why do USB transfers take ages to complete ?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by garry35, Jun 3, 2012.

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  1. garry35

    garry35 Registered Member

    i have several usb flashdrives formatted in ntfs, and when copying or moving large files the last bit always seems to take at 2 mins even when windows estimates 5 secs left. usually the time left to copy after 5 secs remaining appears is much longer than it takes to copy 99% of the file. this happens in windows 7 x64 but probably happens on other versions of windows but i cant confirm this.

  2. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

    NTFS in Vista does the same thing. I'm not sure why. It's for this reason, as I understand it, you have to always use "safely remove" with NTFS. It's very annoying.

    Can you use FAT32 with 64bit Windows?
  3. garry35

    garry35 Registered Member

    fat32 works on both 32&64 bit
  4. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

    I think it has to do with the properties of the NTFS filesystem. Most usb flash drive manufacturers recommend formatting their flash drives to the FAT format. If you format yours as FAT the file transfer estimation is going to be almost accurate.

    I keep my flash drives formatted to NTFS. I don't know but for me NTFS gives better transfer speeds. Of course, the transfer time estimate in windows is still off.
  5. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

    EDIT: 6-5-12

    Raza0007 is right about manufacturers recommendations, NTFS is a File system that is constantly keeping records of data so it will constantly be writing file records to your flash drives and shorten the life of it considerably.

    If you want a really Fast Flash Drive upgrade to USB 3.0 instead of 2.0. Kingston has some that are really fast but I guess it all depends on how much you want to spend?

    Read Speed Up to 100MBps
    Write Speed Up to 70MBps

    Or you can get a cheaper one that still rocks IMO

    Read Speed Up to 79MBps
    Write Speed Up to 21MBps

    its up to you though Search USB 3.0 Flash Drives and you will also need a USB 3.0 PCI Controller Card, unless your Motherboard has built in USB 3.0 support?

    I would just upgrade to a small portable usb 3.0 or eSATA external hard drive if i needed ntfs, their not much bigger than an iPod, I have had a Seagate Freeagent Go external USB 2.0 HardDrive for 4 years an its still in perfect condition, works as good as the day I bought it. i hope my newer 3.0 one does the same. you can build your own with an aluminum USB 3.0 and or eSATA Portable External Hard Drive Enclosure, and a 2.5-inch SATA HDD.

    Check out this enclosure http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/EN3-M.html for an example.

    But in the end it all depends on what your going to use it for, get something that fits your needs?
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  6. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

    it's off topic
    but how can i format a usb stick in ntfs?
    i have the option only fat32 or fat
  7. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

    What you wrote effectively negates the whole idea of a journaled filesystem. You want to use ntfs as fat32, why? The whole idea is to have metadata committed to maintain consistency. If you want fast access, use fat32, as is. Making ntfs behave like fat32 is meaningless.

    As to never wanting to format your drive with ntfs - why again? What if you want the ntfs acl? What if you want ADS and other useful features? In that regard, based on your logic, you should not format ssd drives with ntfs either as they might be written to, go figure, disk and writing.

  8. garry35

    garry35 Registered Member

    the only reason i formatted in ntfs was because fat32 has a 4gig limit. and some files eg hd movies are over 4 gigs.

    to format in ntfs just format as normal, but change the drop down list to ntfs before u click the format button and proceed as normal
  9. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    Evidence ?

    I've heard this been said a number of times, but never once seen any evidence it happens.
  10. allizomeniz

    allizomeniz Registered Member

    I prefer FAT32 mainly because you don't have to "safely remove" every time. There's also the problem with the progress meter on NTFS. I haven't noticed a big difference in write speeds, but that's a layman's view.

    One thing I do like about NTFS is you can effectively secure it by making yourself the only user allowed to open it. It only works on the machine you set it up with though, so you can't use it on another computer, unless perhaps it's an identical setup. The main advantage is you don't always have to carry it with you. Secure your computer with a password, and secure the flash drive, and your good. Anyone who tries to open it on another computer, as a different user gets "Access denied." :D
  11. Seer

    Seer Registered Member

    You certainly have to format it as NTFS if you are working with files larger than what FAT32 normally accepts.

  12. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

  13. Raza0007

    Raza0007 Registered Member

    After you have formatted your flash drive to NTFS you can then change the policy back to "quick removal". It does not make any sense to leave the setting at "optimize performance" for an external usb drive.

    It is odd but I do not have this issue on my windows 7 machine. I can format my flash drive to which ever format even when it is set to "quick removal".
  14. mantra

    mantra Registered Member

    but i did not notice faster transfer with optimaze performance and i 'm talking about usb stick and usb hard drive

    i'm wrong?

  15. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

    The main problem with formatting flash drives using NTFS is that the features of this format also produce much more wear and tear on the flash drive which will cause it to wear out much faster.

    Using NTFS will shorten the life of your flash drive considerably. also if you have a crap drive that is slow as crap already, whats the point of slowing it down even more with NTFS?

    @Nick Rhodes, im not going to do your homework for you, the search function in your browser probably works just fine, I learned this through experience, had many Flash drives and the ones I formatted with NTFS are all crap now, but the fat32 ones still work so you do the math.
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  16. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

    I've searched and yet to find anything but anecdotal evidence, no back to back tests with measurements of lifespan, errors fat32 vs ntfs.

    My 2 ntfs formatted flash drives are still going fine after many years (so is my fat32 formatted flash drive) - you do the maths.

    You are using ambiguous terms such are "more wear and tear", "considerably more", I would like to know how the life spans of flash drives compare so I and others can make a decision based on real facts rather than making sweeping statements that could be considered FUD.

    So, give us some information, how long have your NTFS drives lasted, how long have your fat32 drives lasted, can you tell me how much data was written to either?

    Your touting statements such as NTFS causes considerably more wear and tear. I would like to know how much more write activity, is it 1% 50% 100% backed up with real data.

    NTFS has a commit journal of the file meta information but it only needs to record data pre extent/file in the journal, just how much data is this, are you aware of how much commit information can be held in say a 4kb block ?

    NTFS actually more efficient at storing meta information for any file larger than block size, fat32 has to record a link to every block in the fat table, whereas the ntfs only needs to store links to each file/extent and this includes journal transactions. Oh don't forget fat32 is stores a backup of the fat table which needs to be regularly updated. NTFS stored 8.3 filenames more efficiently.
    FAT32 needs to use larger cluster sizes for 16gb partitions or larger mean more blocks need to be used as they can not be packed in neatly.

    I'm not agreeing or disagreeing with you it just seems you are making unfounded claims and showing no evidence of any knowledge or information on the differences in write activity/efficency between NTFS and FAT32 and how in real-life this makes a difference to the life of flash memory and by how much.

    Cheers, Nick
  17. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Baseless arguments of NTFS killing flash drives aside, has the OP tried exFAT?


  18. garry35

    garry35 Registered Member

    can exfat be used on flashdrives and still be portable
  19. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Yes it can be used on flash drives just like that quote states, but its portability depends on the operating systems you will be using it on.
  20. Warlockz

    Warlockz Registered Member

    Thanks for the info on exFAT, I think im going to try this :thumb: Does newer linux read it without any tweaks?

    here is more info on exFAT


    Last edited: Jun 5, 2012
  21. funkydude

    funkydude Registered Member

    Just Windows and OSX. No idea if there is any third party software for adding compatability.
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