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Hard Disk Help Needed Please

Fantasticfourum
Aspiring Pro
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Registered: 01-08-2007

Hard Disk Help Needed Please

I have a 500 gig hard disk that is quite full so i have purchased a external 500 gig hard disk a Lacie quite cheap from Amazon £65. However i am not the smartest when it comes to computers but the data transfer seems painfully slow ? Is there a programme that can speed up data transfer when copying files from one hard disk to another hard disk ??......Happy New Year
11 REPLIES
Midnight_Caller
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Registered: 15-04-2007

Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

Are you using USB 2 or USB 1 for the file transfer?
If it is USB 1 it will be very slow.
Fantasticfourum
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

Well i just stuffed it into my Dell Dimension 4300 so i presume it is USB 1 so can i buy a USB 2 and plug it in ?  So i cant speed it up till i change my USB presumably will USB 2 speed it up by much ? Thanks
VileReynard
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

Looking at the Amazon site, it looks like it is USB 2.0 7200rpm device. Says it comes with a usb 2.0 cable.
However, in my opinion these external disks are meant for backup purposes or photo storage.
I suspect sequential storage is reasonably decent, but random access will be poor. Expect to pay a lot more for good random access - I think you got what you paid for.

Moderator
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

As far as I can see your PC has USB 1 ports.
If you have a spare PCI slot you can purchase a PCI USB 2 card.
Although reading test reports seem to suggest all PCI slots are used.

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VileReynard
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

Note that it says USB 2.0 is 40X faster than USB 1.1
Whilst effectively true, it doesn't mean that the mechanical bits of your drive can run 40X faster.
Since it is an external drive I suggest you try a benchmark on it using a newish PC and see if the performance increase of USB 2.0 is worth having.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-08-2007

Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

If you feel you can manage the job, fitting a 2nd internal hard disk would result in faster transfer. But could depend on what your mother board and operating system will accept. With 500Gb already, I would guess you have no limit.
It's not a fantastically difficult job, but does mean burrowing inside your PC's case. Hard drives are not especially expensive these days (compared with several years ago)
500Gb is a very large amount of data, do you actually need it all, if it's permanent stuff, consider transferring some to DVD, and creating more room on the existing drive, at least you wouldn't lose it all if your existing drive failed...you are backing-up to another medium aren't you? if you're backing-up on the same drive, you run the risk of losing the lot. A pack of 10 DVD+R dual layers will cost you under a tenner, and with suitable compression hold something around 100Gb of your data, and you'd have a permanent copy of it. It'll give you something to do in the long winter nights.
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Fantasticfourum
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

I hold a lot of data till i have worked on it then delete it i just thought it might be a quick fix from clogging up my hard drive on my Dell as it seems to slow the machine down considerably. I thought clogging up an external drive instead would not affect my machines performance and i suppose once i have cleared my internal 500 gig it wont take long to use the external for my data its just clearing the 500 gig that seems to be taking forever...Like everything in life i seem to do i always find out after spending hours doing something that there was a much quicker way of doing it however it seems in this case that there may not be a quicker way...Thanks for all your answers...Mike
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

If you are copying the data in windows it will be slow as the GUI has a lot of work to do. Try using a dos or CMD prompt as this will be faster using Robocopy which is free from
http://theos.in/windows-server/free-download-windows-xp-2003-robocopy-software/
will be even faster.
You are still limited by the speed of your usb and HD but you should see a big difference going via dos.
One other way to speed it up is to turn of Anti Virus as this will slow it to a crawl as it will scan every file before it copies it and may even scan it again when it writes it slowing it by 50% or more
Denzil
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

I think fitting a USB2 card will make a big difference to transfer speeds. It won't be 40x faster, as the theoretical maximum speeds are never achieved in practice.
For what a USB2 card costs it would be daft not to try. Try this one http://www.ebuyer.com/product/108594
Fantasticfourum
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

Thanks for all the help there is certainly plenty to think about, i think i will remove my modem and plug a USB2 in there as i wont need my modem any more with wireless etc or at least i dont think i will. Many thanks and a Happy New Year
Moderator
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Re: Hard Disk Help Needed Please

A point about USB and Firewire.
There is a suggestion that Firewire is obsolete as USB 2 is faster and more common by far.
That may be true but I have, for example a digital video camera fitted with Firewire for transfer and control. 'Legacy' stuff still has its uses.
Higher speed Firewire is on the way though.
Edit: An interesting quote from Wikipedia.
Quote
Although high-speed USB 2.0 runs at a higher signaling rate (480 Mbit/s) than FireWire 400, typical PC-hosts rarely exceed sustained transfers of 35 MB/s, with 30 MB/s being more typical (the theoretical limit for a USB 2 high-speed bulk transfer is 53.125 MB/s). This is likely due to USB's reliance on the host-processor to manage low-level USB protocol, whereas FireWire automates the same tasks in the interface hardware. For example, the FireWire host interface supports memory-mapped devices, which allows high-level protocols to run without loading the host CPU with interrupts and buffer-copy operations.

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