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I bought a Toshiba 500 GB usb 3.0 hard drive last week and instantly ran home to see how fast I could push it. On my desktop (that I built) I was able to get 200 MB/sec. On my laptop (MSI FX something or other), which I dual boot Windows 7/Ubuntu 11.10, I was able to get about 120 MB/sec on Windows, but on Ubuntu, i get about 25 MB/sec.

lsusb shows:

Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub

Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub

Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0020 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub

Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0020 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub

Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0bda:0139 Realtek Semiconductor Corp.

Bus 002 Device 003: ID 1532:0015 Razer USA, Ltd

Bus 004 Device 002: ID 0480:a007 Toshiba America Info. Systems, Inc.

lspci -vvv shows that the USB 3.0 host controller is using the kernel driver in use is xhci_hcd.

dmesg |grep usb shows:

[ 1815.455368] usb 4-1: new SuperSpeed USB device number 2 using xhci_hcd

[ 1815.475459] scsi7 : usb-storage 4-1:1.0

The built in disk utility says its connected via usb at 705 MB/s, but that's not what it reports when I transfer files over to it.

Not really sure what to do at this point. Any help would be very nice, thank you.

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you would expect slower speeds if you are accessing a FAT32/NTFS external partition. What are you using? Have you tested against a ext4 partitioned external drive? –  fossfreedom Mar 5 '12 at 23:11
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@fossfreedom - It would be good to put your comment as an answer since it not a common thing to know that. It will help more users when they come with the same problem and see this info. –  Luis Alvarado Mar 6 '12 at 15:42

2 Answers 2

When accessing an external USB hard drive formatted in FAT/NTFS, even though it's V3.0 compliant, transfer speed might be slower than what's expected. I tested with a Western Digital 500GB v3.0. If you're the only one using this e-HDD, format it to EXT4, that's way better and transfer speed should increase.

To benchmark Read/Write rates for your e-HDD, you can use the Disk Utility (Install it, from Software center). You can run it then, from Terminal using the command: palimpsest

Beware that the Write Benchmark tests require your e-HDD to be empty.

enter image description here

Nota Bene: Use the same files if you benchmark speed between MS Windows and Ubuntu. And use a reliable tool in Ms Windows to get accurate transfer speed information (I wouldn't even use the utility provided by the e-HDD vendor). DOn't rely on the info displayed on the transfer dialog when copying files to or from your e-HDD, they're usually incorrect. And, 705Mb/s is a big marketing Lie.

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Danke sehr! After reformatting the drive from NTFS to ext4 it now runs at 75 MB/s. That's still not as good as I was getting on windows, but I'll play with it and see if i can give it a boost.

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Es tut meir leid, aber This should be a comment as opposed to an answer. :) –  Akiva Apr 30 at 8:17

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