VERY slow transfer rate from internal to external HDD

I purchased a Western Digital 1TB Elements external HDD, and am trying to back up some stuff to it from my internal HDD. However, when I transfer data, the rate often varies from a whopping 200kb/s to 4mb/s if I'm really lucky. Most of the time, it's ~500kb/s.

I don't know if I have USB 1.1 or USB 2.0. I bought this laptop 2 years ago, it's a Dell Inspiron 1720 with Vista.

The "quick removal" mode has already been changed to "optimize" mode and I don't notice much of a difference.

That I can get 4mb/s kind of makes me think this laptop has USB 2.0, but I don't get why it will most of the time stay below 1mb/s, even with all other programs closed.

I saw when checking for USB 2.0 that some USB ports had "20% system reserve" - could that have something to do with it? How do I check which USB port this is plugged in to? I'm just clueless and a bit frustrated. :(


Edit: I had posted this about 12 minutes after I started to transfer 20GB and it estimated 9 hours remained. It has now been transferring about half an hour and estimates there are 20 minutes remaining, it's now going at 2.88mb/s. With only 4GB remaining. But it only hit that rate after it had been transferring for quite some time. So what's the deal? :heink:
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  1. I'm not really sure why your transfer rates are so bad - but never trust window's estimated transfer times.
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