Internal hard drive cloning is ridiculously slow

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

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    #1
    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

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    #3
    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

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #4
    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 603

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #5
    Files copying at ~1MB/sec sounds like USB 1, not USB 2:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Universal_Serial_Bus#USB_1_.28Full_Speed.29

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


    Use System Info.app (called System Profiler.app 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

    Knoodles

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2003
    Location:
    Gone to the Beach
    #6
    Seeweed,
    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

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2013
    #7
    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 603

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #8
    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:
    Code:
    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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