The semaphore timeout period has expired [FIX]

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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When you try to transfer files between your Windows 10 system and any other external device, or when you try to access a certain driver connected to your computer, you might get a system error. This error will block your action and will prevent you from completing the transferring process.

If you’re getting ‘The semaphore timeout period has expired 0x80070079‘ error, this troubleshooting guide may help you.

In most situations, you will experience the error code 0x80070079 associated with the ‘Semaphore timeout period has expired’ alert when trying to transfer huge files.

This transfer might be initiated within your local network, or between your computer and an external driver. Anyhow, the steps explained during the following guidelines will show you how to fix this Windows problem.

Steps to fix error 0x80070079: Semaphore timeout period has expired

  1. Perform a clean boot
  2. Convert FAT32 to NTFS
  3. Temporarily disable Firewall and antivirus protection
  4. Update network adapters drivers
  5. Check the integrity of the local network

1. Initiate a clean boot

For making sure that there is not a file or program conflict that causes the ‘semaphore timeout period has expired 0x80070079’ error, you should perform a clean boot.

During the clean boot, you will manage to disable non-windows services and start-up programs that may not be needed. Don’t worry, your data will remain safe and secured all the time. Here is what you need to follow:

  1. Press the Win+R hotkeys and bring up the Run box.
  2. There, enter msconfig and press Enter.msconfig windows 10
  3. The System Configuration window will be afterward displayed on your computer.
  4. From that window switch to Services tab.msconfig services windows 10
  5. Check the ‘hide all Microsoft services’ checkbox.
  6. Now, click on Disable all.
  7. Save your settings and apply the changes.
  8. Restart your Windows device.

2. Convert FAT32 to NTFS

As you might know, transferring huge files is possible only if the actual drivers are formatted into NTFS, especially if you’re using a USB flash drive. So, make sure you convert FAT32 to NTFS. You can do that by following:

  1. Right-click on the implied driver.
  2. From the list that will be opened choose “format”.
  3. From the next window pick NTFS.
  4. Click on Quick Format.
  5. That’s it; you can resume the transfer process now.

3. Temporarily disable Firewall and antivirus protection

Sometimes, a certain file transfer can be blocked by Windows Firewall or by your antivirus program. And that’s why you might receive the ‘Semaphore timeout period has expired 0x80070079’ error message.

So, you can try to disable the security protection and retry your process in order to resume your actions.

You can disable Windows Firewall by following these steps: press Win+X hotkeys and select Control Panel; In Control Panel use the search field and type windows firewall; just follow on-screen prompts and disable the default protection.

As for your antivirus, you can usually turn its protection off for a limited period by right-clicking on the antivirus icon and select ‘Turn off protection’.

4. Update network adapters drivers

  1. Press Win+R hotkeys and in the Run box enter devmgmt.msc.device manager drivers
  2. From the left panel of the window that will be displayed extend the Network Adapters entry.
  3. From the list that will be displayed right-click on the wireless adapter and choose Properties.
  4. Switch to Driver tab and afterward click on Update Driver.update network drivers windows 10
  5. When prompted, choose Search automatically for updated driver software.
  6. Wait for the process to complete the update.
  7. Restart your Windows system in the end.

5. Check the integrity of the local network

If you try to transfer files within a local network you need to make sure that everything works perfectly. There shouldn’t be any problems with the signal, all the connections between the workstations must be properly set and you should make sure that there isn’t a timeout occurred during the actual transfer. Of course, you might even require administrator rights for certain operations.


As we could notice, the ‘Semaphore timeout period has expired 0x80070079’ error is a system problem which can be fixed by applying different troubleshooting solutions.

If you managed to solve this issue by using another solution, share your experience with us and we will update this tutorial accordingly – that’s the only way in which you can help others too.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2017 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.