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Windows 7: file transfer


22 Jan 2012   #1

win 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 
file transfer

I wish to transfer large files from my main hd to a usb storage drive.
With Win 7, I must use the copy function which takes much longer than I expected. I have a SATA II hd.
Do I require a RAID setup for faster file transfers? How about an Easy Data Cable?
I am considering the purchase of an internal storage drive of 500-750GB.
Any comments would be appreciated.



My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jan 2012   #2

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

USB storage is typically pretty slow. You don't mention whether you are copying to a flash drive, or an external HDD.

Flash drives have very poor write performance in most cases, typically 10MB/s or less. If you are writing a single file, it will take less time than writing a lot of small files. I've found that lots of small files makes the amount of time go up considerably.

If you're using a cable to connect your drive, the length of the cable can cause performance slowdowns. Also, connecting to the front USB connectors is often significantly slower than connecting to the back ones, since the cables used internally are often not of very good quality.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #3

win 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

I am transferring to an external usb hard drive (2.0) and intend to install an internal storage drive in an expansion slot. Will internal drive transfer be any faster?
Also: copy vs. transfer. Can I transfer file using Win 7, rather than copy?
I read that use of an Easy Data Cable would speed up process considerably.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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22 Jan 2012   #4

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

Yes, an internal drive will be faster than USB in most cases. Typically significantly faster.

USB 2.0's maximum transfer rate is 480 Mbit/s, which in practice is nowhere near that. Internal SATA II will do 3Gbit/s (again, in pracite you won't get that much, but it's still much faster than USB's maximum).

So, you'll typically see at least 6x speed difference between internal and USB.

I'm not sure what you mean by "copy vs. transfer". transfer is a pretty generic term, and is often used to mean copy, or download. Do you mean copy vs. move? If you want to move a file (delete the original after copying) then simply hold down the ctrl+alt keys when you drag and drop. Move is the default when dragging and dropping a file on the same disk, but copy is the default between disks.

Easy data cable? That's typically used between two different computers, not one computer and a drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

The difference between USB2 and Sata (internal drive) depends a lot on the capability of the HDD. Although the Sata channel speed is appr. 6 times faster than USB2, no HDD can really make use of it. Typically a HDD runs at 800Mb/sec max. whilst the Sata channel allows up to 3000Mb/sec versus 480Mb/sec for USB2.

And external alternative would be an eSata or USB3 port. The corresponding PCI cards are inexpensive and an enclosure also costs only $25 to $35.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jan 2012   #6

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

That's true, however USB is still half as fast as the average drive performance. And USB has a great deal of overhead.

What that means is that SATA can handle the full transfer speed of the disk, including all overhead involved in the protocol. USB will be lucky to handle 1/3 of the bandwidth, if not closer to 1/4 (assuming it's the only device on the bus).

It's a bit like when two full lanes of traffic have to merge into a single lane of traffic. There's always some contention involved, and the results are a lot worse than simply half the flow.

vs.

two lanes worth of traffic traveling on an 8 lane highway.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #7
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
That's true, however USB is still half as fast as the average drive performance. And USB has a great deal of overhead.

What that means is that SATA can handle the full transfer speed of the disk, including all overhead involved in the protocol. USB will be lucky to handle 1/3 of the bandwidth, if not closer to 1/4 (assuming it's the only device on the bus).

It's a bit like when two full lanes of traffic have to merge into a single lane of traffic. There's always some contention involved, and the results are a lot worse than simply half the flow.

vs.

two lanes worth of traffic traveling on an 8 lane highway.
Your observations are about the same as mine. If you want an external solution for spinning disks, I found eSata to be the fastest. On a high end laptop I made the same runs with the same HDD in enclosures (full C partition images) with eSata and USB3 and eSata came out faster although on the spec sheet USB3 can handle twice as many bits/sec. But as you said, there seems to be more contention and overhead.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #8

win 7 home premium 64 bit
 
 

I am still confused. You seem to be complicating my situation.

1.SATA is ~6x USB 2.0 (external hd)

2. What is involved in installing a HIGH QUALITY eSATA card to my motherboard? Or a USB 3.0 port? Would this only accelerate speed of an external drive? My external drive cage is capable of 3.0GB/s, according to the manual. Does the term 'eSATA' apply only to an external drive? This was never made clear in the literature I have reviewed.


3. I guess I want to transfer files between drives, such as between hd and external storage drive. Also between hd and internal storage drive. Copy is a different function by my understanding, where there is a desire to preserve the original file on its original drive. I understand this process takes considerable longer than 'moving' the file.

Please clarify my situation. I am searching for an internal storage hard drive capability which will take less time than it presently takes Win 7 to create a file on the storage drive.

I am not an expert, but am learning quickly with the difficulties encountered lately. Any further input would be extremely valuable.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #9

Windows 7 64 bit SP1
 
 

As I said in an earlier message. There's no such term as "Transfer" as you are using it. The term is "Move". "Transfer" is a generic term that just refers to the process of sending data from one place to another.

No, Copy does not take longer than Moving. Moving takes slightly longer because it has to delete the file at the end from its original place. Move is just a copy with a delete of the original file.

Your hard disk doesn't run at 6Gb/s. That's just the maximum rate the electronics can send at. The actual rate is whatever the physical drive can do, and that's typically in the 800Mb/s range. USB 2 can only handle less than half that, so the copy or move will take more than twice as long as using something that can handle the full rate of the disk.

SATA (whether e or not.. the e stands for External) is faster than any current drive can handle. Therefore, when you copy or move files between two SATA drives it will perform the operation at the best possible speed for both devices (the speed is limited to the read speed of one drive and the write speed of the other).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
23 Jan 2012   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate SP1 X64 (Windows 8.1, Linux Mint, Windows XP and others in VM)
 
 

Transfer speed always depends on hardware involved. But, on my computer here is a comparason of transfer speeds. Maybe this will help.

file transfer-esata-usb-3-2.png


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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