Strange error message keeps appearing

  Daisy22 19:27 10 Dec 2009
Locked

The error message says the following:

.....Windows Delayed Write Failed
Windows was unable to save all the date for the file E:/ $Mft. The data has been lost. This error may be caused by a failure of your computer hardware or network connection. Please try to save the file elsewhere......

I know it must be something to do with the external drive I am using to store work, but I lost work from this and now am not using it.

How do I get rid of this message please, is it a problem with the external hard drive itself?

OS is Windows XP

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