Macrium Support Forum

Very Slow Transfer Rate Solved

https://forum.macrium.com/Topic13686.aspx

By GDK - 4 May 2017 11:00 AM

I've been experiencing very slow transfer rates during File and Folder backups, but have finally figured out the problem. This is a quad core 4.1 GHz WIN7 desktop with an SSD and several HDDs. All internal eSATA drives. During the backup process from either the SSD (Drive CSmile to the backup HDD, or from the (Drive DSmile HDD to the backup HDD, I would see the transfer rate start out around 500 Mb/s or so, but then over the course of a few minutes watch it decay to something like 100 Mb/s, eventually stabilizing at about 12 Mb/s! That's unusable.

I turned off the firewall, killed the AV, disconnected the ethernet cable to the router, and stopped every process not relevant to the backup, all with no discernable effect. Finally, on a hunch, I disabled my Logitech wireless mouse by pulling the dongle out of the USB port. Within seconds the transfer rate went to 1.0 Gb/s and stayed at or near that rate! 

Don't know if this will help anyone else, but it might be worth a try.

By jphughan - 4 May 2017 4:00 PM

USB 3.0 (from your hard drive) and 2.4 GHz wireless signals (which Logitech uses) are known to interfere with each other, which is why some wireless routers with USB 3 ports place them at inconvenient locations such as on the front of the router to move them as far away from the antennas at the rear as possible (to the confusion and frustration of many who aren't aware of this, including tech reviewers....), so that actually doesn't surprise me.  If you've got a USB port on the opposite side of your laptop/tower, they should be able to coexist peacefully. Smile
By Froggie - 4 May 2017 7:43 PM

He stated all his drives were INTERNAL (SATA)... they should not be affected in any way by "wireless" mouse signals.  This sounds more like a driver interference/priority issue at a low System level.
By Arvy - 4 May 2017 8:24 PM

@GDK -- "All internal eSATA drives."?  That's a bit confusing.  Unless you say otherwise, I would assume that you meant that they're all on internal SATA (not eSATA) ports.

What USB port (USB2 or USB3) was/is your Logitech dongle connected on?  AFAIK Logitech's current version's own capabilities are USB2 only, although it should work without problems on a USB3 port that is fully backward compatible.  Despite manufacturers' optimistic claims, not all of them are, especially front panel add-ons.  In any case, it would be worth testing results when connected on a different USB port if one is available.  I've seen no impacts on Reflect backups similar to what you've reported, but I have seen some mouse and keyboard hesitations with various "Unifying" receiver connections on my own system.
By jphughan - 4 May 2017 9:07 PM

Sorry, missed the note about all internal drives -- but yes, "internal eSATA" is a bit confusing, although even if they're external eSATA drives I'm unaware of interference issues between 2.4 GHz and eSATA.  Then again, I haven't looked into it since eSATA never very widely adopted (lack of a standard means of providing power on that cable was a big annoyance) and now we have USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt.
By Froggie - 4 May 2017 9:39 PM

Most eSATA connections were passive (no power issues) and only differed from SATA by connector and cable length.  I had lots of Systems that only had li'l backpanel connectors (eSATA FEMALE) that connected passively to the internal SATA connectors... no power issues.
By jphughan - 4 May 2017 10:14 PM

Froggie - 4 May 2017 9:39 PM
Most eSATA connections were passive (no power issues) and only differed from SATA by connector and cable length.  I had lots of Systems that only had li'l backpanel connectors (eSATA FEMALE) that connected passively to the internal SATA connectors... no power issues.

I wasn't talking about power issues.  My point was that the standard eSATA connector didn't provide power AT ALL because it only included pins from the internal SATA data connector, not the additional power connector that internal SATA disks require -- and that made eSATA unsuitable for form factors like 2.5" external drives where the expectation is that they'll be bus-powered, as they are when they use USB.  For 3.5" drives that require separate power anyway, yes eSATA was a great alternative to USB 2.0, but by the time eSATA came around, 2.5" drives offered enough capacity for "most people" and they liked the portability and single cable convenience.  A few vendors did indeed include eSATAp connectors that offered power (via USB power pins in eSATA+USB combo ports), but that was never widely adopted because it came too late.  The only eSATAp device I remember using was a Dell external optical drive that was an accessory specifically for a Dell laptop my wife bought that didn't have one built in.
By GDK - 4 May 2017 10:34 PM

Sorry, I meant SATA drives. The mouse dongle is actually plugged into a externally powered USB hub which is connected to a USB2 port. The motherboard (Gigabyte X58A-UD3R) is a few years old. Maybe some driver issues?
Although I've got the internal drives working well, I can't get my external 500GB WD Passport (USB3) to go better than about 35MB/s. But, upon completion Macrium shows, I/O Performance:Read 1.8 Gb/s - Write 739.6 Mb/s seems pretty fast for what I'm actually seeing.
By jphughan - 4 May 2017 11:45 PM

Well first, be aware that to convert Mb to MB you have to divide by 8, so 739 Mb/s write is 92 MB/s.  Even taking that into account though, I too have seen implausibly high speeds reported by Reflect, so I'm wondering if that rate is measured by the amount of source data being read/written rather than the amount of data being read/written at the destination -- which can be a very different figure if you're using compression and achieving a decent ratio.  Even then though, unless you're copying a lot of tiny files, 35 MB/s write to a USB 3.0 disk is pretty bad, even a smaller one like 500GB that would likely have lower platter data density.  Is that the best you see even while copying a single large file, such as a Windows Install ISO?  If you're on Windows 7, do you have the latest Intel USB 3.0/xHCI drivers?  I know they've been revised quite a bit over time.  Windows 7 also doesn't perform as well as newer versions because it doesn't support UASP, but I'd still expect better than 35 MB/s.  And this is a much longer shot, but did you by any chance originally format that disk on a Windows XP machine?  If so AND the disk uses 4K sectors (also rather unlikely for a 500GB disk), Windows XP sets disks up such that the logical and physical sectors are never aligned, which dramatically reduces I/O performance.  The easiest fix is to reformat the disk on Windows Vista or newer, or if that's not an option there are utilities to "re-align" the data on a disk.

Otherwise, are you sure you're using a 3.0 cable and USB 3.0 port?  Have you tried another cable and port even if you are?  If you're using a port that internally connects to a pin header block on the motherboard, are you sure it's connected to a USB 3.0 block rather than 2.0?
By Froggie - 4 May 2017 11:47 PM

GDK, on that USB3 issue, you might wanna shop around on USB3 drivers for that System/hardware... it looks like its using a USB2 driver.

The Reflect #s are a little bit bogus... try not to take them too seriously unless the Devs tell you what they really mean.  To me, it looks as though they may represent the DATA written BEFORE compression is applied, which of course would be about DOUBLE the actual DATA rate.

Only they know the real answer...
By Arvy - 5 May 2017 1:22 AM

=GDK -- Although I've got the internal drives working well, I can't get my external 500GB WD Passport (USB3) to go better than about 35MB/s.

And how is that external drive connected.  If it's also connected via a hub, try connecting it directly on one of the system's USB3 ports.  Personally, I've never found any of those gimmicky WD or Seagate external drive enclosures that I'd trust for backing up my life's work.  Rosewill's not bad.  The best solution, of course, is a system with "hotswap" drive bays.  Great for "rotating" off-site storage.

As for those Reflect read/write performance numbers, as Froggie says, they shouldn't be taken too seriously.  I've seen them indicate widely varying rates from one time to the next for virtually identical backups -- sometime even "better" rates for backups that actually take longer.  See the example below where a 77GB backup takes 5½ minutes longer to complete and verify than a 78GB backup under identical conditions one day apart, although the latter has a slightly lower reported write speed.  Not a very reliable or meaningful "speedometer", I don't think.

http://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/f9ea4eff-24ae-4109-9540-b717.png

http://forum.macrium.com/uploads/images/603f93f9-4293-4cef-86d1-4ba3.png
By jphughan - 5 May 2017 1:50 AM

^ I just have a set of 9 WD 3TB 2.5" USB 3.0 drives in a rotation. The problem with a hot swap dock is that after you remove it you just have an exposed bare drive, but these have the enclosure as some measure of protection and they're still easy to take off-site. I've used 3.5" enclosures in the past for other purposes but haven't had an issue with these WD drives yet, and I figure they may just be using the same type of bridge chip that the enclosure vendors are anyway, so I don't consider them inherently less reliable. Not sure I'd trust my life's work ONLY to one of them, but that's true of just about everything!
By Arvy - 5 May 2017 3:24 AM

The problem with a hot swap dock is that after you remove it you just have an exposed bare drive,

Well yes, but there are all kinds of cheap carrying cases available for getting them to their fireproof storage destination.  In fact, the original anti-static bag and bubble wrap package will work fine if you save it.

I figure they may just be using the same type of bridge chip that the enclosure vendors are anyway, so I don't consider them inherently less reliable.

1) https://community.wd.com/t/bridge-boards/68198
2) http://www.pcworld.com/article/2995539/storage-drives/western-digital-self-encrypting-external-hard-disk-drives-have-flaws-that-can-expose-data.html
 et cetera ...  The point is that swappable drive bays are connected directly to the mobo's own SATA ports without any intermediary gadgets at all.
By jphughan - 5 May 2017 4:40 AM

^ Oh ok, didn't realize you were talking about SATA/eSATA hot swap bays. I was thinking of drive docks.
By Seekforever - 5 May 2017 8:22 PM

I use 3.5"HD disk caddies for my desktops along with the occasional use of a 2.5" WD My Passport.  The caddy solution is great especially now that motherboards recognize when it is present or not - that used to be a PITA because the PC had to be rebooted to recognize it.
Of course, I can't use a caddy on my portables so that is strictly done with 2.5" USB3 My Passports. Been using them for years now (I have 4, IIRC) and I always verify images and my data files that are copied using SyncBack. Never had a problem so I'd trust them as much as I trust any computer stuff. I did have a USB2 external 3.5" HD develop bad sectors but that's a different story.
By Arvy - 5 May 2017 9:45 PM

Yes, and equally relevant and helpful I suppose, is the fact that I've been using Macrium Reflect for years on numerous combinations of HDDs and SSDs and have never had a single backup or restore or cloning problem with any of it personally.  Not ever.  Not once.

In the meantime, I continue to await the OP's response to my question about how the external drive is connected and, in particular, whether a hub is involved.
By GDK - 6 May 2017 4:48 AM

The external drive is connected directly to the motherboard's USB3 connector with a short 18" USB3 cable. I have updated the USB3 drivers, I'll see how that works out. Thanks all.