Help! - Slow Transfer Speed

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Oct 16, 2007
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I've started my vacation and am in the process of backing up my photos (NEFs) to my brand new Western Digital 2T Passport HD (via USB). I'm getting a transfer rate of only about 500kb/sec, so it's taking about 35 minutes to transfer 70 photos. :eek:

Is this speed normal? The CF card is a Transend 133x 8Gig card. Can I do something to speed this process up? My laptop is an i5 laptop running Windows 7.

Thanks!
 
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Will be interested in the replies as well Burt …
sometimes takes me an hour to transfer a days vacation shooting onto a laptop and/or portable hard drive and then I put them on another portable hard drive …
So I make sure I have 3 copies of all my pics and it can take some time especially with getting to motels after dark knowing I'm getting up before dark the next day ….

ron
 
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Something is definitely wrong here. I am using SanDisk Extreme Pro 16 gb cards. I just tried transferring 70 nef files (839 mb). The external drive I transferred to is a Seagate Free Agent Goflex 1.5 tb drive on USB 3.0. Transfer time was 16 seconds. Even if you are using a USB 2.0 it should not be taking that long. I would try changing things one at a time. Different card, different drive, etc. and possibly find where the problem is. If you are using windows explorer to transfer, you may want to try Nikon Transfer and see if there is any difference. There is software available to check the condition of your drives. I believe the name of it is Crystal Disk. It was recommended by a fellow Café member, Richard (Growltiger). It is a very useful tool.
 

Growltiger

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1. Is that drive USB3?
2. Is your card reader USB3?
If not, there is the answer. USB3 is up to 10 times faster than USB2.
Well worth making sure that any new drives you buy are USB3.

PS. The drive checking s/w is CrystalDiskInfo.
http://crystalmark.info/?lang=en
It is free. Download the Standard edition.
Be careful about the tick boxes when you install, so you don't get extra software as well.
 
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Something is definitely wrong here. I am using SanDisk Extreme Pro 16 gb cards. I just tried transferring 70 nef files (839 mb). The external drive I transferred to is a Seagate Free Agent Goflex 1.5 tb drive on USB 3.0. Transfer time was 16 seconds. Even if you are using a USB 2.0 it should not be taking that long. I would try changing things one at a time. Different card, different drive, etc. and possibly find where the problem is. If you are using windows explorer to transfer, you may want to try Nikon Transfer and see if there is any difference. There is software available to check the condition of your drives. I believe the name of it is Crystal Disk. It was recommended by a fellow Café member, Richard (Growltiger). It is a very useful tool.
I tried transferring my ORF files taken with my Olympus OMD (SD card - different from the CF card used with the NEFs), and it went MUCH faster. I used the same multi-card reader, same laptop, same drives. However, this time, I transferred from card to internal hard drive, then to external hard drive. With the NEFs I was transferring from card to external drive, via the computers two USB ports. Either the card reader's CF port is slow, or I shouldn't try transferring directly to the external drive, I guess.


1. Is that drive USB3?

2. Is your card reader USB3?
If not, there is the answer. USB3 is up to 10 times faster than USB2.
Well worth making sure that any new drives you buy are USB3.

PS. The drive checking s/w is CrystalDiskInfo.
http://crystalmark.info/?lang=en
It is free. Download the Standard edition.
Be careful about the tick boxes when you install, so you don't get extra software as well.
While the new hard drive may be USB 3 compatible, the reader probably isn't, and the laptop's USB ports aren't either.
 

Growltiger

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It sounds like the problem is that you are using a single USB controller twice at the same time, and it doesn't handle it well.

Supporting evidence:
The USB3 controller card I added to my desktop is an upmarket model with four controllers, one for each port. Cheaper cards have just one controller for all four ports, which works fine as long as you use only one port at a time.
 
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It sounds like the problem is that you are using a single USB controller twice at the same time, and it doesn't handle it well.

Supporting evidence:
The USB3 controller card I added to my desktop is an upmarket model with four controllers, one for each port. Cheaper cards have just one controller for all four ports, which works fine as long as you use only one port at a time.
Yep, sounds about right...

I "believe" USB 1 and 2 are both single direction, ie; data only goes one way at a time... Either it reads
or it writes but not both at once... If that laptop only has a single controler then both USB ports are
on the same channel... It has to first read a block of data from the memory card, then stop, then write
that data to the external drive... If each USB port were on different controlers (different channels) then
one channel would read while the other writes...

I'm pretty sure USB3 is dual direction so data can go both ways at the same time... Even if it was one
controler it would still be faster than USB1 or 2, though separate controlers for each port would be the
fastest...
 
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It sounds like the problem is that you are using a single USB controller twice at the same time, and it doesn't handle it well.

Supporting evidence:
The USB3 controller card I added to my desktop is an upmarket model with four controllers, one for each port. Cheaper cards have just one controller for all four ports, which works fine as long as you use only one port at a time.
Yep, sounds about right...

I "believe" USB 1 and 2 are both single direction, ie; data only goes one way at a time... Either it reads
or it writes but not both at once... If that laptop only has a single controler then both USB ports are
on the same channel... It has to first read a block of data from the memory card, then stop, then write
that data to the external drive... If each USB port were on different controlers (different channels) then
one channel would read while the other writes...

I'm pretty sure USB3 is dual direction so data can go both ways at the same time... Even if it was one
controler it would still be faster than USB1 or 2, though separate controlers for each port would be the
fastest...
That's most likely it, guys. I'll copy to/from the laptop (one direction at a time) from now on. I just did it again with some of my Olympus ORF files, and it went well.

Thanks!
 
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Great to see such great advice.

I would highly recommend getting a USB3.0 reader. I recently purchased a Kingston specifically because of issues with Windows 8. If you purchase a USB3.0 reader, and have any intention at all of upgrading, be sure the reader is compatible with Windows 8. In the Infinite Wisdom of OS makers and Drivers ... suffice it to say that my other USB3.0 card readers are not at all appreciated by Windows 8 :eek:
 

Growltiger

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Just another reason to avoid Windows 8! LOL!
?? The problem described is nothing to do with Windows - 8 or otherwise. It is a hardware issue.

I use USB3 with three different Win 8 machines all the time.

There are a number of general USB3 issues.
  • Some cables sold as USB3 are not capable of supporting it. I bought four identical cables and two always worked, one worked sometimes, and one never worked. I chucked the two bad ones and bought some better quality ones that work.
  • Some readers are not reliable. I think that some never work properly with any operating system!
  • Some cards - the cheap ones - are low performance and won't provide good speeds with multiple devices at the same time.
  • Some motherboards with USB3 built in don't have up to date drivers provided by the board manufacturer. It is necessary to track down drivers from obscure sources.
All these issues will vanish as USB3 becomes better established. (Except that cheap poor quality readers seems to be a problem that carries on year after year.)
 
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?? The problem described is nothing to do with Windows - 8 or otherwise. It is a hardware issue.

I use USB3 with three different Win 8 machines all the time.
USB3 per se has no issues with Win 8. I should have been a bit more specific and also noted the controller, specifically for CF cards, and Win 8. Here is One of Many Threads on the subject. It does appear to be specific to CF cards, in my case SD and SDHC's were fine with "older" USB 3 readers, just not the CF slot.

From the user perspective it does not really matter if it is a Win 8 issue, a 3rd party Driver issue, the firmware in the card reader itself or the CF card controller in conjunction with any of the other bits. End result for the user is, doesn't work. Best resolution I have found is to upgrade the firmware if you card reader has new firmware, or simply buy a newer reader, they really are not very expensive.
 
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Like I said, some readers are not good.
I recommend the USpeed USB3 card readers. Inexpensive and they work.
Currently on Amazon for $15.99
http://www.amazon.com/Support-Uspeed-Superspeed-4-Slots-High-Speed/dp/B0062EUE54/
I had not heard of these folks before, took a bit to find the actual company website, the Amazon links show up first :biggrin: Looks like a nice unit, the price is right for sure.

I would not say some readers are "not good", just "not compatible". Those that can be upgraded, such as this San Disk reader, may get firmware updates from the manufacturer. Note that this particular firmware update for this card reader also resolves some MAC issues.

The Windows 8 part of this mess has to do with changes that were made to the XHCI host controller software and USB stack. To blame this change on "some readers are not good" is, in my opinion, not correct at all. Should all card reader manufacturers have tested all their old readers with Windows 8 and provided firmware updates? I am guessing it would not be cost effective for readers that are more than a couple of years old when purchasing a new CF reader is so inexpensive. Some readers may not even have upgradeable firmware.

The sad part is that this information is not well known, which is why I posted this, so people blame the problem either completely on Windows 8 or on their card reader, when in reality it is a combination issue, as so often occurs.
 
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I have a USB adapter for SD cards. Is this what you all are calling a card reader? I seldom use it as my laptop has a slot for SD cards. I thought most modern laptops have such a slot.
 
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I have a USB adapter for SD cards. Is this what you all are calling a card reader? I seldom use it as my laptop has a slot for SD cards. I thought most modern laptops have such a slot.
Yep, that's what's called a card reader... Your laptop (like mine) simply has
a built-in card reader, which is probably connected through an internal USB
port...
 
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I do occasionally get a corrupted file using the SD slot, and that is why I bought the USB adapter. But I like to use one USB port for my mouse and one for the external hard drive, and that leaves no room for the adapter even though the laptop has three USB ports.
 
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As far as external vs built-in card reader most (but not all) laptops only have one USB controler... Whether
you use the built-in or an external it will be running off of the same controler... On the other hand, built-in
readers can (as mine is) be of a low quality slow throughput design... My little Transcend (looks like a large
thumb drive) is much faster than my built-in reader...

If your problem is physical space (the reader blocks access to the neighboring port) simply get a short
USB cable, something 6-12 inches long with male type-A to female type-A connectors...

Don't know if any of that is helpful... :confused:
 
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If your problem is physical space (the reader blocks access to the neighboring port) simply get a short
USB cable, something 6-12 inches long with male type-A to female type-A connectors...

Don't know if any of that is helpful... :confused:
Physical space is indeed the problem, so that is a nice idea. It didn't occur to me that such a cable would be available. Thanks! I'll stop by Best Buy today.
 
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