Slow transfer of data between hard drives

  mintandlime 20:07 06 Nov 2005

I recently bought a 250GB external hard drive to back up files and create space on my internal drives (I have two, 80GB on C and 250 on D). But the files seem to be copying at an incredibly low speed. I tried transferring 150GB from the D drive to the external drive ( Western Digital, USB 2, 8MB cache) and left it about 12 hours and it had only transferred about 17GB. I have quite a good system (Intel Pentium 4, 2.8GHZ, 510MB RAM) so surely it should not be that slow? It would be faster to save the files on DVD. At first I thought it could be because working with external drives is slower than internal drives, but now I am transferring some files from D to C, and that is painfully slow too, so I wonder if something is up with my D drive? Or is copying large data files (lots of video footage) really this slow? Any thoughts?

  woodchip 20:10 06 Nov 2005

Something radically wrong there, as my old 98se comp will move files on the USB 1.1 faster than that

  Saznat 21:18 08 Nov 2005

Windows has a habit of detecting read/write errors on a drive ad automatically slowing down it's access until it eventually disables DMA access altogether.

Go into device manager
select IDE ATA/ATAPI Controllers
Select the IDE cable your device is on (Primary / Secondary)
Go to Advanced Settings tab
Check to see if DMA is available for your device. If not select it and reboot.
Check mode being used. If it is PIO carry on

Start Regedit and go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class {4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}

It has subkeys like 0000, 0001, 0002, etc.
Normally 0001 is the primary IDE channel, 0002 the secondary,
but other numbers can occur under certain circumstances. Check the DriverDesc value to see which one it is.

Delete MasterIdDataChecksum or SlaveIdDataChecksum, depending on whether the device in question
is attached as master or slave, but it can't actually hurt to delete both. Reboot.
The drive DMA capabilities will be redetected.

  mintandlime 18:48 29 Dec 2005

Thanks Saznat, your reply was a great help - I think.

The first time I logged back on nothing seemed to have changed, but subsequently it did and I was able to use the D drive as normal for some time. Recently however, the problem has started to recur. I'm not sure why, though i think it started when I aborted the installation of an automatic update (my pc automatically trys to install updates when you shutdown, unless you click the small print asking it not to. usually i don't because it seems to take ages and never shuts down; on this occasion though the shut down with update installation was accidentally selected). So i wonder if an update has caused a problem?

The registry values seem unchanged though. I even went back and deleted the MasterIdDataChecksum for good measure, but doesn't seem to have made much difference.

The subkeys though go up to about 0005 - and the secondary IDE channel seems assigned to another one of these as well as the 0002 subkey - is that right or could that be causing the problem?

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