Slow USB in Windows 7
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Thread: Slow USB in Windows 7

  1. #1
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Question Slow USB in Windows 7

    Hi, this is to do with Windows 7 64bit SP (fully patched).

    It concerns two computers, one is an HP Laptop and the other a desktop I built myself. Both automatically check for, and provide updates when available.

    The desktop has an AMD Phenom II x6 1090T 3.2~3.8GHz with 8GB of Corsair DDR3 1333, and 2x 1TB 7200rpm SATA drives.

    The laptop has an AMD Athlon II x2 M320 2.1GHz with 3GB of DDR2 RAM. It has a 250GB 7200rpm SATA HDD.

    Transferring files and folders from USB2 memory sticks seems slow in comparison to XP Pro SP3, but I have heard that is not an uncommon complaint regarding Windows 7 and Vista on a variety of hardware platforms.

    What is puzzling me is that I transfer files from USB 2 memory sticks and get the following results:

    Laptop: 3760MB in 480sec = 7.83MB/sec
    Desktop: 7270MB in 1920sec = 3.79MB/sec

    I have tried both USB sticks on the desktop and the transfer rate seems pretty much the same.

    Remote Differential Compression is disabled on both machines.



    Any ideas folks?
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  2. #2
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    When you google your thread title it appears that you have many friends in the same boat

    Wouldn't hurt to verify that System Restore isn't enabled on the mem sticks..

    Sorry - have to ask - did you install USB drivers from the mobo makers web site?

  3. #3
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Steve, and welcome to AO.

    The USB driver/management stuff is what came in the box as far as the HP laptop goes.

    The desktop (tower) has a Gigabyte GA-880GM-UD2H/US2H.....the difference is that mine has the all solid capacitors, which I don't see as an influence here?

    I have been wondering though; the board and case support USB3 and the sticks are USB2. They are supposed to support earlier USB, but are they treating anything not USB3 as USB 1.1?

    If you stick a USB2 into a USB 1.1 port you get a message that it could perform better if you used a USB2 port.............I don't get any message like that though.

    Weird?

    EDIT:

    Sorry, I used the DVD that came with the MoBo, so they are the manufacturer's drivers and management software. No system restore, and the sticks behave the same on the desktop.
    Last edited by nihil; May 4th, 2011 at 03:35 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  4. #4
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    Check this while the flash drive is plugged in.

    When you open the device manager and go through your usb root hubs (right click and properties) then goto the advanced tab. Does it say full speed or high speed?

    The other thing to check would be a setting on the flash drive. Open my computer, right click on your drive and click properties. Select your flash drive from the list in the hardware tab, and click the properties button. In the new window, under the policies tab, is it set for performance or quick removal?

    edit: my usb stick transfers on my laptop at 5.81MB/sec
    Last edited by Darksnake; May 4th, 2011 at 07:25 PM.
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  5. #5
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Thanks Darksnake,

    That got me poking around some more.

    If I insert a flash drive it is set for quick removal, as that is the default. It is the same for both the laptop and the desktop. The only exception is an 8GB usb stick that is dedicated to "Readyboost", and I changed the setting to better performance.

    The machine has 10 physical USB slots. There are 2 enhanced PCI to USB and 5 Open HCD USB host controllers.

    There is one "USB composite device" which will be the adapter for the wireless mouse & keyboard, and 1 "USB mass storage device" which is the stick drive for Readyboost.

    That leaves one?.................I stuck a drive in the front port next to the one that I have been using for the downloads, and got a Windows error message that the device was not recognised and defective. If anything, it is a problem with the port, as just inserting an extension hub gets the same message, and they don't normally show unless something is attached to them.

    As for the other 7 root hubs (empty) they show 2 @ high speed and 5 at full speed.

    Given that I shouldn't get more than 1.5MB/sec on a full speed connection I don't believe that I was downloading at FS.

    I guess my next move is to troubleshoot the front USB port that isn't working.

    I will keep you all posted.

    Incidentally, the drivers are Microsoft, so Win 7 must have installed them.

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  6. #6
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    Readyboost. Haha, I see you've noticed performance changes with it. But not the performance changes Microsoft intended . I'm also surprised that it was automatically enabled with readyboost. Unless you accidentally clicked enable when it was inserted?

    I all seriousness though, have you ever used readyboost and noticed an increase in performance?

  7. #7
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi metguru,

    I am afraid I can't answer your question just yet, but should have an answer in the next 2 or 3 days when my mate comes round with the USB memory sticks in question.

    At the time I was talking about, Readyboost was NOT activated on the desktop. Unfortunately, I am not sure about the laptop, as it has an SD card slot and I happened to have an SDHC card that wasn't compatible with my cameras. I stuck that in the laptop and may well have activated the Readyboost feature without knowing what I was doing

    In fact, that is probably likely, as the laptop is the only machine with a built in card slot. OK, I have an external one, as well as external HDDs, but a USB memory stick is a much more convenient way to transfer data for me. In those circumstances, I may well have thought: "let's give that improved performance thingy a try".

    I won't have accidentally activated readyboost on the donor USB drive as I always kill the pop up menu and use Explorer (old school? old fart? )

    What I have at the moment is the laptop with Readyboost enabled on a 4GB SDHC card, and the desktop with Readyboost enabled on an 8GB dedicated USB2 drive.

    We will test the incoming USB stick on both. Then kill Readyboost and do it again. Then repeat the exercise on the desktop, using one of the rear USB ports that is connected directly to the MoBo. Remember I have already discovered that the front USB bracket has an issue with one of it's two ports.

    I have never given Readyboost any thought until now, as it is apparently not supported on my Vista machine, which I built from old spares and only has USB1.1


    I am curious to know what experiences you have had with it?

    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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    Readyboost is something to consider if you only have 1 or 2 gigs of ram. It won't be an earth shattering improvement...

  9. #9
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Hi Steve,

    Readyboost is something to consider if you only have 1 or 2 gigs of ram.
    I don't think so. From what I have read Readyboost is aimed mainly at laptops with slow hard drives (4800/5400) and small caches. It uses the additional memory as cache memory, not as pagefile or RAM.

    MS tell you it will do absolutely nothing if you have a solid state hard drive, which seems to support this.

    In my case all drives are 7200rpm and have reasonable caches (8MB and 16MB) so I don't expect any noticeable performance improvement. I only stuck the SDHC card in because I had no other use for it, and there was this empty slot

    I think the confusion with RAM comes about if your RAM is small and maxed out. In that case, Readyboost would be the only potential option for performance improvement, without the expense of replacing the RAM.

    Another scenario would be a 32bit laptop that has 2 x 512MB strips in it. The MoBo may well support 2 x 2GB, in which case you are trashing the 2 x 512s.

    I would probably go for that, and, because Windows 32bit can't really handle more than 3GB I would make the other 1GB a permanent ramdrive for the pagefile. If it had a 5400rpm drive I would consider Readyboost, but would probably go for replacing the HDD, based on the comparative cost of 4GB of quality SDHC and a 7200rpm 2.5" HDD.

    I base that on the premise that a faster HDD will work for everything, whereas Readyboost seems to work here and there, depending on what you are doing?
    Last edited by nihil; May 7th, 2011 at 06:19 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

  10. #10
    Super Moderator: GMT Zone nihil's Avatar
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    Smile Update

    I have now been able to test both the laptop and desktop with the same USB memory stick and data. I didn't use a stopwatch so the figures are reasonable approximations.

    RDC is certainly disabled on both machines. I also tried the front USB port and a rear one...........there is no difference, so it isn't the fact that one port is defective.

    Desktop (with Readyboost) 5.2MB/sec and 5.9MB/sec without.

    Laptop (with Readyboost) 4.5MB/sec and 16MB/sec without.

    That still leaves the laptop running faster than the desktop

    I noticed that the progress window shows silly time left values with Readyboost enabled. Only the Laptop showed a credible progression when Readyboost was disabled. The desktop was plausible but incorrect.

    I also noticed that the laptop deleted the contents of the test folder much faster.

    I will now try the test on a Windows XP box, to see if there really is much of a difference.

    EDIT:

    P4 2.8GHz with hyperthreading and 1MB cache
    2 GB DDR1-400
    500GB SATA1 7200rpm HDD
    XP SP3

    3.90 GB/sec

    WTF?
    Last edited by nihil; May 10th, 2011 at 07:03 PM.
    If you cannot do someone any good: don't do them any harm....
    As long as you did this to one of these, the least of my little ones............you did it unto Me.
    What profiteth a man if he gains the entire World at the expense of his immortal soul?

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