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USB 2.0 External HD Slow Transfer Rate

Posted on 2007-03-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-14
I have 2 external Western Digital My Book USB hard drives.  I use them for large (to me) backups via NTBACKUP.  Completed backup file sizes typically are around 100GB.  With drive "BackupX", I only seem to get a throughput of ~60mbps, but with the other drive, "BackupY", I consistently get 4 times that performance at ~240mbps.  The slow performing drive/connection (dont know which it is yet) is causing my backups to wrong unreasonably long, often in excess of 6 hours.  For essentially hard drive file copies, of course this is crazy talk & should be getting much better performance.  

I've verified that both BackupX and BackupY are using USB 2.0 ports, and have swapped out the USB cables too to eliminate that from the mix...no differences though.

I used Advanced USB Port Monitor (great tool) to gather my performance data, but I cannot see what might be the difference between what otherwise appear as identical drives.

Any ideas?
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Question by:casatone
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4 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:rindi
ID: 18742819
Boot your system with an external OS, like knoppix, and then compare the speeds of the 2 drives there. If they have the same issues, then your other USB disk isn't OK and you should get it replaced through warranty.

http://knoppix.net
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Author Comment

by:casatone
ID: 18742982
I'm not familiar with knoppix...does it have a utility readily available for monitoring USB drive performance?  As I said, I'm using a software utility called Advanced USB Port Monitor and this is a Windows-based product.  Is there a reason that I can't trust the performance stats generated by running a tool in Windows?
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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 18743109
Windows can have problems. With knoppix you should just copy a large file to the USB disk and measure the time it takes, then do the same with the other disk. If you get as big a difference as already, then it is a hardware issue with the drive and you should get it replaced.
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Author Comment

by:casatone
ID: 18744247
I tried knoppix & honestly it seemed more hassle than my slow drive.  The mouse cursor wouldn't show properly and for some reason I couldn't copy/paste files.  Not wanting to have to troubleshoot a new suite of issues, I just decided to use my warranty and got an RMA.  Wiping the drive as I speak.  Thanks for reinforcing the point that it should probably just be returned.
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