Help...slow USB hard drive


Active Member
Have an up to date pretty powerful desktop machine running Win 7x 64 bit. When I plug in an external USB hard drive it is taking ages to read it and come up with the files/folders...and the ransfer rate is only about 1.5Mb/sec. The drive is quiet and pretty cool, only a few months old. All usb 2.0. I suspected it may be failing and at 2TB it is nearly full.

Anyway, in an effort to back it up I currently have it on a different machine, a laptop running Vista Business 64 bit and writing to an identical 2TB usb external drive. Now it is transferring at a more respectable 14-16Mb sec which is more acceptable as it has thousands of mp3's and pictures. I am now of the opinion the drive is ok and there is an issue with the desktop system.

The desktop machine runs it's internal sata drives fine and speedily. Could anyone suggest why the transfer from/to the usb drive is at a snails pace? The same happenes if I try to transfer from the usb external to a ntworked Synology Nas, very slow so again it appears to be a USB issue. Printer/keyboard/mouse on USB are working fine.

Any ideas?


Active Member
Actually I have just plugged in my older 1TB external USB drive to the desktop and that is happily transferring similar files at about 18Mb/sec so this seems to be an issue with the 2TB drive used on this desktop so I am even more confused!


Well-known Member
Is it a USB powered drive because they go really slow when they don't have enough power? anyway, my external drive always used to do things pretty slowly when it was nearly full up but I am not sure how slow


Active Member
A little research seems to indicate that this is an issue with Win 7 indexing and certainly the Western Digital drives that these are and possibly others...


Distinguished Member
1.5Mb/s is the maximum transfer rate of USB1. Have you tried plugging it into a different set of USB ports (e.g. the ones on the back of the PC)?
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