Fix: The IO Operation At Logical Block Address for Disk was Retried

Some users have been discovering “The IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried” in the Event Viewer after experiencing general system freezing or random BSOD crashes. The issue is mostly reported to occur on Windows 7 and Windows 8.

The IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried
The IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried

What is causing the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error?

We investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and the methods that they used to get the issue resolved. The error essentially means that the IRP (IO Request Packet)  has timed out while the IO System waited for it to complete. This is known to happen for a variety of reasons.

From what we gathered, there are several common culprits that can be responsible for the apparition of the error:

  • Instability caused by using AHCI disk mode – This is known to occur with older systems that are now designed to take advantage of advanced AHCI features such as Native Command Queuing (NCQ).
  • Faulty SATA or power supply cable – A connection interrupt or some kind of power failure might be responsible for the error. You can confirm whether that’s the case by swapping the cables that you’re currently using.
  • Outdated IDE ATA/ATAPI controller – Older versions of the Windows-provided IDE ATA/ATAPI controller driver are known to throw this particular error. Updating the driver should resolve the issue.
  • Dynamic Tick is enabled – On certain computers, the error might occur during video editing, unified communications, and other multimedia activities. Most of the time, the issue occurs due to a problem with the dynamic tick transitions.
  • FC connection dropped a packet – Based on Microsoft’s documentation, this issue might occur if an information packet is dropped somewhere between the Host Bus Adapter (HBA) and the storage array.
  • Hardware is exceeding defined time-outs – The issue might also occur if the array controller or a device in the array responds to the I/O request with an indication that the hardware is exceeding the defined time-outs.
  • Outdated BIOS version – An outdated BIOS version can also cause this error. This scenario is mostly reported to occur with MSI motherboards. The symptoms of this issue are very similar to a failing HDD or SSD.

If you’re looking for some troubleshooting steps that will allow you to resolve the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error, this article will provide you with some verified repair strategies. Below you have a collection of methods that other users in a similar situation have used to get the issue resolved.

To make the troubleshooting attempt as streamlined as possible, follow the methods below in order until you encounter a fix that successfully resolves the error message in your particular scenario.

Method 1: Updating the IDE ATA/ATAPI controller

If you’re discovering consistent IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried errors in the Event Viewer, you might see them because you’re system is using an outdated IDE ATA/ATAPI controller.

Several users struggling to resolve the same error message have managed to get the issue solved by updating the controller driver to the latest version. Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “devmgmt.msc” and press Enter to open up Device Manager.
    Run dialog: devmgmt.msc
    Run dialog: devmgmt.msc
  2. Inside Device Manager, expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers drop-down menu. Then, right-click on each entry under IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and choose Update driver.
    Updating each channel under IDE ATA ATAPI controller
    Updating each channel under IDE ATA ATAPI controller
  3. In the next screen, click on Search automatically for updated driver software and follow the on-screen prompts to install the latest version.
  4. Repeat the procedure above (step 2 and step 3) with every ATA and ATAPI controller until you ensure that every entry is running with the latest driver version.
  5. Restart your computer and see if the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried errors have stopped appearing inside the Event Viewer.

Some users have reported that for them, it also helped to set the Power plan to High Performance. To do this, open a Run dialog box (Windows key + R), type “powercfg.cpl” and press Enter. Once you’re inside the Power Options screen, set the active power plan to High Performance or create a new one from scratch.

Set a High Performance power plan
Set a High-Performance power plan

If you’re still experiencing the same behavior, move down to the next method below.

Method 2: Disabling Dynamic Tick

Some users have managed to resolve the issue after disabling the dynamic tick feature. This is mostly reported to be effective in those situations where the system randomly stops responding or hangs when performing multimedia or communication activities.

Based on user speculation, the problem may occur because of an issue having to do with the interaction between the machine driving dynamic tick transitions and the machine driving clock rate changes.

Note: This procedure is only confirmed to work for Windows 8.

If you’re encountering the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error while performing multimedia or communication activities, follow the instructions down below to disable Dynamic Tick:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “cmd” and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up an elevated Command Prompt window. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Run dialog: cmd , then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter
    Run dialog: cmd , then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter
  2. Inside the elevated Command Prompt, type the following command and press Enter to disable Dynamic Tick:
     bcdedit /set disabledynamictick yes
  3. Once the command is processed successfully, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved at the next startup.

If you’re still encountering the issue, move down to the next method below.

Method 3: Increasing the TimeOutValue using Registry Editor

If your computer is connected to a storage array such as FC (Fibre Channel) storage,  the issue might occur due to a dropped packet or due to an array controller that sent an alarming request.

In these situations, Microsoft recommends that you decrease the disk.sys  TimeOutValue as low as possible. Several users encountering the same problem have reported that the issue has been resolved after performing the steps below:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “regedit” and press Enter to open up the Registry Editor. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Run dialog: regedit
    Run dialog: regedit
  2. Inside Registry Editor, navigate to the following subkey using the left-hand side menu:
    Computer \ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Services \ Disk
  3. Inside the Disk key, move over to the right-hand pane and double-click on TimeOutValue.
    Double-click on TimeOutValue from the right pane
    Double-click on TimeOutValue from the right pane
  4. Set the Value data of TimeOutValue to no greater than 30.
    Set the Value data of TimeOutValue to a maximum value of 30
    Set the Value data of TimeOutValue to a maximum value of 30
  5. Close Registry Editor, restart your computer and see if the issue has been resolved at the next startup.

If you’re still encountering the same IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error in the Event Viewer application, move down to Method 4.

Method 4: Disabling the Paging Executive

There is a temporary fix that has been applied by several users encountering the same issue. It involves disabling the Paging Executive using Registry Editor. The Paging Executive prevents Windows from swapping memory used by the device drivers out to the paging files.

Here’s a quick guide on how to disable the paging executive:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Then, type “regedit” and press Enter to open Registry Editor. When prompted by the UAC (User Account Control), click Yes to grant administrative privileges.
    Run dialog: regedit
    Run dialog: regedit
  2. Inside Registry editor, navigate to the following location using the left-hand side menu:
    \ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SYSTEM \ CurrentControlSet \ Control \ Session Manager \ Memory Management
  3. With the Memory Management key opened, move over to the right-hand pane and double click on DisablePagingExecutive.
    Double-click on DisablePagingExecutive from the right-hand pane
    Double-click on DisablePagingExecutive from the right-hand pane
  4. With the DisablePagingExecutive Dword opened, change it’s Value data from 0 to 1 to disable Paging Executive.
    Set the Value data to 1 to disable the Paging Executive feature
    Set the Value data to 1 to disable the Paging Executive feature
  5. Close Registry Editor and restart your computer to enforce the changes.

At the next startup, see if the symptoms have been resolved. If you’re still seeing IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried errors in your Event Viewer, move down to the next method below.

Method 5: Changing the SATA cable of the HDD

A couple of users encountering the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error have reported that the errors were not occurring anymore after they replaced the SATA and power connector cable that was connecting the drive to the motherboard and power supply.

This suggests that the error can also be linked with hardware failure. Most likely, the issue occurred for them due to connection interrupt or due to a power failure.

If you suspect you might encounter the error for the same reasons and you have some spare HDD connection cables, you can try swapping them with your current ones. If you don’t have unused connection cables, you can try using the ones from your DVD writer and see if the error is no longer occurring.

If you see no new mentions of the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error while the new cables are in place, you’ve just managed to identify the culprit.

Method 6: Changing SATA HDD to ATA (or IDE) from AHCI

Several users encountering the same users have managed to resolve the issue after changing the disk mode from AHCI to ATA or IDE. Even tough AHCI is the newer way to interface with the SATA controller, some systems are not designed to take advantage of features such as Native Command Queuing. This might end up triggering the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error.

Keep in mind that unless you follow this procedure, changing your disk mode from AHCI to ATA from BIOS will cause your Windows to fail to start. This procedure will enable the system to load the proper BIOS settings associated with the ATA (or IDE) disk mode and allow the registry to be reconfigured.

Here’s a quick guide with what you need to do:

  1. Click the Start icon (bottom-left corner), then click on the power icon. With the Shift key pressed, click the Restart button. This will restart your computer straight into the recovery menu.
    Click on Restart while keeping the Shift key pressed
    Click on Restart while keeping the Shift key pressed
  2. At the next startup, your computer will boot directly into the recovery menuOnce you get there, click on the Troubleshoot entry then click on Advanced options.
    Click on Troubleshoot then select Advanced Options
    Click on Troubleshoot then select Advanced Options
  3. In the Advanced Options menu, click on Startup Settings.
    In the Advanced Options menu, click on Startup Settings
    In the Advanced Options menu, click on Startup Settings
  4. Next, click the Restart button to reboot your machine in the Startup Settings menu.
  5. At the beginning of the next booting sequence, start pressing the Setup key repeatedly until you enter your BIOS settings.
    press a key to enter setup or bios
    Press [key] to enter setup
    Note: Keep in mind that the Setup (BIOS) key is specific to your motherboard manufacturer, but it will get displayed during the initial screen. It’s usually either one of the F keys (F4, F6, F8, F10, F12) or the Del key. You can also search online for your specific setup key.
  6. Once you’re inside your BIOS settings, look for a SATA Operation setting and set it to ATA. Make sure to save your changes before exiting your BIOS settings.
    Changing the SATA Operation to ATA
    Changing the SATA Operation to ATA

    Note: Keep in mind that the exact settings and locations might differ depending on your motherboard manufacturer. If you can’t find equivalent steps to modify the SATA operation, search for specific steps according to your motherboard.

  7. Wait until your machine boots in the Startup Settings menu. Once you get there, press key 5 (or F5) to boot in Safe Mode with Networking. This will allow your OS to get the proper drivers for the BIOS settings that you’ve just loaded on the system.
    Boot computer in Safe Mode with networking
    Boot computer in Safe Mode with networking
  8. Once the startup procedure is complete, do a normal restart to boot into regular mode. At the next startup, you should no longer be encountering the IO operation at logical block address for Disk was retried error.

Method 7: Updating BIOS to the latest version

Several users encountering the same issue have managed to resolve the issue after they updated their BIOS version to the latest version available. This is typically reported to occur with MSI motherboards, but the same fix might be applicable to different motherboard manufacturers.

Keep in mind that updating your BIOS is not as complicated as it used to be. Most of the major motherboard manufacturers are packaging the firmware update in an executable that can easily installed by double-clicking.

To check if a new BIOS update is available for your particular motherboard, visit your manufacturer’s website for specific instructions related to your particular model. Nowadays each manufacturer has its own flash program that will do the update for you (M-Flash for MSI, E-Z Flash on Asus, etc.)

Kevin Arrows
Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

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Fix: The IO Operation At Logical Block Address for Disk was Retried

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