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Windows 7: Painfully Slow Speed When Copying Files Onto an External Hard Drive

25 Jan 2015   #1
TheDeerDude

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
 
 
Painfully Slow Speed When Copying Files Onto an External Hard Drive

I decided to do a backup of my data, because I will be formatting my laptop. I'm using a WD elements 1TB hard drive (usb-powered). While it does support USB 3.0, my laptop doesn't. It is half full, still has about 400GB of free space.

My problem is, when I'm copying any files onto it, the speed drops below 1MB/s and I'm not sure why. Is it because the disk is half full? It is a real pain to copy the files and folders one after another, waiting for each one to finish...

Edit: For some reason it now copies at 10-20 MB/s...


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jan 2015   #2
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

Copy speed varies depending on the size of the files being copied.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #3
TheDeerDude

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
 
 

Hm, just out of curiosity - which one of these would take longer?

Thousands of files ranging from KB to MB in size

or

a few large 4GB ISOs

Assuming they take up the same amount of space
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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25 Jan 2015   #4
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

It depends on several factors such as fragmentation state of the disk and location of files on the disk, assuming a traditional hard disk. Generally the smaller files will take longer as they are likely scattered across the disk, and the disk head has to do more work to travel to the right location on the disk to read the file and its attributes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #5
TheDeerDude

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
 
 

Alright, thank you for explaining it to me. It just seemed worrying to get such low speeds on a healthy external hard drive that hasn't been used much.

Also, your profile picture is amazing - just saying xD
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #6
Golden
Microsoft MVP

Windows 7 Ult. x64
 
 

May you be touched by His Noodley Appendage
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #7
bigmck

Windows 7 Home Premium 32-Bit - Build 7600 SP1
 
 

If this helps, my C: drive is 64 GB and takes about 20 min to backup to an external HD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #8
RolandJS

Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
 
 

Before I do any major backing up, I first defrag the cdrive [OS] partition and then the ddrive [Data] partition. It makes backup a smoother operation. Although there are many defraggers, free and fee, I use Norton Utilities 16's quick-defrag and/or Auslogics DiskDefrag.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jan 2015   #9
TheDeerDude

Windows 7 Home Premium (x64)
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by RolandJS View Post
Before I do any major backing up, I first defrag the cdrive [OS] partition and then the ddrive [Data] partition. It makes backup a smoother operation. Although there are many defraggers, free and fee, I use Norton Utilities 16's quick-defrag and/or Auslogics DiskDefrag.
Thank you for that tip, I'll give it a try... actually I should just defrag my drives more often too ^^

For me it's like.. 1gb in 4 minutes, for now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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