File copy very slow!

of what?
August 2, 2008 at 07:00:30
Specs: WinXP SP2, Quad/2GB
Copying a large file takes too long. Example: 4GB file will take over an hour. On the same PC, but another drive attached, the same file will take 4 to 6 minutes. I've run scandisk and defragged with no affect. I didn't have this problem when I first built this PC.

PC Specs:

MB: ASUS P5K <Green> (PCIE, FSB 1333MHz)
CPU: Intel Core 2 Quad Q6600 LGA775
RAM: Corsair DDR2 XMS2 2 x 1GB
Video: Nvidia GeForce 8800 GT
OP Drives: Pioneer SATA DVD-RW DVR-212D
HD Drives: WDC SATA WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 (OS)
Seagate SATA ST3500630AS (Storage)
Maxtor SATA II STM3500630AS (Storage)
Network: None (onboard deactivated via BIOS)
Sound: onboard Realtek ALC 883

I use this PC exclusively for video work. So copying large files is routine. If I can't solve this, I'll have to reinstall. Although I have an image of the fresh install, customization and video editing setup will take a long LONG time to reinstate.

See More: File copy very slow!

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August 2, 2008 at 07:13:32
Sounds like the file system of the target PC is FAT32. The maximum size of files FAT32 will take is slightly under 4GB.


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August 2, 2008 at 07:16:06
NTFS on all drives. Each disk is set up as a primary partition.

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August 2, 2008 at 07:19:00
Each disk is set up as a primary partition

Care to elaborate?


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Related Solutions

August 2, 2008 at 07:20:27
When they were formatted, the option to format as primary partition was selected instead of extended.

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August 2, 2008 at 07:23:57
So how many primary partitions is in this PC? Normally you should have only one primary partition per hard disk.


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August 2, 2008 at 07:27:04
Correct. There's one primary partition per hard disk. Each of the three disks are formatted NTFS as a single partition. Only one is System. The other two are strictly storage without any programs installed. All are SATA. The DVD is also SATA.

Total drives 4 (one optical). Total partitions 3.

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August 2, 2008 at 07:54:32

Sorry to correct you on this but you can have up to 4 primary partitions on each hard drive. Or 3 primary partitions and 1 extended with as many logical drives as you have letters available. There are some advantages to using all primary partitions which I won't cover now.


Check device manager to see what speed the drive/s in question are running. Be sure that write caching is enabled.

Look at the controller listings to find out the mode or run a speed test and to verify write caching is enabled.

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August 2, 2008 at 08:16:37
Write caching is enabled on all drives.

Don't know where to look for 'drive speed' in DM.

There are 9 items under ATA/ATAPI Controller: 3 primary, 3 secondary, 1 standard dual channel, 2 Intel ICH9.

In Primary/Secondary items, there's an Advanced tab. For Device 0, the Primary entries for Current Transfer Mode are: PIO Mode, Ultra DMS Mode 5, Not Applicable. The corresponding Secondary entries are: Ultra DMA Mode 4, Ultra DMA Mode 5, Not Applicable.

Can you suggest a program easily obtained that can be used to check actual drive speed and write caching?

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August 2, 2008 at 08:29:05
While I'm waiting, it might be useful to clarify this problem with real examples that I just ran through on the PC.

I'm in a folder on the C drive. In that folder there's a 4GB file. I click and drag the file within the same folder while holding Control Key (ie, copy the file into the same folder). The copy window that appears tells me it'll take about 60 minutes to copy the file.

I have a second hard disk drive on the same computer (drive E). In a folder on that HDD there's another 4GB file. I do the same drag and drop as in the first example. The copy window that opens tells me it'll take about 4 mintues to copy the file.

If I then take the 4GB file from the C drive and drag it to the other disk drive, it tells me it'll take 20 minutes to copy.

Finally, I have one more separate HDD (drive F). When I drag a 4GB file from E onto F, the time to wait is only 3 minutes.

There's something up with the C drive. How do I fix it?

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August 2, 2008 at 09:19:16
Please add the following correction, which changes identity of the system disk:

HD Drives(3, all NTFS): WDC SATA WD5000AAKS-00YGA0 (Storage),
Seagate SATA ST3500630AS (OS),
Maxtor SATA II STM3500630AS (Storage).

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August 2, 2008 at 10:09:41

What do you see when you right click each controller and choose properties? There may be a speed test there.

I haven't built an Intel system with SATA drives so I am not too sure how ICH9 works. That is an IDE compatibility mode if I understand it correctly.

How many SATA ports do you have on the MBoard?

The way SATA controllers work there are two ports on each controller but they are supposed to both be Masters. That means both can be accessed simultaneously. Some MBoards have SATA ports that are only intended to be used in a RAID configuration. You are not using RAID.

The drive running in the PIO mode is the problem. Install motherboard chipset drivers and possibly SATA drivers too.

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August 2, 2008 at 12:07:45
In DM I only see what I described earlier. There's nothing about speed or speed test other than mode.

This board has 4 SATA ports, plus one for RAID. I'm not using RAID.

I can try re-installing the chipset, in case the original install has been corrupted.

PIO is also my concern. I'm still working on identifying some reliable method for characterizing the disk. Benchmark, stats, etc.

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August 2, 2008 at 13:48:04
Did you expand the IDE ATA ATAPI controller line and then right click on each controller selecting properties.

Look in the BIOS screens to see if all the SATA ports are set the same.

Are the 4 ports that are together the same color?

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August 2, 2008 at 16:58:48
I expanded every entry. Three have only driver info; the other nine are as I described.

SATA ports are all set the same in BIOS. I looked in there earlier today to see if there's any difference.

All 4 ports on the MB are together in one place. Two are red and two are black. I'm using all 4. I think I recall using a red one for the problem drive.

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August 2, 2008 at 17:47:29
OK, I left out one step. Expand the IDE ATA ATAPI controller line> double click on one of the controllers then right click on the primary channel and choose properties.

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August 2, 2008 at 23:51:48
Check the SMART info of that drive by downloading Active Smart which has a 30-day unlimited trial but works real well at monitoring your hard drive for errors and giving an overall health status of the drive right up front.

WinSimple Software

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August 9, 2008 at 16:39:42
Found a solution. Apparently, this is somewhat common. The solution I used was taken from Appropriate modifications were added to account for specific settings in my machine.

I'll give the basic procedure FYI. HOWEVER, it is advisable to read the original reference, which offers more explanation and appropriate warnings.

Here it is:



This Key will contain all of the drives (HD and optical) connected to channels on the MB.

Locate the drive exhibiting PIO mode, and change DMAEnabled from 0 to 1 inthe Key Scsi Port #, where # corresponds to the drive with the problem.

Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Class\{4D36E96A-E325-11CE-BFC1-08002BE10318}.

Subkeys in this area will be 0000, 0001, 0002, etc. Identify which one corresponds to the problem drive using the DWord MatchingDeviceId.

Delete both DWords MasterIdDataCheckSum and SlaveIdDataCheckSum.

Delete both DWords MasterDeviceDetectionTimeout and SlaveDeviceDetectionTimeout, if present.

If available, set ResetErrorCountersOnSuccess = 1.

Thanks to everyone for all of the suggestions leading to this final fix. The 4GB file that used to take 60 minutes to copy now takes only 3 minutes!

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