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Solved: sloooow usb transfer speeds: ntsc to fat32

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by twogurusindrag, Mar 16, 2009.

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  1. twogurusindrag

    twogurusindrag Thread Starter

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    Please assist me:

    I'm running XP Home SP3 on a 1.6 GHz Dell desktop with 512 meg ram.

    I have recently bought a western digital My Book 1TB usb drive and also got a 250 Gig drive (manufacturer unknown- already converted (not by me) to external usb).

    I have a 40 gig and a 30 gig master and slave.

    All but the 1 TB are formatted to NTFS, the 1TB is fat32.

    All the drives are whole (ie: no partitions).

    The 2 external drives are hooked in via a NEC pci to usb 5 slot card which is hooked into PCI slot 4. (the computer was originally usb 1). also on the card are my keyboard, cable modem and dvd burner).

    I am getting very slow transfer speeds between drives, and it occurred to me it might be the difference in formatting. I read somewhere that the large drive needed to be fat32 in order for windows to work with it properly (and it came this way).

    The task manager performance tab shows my processor working under 20% almost consistently and only about half the memory is being used.

    Is this creeping transfer to be expected, or is there something I can do about it? One example is, to move about 6 gigs , it takes over an hour (the estimated time goes back and forth between extremes like 250 minutes to 45).

    Any input would be appreciated. I am a low level computer guru. Everytime i try to research something I find several more things I don't understand, so take it easy on me.

    New info: once the 250 gig is attached, the found new hardware wizard encounters an error during installation and the system tells me the device would work faster if attached via usb 2 (which it is). I am able to access the data on the drive.

    I have set the drive policies to optimize performance (as opposed to quick disconnect).

    Can I disable usb 1 completely since I have a usb 2 card installed? maybe the glitch is there?



    Thank you,

    Scott
     
  2. Mazley

    Mazley

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    I'd check you've got the latest drivers for the card. Also, I would recommend ntfs over fat32 for a drive that size - fat32 only works (theoretically) to something like 128gb (or something like that - it's been a while since fat32...)
     
  3. pvc_

    pvc_

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    not trying to sound like a smart ***, but NTSC and NTFS are two totally different things. NTFS and FAT are file formats and NTSC is a television system.
     
  4. Mazley

    Mazley

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    it seemed wrong when I was typing - *brain fart*
     
  5. pvc_

    pvc_

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    I have a 1 TB drive that runs on NTFS and there are no issues with that. In fact, I don't know that many people who still use FAT32. Also, keep in mind that transfering files using a usb connection will be a lot slower than what it would be using sata (transfering 1 gb using sata takes seconds for me). One other thing to consider is that, 512 MB of RAM is really 5 years ago and can limit the transfer speed.
     
  6. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Intel drive controllers are quite slow. And for various reasons, WinXP can be confused with an actual USB 2 port being seen as a USB2.0 port, especially with an add-on card or a front USB port.
     
  7. twogurusindrag

    twogurusindrag Thread Starter

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    you are very right- that's what happens when i multi task. thank you.
     
  8. twogurusindrag

    twogurusindrag Thread Starter

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    i was reading (can't find the link) and the guy said he had to format his drive to fat32 to get it to work with xp- and that was the manufacturer's choice also. of course now i have 200 gigs on it so i don't want to format it. is it going to make a big difference?
     
  9. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    FAT32 is considerably slower on large drives than NTFS. That is one of the main reasons that it is used on drives over 32 GB's. It is also much more fault-tolerant and generally a superior file system.

    The thing you read about FAT32 being superior for "large" drives would have been true in the Win98 days, as compared to FAT16.

    I would recommend formatting to NTFS first, but only if the drive does not need to be accessed by Win98, which has no NTFS drivers. That will show some improvement in speed, but USB drives are slower by nature than internals.

    It can be converted to NTFS without data loss. From a command line:

    convert <driveletter:> fs:ntfs

    You should also have your data backed up. Data loss is much more frequent from external drives.

    An external is also ideal for making images of your internal drives. These images back up everything on the drive and can be restored to a new drive when the internal fails. They are compressed, so smaller than the used space on the backed-up drive.

    Macrium Reflect
    Paragon Drive Backup Express
     
  10. twogurusindrag

    twogurusindrag Thread Starter

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    i did take the advice to format to ntfs- but i was scared to just change it with the cmd line so i moved everything and formatted it and moved it back.

    i found the problem was that the drive enclosure was not usb 2. once i removed it and installed it in the tower it worked fine.

    thanks all.
     
  11. Elvandil

    Elvandil

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    Thanks for the followup. I think I would have done the same as you if I had enough room to take the files off the drive. I always repartition whenever I have the chance since partition tables can get corrupted and you don't get too many chances to fix them (though they can be edited, that is a bit more dangerous).

    Glad you managed to keep the drive, anyway.

    There are some really crappy enclosures out there---I got a couple myself from Ebay. :D

    Now that you have that nice internal drive, use it to make an image of your system drive so you will never lose that, even if that drive fails.

    Macrium Reflect
    Paragon Drive Backup Express
    Drive Image XML
    G4U - Ghost For Unix (Platform-independent, floppy or CD)
    DiscWizard (For Seagate or Maxtor drives - contains reduced version of Acronis)
     
  12. Compiler

    Compiler

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    Doing a conversion takes a lot of time anyways.
     
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