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Slow internal file transfer speeds in Windows 7

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March 22, 2010 11:37:52 PM

I'm not sure which forum to start this is, so I'll throw it in here and someone can move it if the problem turns out to be elsewhere.
My friend is having computer problems, and as I'm her on-call "tech guy" she's asked me for help, and it's a problem I've never had before, so I want to go over with some info in hand if I can.

Here are the symptoms as they were relayed to me...
EXTREMELY slow file transfer rates between internal HDDs. The example was "not a big file" taking 3 DAYS to transfer.
It's been a bit since I worked on the system, I know it's Windows 7, Ultimate iirc. All of her HDDs are SATA, some of them might be via a SATA expansion card, and I forget if it's PCI or PCI-E... Its a Dell system, Quad core Intel of some sort, 6 or 8 GB ram upgraded. Something of a GeForce flavor comparable to a Radeon 3870 level or so (I'm an ATI guy so didn't pay attention, lol.)

Anyone have any clue based on what I know at the moment? I'm at a loss...
a c 127 G Storage
March 23, 2010 12:04:50 AM

With such extreme low speeds, i would be guessing that this might be a PIO issue.

Does she experience other symptoms? Such as choppy mouse, non-responsive windows during transferring, non-smooth video playback and so forth.

There's a way to test if it's a PIO issue. Have her download hdtune from the website (i would advise a direct url to the .exe) and perform the standard benchmark. If that shows a flat line of less than 20MB/s, and very high CPU utilization (about 25% for quadcore) then it's likely to be a PIO issue.

I would also advise checking her HDDs SMART info, this can also be done with HDTune; using the Health tab. Check for any "pending sector count" it should be zero.

It could also be spyware/trojan or legitimate anti-virus/whatever that checks each I/O request and really slows things down. So trying to disable any such 'intrusive' programs that run on the background would also be recommended, just to rule out its causing this.

I also advise to setup some VNC session with her, so you can do the heavy work. TightVNC is an opensource and free product that works on all OS.

Hope any of this helps. Cheers.
March 23, 2010 1:47:36 AM

Well the anti-virus is Avira, unless she's removed what I put on it...
I'll download HDTune to my thumb drive and take it over tomorrow and see what's what, probably need to add it to my normal CDU-Z and GPU-Z and CPUID HWMonitor suite.
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a c 127 G Storage
March 23, 2010 2:40:11 AM

Alright, good luck! Would like to hear from your findings.
March 23, 2010 11:29:44 PM

Ok, here's what I got after some testing tonight, still confused...
Some of my info was off, I was thinking of a previous computer, lol.

HP Pavilion
AMD Phenom X4 9650 @ 2.3Ghz
8Mb Samsung PC2-6400 RAM
GeForce 9300 256Mb video
MSI motherboard

Tried to copy a file from an internal HDD to a Drobo external unit (some of the previous info was relayed to me wrong), the Drobo has three 2Tb SATA HDDs in it, the comp was tranferring from a 250Gb internal SATA HDD. Drobo is connected via USB, 2.0 I believe.

A 1.28Gb video file initially reported 2 mins 30 secs to complete copy, then hung at approx. 30% progress bar, then said 30 secs. to complete, still no progress bar movement, then reported 7 hours 30 mins to complete... Would not cancel, could not force cancel through Task Manager.

HDTune for the internal SATA Source drive...
6.6mb/s min. transfer speed
122.0mb/s max. transfer speed
90.2mb/s average transfer speed
18.3ms access time
122.3mb/s burst speed
1.5% CPU usage.

HDTune for the external SATA Destination drive...
1.2mb/s min. transfer
19.0mb/s max. transfer
17.5mb/s average transfer
32.0ms access time
14.7mb/s burst speed
3.9% CPU usage.

Does the problem lie with the external unit? With the USB connection? This friend is a movie and music junkie, also a music student, so uses the Drobo unit (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... for those not familiar... having problems with tags tonight as well...) for music and movie storage.

Problem is, the file transfers exhibit the same behavior when transferring between 2 internal HDDs, because I tried that too, same exact symptoms...

I've never had this problem on any of my systems, so I'm lost...

Health check and drive error checks were both OK for the source and destination...

March 24, 2010 8:59:28 AM

"The example was "not a big file" taking 3 DAYS to transfer. "

8Mb Samsung PC2-6400 RAM what TF is this

On such an condition it's a mental suicide boss........

may be there is some hardware conflict with using 2 hdd of huge massage........

run hdd diagnostic program and check the disk consistency
try on some other PC and check
March 24, 2010 9:56:09 AM

Sorry about that, that should have been 8Gb of Samsung PC2-6400 RAM

thought I'd caught any typos, my fault.

Yeah, she has two 250Gb HDDs in her computer, and three 2Tb HDDs in the Drobo...
March 24, 2010 10:04:07 AM

did u checked that

the motherboard maximum support to drive storage device is how much capable of ?????????????????????


And for ur information by extension cord for usb 2.0 and such here sata one all that

are not so much capable to give power to drive the extrnal one's It might be slow........

i personally faced this by using usb 2.0 extension driving just 2 pendrives the speed just sucks here

better way is to connect on board bridge connector only to get max utilization


get a tera copy 2.1 also
March 25, 2010 1:26:38 AM

I'm not sure I understand the comment/question...

It's a newer AM2+ motherboard by MSI, not sure the excact model number, but there are only two 250Gb internal SATA drives in it, no RAID.

The internal source drive used to copy from (when I tested) was one of these SATA drives, the destination drive was one of three 2Tb SATA drives in an enclosure (the Drobo) that is connected to the computer via USB 2.0

I believe the Drobo has it's own power cable, though not positive.

I also see it has Firewire... maybe I should have her connect it that way...

Not sure what a tera copy 2.1 is?

a c 209 $ Windows 7
a c 415 G Storage
March 25, 2010 3:55:24 AM

What OS and service pack level are you running?

There have been some issues with Windows Explorer and large file copies not working well in some versions of XP and earlier. Try opening up a Command Prompt window and using the COPY command to see if you get the same behaviour.
March 26, 2010 12:22:20 AM

Well, as stated in the original post, it's Windows 7 Ultimate, with all the updates current, all drivers I could find (sound, video, etc.) are also current.
Haven't tried using the command prompt copy, I'll have to go over there and try it in a day or two.
April 6, 2010 4:40:05 PM

Current update: My friend says files are copying from the internal to the external without completely hanging and freezing, it's just taking approx. 3 days to transfer one movie file (maybe 1.5Gb) I've recommended using Firewire instead of USB 2.0 for a possible interim fix.

One of the IT guys recommended installing Windows again on top of the existing installation, to keep all the old files in the Windows.old directory as a LAST RESORT. I hate to have to go that route. Also checking on updated motherboard drivers and need to look for possible BIOS updates.

Due to a busy life/childcare/work/school I haven't been able to go over there and work on it in person again yet.
April 3, 2011 1:16:31 PM

I had the same problem yesterday - the AVIRA was the problem
April 3, 2011 7:35:10 PM

Well, the problem solved itself for her a while back, I have no idea how, I think she uninstalled and re-installed the Drobo unit, not sure...

Her machines always seem to have gremlins, no matter where she buys them from, now the same system will only periodically connect to her wireless network, disconnets a day or two, reboots don't help, then a day or two later it'll connect again, and stay connected anywhere from 3-6 days before it goes on the fritz again, done it since the laptop was new... I washed my hands of that machine long ago, lol.
July 29, 2011 3:55:46 AM

It's the AVIRA AV!!!!!!
I've been pulling what's left of my hair out over the past week trying to figure this out!
I have dual SDDs in Raid and a 2TB WD Caviar Black drive.
The 2TB drive slowed to a crawl, became unresponsive at times.

I disabled Avira Antivir Guard and it went completely back to normal.

Must be an update.

Thanks for helping me figure this one out!
December 12, 2011 5:31:04 PM

Hi there!

I experienced sma problem too. If I transfer files 1 gig large to my external hard drive or pen drive, I experience long delay and "stuck-in-action" scenarios. There was a pop-out command from windows saying probable I/O error.

I tested my external harddrive and pen drive to my laptop and it run smoothly with any size of file I transfered, and it all worked!

I am running also windows 7 ultimate, yet I experienced delays and suspected error in the I/O so my last resort was to format my hard drive. I've installed a fresh copy of windows 7 and all my previous programs.

I checked the windows device, no big problem there.

My suspected maybe the antivirus, im using the Avast free edition.

Hope for your immediate response guys.

The tip from "sub mesa" was close to my problem.


Thanks and God speed.!! :)  :bounce: 
May 8, 2014 7:52:18 AM

Darkrose said:
I'm not sure which forum to start this is, so I'll throw it in here and someone can move it if the problem turns out to be elsewhere.
My friend is having computer problems, and as I'm her on-call "tech guy" she's asked me for help, and it's a problem I've never had before, so I want to go over with some info in hand if I can.

Here are the symptoms as they were relayed to me...
EXTREMELY slow file transfer rates between internal HDDs. The example was "not a big file" taking 3 DAYS to transfer.
It's been a bit since I worked on the system, I know it's Windows 7, Ultimate iirc. All of her HDDs are SATA, some of them might be via a SATA expansion card, and I forget if it's PCI or PCI-E... Its a Dell system, Quad core Intel of some sort, 6 or 8 GB ram upgraded. Something of a GeForce flavor comparable to a Radeon 3870 level or so (I'm an ATI guy so didn't pay attention, lol.)

Anyone have any clue based on what I know at the moment? I'm at a loss...


May 8, 2014 7:55:16 AM

Hi I was having similar problems. Couldn't copy large files between internal drives but could on to a flash drive. Tried everything listed here and elsewhere and as a last resort changed the sata leads for new ones. Now copies perfectly and the computer shuts down and loads up more quickly.
Change your SATA cables.....FIXED
!