Why are USB Flash Drives slower on OS X than Windows?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by capran, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. capran macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    #1
    This has been bugging me. It takes a lot longer for file transfers to all the USB Flash Drives I've tried running on OS X than it does on Windows...even through Parallels running XP on the same Mac! It makes no sense to me.

    This was on a aluminum Intel iMac, but I've noticed the same thing on MacBooks and MBPs as well as my old G4 Mini (which obviously can't run windows, but it definitely transfers files slower from a USB flash drive than my Windows computers).
     
  2. MrT8064 macrumors 6502a

    MrT8064

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    it could well be the format of the memory stick,

    if its NTFS it may be slower,

    i use FAT32, as it works in both OSs well...

    ...otherwise use Mac HFS
     
  3. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #3
    I believe it is because FAT32 (the standard format for USB sticks) is not a native OS X format. It is on Windows. If the stick was formatted in HFS+ it would run at top speed.

    To the 2nd post - OS X can only read NTFS out-of-the-box, it takes special utilities to write to it.

    TEG
     
  4. cheeseadiddle macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    #4
    My experience with a 4GB stick and a 24" Al was that with the stick formatted FAT 32, it was slow on 10.5.1. With the upgrade to 10.5.2, it went at a snail's pace. Reformatting the stick to Mac OS made it work as you'd expect, but now it can't be read in Windows.
     
  5. Animalk macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal Canada
    #5
    yes the filesystem is in part creating the slowness. Also whenever i stick in a usb key in my MBP, i notice Spotlight is working hard to index it for a possible search. This sometimes leads to a refusal by OS X to eject my usb key. I must wait a couple more seconds for the indexing to finish if i decide to eject too quickly after having first inserted the usb key in.
     
  6. madmaxmedia macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #6
    Ahh- that's what it is! I sometimes run into that too- the OS won't let me eject, it says the disk is busy even though I'm done writing to it.

    I guess you could always stick it in the excluded Spotlight list.
     
  7. scaredpoet macrumors 604

    scaredpoet

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    #7
    Aha! I was WONDERING what was causing that to happen!

    And it takes more than just a couple of seconds. :/
     
  8. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #8
    Too bad spotlight doesn't have more powerful disk exclusion options. For instance, it'd be really useful to have an option to have it not index disks until they have been continuously connected for X number of hours.
     
  9. motulist macrumors 601

    motulist

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2003
    #9
    Too bad spotlight doesn't have more powerful exclusion options. For instance, it'd be really useful to have an option to have it not index disks until they have been continuously connected for X number of hours.
     

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