LaCie Thunderbolt Drive Slow!

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by tiger1691, Jul 23, 2013.

  1. tiger1691 macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    I am an avid photographer and purchased a LaCie d2 USB3 Thunderbolt Series 3T external hard drive to backup my photos. The guy at the Mac store said this would a good option for moving my iPhoto library. So dragged and dropped my library into the hard drive and it is copying 253.14GB and it says it will be done in SIX DAYS! It's been about an hour. It is connected via the Thunderbolt cable. What am I doing wrong?! (I am not a big technical person, but certainly not a newbie to technology, so I apologize in advance for any dumb questions I may ask :) ! )
  2. jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    That's sounds very wrong. I have Tbolt drives and that volume should take a couple of hours. Reformat (make sure you use HFS+ "Mac OS Extended (Journaled)" in Disk Utility), then retry. Test using USB3 connection too. If not take it back for sure.
  3. tiger1691 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013

    Thanks so much...can it be a problem with my MacBook?? I already reformatted it before I started the transfer but I don't remember if I selected journaled or not. Ill try in the morning again!
  4. COrocket macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    Assuming you coud get the 170 MB/s advertised, the transfer should take around 25 minutes. Besides the options that jimthing recommended there isn't that much to troubleshoot. If you do return it, there are more cost effective USB 3.0 only options.
  5. tiger1691 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
  6. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    The time to copy is dependent upon both the source and target disk. If the source disk has a problem ( extremely fragmented , dying , etc.) then the transfer time will take a long time.

    You can open Activity Monitor ( Applications -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor ) and go to the Disk Activity tab. At that point, copy a multi GB subfolder of iPhot and see what the read and write peak rates are ( kB/s , MB/s ). If the reads are stuck in kB/s that is a red flag that something may be wrong with the source disk.

    If your source disk is extremely full ( e.g., 85+ % full ) you may also want to incrementally (over a day or so with longer time blocks between ) move subfolders and delete them as verified you have moved them across. If you source disk is highly fragmented that will help clean up the issues a bit as photos (relatively large files) are removed.

    If you can do a read / write of a subfolder to the source disk at high speeds only at that point is the target disk suspect. Same sort of "made large duplicate" on that drive to test it. If both pass then the cause would more likely be some Finder bug in moving larger number of files.


    If suspect something wrong with the disk it is probably better to zero the disk out (since it is likely a hard disk ). That should take hours but if it turns into a days thing then probably unacceptable number of bad data sectors on the disk.

    Reformatting touches just a miniscule number of sectors on the disk. That will happen quickly even on a close to dying disk. You need something that is going to check the overall disk's health.
  7. tiger1691 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013

    Thank you so much. I think I understand. So what happened was (long story short). I purchased time machine because my 500 GB MacBook was almost full. I backed up to that then reformatted my MacBook. Then I copied the iPhoto library BACK onto my MacBook which I am trying to copy onto the external drive. So I don't have individual pictures to move bc it's the entire library. The transfer speed was in kb/s. can I do anything to speed it up WHILE its still transferring?
  8. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Download and run either AJA or Blackmagic disk benchmark, and confirm performance of the drive.

    Should see 150-190MB/sec read and write performance.

    Once confirmed, copy a folder containing a few hundred megabytes.

    Also, make sure you aren't also performing a Time Machine backup at same time.

    As others noted, if your source disk is slow or or nearly full, copying will be limited to speed of the source drive. Confirm this is the internal drive as the source.

    If copying from an external USB2 drive, speeds will be very, very slow due to USB2 speeds.
  9. tiger1691 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013

    Hi Yeah, I ran Blackjack and without doing anything other than hitting the start button, it was saying mid-70s for write and read performance. The transfer stopped overnight bc I was an idiot and forgot to leave the computer plugged in and it died:) What do you think I should do next?? Thanks so much, this is a huge help and I really want to get my system working properly.
  10. deconstruct60, Jul 24, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2013

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    Time Capsule? Wireless will be slow for a large transfer. But that would have been how the back-up got made.

    If copying an individual file/package out of a Time Machine archive then can skip the copy back tot he MacBook by just copying directly to the Thunderbolt drive from the back-up copy. (since that is the source Macbook got it from anyway).

    Once verify the the copy is made, then just delete it from the MacBook.

    I was thinking of the older iPhoto set-ups. This is exactly the kind of problem the new strategy of burping everything into a single "blob" surfaces.

    There are ways of splitting up a large library.

    But if already on a back-up just moving from it can work.
  11. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    This wouldn't be any faster, since it's still got to go through the MacBook to get to the TB drive. And everything also has to travel over the network, which introduces more overhead. I think copying from the MBP to the TB drive should be quickest.

    Another thing occurred to me, do you have your disk in RAID 0 or RAID 1? I read somewhere that 180MB/s write speeds are attainable with RAID 0, they would be half of that with RAID 1.
  12. tiger1691 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 23, 2013
    Thanks for the help...yes, exactly it cant go from the Time Capsule to the drive, it still has to go through the MacBook. How do I check the RAID?
  13. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003

    The d2 drive is a single 7200 RPM drive.

    From the other comments, looks like the slow performance is due to files being copied over the network from Time Capsule.

    You'll only see good speeds when copying directly from the internal Macbook drive to the d2 external.

    Your network is the bottleneck, and if using a drive connected to Time Capsule or Airport Extreme, this is a slow USB 2.0 connection, too.
  14. EricT43 macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2011
    My apologies, I thought he was using the Little Big Disk. You are correct, the d2 does not have RAID.

    OP did state that he is copying from his MBP. He first copied from TC to his MBP, and now is copying from the MBP to the d2.
  15. gr8pics macrumors regular


    Jan 20, 2008
    I have a Little big 6tb raid disk, less than a year old, suddenly it has become extremely slow in response.
    Speed test shows 149mb on write, and 0 on read.
    Disk util doesnt show any faulty disks, have restarted both mac and raid.
    Whats going on?
    Maverick and Imac 27

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