The word ‘semaphore’ comes from a communication technique that is like visual Morse code. Flags are waved in different positions to designate letters of the alphabet visually over great distances.
Well, semaphore is actually a clever word that can help us visualize the process the computer is performing.
Think about the opening credits of “Top Gun” where the aircraft carrier’s landing signal officers wave their arms around in cool positions while singing, “highway to the danger zone”.
Now imagine the scenario where one aircraft carrier is sending all of its jets over to another aircraft carrier and the signal officers need to coordinate landing the jets and assigning parking spaces for each jet just by communicating with these flags. Before the next jet can take off the second ship needs to confirm there is a parking space by waving the flag.
No flag waving in the distance, no jets take off.
But wait, there’s a problem, one of the flag waving semaphore experts on the distant ship is not responding.
Should the captain make the non-responsive sailor walk the plank? Maybe it is best to consider reasons beyond his control for not getting back to the other ship with its flag messages. Should we assume the guy just fell asleep on the job? What if it’s foggy and it’s not his fault that his messages aren’t seen?
The semaphore in your computer program is the code that checks to make sure multiple devices are synched. This error is more common in Windows machines but the term semaphore is used in many programming languages.
This error message is symptomatic of a connection issue in most cases which is solved by looking at the wireless network or the connection cable, depending on your situation. It is possible that a device could have corrupt data which causes the error. In that case, troubleshooting can become much more complicated and it may be time to replace the device.
Copying large amounts of data over a wireless network or copying large files using a USB cable seems to be the most common.
An enterprise may run into this problem while backing up large SQL databases. A single user might see this when copying large files to external drives.
How’s the network connection? How about the USB port and cables? Is the external device running out of free space?
It may be a lack of bandwidth in the wireless network or the wireless adapters need updating.
Our engineers see all kinds of failed drives, from thumb sticks to RAID systems. They have unique experience in diagnosing common problems you may be overlooking. We are in the business of recovering data and preserving data. I hope this article helps to understand what this error message means but I also hope to help prevent the loss of any data.
If you made it to the bottom of this article it is a good time to be reminded to go ahead and back up your important data across multiple devices.