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I have an external 5T drive where I want to copy my files (about 22GB). When copying the files everything runs well for a while and then it gets really slow (maybe because of the file size?):

If I want to do other things in parallel (e.g. cloning a git repository) it is very very slow.

Is there a solution for this problem? Maybe formatting the hard drive would help? Currently it's formatted to ntfs.

This doesn't affect the general speed of my machine. It's only happening in the hard drive.


Relevant output:

$ lsusb -t
/:  Bus 04.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=ehci-pci/2p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/8p, 480M
/:  Bus 03.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=ehci-pci/2p, 480M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Hub, Driver=hub/6p, 480M
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/4p, 5000M
    |__ Port 1: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Mass Storage, Driver=uas, 5000M
/:  Bus 01.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/14p, 480M
    |__ Port 5: Dev 3, If 0, Class=Wireless, Driver=btusb, 12M
    |__ Port 5: Dev 3, If 1, Class=Wireless, Driver=btusb, 12M
    |__ Port 7: Dev 4, If 0, Class=Video, Driver=uvcvideo, 480M
    |__ Port 7: Dev 4, If 1, Class=Video, Driver=uvcvideo, 480M
    |__ Port 8: Dev 5, If 0, Class=Vendor Specific Class, Driver=rtsx_usb, 480M
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Seems that you have connected external drive to USB2 port. USB2 have more computational overhead and slower speed than USB3, if you have USB3 - connect drive to that port.

Use lsusb -t command to find out wire speed of hard drive.

And, by the way - if it is regular hard drive, not SSD - you are limited by physics. Conventional HDDs are able to read or write from one physical location at time. If you ask to do multiple reads / writes - heads need to be repositioned frequently, it affects overall reading / writing speed.

==== Author pointed out to hardware problem - see comments.

  • Yes, it's not an SSD, but I think it shouldn't happen this: when it's very very slow, even if I do ls in the terminal (opened in the hard drive directory) I have to wait until it gets faster (it takes minutes). I posted my lsusb -t output. I'm not sure: do I have USB3? – Ionică Bizău Feb 12 '16 at 10:42
  • It's using USB3, even with UAS driver. Maybe there's huge fragmentation on drive, if you use that also for git? If you want to compare FS speed, try to shrink few gbytes from ntfs and create another ext4 in free space. – ulcha Feb 12 '16 at 10:46
  • Could it be that it freezes because I disconnected the hard drive accidentally when it was copying some stuff on it? Maybe it has some hardware issues—how can I check that? Because, in fact, it freezes for some seconds even when saving a file in VIM. – Ionică Bizău Feb 12 '16 at 10:59
  • You then should definitely check NTFS from windows. Check same from another system. Try also my previous option, if necessary. – ulcha Feb 12 '16 at 11:02
  • If you want to compare FS speed, try to shrink few gbytes from ntfs and create another ext4 in free space. — how can I do that? I now remember that before formatting first time, I saw in gparted ext4 and ntfs in parallel. I'm terrible in file systems and formatting things. – Ionică Bizău Feb 12 '16 at 11:44

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