Internal hard drive cloning is ridiculously slow

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by seeweed, Feb 4, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2013
    I'm cloning my internal hard drive right now. The old internal drive is still inside my Macbook, while the new internal drive is externally connected by a powered SATA USB adapter for the moment.

    I'm using Super Duper (unregistered). The problem is that it's taking an absolutely ridiculous amount of time. Right now, it's copying at a speed of 0.86 mb/s (I have about 160 GB to copy). It's been 17 hours (I went to sleep and checked this morning) and only 52 GB have been copied. So I'm in for 17+ more hours.

    I feel like this can't possibly be normal, seeing as the tutorials and videos mention it being done in 3-8 hours.

    Should I cancel the clone and look for another way? Perhaps buy the registered version or find another software?

    Is it something to do with the USB? Note: I have a late-2009 Macbook, and the powered SATA USB adapter is 2.0.

    I don't want to overuse my laptop while it's cloning, but I'm a student and I need to be doing schoolwork, so I'm a bit stuck.
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    For me cloning my internal HDD/SSD to an external HDD using USB 2.0 hovers around 20 to 30 MB/s, but I use CarbonCopyCloner for that (3.4.7 is still free and available for download from Bombich).
  3. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2013
    I cancelled the clone, downloaded CCC, and restarted the process. I think it's a bit faster now, but it does seem to be a USB issue. This is the alert that came up before I began the clone:

    So I guess I have no choice but to wait it out.

    So my next question is: can I browse the internet, or open PDFs and print, during the cloning? I don't want to overburden the process or lead to a crash.
  4. macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    1. USB doesn't do full potential speed in real life.
    2. Transfer speed depends on file size. Many small files = very slow transfer unless you use SSD.

  5. macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Files copying at ~1MB/sec sounds like USB 1, not USB 2:

    In particular, it sounds like the real-world thruput rate for 12Mbit/sec signaling.

    Use System (called System on OS 10.6 and earlier) and post what it says is the "Up to" speed of the SATA/USB adapter. The device will be listed under "USB" in the "Hardware" category. Copy and paste what it says (select the text in the lower pane, cmd-C) into a post.

    If there's a USB hub anywhere in the chain, maybe it's USB 1.0, and thus the cause of the slowdown. System Info/System Profiler would show this.

    Long cables, marginal cables, or older cables not certified for USB 2.0 hi-speed use can degrade the signal, leading to lower negotiated speeds. System Info/System Profiler might NOT show this. It might show "Up to 480 Mb/sec" yet the actual negotiated speed would be less. I haven't had to deal with faulty USB cables in so long, I don't recall what it shows.
  6. macrumors 6502


    Feb 2, 2003
    Gone to the Beach
    It's definitely a USB issue. The alert message says it all. Try a different port and disconnect all other USB devices.
  7. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 1, 2013
    Here's what I copy-pasted from System Profiler (not sure if this is what you meant):

    I switched to the other USB port, but it's still copying at the same low speed. I don't have anything else connected to the USB. I can't go out and buy another USB adapter or an enclosure, so I guess I'll just have to sit this one through.

  8. macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    That data from System Profiler looks pretty reasonable.

    There are no hubs; it's plugged directly into the computer's builtin USB port.

    This looked odd:
    Speed:	Up to 480 Mb/sec
    Manufacturer:	JMicron
    Location ID:	0x24100000 / 3
    Current Available (mA):	500
    Current Required (mA):	[COLOR="Red"]2[/COLOR]
    The 2 seems low, unless the USB-SATA adapter has its own power-supply. If the adapter does have a separate power supply, then 2 mA seems reasonable.

    From the posted data, I see no obvious reason why it would be so slow. There could be a cable problem, a connector problem, a driver problem, an OS problem, or any of various other causes.

    You'd have to try different hardware components to try to narrow down the problem. E.g. a different USB cable, a different adapter, a USB-to-SATA external drive case (as distinct from an adapter), a different drive (e.g. a USB flash drive), and so on. If they're all equally slow, then I'd suspect it might be a hardware problem with the computer's USB ports, or maybe a software problem.

    You could try a Safe Boot and see if it's still slow then. That might indicate either a driver problem, or a driver conflict.

    Might be worth taking into an Apple Store and demonstrating the problem to a genius. They might run a hardware diagnostic right there. Or that might be more trouble than waiting the 18 hours or whatever.

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