeout period has expired an error for Windows OS that happens when the file transfer network between the device and the external storage gets interrupted; it can happen due to outdated drivers, firewall and antivirus protection, File system error, network issues, and other causes. To solve this problem, you first need to find the reason behind it. You can try temporarily updating the drivers, changing file systems, running CHKDSK, or turning off the antivirus or firewall to solve this issue.