Slow transfer speeds to USB 2.0 flash drive

Hi all,

I know that this topic has appeared once or twice in these forums but there haven't been any resolutions and they've been quiet lately so I started a new one. 

Recently, I migrated from Windows XP to 7 and found this problem. When I try to copy a file (a 1.2GB video) to a usb flash drive that I know is usb 2.0 hi-speed (copying files to it in xp were really fast) it takes over 2 minutes. 7 reports that it is copying at 3-4 MB/sec. When I copy from the flash drive to my computer it copies at about 9-10MB/sec. I've also tried plugging it into the rear ports but that doesn't change the transfer speed at all. I know it isn't something related to the flash stick itself because transferring files to it in xp were a lot faster.

Some random information: Transferring files from one hard drive to another averages at about 60MB/sec (both of the hard drives are SATA II drives). I'm not sure what speed it should be but it doesn't feel drastically slower than on my xp machine. Windows 7 and my device drivers are all up-to-date.

System specs:

Dell optiplex GX620

Pentium 4 3.2GHz

2GB Ram

Windows 7 Professional 32-bit

AVG 9 free edition anti-virus

My setup is almost identical to how it was on my windows xp machine except I have less programs installed so there isn't something new that could have caused problems.

 

Question Info


Last updated October 15, 2018 Views 159,829 Applies to:

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I also tried copying the file in safe mode and the speed was the same.

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Hi BK201,

I've actually tested copying a 1.2 GB file to a flash drive on both an XP machine and a Windows 7 machine and I'm getting almost the exact same speeds (between 3 and 5 MB/s). These speeds are very normal for USB 2.0 flash drives. The vast majority of flash drives read (copy to the computer) faster than they write (copy to the flash drive). That's why you're seeing the difference in speed when copying to the computer.

If you still feel that the USB speeds are slower and you still have the issue in safe mode, the only thing I can recommend is to get the latest Windows 7 chipset driver. Considering Dell doesn't offerWindows 7 (or Vista) drivers for the GX620, your drivers are likely not up-to-date. The best I can do is recommend contacting Dell for any Windows 7 drivers they might have.

Thanks for using Microsoft Answers!


Cody C
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Hi Cody,

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately I can't do any tests of my own on my XP machine because 7 has replaced it but it does feel slower. Perhaps it's just my imagination. I noticed that if I copied that 1 GB file to the flash drive that if I cancel it the computer locks up and will only respond if I pull out the flash drive (can't even disconnect it properly. I have to just pull it out). Is this a bug or just something related to my out-dated chipset drivers?

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Since I don't have any other reports of that issue, it's most likely due to the drivers.
Cody C
Microsoft Answers Support Engineer
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Cody,

Have you or anyone in your community figured out why USB and hard drive transfer rates are slow in 7 compared to XP.  My Dell Studio 1735 has a 4 GB ram and 2.1GHz Dual core.  With two hard drive bays, I installed XP pro on one and 7 Ultimate x64 on the other.

The 7 had rates ranging from 466Kb /s to 8 Mb /s  (up to 25 Mb /s when transferring to 2nd hard drive).

The XP ranged from 5Mb /s to 20+Mb /s (up to 40Mb /s when transferring to 2nd hard drive).

After searching online, I see this is a common issue with Vista / 7.

Any reason why this is?  Or suggestions to increase the USB transfer?

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Same thing on a hp probook 5310m, win7 pro 32 bit. 500 KB/s max. Working fine on my dell vostro 1710 with win7 pro x64 and ubuntu 10.10 x64

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Cody C, you obviosly don't pay attention to much then, almost every problem i see posted, you have a cookie-cutter response of:

Since I don't have any other reports of that issue, it's most likely due to the drivers.

When in fact, if you just did a simple google search of 75 - 90% of these issues, you'll see SEVERAL examples..

If you don't know what the issue is, simply say " my guess would be XXXX " or " i have no personal experience with XXX " or " I simply don't know "

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As for the 5 - 6mb/s transfer rate being " normal " it's not, that's slow for USB 2.0 or better. the actual cause of the problem is vinsta and win 7's approach to making USB devices safer to remove (in case of error during transfer i'm sure)

here's the way to get around that HUGE bottle-neck:

  In Device Manager, right-click the USB drive in Disk drives folder, then select Properties, switch to Policies tab, and choose Optimize for performance. Click OK to keep it.

NOTE: If you use this method, make SURE you use the sub removal tool that pops up in your system tray when you first plugged in the device (system tray is the little area near your clock on the task bar)


After performing this fix for myself, my transfer rate on a cheapo cruizer micro went from 4.5 - 5mb/s to 20 - 30mb/s on small files, and average of 10 - 15mb/s on huge file transfers

This is because this method utelizes windows write-behind system of file management.

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Hi,

I have the same issue, my transfer speeds start at around 50MB/sec but then drop to 2/3MB Sec when transferring large files to USB sticks. 

I've seen this issue on various forums and no response or update or reason other than cop out answers like above.


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I get the same problem too and its the update drivers response all the time but how come windows xp transfers faster and it doesnt update drivers as much as windows 7 does.  Win XP usb rates were worlds better then Vista/7 ever is and I dont know why Microsoft just doesnt go back to that code or offer it to those that want the faster rates we used to get back then.

 

I transfered an 500meg avi file from my microsd card to my pc harddisk and it took about 45 secs (what windows said with a 10mb/sec rate)  and same file to my usb drive started off ok with a 3mb rate then half way through it died to a measly 300kb/sec and now says a 20min wait.   Thats not counting the speed slows down even more at times.

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I get the same problem too and its the update drivers response all the time but how come windows xp transfers faster and it doesnt update drivers as much as windows 7 does.  Win XP usb rates were worlds better then Vista/7 ever is and I dont know why Microsoft just doesnt go back to that code or offer it to those that want the faster rates we used to get back then.

 

I transfered an 500meg avi file from my microsd card to my pc harddisk and it took about 45 secs (what windows said with a 10mb/sec rate)  and same file to my usb drive started off ok with a 3mb rate then half way through it died to a measly 300kb/sec and now says a 20min wait.   Thats not counting the speed slows down even more at times.


i have the same problem...my flashdrives copied and saved at blazing speeds with xp compared to windows 7 which is slower then snail mail.......and when you format a flashdisk it takes10 times longer which sucks.......microsoft needs to fix this problem with windows 7 ....which in all other areas i like much better then xp.....its just the snail mail motion of flashdisk speed on 7 which blows...or maybe they just want us to buy a computer with usb 20.0 huh instead of 2.0

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