Slow external harddrive. FAT 32 format.

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jhsfosho, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. jhsfosho macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    I just replaced my mac book pro's internal HD with a 160 gb WD passport drive. I took the old 80 GB out and put it back into the WD passport case to use as an external. I decided to format it as FAT 32 in hopes to use it as a large flash drive. But when I put video files on it, it takes forever to move them over. Reading from the drive isn't as bad, but writing to it is terrible.

    What kind of speeds should I be getting transferring files from the hard drive? Currently it takes a little over 1 hour to transfer 1 GB of data to the drive, and about half that to read from it. Is there something wrong?
     
  2. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #2
    That's definitely slow. I can transfer a 1GB file to a USB drive in about 90 seconds. And that's not the fastest drive.

    Did you try using the other USB port on your MBP?

    Do you remember what the speed was before you swapped the drive?

    Also, I format all my drives as HFS+ since I don't need PC compatibility. Try that.
     
  3. jhsfosho thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #3
    I just tried the other USB port on my mac and it seems to be transferring 1 GB in about 90 seconds like you said. Wow this is much faster. Does that mean that my other USB port is bad? It seems to work just as fast with smaller USB flash drives. Is there anyway I can get that port up to the same speed as the faster one?
     
  4. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #4
    Are you using the WD passport enclosure unpowered, ie. with only a USB cable connected? Some USB ports don't have enough power to power a hard drive. It wouldn't be a problem with a flash drive since they don't need as much power.

    I don't know about the earlier MBPs, but many of the MBs had one USB port that shared the bus with several other components, so it would have problems running external drives or other USB powered devices like speakers or microphones.
     
  5. jhsfosho thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #5
    The "slow" usb port is on the left, next to the magsafe connector. The "fast" USB port is on the right next to the firewire 400 port.

    I suppose the power draw of the external drive and the shared bus of the ports is a good explanation for why one port is faster than the other. Thanks for the answer.
     

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