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Windows 7: USB3 to USB 3 on a PCIE card


28 Dec 2012   #1

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 
USB3 to USB 3 on a PCIE card

Hi there - I installed a new Etron 4-port USB3 PCIE card today, and to my surprise it seems not to want to transfer files between two USB3 drives. Is that normal?

(I am going through my PC, which is still relatively fast, but a PITA! )

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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28 Dec 2012   #2

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

did you install drivers for it?

Also, did you connect the molex power connector? It needs more power than what PCIe can give to keep alive more than one USB3 device.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Dec 2012   #3

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

Yes, to all of the above - the board works fine transferring from PC to a USB device. What I'm asking about is transferring between two USB devices on the same board.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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29 Dec 2012   #4

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

I understood, but the possibilities are these three anyway: driver sucks OR card is defective OR it has not enough power.

Does it give some error?

Can you post the full card name and possibly what is written on the big black squared chip on the card?
I'll look if I find better drivers for it on the net, it isn't the first time cheapo cards come with crappy driver disks.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
31 Dec 2012   #5

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

Thanks for your replies. I didn't answer before because I was trying to work out what the problem is. It's not consistent. Sometimes I can transfer between two drives as quickly as you'd expect, at other times it seems to get hung up on some random file, but after thinking for a while it goes again at full speed. Bizarre.

The card is Chinese, made by Iocrest, one of the mid-range priced ones on ebay. i.e. I didn't get the cheapest. As I know nothing about the various brands it's always a guess buying this sort of stuff for me. The driver it uses are from Etron, version 1.0.0.115 dated 7/20/12. Some driver software I use found and updated driver, but after that was installed the card stopped working so I rolled it back.

It's not that serious as 99% of the time I will be copying from HDD to USB, but at the moment I have several GBs to transfer onto a friend's USB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #6

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Hmm, that seems more like a caching issue. Try disabling or enabling write caching for the devices connected, from this tutorial. Some devices hate cache or don't work well without.

If you want me to find better drivers I need either the full card name (maybe written on the box or manual or even on the card itself) OR what is written on the biggest squared chip on the card (the name of the card's controller, which is the "brain" of the card). This is the page on the manufacturer site. Seems like there are three different controller models, and that the chip is below an heatsink. Don't remove the heatsink if there is one.

Afaik, Etron controllers are the low-end of the bunch, prices of ebay notwithstanding. Not that it matters a lot anyway, I had to work with the cheapest un-branded ripoffs of ripoffs and once I identify the controller name and find the right driver they work fine.

Btw, the only driver finding software worth something is DriverPack Solution, mainly because it uses the open-source packs of drivers called DriverPacks I used since the old XP days to make all-in-one install DVDs, others I tried tend to misfire too much.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #7

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

OK thanks a lot - good suggestion. I have changed the policies on two of my own high-quality USB3 drives and all seems fine, so it probably was a caching issue, but a little difficult to be sure yet as I no longer have the drive I was working with when I posted the question. Anyway, thanks for that useful suggestion.

Don't worry about looking for a driver - thanks, anyway. The software I used is DriverMax. DriverPack sounds good - I will try that out too.

I noticed something quite interesting when transferring a few files to test after changing the caching policies .. one was a folder of small files, and the average transfer rate was 43MBs, the other was a single 18GB system mirror/backup file and it went through at an average of 90MBs. It also makes a difference which drive is writing and which reading. These observations are only of some academic interest as, realistically, I won't often be writing from USB to USB.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #8

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601
 
 

Writing a ton of small files is always slower than writing a big file of the same total size, even on SSDs (relatively speaking of course).
That's because of higher overhead involved when transferring a bunch of small files.
The only way to trick that is by using something a tool that creates a "filesystem in a file" and then writes whatever as a single BIG file. I think TrueCrypt does that (for different reasons as you can guess from the name), and it did manage to use BIG file writing speeds even for bunches of small files.

Different drives do have different speeds depending on their design, although usually not more than 20-30 MB/s for HDDs and SSDs (flash drives speed depends from quality and how full they are as their controllers aren't as good as the ones in SSDs).
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Jan 2013   #9

Win 7 x64 HP
 
 

Well of course now you point that out it's obvious that'd be the case. Doh. Anyway, my paltry needs are well met by the whole deal, so I'm a happy camper. Thanks again!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 USB3 to USB 3 on a PCIE card




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