Super slow file transfer

Discussion in 'macOS' started by lenalandmine, Jul 4, 2009.

  1. lenalandmine macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #1
    I apologize if this has been addressed before - I have searched everywhere and haven't been able to find an answer, so as usual, I come to you guys :]

    I first submitted this in another section of the forums thinking it had to do with my external HD, to only find out later it's a problem across my entire iMac, not just the external.

    [MOD NOTE: The two threads are now merged. Some of the responses below are referring to the external HD.]

    And that problem is: it's nearly impossible to transfer files from anything other than my internal HD *to* my internal HD. What I mean is, when I try to move a file from my external HD, a shared computer via ethernet, or a mounted .dmg, it's transferring at something like 1mb per second or less.

    I got my copy of Leopard (10.5.6) 2 Fridays ago (I know, I'm late), and first did an upgrade. Everything was wonky, so I did an archive & install. Everything was still a little unstable feeling, so I opted for a clean install. I moved all my precious files over to my LaCie FW HD, confirmed them, and started onto the clean install and let that run while I slept. When I woke up, I had a brand new fresh installation of Leopard with the glorious BG, and I couldn't have been happier.

    I started to move my files over manually (I wasn't using the migration assistance because I was organizing my files as I went considering time was not an issue), and first on the list was my music. I opened up iTunes, set my prefs, and started to import from my external HD. ..I just assumed it was taking a long time because I had around 7000 files of both music and video. But when I went to work, came home, took a nap, woke up, and it still wasn't done, it made me wonder.

    I assumed it was Spotlight doing it's thing on top of the iTunes import, and left it alone. But now when I'm trying to move over files only a few mbs, it slows to a halt.

    I tried to install Adium from a .dmg by first moving it into my Applications folder.. it's something like 50mb and it took about 10m. This is outrageous! I had been expecting to drag the icon over and here that "ding" you hear when a file has successfully moved.

    ..The funny thing about this is that, when I look at the Activity Monitor, nothing's really doing much of anything. So then why is it taking 5hrs to move over a few gigs?

    Any suggestions would be *greatly* appreciated! Thank you :]

    Here's a screen shot:

    Picture 3.png
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #2
    Which LaCie drive is it? Sometimes for me just, stopping a transfer and starting it over helps when I see it looks unusual?
     
  3. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #3
    Thanks for the (super) quick reply!

    I knew the capitalization was weird, but I couldn't remember: LaCie. lol

    I'm looking at the box it came in, and it says 250gb FireWire hard drive.
    Is there some other information that would be helpful that I'd need to find elsewhere?
     
  4. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #4
    I mean if it's Firewire you should been transferring pretty fast, even USB would not have those problems. I imagine you and LaCie's Customer Service might be getting friendly soon.
     
  5. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #5
    Have you tried both FireWire Ports on the LaCie drive? As well as trying it in a different user account to see if it goes faster. Also, before you reinstalled OS X was it faster when transferring files?
     
  6. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #6
    I agree... and typically (before I'd moved all my precious files over to it), it ran lightening fast. Something I find odd is that the status LED on it doesn't really change much (stays on the idle orange instead of blinking fast from orange to active yellow), even though I'm *trying* to transfer over 600mbs, which by the way, is taking over 20 minutes.

    This is the first time this has happened.. I'm really stumped.

    It's always been really fast, until now.. : / And actually, I installed Leopard about 3 days ago, and it had been quick since then.. it's just today for some reason.

    I'm going to try both of your suggestions right now and report back.

    Tried both firewire ports, nada.
    Made a new account, logged in, tried both firewire ports there, nothing. Tried transferring from mac to external, slow. external to mac, slow. mac to mac, quick. and external to external, quick.

    So obviously I've got a real problem on my hands.. *grr*

    I also noticed when I connect my external, it goes ape **** for a good 5m before the status light goes to idle. I also noticed it slows down other processes on my mac.

    This doesn't sound good :[
     
  7. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #7
    One thing to really find out if it is the computer or the hard drive would be if you had another FireWire external hard drive on your hands that you could try to see if it acts similarly. You could also try the external on another computer to see if it is fast on that computer, which would also tell you where the problem lies.
     
  8. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #8
    Great idea. I don't have another external, but I do have another mac I can try it on. I'll let you know the outcome. :]

    The verdict is in: It's slow to transfer data on the other mac as well.

    I have at the bare minimum, 40gigs to transfer... do I just go for it, and let it run all weekend? Or is there anything else I can do?
     
  9. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #9
    Then it sounds to me that the hard drive/enclosure is not performing up to spec. I would let it run all weekend so that you have your data and then give a call to LaCie and explain the issue.
     
  10. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #10
    Well that stinks. lol Oh well.

    After I've gotten all my files from it, do you think formatting it may solve the issue? I was going to use it as my Time Machine drive, but if it's acting like this, I don't want to take that chance.
     
  11. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #11
    It's worth a shot, although the LaCie tech support might be aware of an issue for that particular hard drive that causes it to perform slow transfers. So it is good to call them to see what they have to say about the issue, I hope that all is well with the drive :)
     
  12. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #12
    Thank you for all your help :] I'll be giving LaCie's tech support a call on Mon ;]
     
  13. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #13
    I have made a shocking discovery!!

    I now don't believe it's just my external HD!

    I started to download and reinstall my 3rd party apps tonight, and first on the list was Adium. I downloaded it, no problem, clicked the .dmg, it mounted, and when I went to drag the Adium icon onto the Aplications folder icon, expecting to hear that little sound it makes when a file has been transferred, all I saw was the little finder window telling me it'll be about 5m before it's transferred ... whaaa?

    Here I am thinking it's my LaCie drive, when apparently it's anything outside my internal! So I connect to my mac mini under the "shared" section in finder, and try to move something from there, same problem. A teeny 2mb file took 2m to transfer.

    Voila! At least now I know it's not just my external ... but now, what to do?

    I'm giving Disk Utility a shot to see if it helps. Any other ideas?
    :]

    This is not a good sign...

    Now even installing an app takes like 20m.

    Was this because I installed Leopard??!
     
  14. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

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    #14
    I mean, process of elimination says, maybe try reinstalling leopard?
     
  15. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #15
    Geez... this will be my what... *fourth* time installing Leopard.

    :(

    Reinstalled Leopard... now *everything* is slow. I see the little beach ball for everything I do ... even typing this.

    Grr.

    *edit*

    ..It never even entered my mind that Spotlight could be a culprit! ..Until I clicked on it's little blinky icon, that is. This is when dearest Spotlight informed me that it was indexing my HD and it would be a few more hours until it's finished....

    Holy. Crap.

    freshly installed leopard + slowness = probably spotlight. Who knew?

    Thanks for everyone's help anyways :]

    *edit again*

    lol I just can't figure this one out. Spotlight's finished, and everything's slower than ever.
     
  16. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #16
    You should change the "My Processes" menu to "All processes" in Activity Monitor.
     
  17. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #17
    Good call. But it's still not doing much:
     

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  18. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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  19. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #19
    If you check the "Disk Activity" tab on Activity Monitor is it showing a large amount of activity?
     
  20. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #20
    Right now, yes, but only because I've resorted to copying at least some of my files to DVDs :[

    This is horribly inefficient, and probably won't fix my issue, but at least I'll have a backup.

    I'll check the disk activity again when the disc is finished being burned.

    What are the chances that my internal HD is at fault?
     
  21. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #21
    It's not showing a huge amount of activity, but there is some. Also, the light on my external HD (where I'm moving files from) is hardly even blinking.
    :confused:
     

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  22. iBookG4user macrumors 604

    iBookG4user

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    #22
    Well, there is one thing that you could do that would eliminate a few possibilities. And that would be to reinstall Tiger and see if the issue persists in Tiger. I was thinking that perhaps one application had gone crazy with disk usage, but that does not appear to be the case.
     
  23. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

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    North Shore, MA
    #23
    Given that everything on your main drive is slow (especially that reinstalling Leopard is painfully slow), it could also be the case that your primary drive is on its last legs. I've had several drives start performing extremely poorly right before they failed.
     
  24. lenalandmine thread starter macrumors member

    lenalandmine

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    #24
    Yes, .. this would be quite the tragedy, but fitting for my streak of bad luck as of late. lol. Is there a way to prove or deny this as a possibility? I've run multiple diagnostics on my internal HD to see if it's faulty, but they all came back fine.

    Also, iBookG4user, that was my next step, to reinstall Tiger. As much as I don't want to, it seems like one of the only options I have left. Grrr!!
     
  25. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

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    #25
    I'd suggest downloading and running SMART Utility and pull the SMART data/run a long test. It is a demo but it's good for 5 launches so it should be able to tell you if something is on the fritz.
     

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