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USB 3.0 data transfer is slow compared

OCUBE asked
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2012-05-11

We were using Maxtor One Touch II external hard drives(500GB) for backups all these years.
They were connected to a windows 2000 server with USB 2.0

- we recently upgraded our server to Windows 2008 R2 (64-bit)
- we were using the same above external drives for backups.

Last week we brought a new portable external hard drives - Seagate GoFlex 1.5TB (USB 3.0) drives.

Since this drives were having USB 3.0 ( they claim 10x faster than USB 2.0), I had installed a USB 3.0 PCIe card in the windows 2008 R2 (64-bit) dell server.

I connected the 1.5TB portable driving to the USB 3.0 card using a USB 3.0 cable.

To my surprise the backup time almost  doubled compared to the previous backup setup.

1.  Isn't USB 3.0 supposed to be faster than USB 2.0 ?

2.  Is USB 3.0 only good for copying larger files ?

3. Do we need to do any tweaks in the Dell windows server to get the full speed of USB 3.0 ( atleast better than 2.0 speed) ?

4.  Any other suggestions ?

Watch Question

1.  Isn't USB 3.0 supposed to be faster than USB 2.0 ?   Yes

2.  Is USB 3.0 only good for copying larger files ?    No.  USB 3.0 is faster across the board.

3. Do we need to do any tweaks in the Dell windows server to get the full speed of USB 3.0 ( atleast better than 2.0 speed) ?   It seems like something is wrong with your setup.  Or faulty hardware.  Have you tried copying files from within windows explorer itself?  Are the hard drives using the same type of file system?  NTFS? FAT32?  

4.  Any other suggestions ?  If the file systems are the same.  I would look at your drivers.  What PCI USB card did you buy?  Also, maybe try putting it into a different PCI slot.
Are you using this driver?

Driver from Manufacturer


We installed the drivers which came with device CDROM .

I would say that either the drive or the adapter is defective. Have you tried testing the drive on the standard USB 2.0 connection?


Yes we did test with USB 2.0 as well.

One thing we have noticed is :

 When copying a folder which has several subfolders which  is around 150MB, the data transfer is around 1-2Mb/second.

When we copy a huge 7gb zipped file, the transfer rate is around 1gb/second.

So wondering if USB 3.0 is good only for ttransferring huge file, compared to individual folders.  

"Yes we did test with USB 2.0 as well."

If the results were the same I would suspect the problem is with the drive and return it for replacement.


Does the size of disk and rpm of disk cause this issue?

It's a 1.5tb
5200 rpm disk

Not to the extent that you are experiencing.


We tested with 3 drives
same results

Do you get the same results using the original configuration of hard drive and USB port?


I didn't get you:

"original configuration and USB port". ?

I mean using the same hard drive and the same USB port you were using before going to USB 3.0 devices where it was working much faster..



These are new drives and new server setup.

Here is our old setup:

- Windows 2000 server(32-bit) + Maxtor touch II drive (500GB) + USB 2.0

New Server setup:

- windows 2008 R2(64-bit) + Seagate GO Flex 1.5TB + USB 3.0

So this is a new setup.

We were hoping with the new server setup , it should be lot faster.  But to our surprise its slower than before.

We tried connecting the old external drive to the new server using USB 2.0, transfer rate is same as how it was with old server.

If the Maxtor touch II drive (500GB) shows the same poor performance as the others when connected to the USB 3.0 port I would say the problem would have to be either a defective 3.0 adapter or USB cable.



Maxtor is a USB 2.0, so I had to connect to a USB 2.0 only
Performance of maxtor is same on both servers.

Only difference in Maxtor + seagate are

Maxtor touch 500GB is a big drive and it has a power unit by itself
Seagate 1.5TB is a portable drive and it has only a USB 3.0 connection. No separate power supply.

Does having Symantec on the windows 2008 r2(64-bit) server cause any issue for slowness ?  I did add some exclusions of external drive on symantec console(just to make sure symantec is not a culprit)

I wouldn't trust Symantic to do anything right. I would uninstall it to test.
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Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software Engineer

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