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Question USB 3.0 HDD Transfer Speed Slow

Reven

Member
May 18, 2001
180
5
81
Hi folks,

Looking for some help with my USB 3.0 HDD's slow transfer speeds.

When I'm shifting files over my speed varies a LOT. It averages about 15-22 MB/s, but I have seen it peak (briefly) at 90-110 MB/s. I just cannot tell why. I'm plugged into my back USB 3.0 ports.

I'm transferring the files over from an old internal HDD, probably a 7200rpm Seagate drive. I am doing a defrag now but it was only 4% fragged so I don't think that's the issue. I tried updating all my UBS 3.0 drivers in device manager but it said I had all the latest drivers as well.

What else should I try?
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,112
4,141
136
Which USB 3.0 HDD are you using?

My first guess is that it's an SMR HDD:
 

damian101

Member
Aug 11, 2020
146
55
61
When transferring many small files, access times play a huge role, lower RPM and higher average seek times of the head increase access times for HDDs.
SMR drives can further slow down write operations significantly, but not on the first write.
Practically all USB HDDs are 5400 RPM SMR drives with long seek times.
If you had already filled your USB HDD in the past and/or are transferring many small files, slow transfer speeds are to be expected.
 

Insert_Nickname

Diamond Member
May 6, 2012
3,877
520
126
If you had already filled your USB HDD in the past and/or are transferring many small files, slow transfer speeds are to be expected.
The spikes you see are most likely the buffer getting filled.

If you're transferring very large numbers of small'ish files, it can be helpful to archive them first. Compression isn't strictly necessary, just that everything is packed into the same file.

That should help with transfer speeds.
 

Reven

Member
May 18, 2001
180
5
81
I'm using a Toshiba (HDTB440XK3CA) Canvio Basics 4TB drive. Plugged into my USB 3.1 port on my I/O panel of my mobo.

I'm moving relatively large files. TV shows and movies, so roughly 3.4gb per file?

I can't find the details on my internal HDD. It's an old Seagate 2TB drive. It comes up as "Seagate Backup+ BK SCSI Device" in device manager. It's connected via SATA like any normal internal drive. Older, probably from 2013 or so?

Interestingly, when I connected it to my laptop (just an SSD) the transfer speeds for a handful of similar files were consistently at 100+ MB/s. The sample size is smaller but it feels uniquely bound to my desktop.
 

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