Copying large files from C: to USB2 thumb drive


  1. Posts : 1,002
    XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
       #1

    Copying large files from C: to USB2 thumb drive


    This is new territory for me.

    I am trying to save two ISO files (Win7 Pro 32bit + 64bit, ex Digital River) from my C: drive (laptop spinner) to a new USB2 thumb-drive. (Laptop does not have USB3).

    The two ISOs are about 2.5gb each, which 70% filled the 8gb thumb drive.
    I simply did not think about the size of the ISO files and the thumb-drive capacity.

    Copying from the internal drive to the USB2 thumb drive took about 22 minutes.
    Speed was 4MB/s, via a mains-powered hub.
    Not having a clue about "transfer" times/speeds, I am wondering if the 4mb/s is reasonable ?

    AS a bargain hunter I bought a few "cheap" sticks, the red-all-plastic-ones. But just now I discovered they are all USB2. (Which is irrelevant on this laptop, but is a let-down for my USB3 rigs (comments?)
    It now makes sense to load the ISOs onto separate DVDs, ready for use.
    What type of DVD should I use to load the ISOs onto ?

    An old thread-post USB Transfer rate ~~ suggests changing the BIOS USB speed to high-speed instead of full-speed. The thread is directed at USB3 ... just wondering if such a tweak is applicable to USB2 ? If so ... how would I do that. ?

    Is there any point to using third-party file copier programs ?

    Thanks :)

    SPECS:
    Toshiba Satellite C665
    USB2 only
    OS:= Windows 7 Home Premium (32-bit), sp1 (Build 7601) OEM
    UI:=Classic Shell Start + Classic Explorer
    Windows Indexing = disabled


    THUMB DRIVE
    SanDisk Cruzer Switch USB2
    8 GB FAT32
    - cheap end of thumb drives I know


    -----
    EDIT
    -----

    Editing this post has gone pear shaped, weirdly duplicating paragraphs later in the post
    I tried twice to rectify it without success.
    Last edited by bawldiggle; 24 Jun 2014 at 21:52. Reason: corrections
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  2. Posts : 12,012
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
       #2

    I get about 1 GB every 20 minutes through a USB 2.0 port; that's about .8 MB per second; average file size 260k. This is to a cheap USB 2.0 stick.

    If I change to a cheap USB 3.0 stick through a USB 3.0 port, I get about 5 times as much speed---about 4 minutes per GB or 4 MB per second. Same average file size

    Large files tend to copy faster than small files. You're copying very large files and getting 4 mbs onto a cheap USB drive similar to mine. I'm only getting .8 for small files.

    I'd say you are doing OK considering your USB is 2.0 and cheap.

    You should be able to get much better performance if you step up to USB 3.0.

    I wouldn't expect much improvement with file-copy programs, but might experiment if I was doing this job constantly and saving time was critical.

    I don't know anything about the BIOS tweaks, but you could experiment.

    I'd think even a slowish USB drive would be preferable to DVD, reliability issues aside.
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  3. Posts : 439
    Windows 7 pro x64 SP1
       #3

    With usb pen drives, write is slower than read. 4MB/s write is about par for cheap pen drives. I suggest that rather than backing up digital river iso's, you get 2 cheap drives and make x86 and x64 install sticks using one of the tutorials on this site. After creation, deleting the ei.cfg file will make the usb's universal (will install any version). Because read is faster than write, cheap pen drives are fine for this task.

    This is what I do, but for general usb2 use, I have a Sandisk Extreme usb3 pen drive. On usb2 I get 30MB/s write.
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  4. whs
    Posts : 26,210
    Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
       #4

    If you buy cheap sticks you cannot expect good performance. High speed sticks are expensive but their performance is great (see example below).

    To transfer the iso to DVD I suggest you take a DVD-R
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Copying large files from C: to USB2 thumb drive-2014-04-12_1920.png  
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  5. Posts : 6,458
    x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
       #5

    What type of DVD to use?
    Writeable, you don't need re-write capabilities and there are some issues with them that are outside the scope of this discussion.

    Why save the ISO though, it would be better I think to just create the install media on the DVD disc.

    A 4GB USB stick (one for each) is enough space for Win7 or Win8 install media (take a look in EightForums tutorials - there's one that discusses merging Win8 and Win8.1 into a single install media). You can always download the ISO if you need it (Win 8 is a bit different - Windows Store, but still it can be done).

    UEFI install caveat:
    I was involved in a UEFI thread and discovered that USB install media needs to be formatted FAT32. You cannot use the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool to write the media because it formats a NTFS partition.
    Rufus or another bootable USB creation utility would have to be used.
    I have not verified this, but three sources state it.

    Windows install media on a DVD does not present any UEFI issues since the file system is UDF.

    Again, this is only a consideration for a UEFI install.

    Side note: If your system is a 64 bit machine, you can install Windows x64 as long as you have sufficient memory installed. Performance seems to suffer on Windows x64 with less than 4 GB.

    Other members have provided excellent information on the copy questions.

    Bill
    .
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  6. Posts : 1,002
    XP Pro (x86) | 7 HP (x86) & (x64) | 7 Pro (x64)
    Thread Starter
       #6

    My reason for moving the two ISO files onto external media is when doing a monthly C:drive defrag, one of the ISO files took 20minutes+ to defrag. There is no good reason to to keep the ISOs on the laptop HDD.
    Being anal about documentation I keep a copy of all installation files as a backup (plus details of the source and any quirks). Some downloads have taken some digging to find a clean version, some download sites simply disappear.
    -----
    The ISO files. (Win7 Professional 32bit and 64bit)
    - downloaded for my daughters Dell laptop
    - ISOs never used, but I would like to keep them in case she changes her mind
    Q1: should I load the ISOs onto separate DVD (DVD-R) discs ... OR...
    Q2: load onto USB2 thumb drive (my laptop does not have USB3) ... OR...
    Q3: copy/move the ISO files onto another thumb-drive (a cheap one? or not)
    -----

    @3D Jed
    Are USB install sticks any more reliable (life wise) than DVD-R install discs. ?
    Which media would last longer ?

    3D Jed said:
    I have a Sandisk Extreme usb3 pen drive. On usb2 I get 30MB/s write.
    Just to confirm you get 30MB/s through a USB2 port onto a USB3 quality stick ?
    - I thought USB2 port would not perform beyond USB2 limitations ?
    - Noted: Sandisk Extreme usb3, thank you.
    -----

    @whs
    Thanks "Wolfgang"
    I assume your transfer rate is from a USB3 port ?
    DVD-R ... noted, I didn't know where to start.
    -----

    @Slartybart
    It makes more sense, as you suggest, to load the ISOs onto DVDs (cheaper than sticks)
    "Slartybart' said:
    UEFI install caveat:

    I was involved in a UEFI thread and discovered that USB install media needs to be formatted FAT32.
    You cannot use the Windows 7 USB/DVD tool to write the media because it formats a NTFS partition.
    Rufus or another bootable USB creation utility would have to be used.
    I have not verified this, but three sources state it.

    Windows install media on a DVD does not present any UEFI issues since the file system is UDF.

    Again, this is only a consideration for a UEFI install.
    Q4: What is UEFI and UDF ?
    Q5: the bog standard DVD writer on my Toshiba will format the resulting DVD-R with a NTFS partition OR format the entire DVD as NTFS ?? (Sorry for being so thick)
    Q5: Rufus (a 3rd party software) can create a valid installation STICK (not DVD)?

    I am not sure which way to commit ... USB installer or DVD installer ?
    I do have a rig (due for a DVD/CD burner heart transplant) ... LiteOn (I have) ... hopefully more robust than LG)

    My knowledge of USB sticks is near zero. Our local retailers are all in a rush to the bottom.
    Any suggestions on what I should consider for decent sticks. ?
    I recently bought a cheapie ADATA 16GB. I want to use it every day. Have I bought a lemon ?

    Thank you all for your patience and support :)
    Last edited by bawldiggle; 25 Jun 2014 at 20:14. Reason: corrections
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  7. Posts : 6,458
    x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem
       #7

    All valid points. I'm anal too :)

    My main point was if you create Windows 7 install media on a DVD, then you have a "backup" of the ISO. The process simply makes the DVD bootable and expands the ISO so it can be used to install Windows.

    A DVD holds about 5 GB, so you will need a separate DVD for each version.

    If you're really anal you could do both. Copy the ISO to a DVD and create the install media on another (you'll need two DVDs for each version.

    UEFI and UDF

    Rufus is only for USBs, there are many utilities that create bootable DVDs, including Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool (Ok for creating DVD UEFI install media)
    Imgburn is one utility people use around here
    The list is long: https://www.google.com/search?q=UDF+...IE-ContextMenu

    Data on a USB will last forever if you only write once. Data on DVDs is also long lived.

    There's always a debate - DVDs can break, USBs can get lost or over written.
    I use both. I still use CDs for small things (portable rescue disc, picures...)

    If you're a pack rat like I am, I strongly suggest an external hard drive to store all the stuff pack rats keep :)

    Bill
    .
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 439
    Windows 7 pro x64 SP1
       #8

    re usb3 stick in usb2 port - I seem to remember reading somewhere that usb3 pen drives are manufactured different to usb2 drives to cope with the higher speed, and so goes faster even in a usb2 port. Could just be a better drive - I paid around 23 at Amazon for a 32GB. I tend to pay 3 for a slow 8GB pen drive that will be used for installs. As for DVD vs pen drive - I guess a disk is easier to damage (but a flash drive easier to lose !).

    Snip of test writing 800MB movie to Sandisk Extreme usb3 32GB at 30+ MB/s -

    Copying large files from C: to USB2 thumb drive-sandisk_test.jpg

    drops to about 29 MB/s near the end (exFAT btw)

    edit : installing - for DVD install disks I use ImgBurn at 4X, but had to search for an older version since the latest one comes with unwanted 'extras'.

    For non uefi usb install I use the diskpart method :

    elevated cmd window -

    diskpart
    list disk
    select disk 1 (or whatever number the usb is)
    clean
    create partition primary
    select partition 1
    active
    format fs=fat32 label="windows 7" quick
    assign
    exit

    then copy entire contents of the Windows 7 Digital River iso (unpacked with WinRar) to the pen drive
    can substitute
    fs=ntfs label ="windows 7" quick

    diskpart info from gregrocker IIRC
    Last edited by 3D Jed; 25 Jun 2014 at 21:46.
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  9. Posts : 12,012
    Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
       #9

    I recently copied the same set of files from an internal HDD to a cheap USB 3.0 stick in 2 ways: through a USB 2.0 port and through a USB 3.0 port.

    I expected to see a noticeably faster transfer rate through the 3.0 port.

    I did not. It took 64 minutes through the 2.0 port and 63.3 minutes through the 3.0 port.

    I take that to mean that the speed was ultimately governed by this cheap and slow stick rather than the port and that even the 2.0 port could feed the stick as quickly as it could accept data, even though it was allegedly a 3.0 drive.

    The speed differences between various USB drives seems to me to be much more noticeable than differences in hard drive speeds.
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