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Windows 7: Slow file management over wireless


02 Apr 2010   #1

windows 7 Pro Desktop, Windows Vista Home Premium Laptop
 
 
Slow file management over wireless

I have an HP Win 7 Pro desktop setup witch has an external HDD connected via USB 2.0. I am connected to that computer and external HDD from an HP Vista Home Premium laptop. I can get on network, open files, play music, etc on the laptop. But certain file management commands seem to be very slow. For example, while using laptop I browse to the external HDD connected to the desktop and open a folder with 15 pictures. I select all 15 and tag them 'X', and it takes 1:30. If I do it from the desktop (ext. HDD direct connected via USB 2.0) it only takes a few seconds. Most files can be opened on the laptop without a noticeable difference. When I browse items on the external HDD from the laptop there is a green bar at the top of the screen that slowly moves from left to right across the address bar, like it is scanning it.... any operation here like rename, rotate clockwise, tagging, etc take forever compared to desktop. Imagine all of these descriptions with picture files only, as that is all I have been working with. Thanks everyone in advance if you can help!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Apr 2010   #2

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andynook View Post
I have an HP Win 7 Pro desktop setup witch has an external HDD connected via USB 2.0. I am connected to that computer and external HDD from an HP Vista Home Premium laptop. I can get on network, open files, play music, etc on the laptop. But certain file management commands seem to be very slow. For example, while using laptop I browse to the external HDD connected to the desktop and open a folder with 15 pictures. I select all 15 and tag them 'X', and it takes 1:30. If I do it from the desktop (ext. HDD direct connected via USB 2.0) it only takes a few seconds. Most files can be opened on the laptop without a noticeable difference. When I browse items on the external HDD from the laptop there is a green bar at the top of the screen that slowly moves from left to right across the address bar, like it is scanning it.... any operation here like rename, rotate clockwise, tagging, etc take forever compared to desktop. Imagine all of these descriptions with picture files only, as that is all I have been working with. Thanks everyone in advance if you can help!
A minute and a half seems on the slow side for 15 files, but it's not unheard of, depending on the content of the files, how much metadata has to be extracted, etc.

You're running into the usual bugaboo of network speed...

100mbps networking (hard wired) is actually only about 11 mega BYTES per second.
54mbps wireless is about 5.4 mBps.
USB hard drives seldom run beter than half speed... about 25mBps.

When I do backups from my HTPC and NAS to external hard disks, I've seen it take 22 hours to back up 375 movies, 6000 mp3s and a few hundred picture files. The whole thing chuggs along at about 8mBps.

It the link is reliable and you can stream video and audio with it... count your lucky stars. Most networks structured like yours can't do it.

A couple of quicky suggestions...

1) When browsing the network use Detail or Icon view... don't use Thumbnails or Tiles as these require large transactions of metadata.

2) Try to do management functions from the host computer as much as possible... If you're copying files using the laptop you create a really interesting network path... the file you are copying is sent from the external HD to the main machine, to the router, to the laptop, back to the router, back to the main machine and back to the external HDD; this because it is the laptop administering the transfer of data. From the main machine it only goes to the target folder on the HDD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
02 Apr 2010   #3

windows 7 Pro Desktop, Windows Vista Home Premium Laptop
 
 

Well I knew nothing was catastrophically wrong since I had it up and running. I can stream video, audio, transfer files just fine. Here is detail about my project.... sigh... I am tagging pictures so the thumbnail view is crucial. I can do it from the other computer, it just bugs me that it is slow from the the laptop, and I didn't want to plug the HDD into the laptop. We are talking about 3000+ photos and I was just hoping there was a setting I missed in my wireless network. Thanks for your help!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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02 Apr 2010   #4

XP Pro SP3 X86 / Win7 Pro X86
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by andynook View Post
Well I knew nothing was catastrophically wrong since I had it up and running. I can stream video, audio, transfer files just fine. Here is detail about my project.... sigh... I am tagging pictures so the thumbnail view is crucial. I can do it from the other computer, it just bugs me that it is slow from the the laptop, and I didn't want to plug the HDD into the laptop. We are talking about 3000+ photos and I was just hoping there was a setting I missed in my wireless network. Thanks for your help!
Well, there might be a setting someplace... Depending on the laptop, some do behave differently on batteries than on the charger... you may want to check the adaptor settings in the laptop.

But the slowness is likely because in order to create a thumbnail, the laptop has to transfer in the entire file, first. Reading metadata (size, dimensions, color depth etc) also requires a fair chunk of data...

I will suggest that 1:30 for 15 files strikes me as a bit slowish... but that's going to depend entirely upon how big the files are. Obviously it's going to go faster on 50k JPegs than on 1.2meg camera files... But it doesn't sound like there's a serious problem.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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