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Thread: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
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    In my body... mostly.
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    9
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Question Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    I'm using Ubuntu 9.1 (a freshly updated install) and have a 320G disk (sda) and a 250G disk (sdb) installed. I use the sdb drive to back up a portion of the sda drive, about 82G, at this point.

    When I start the copy the speed is around 55M/sec and It tells me the estimated time is about 28 minutes. As the copy progresses the speed creeps down to less than 12M/sec, and the estimated time correspondingly increases... to about 1 hour 45 minutes.

    Is this a typical issue in Ubuntu 9.1?
    Is there a solution?
    Am I doing something wrong?
    Is there some mystical powder I should be sprinkling on the Terminal?

    Any information will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu

    Re: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    Without any sources to backup my claim I can't be 100% sure but since I always have had the same speeds you are describing I don't think it's Ubuntu/Linux's fault. Filetransfer depends on several factors:

    Filesize. Anything small (like text-files, pictures and so on) will reduce speed.
    Fragmentation. Are you copying to/from a NTFS-formated drive?
    The drive itself also depends on several things like speed (5400rpm, 7200rpm & 10000rpm) then offcourse the age of the drive have a say in this. Older drives are much slower than new ones.

    One thing you could do is to run a drivetest using hdparm:
    http://www.linuxinsight.com/how_fast_is_your_disk.html

    A small warning though, don't use hdparm with other parameters then the "-t" unless you have read the man for hdparm:
    Code:
    man hdparm
    Te - Danish Translator of Debian & Ubuntu

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    I have also the same problem, but worse. When I put a USB flash drive and start copying something, Its starts at about 55MB/s but after a while, sayyy I copy 2gigs, Speed drops dramatically to 500KB/s, this sucks because I have to be constantly copying files to usb flash drives.

    hope someone has a solution for this

    In windows I can copy full speed and transfer rate is very consistent.
    Linux User#498977
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
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    Re: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    If your USB disk is NTFS-formatted - there is no solution, except reformating it with FAT32.

  5. #5
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    Re: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    Quote Originally Posted by CannibalZerg View Post
    If your USB disk is NTFS-formatted - there is no solution, except reformating it with FAT32.
    Why do you think that?
    All benchmarking between the two filesystems are only showing a 5% advantage towards FAT32 but that will not compensate for the speed missing between 0.5 mb/s and 50-80 mb/s. Besides, NTFS is more stable than FAT & FAT32 so unless formating to EXT3 or EXT4 there simply is no point. A transfer rate of 0.5 mb/s is the same speed USB 1.1 is running at, so chances are that some of the hardware isn't configured right or missing some drivers.
    Te - Danish Translator of Debian & Ubuntu

  6. #6
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    Re: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    Same problem here:

    I'm trying to do an image of my disk in an external hard drive with dd tool, it's very very very slow:
    After 1/2 hour, 20 Gb have been copied.
    After 1 hour, 27 GB
    After 2 hours, 40 GB
    After 4 hours, 54 GB
    After 8 hours, 71 GB
    And so on...

    It seems to be an exponential law, so for 320 GB, it can last at least 3 days...

    Any idea of what can I do?

    Thanks !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
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    19
    Distro
    Ubuntu 7.04 Feisty Fawn

    Re: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    The default block size for dd is non-optimal. Try something on the order of a megabyte.

    To mirror sda to sdb:
    dd if=/dev/sda of=/dev/sdb bs=1M

    To create an image file of the first partition on sda onto the filesystem of a drive that you've mounted:
    dd if=/dev/sda1 of=/media/backup_diskname/myfilename.dd bs=1M

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    1

    Re: Very SLOW file copy speed (disk to disk)

    Does anyone have a solution for this problem ?

    I don't have it when the ntfs discs are NOT automatically mounted at startup.

    You have to mount them manually each time at startup, but then the speed is normal. I think the problem might be in ntfs-3g.

    Maybe if you change the mounting options in the startup file (I think fstab but i'm not sure) you can get some results.

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