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Thread: USB slow transfer rate

  1. #1
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    USB slow transfer rate

    Hey, folks. I have done a bit of research before posting a new thread, but it had no satisfactory result (or not one easy enough for a noob like me), so here I am.
    I can't make my USB flash drive transfer data at a reasonable speed. The transfer rate is about 100 KB/s and that's a pain, since I have to copy files adding up to several GBs. Once (but only once) the speed went up to 7 MB/s and it was something rather "mysterious", I haven't done anything to cause that (or so I think).
    System Settings> Disk Utility points that the USB drive is recognized as 2.0 and the connection speed is 480.0 MB/s, not 12 or any other value.
    The only result that rmmod ehci_hcd has is the following error:
    ERROR: Module ehci_hcd does not exist in /proc/modules
    So I can't unloadi ehci_hcd and uhci_hcd and reload them.
    And I ran out of applicable ideas, any help would be much appreciated.
    PS: I'm using Natty and it's my first non-Windows experience, so I can't say whether or not it would've worked well with the previous versions.

  2. #2
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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    This is a long standing bug in Linux. The reason it is long standing is because its almost a phantom. Many of the developers cannot duplicate it and unfortunately it is usually seen by new comers who have no idea what to report. the reason it so rare is because somehow very few linux users are placing gigabytes worth of data onto a flash drive. If you want to see faster results add the files slowly it seems to say faster that way.

    I filed a bug a few years ago about the same issue. I noticed the problem effected only my AMD powered machines (athlon64 in my experience). It seems to only effect USB thumb drives, hard drives connected by USB seem to work fine.
    Last night I lay in bed looking up at the stars in the sky and I thought to myself, where the heck is the ceiling.

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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    Interesting pieces of information. My laptop, however, is based on Intel. While I don't have the possibility to test an external hard drive at the moment, it could be an alternative, as well as personal file storage services (to an extent, obviously).

    I found out quite a few people had problems even with all their usb peripherals, so I'm lucky!

    Also, I was wondering whether a kernel upgrade or (rather) downgrade could be of any use. On another thread related to the same issue, an Ubuntu user offers a more detailed description.

    I can vouch that this works, but for me (and my laptop) only kernel 2.6.26-16 in a fresh 8.04 Hardy Heron install works. If you do a search of my posts, my problems didn't start until kernel 2.6.24-19, an update I got for Hardy sometime last summer. (June or July, I think.)

    I have three versions of Ubuntu that I ordered CDs for (Feisty, Gutsy, Hardy) that all have 'normally' (optimally?) functioning USB until the kernel is upgraded.
    I'm not that dependent of flash memory, but...Would doing such a downgrade bring many disadvantages?

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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    Ok, same here
    I've seen tons referring to this bug, but who knows why... Specifically, I've seen the speed to start at 25 Mb/s and end up 50-100kb/s :/
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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    And I have another noob question. If plugging in the USB flash drive is reported as "new high speed USB device using ehci_hcd and address 6" (dmesg-- and notice it's high speed, not full speed), why can't I find the module in /proc/modules and by using lsmod?
    Last edited by Bitter Jane; August 11th, 2011 at 01:11 AM.

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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    I just thought I would post that this same problem just started to happen to me only a few days ago. It doesn't seem to be related to upgrading (as some people have suggested in other threads) because there were no problems in natty until 3-4 days ago (and I upgraded right away).

    As have many other people, when I begin transferring files it starts off quickly, but a short while later, ranging anywhere from 50MB to 350MB (after a few non-scientific tests) into the transfer, it slows not just the transfer, but the entire computer down to a crawl. I have now reproduced it on 3 different flash drives (4GB, 8GB, and 16GB) and have not experienced the same with an external USB hard drive attached to the same port (as previously mentioned).

    Anyway, the problem began after I did many of the things listed on this website: Things to Tweak/Fix after installing Ubuntu 11.04 Natty Narwhal. I did them all (the ones that I did anyway) in a row, so I don't know which (if any of them) may have triggered something to cause this. Does anybody with more knowledge have any ideas?

    And if it helps at all, I am running 64-bit Ubuntu 11.04 Kernel 2.6.38-11-generic with Gnome 2.32.1 on an older ThinkPad T400.

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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    Quote Originally Posted by androidfan View Post
    I have now reproduced it on 3 different flash drives (4GB, 8GB, and 16GB) and have not experienced the same with an external USB hard drive attached to the same port (as previously mentioned).
    I'm here to lament this with everyone else. This did start not too long after I upgraded to Natty. Transfer to my external USB hard drive is fine, but to any other device it lumps along at around 400kb tops ... I'm moving some mp3s to my phone right now... 2.7 gb is going to take almost 2 hours .... zzzzzzzzzzzzz

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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    I've been having this problem for several Ubuntu releases now (currently using 11.04) and I still haven't found a solution.

    My files transfer at a fairly reasonable speed up until the very end when it reaches '0 seconds remaining' and it stays at that position for a minute or two, sometimes longer. The slow transfer speed only occurs when writing to a USB drive, and I don't experience the problem on my USB external harddrive, only on USB flash drives.


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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    Done some sleuthing myself:


    • Starts off fast, then goes slower
      This is because when mounted with async it will write to the cache, when the cache is full you see the "Real" write speed
    • Missing ehci_hcd module
      Nowadays this module is compiled into the kernel while others like usbhid aren't



    Could we all list our uname -m?

    It might be an x86_64 specific issue...
    Comitas. Brevitas. Nulla ambitio.

  10. #10
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    Re: USB slow transfer rate

    Quote Originally Posted by J V View Post
    Could we all list our uname -m?

    It might be an x86_64 specific issue...
    x86_64

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