View Full Version : Slow backup speed with 1Gig USB drive
I have a Dell Inspiron 1150 laptop with business software data I need to backup periodically. I bought a 1 gig USB detachable drive that I thought would be quick and convenient instead of using read/write CD's.
The CD's were ok, but several I used gave me a "backup failed" message after each one would successfully do the backup twice. It was supposed to overwrite the data each time, I guess it did, and not just run out of space. I got tired of that and got the USB key chain thingy. The trouble is, it takes about an hour to backup 325,000 "pages" of data (not sure how many Kb or Megabytes it is, but much less than the space on a CD), whereas the CD's would do the backup in about 1 or 2 minutes. That is, after the CD took a whole hour to format initially. :(
Is this normal for backup speeds with the USB thingys? I just plugged it in and it self-installed on Windows XP. I've done one backup, hoped the second would be faster for whatever reason, but it's not.
Thanks for any suggestions.
The USB memory stick should be many times faster than a CD write.
Does your computer support USB 2.0? Or just 1.0? USB 1.0 (12 MB/s) is much slower than USB 2.0 (480 MB/s).
I can copy 100 MB of data in seconds on my computer at work which support USB 2.0, while the same file takes 5 minutes on my home computer (USB 1.0).
It must be 2.0 on the USB. When I look in the Devices Manager in the Control Panel, it looks to have 2.0 USB driver software.
I found an area showing the properties of the 1 gig device, a portion of which displays "policies" for how the USB device can be configured. There's two choices, one allows quick removal of the device from the connector without having to wait for a "safe to remove" prompt. That's the one that is selected now. The other allows windows cacheing in the writing process for "better disk performance," but you have to wait for a prompt to remove the device from the connector.
After the first backup, I saw that and selected the second option, but it is the same slow process on the second attempted backup. I wonder if I should delete all the data, uninstall the USB thingy software and then select the second option... maybe it has to start from scratch. I don't know. It's aggravatingly slow. I didn't think it was normal.
Is this Windows 98/ME or XP?
Is the hard drive (C:\) formatted FAT32 or NTFS? R. click the drive in My Computer and select Properties to find out.
Your thumb drive should be set up to ensure that you must click the "Safe To Remove Hardware" icon in the system tray before the light goes out and the USB disk can be removed.
If this is Win98/ME, I'd uninstall the driver and set it up again. Then I'd ask you why you are still using such a 'degraded' OS...
If it is Win2K or XP, what Service Packs are installed and what file system is the disk running?
I doubt that it is XP since there are generic Flash Disk drivers for all makes of thumb drives included with it, so no software would have been necessary.
And if the files you spoke of represent a proprietary 'back up' type of software, then maybe it is the root of the problem.
Try doing the backups manually and see how that goes.
My OS is windows XP Pro. I'm not sure what the service packs are at the moment. I emailed Dell Support and they confirmed my USB drivers support 2.0. I might try deleting the info that I did backup onto the USB flash drive thingy, and start over with the device properties configured to remove the device on the "safe to remove" prompt. If that doesn't do it, I'll uninstall the flash drive software, and start over from the beginning.
When I first plugged in the flash drive, itautomatically "installed."
I didn't restart the computer before I did the first backup, don't know if that caused any problem since the device was showing up as recognized by the system.
I have Windows ME at home, and it is terrible. Hangs up at shutdown all the time. I'll be replacing that as soon as I can.
Thanks for the suggestions.
Yeah, XP will pick up a flash drive automagically. If you put a disk in and loaded a backup proggie or something, that's probably what b0rked it for you.
And BTW, I never restart in between installing them and using them. I just plug it in, wait for the light, and go to it.
And I've never had this problem.
PS. Glad to hear you are going to hold an Exorcism for ME soon. That misbegotten ba$tard-child of an OS must DIE!!! But, if the PC will run ME it'll almost certainly run XP with no problems. Your Dell disk, however, will NOT work on any other machine.
Yeah, exorcism is definitely the way to put it for Windows ME. I don't know how or why it does the evil things it comes up with. About 50% of the time we have to cut the power source to just turn it off. Truly, it was spewn forth upon the world from the fetid bowels of Hades.
I suppose my business software has something about it that doesn't allow the Memorex flash disk to be speedy. I can go back to the R/W CD's I reckon, they are cheap enough. I formatted one in about 15 minutes recently, don't know why it took longer previously, I would have sworn it was close to an hour. At least I can do a backup with it.
I have a 512 MB flash USB 2 flash drive and was noticing that it took a long time writing to it as well. I looked around and found this article: http://arstechnica.com/reviews/hardware/flash.ars/1
One thing they point out is that the read/write speed is much slower with small file sizes. Since you have many small files, your read/write speed will probably be pretty slow. This is likely the problem you're having.
Ahhh! That may well be the case. I think the data I'm trying to backup probably does have many, many, many small files within the total program. Thanks for the link to the flash drive reviews.
+1 on many many small files - that creates a huge amount of overhead, and will crush a USB stick.
It may also be, especially if you got the USB stick a while ago, or it was very cheap, that the drive itself only supports standard USB - super slow and painful. You probably know this, but both drive and slot need to support 2.0 to get the speed benefit. There isn't a level of heck low enough for someone selling a 1GB stick without USB 2 support.
If you've got many small files, and the device only can handle standard USB, you'll be waiting a while...
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