‘Sometimes the hardest part isn’t letting go but rather learning to start over.’

Nicole Sobon

Picture this: You’re trying to create a backup of your files to your portable drive. Mid-way through the process, you see the Error Code 0x80070079. It is accompanied by a message which says, “The semaphore timeout period has expired.” Naturally, you’d get frustrated because you’d need to perform the backup process all over again. Of course, the bigger problem here is getting rid of the error.

What is the Error Code 0x80070079?

Usually, this error shows up while users are trying to transfer files to and from an external device or a local network. You may ask, “What does it mean if the semaphore timeout period has expired?” Well, this message is simply telling you that your operating system failed to retry the network connection, causing it to time out.  This problem can happen when there is a faulty network adapter, slow wired links, or weak signals.

It can be challenging to identify the exact cause of the issue. Despite that, we are here to help you resolve the problem. In this blog post, we are going to teach you how to fix ‘The semaphore timeout period has expired’ issue on Windows 10. We’ve listed the solutions from the easiest to the most complicated. So, work your way down the items until you find the one that works best for you.

Solution 1: Running SFC and DISM Scans

If the error was caused by damaged, missing, or corrupt files, you can resolve it by running scans through the System File Checker (SFC) and the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tools. To do that, follow the steps below:

  1. Open the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R on your keyboard.
  2. Inside the Run dialog box, type “cmd” (no quotes).
  3. Press Ctrl+Shift+Enter to launch an elevated form of Command Prompt.
  4. Once Command Prompt is up, type, “sfc /scannow” (no quotes), then press Enter.

Wait for the System File Checker to scan your computer for problematic files. Once the process is complete, follow the on-screen instructions to resolve the error. After that, run a DISM scan by following the instructions below:

  1. Open Command Prompt again, then execute the command line below:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

  1. Wait for the scan results, and if the utility discovers an issue, follow the instructions for resolving it.

Solution 2: Disabling Your Antivirus and Firewall Temporarily

As we’ve mentioned, the Error Code 0x80070079 appears during file transfer over a wireless network. It is possible that along the process, your antivirus or firewall interfered, hindering the successful transfer. So, if you want to know how to fix the Error 0x80070079, you must learn how to deactivate your antivirus and firewall temporarily.

To disable your antivirus, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key+I on your keyboard to launch the Settings app.
  2. Select Update & Security.
  3. On the next page, go to the left pane, then select Windows Security.
  4. Now, move to the right pane and click Virus & Threat Protection.
  5. Click Manage Settings under the Virus & Threat Protection Settings section.
  6. Toggle the switch below Real-Time Protection to Off.

To disable your firewall, follow these steps:

  1. Go to your taskbar, then click the Search icon.
  2. Inside the Search box, type “firewall.cpl” (no quotes), then hit Enter.
  3. On the left-pane menu, click the ‘Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off’ option.
  4. Select Turn off Windows Defender Firewall (not recommended) under Private Network Settings.
  5. Perform the same step for Public Network Settings.
  6. Click OK to save the changes you’ve made.

Once you’ve completed these steps, try transferring the files again to see if the error has been resolved.

Solution 3: Updating Your Wireless Network Adapters

If there is something wrong with your network adapters, the best way to fix them is to update their drivers. Here are the steps:

  1. Launch the Run dialog box by pressing Windows Key+R on your keyboard.
  2. Inside the Run dialog box, type “devmgmt.msc” (no quotes), then click OK.
  3. Once the Device Manager is up, expand the contents of the Network Adapters category.
  4. Right-click your network adapter, then select Update Driver.
  5. On the new window, select the ‘Search automatically for updated driver software’ option.
  6. Once the update process is complete, restart your computer.

It is worth noting that while the Device Manager makes updates easier, it is not that reliable. Sometimes, it can miss the latest version of the driver. So, we suggest that you use a trusted tool like Auslogics Driver Updater. After installing this app, it will recognize your operating system and processor automatically. All you need to do is click a button and the tool will update your network adapter drivers. What’s more, Auslogics Driver Updater will take care of all driver-related issues on your PC. So, once the process is complete, your computer will perform more efficiently.

Solution 4: Removing HDD Entries

The Error Code 0x80070079 may prevent you from using your HDD normally. So, we suggest that you go to the Device Manager and check if there are old entries of external drives. If there are any, get rid of them. Here are the steps:

  1. Go to your taskbar, then right-click the Windows icon.
  2. Select Device Manager from the list.
  3. Now, click the Universal Serial Bus Controllers category to expand its contents.
  4. Go through the list of devices and check if your HDD is there.
  5. If you see an old entry of your HDD, right-click it, then select Disable Device.

Solution 5: Checking If Your External Device Is Set to NTFS

You must set your external drive to NTFS mode, especially when you’re transferring large files. So, if you want to resolve the Error Code 0x80070079, we suggest that you format your external drive. Doing so will set it to NTFS mode. However, before you perform this procedure, make sure that you back up the data on your external drive. Keep in mind that this process will erase all the files on the drive. Once you’ve done that, you can follow the steps below:

  1. Right-click your external drive.
  2. Choose Format from the context menu.
  3. Select NTFS on the next prompt.
  4. Choose Quick Format.

After the process is done, try transferring your files again to check if the Error Code 0x80070079 is gone.

Pro Tip: Your network adapter may be responding slowly, causing ‘The semaphore timeout period has expired’ error to appear. Of course, an excellent workaround for this issue is to improve the performance of your PC. One of the best ways to do so is by using Auslogics BoostSpeed. This tool will identify and address any speed-reducing issues on your computer. It will take care of junk files and tweak non-optimal system settings. BoostSpeed will help most processes and operations go at a faster pace.

What other error codes would you like us to resolve?

Let us know in the comments below!