How to optimize the speed of data transfer to and from external drives

By | 10.12.2018

How to optimize the speed of data transfer to and from external drives

Data transfer from hard disk to external storage and Vice versa is perhaps one of the most common tasks that you regularly do every PC user. Photos, videos, music, documents, backup data and other important files – all of which we almost every day to be copied back and forth, sometimes even several times a day.

I am sure each of you knows the very annoying low speed data transmission. None of you will be delighted to see how several gigabytes of information already copied in for 10 minutes, and you are late for something. To our delight, there are a few simple ways to increase the transmission speed.

Enable the policy «Optimal performance» for your USB drive

For all USB drives operating system, Windows uses the default policy to «Quick removal». In this mode, disables the caching of records, which slows data transfer speed but allows you to remove the device without using the «safely remove hardware».

To activate the policy of «Optimal performance», open «device Manager», expand the tree in the «Disk drives», then find your USB drive (it needs to be connected to a PC). Now double-click on it with the left mouse button in the window that appears, click the tab «Policy». Next, select «Optimal performance» and then click «OK».

Как оптимизировать скорость передачи данных на и с внешних дисков

Remember, if you enable this policy every time before disconnecting the USB drive from your computer, you will have to use the «safely remove hardware». Failure to do so may result in data loss. To make this process easier, you can create a desktop shortcut that will allow you to instantly open the menu «safely remove hardware».

To do this, click the right mouse button on the desktop and create a new shortcut and in the location of the object specify the following:

%windir%System32control.exe hotplug.dll

Change the file system

File system used for storage, can also influence performance.

If you have Windows, use for your drive to NTFS with allocation unit size of 64 KB. This is the fastest configuration for a modern Windows PC. If the USB drive is used on computers with Mac OS X or Linux, the correct choice is FAT32 with allocation unit size of 64 KB.

Как оптимизировать скорость передачи данных на и с внешних дисков

To format the drive from within Windows is very simple. Open My computer (or This PC if you have Windows 8), in the device list, then right-click on your USB drive and from the context menu choose «Format». So you open a menu where you can change the file system and allocation unit size. Choose what you need and press «Start». Remember that formatting will erase all files stored on disk, so before you start, make sure there is nothing important.

Disable Legacy Mode in BIOS

Extremely low transfer speeds can sometimes be caused by a feature of the BIOS called USB Legacy Mode. This function is for compatibility with old USB devices that otherwise would not be able to work, but USB Legacy Mode may limit the data transfer rate.

Procedures for disabling Legacy Mode will depend on your motherboard, but a few recommendations I can give. First, you need to enter the BIOS, which on most computers is by pressing F12 or Del when the computer starts. When you get into the BIOS, go to «Advanced» (or «Drives»), and then find the option «Legacy USB Support». It will be either disabled or enabled; if enabled, disable it. Save the settings and restart the computer. For more detailed instructions you can visit the support website of the company that manufactured your motherboard.

Please note that disabling this setting may cause some older devices, particularly the keyboard and mouse will not work.

Upgrade to USB 3.0

The latest USB standard – USB 3.0 – appeared a few years ago, but many people still use devices with UI 2.0. The reason for this is largely due to the fact that the disks with USB 3.0, usually more expensive, and many stores offer a large range of drives with 2.0 interface, because they are more affordable and, consequently, more popular.

Как оптимизировать скорость передачи данных на и с внешних дисков

However, the move to USB 3.0 requires much more than just purchasing the drive with the appropriate interface. The computer must also have USB 3.0 ports. Desktop users can buy a new motherboard and laptop owners can be updated via ExpressCard, however, many laptops do not support this feature, so you might have no other choice but to buy a completely new system.

Replace the old disk with the new

Over time, USB flash drives become slower because the repeated cycles of read/write lead to wear of the memory cells. So if your flash drive is very slow, and typical solutions don’t help, just try to buy another.

That’s about it. I hope all these tips will be useful to you.

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