Tag Archives: windows

Slow USB Transfers – Fixed

Lately I’ve been noticing that my USB transfer speeds aren’t anything like what they should be. The hardware chain was USB 3 all the way, but performance was reminiscent of USB 1.1 – I’d be getting peaks of 800-900KB/s with long pauses & periods of 15-35KB/s transfers dribbling across. Considering my primary USB transfer task involves compiling 4.5GB Hack Attack bootable drives, this sudden slow down had the potential to become a major problem – what was an easy 30-35min creation had become an overnight 10+ hour task. *sigh*


Hey U(SB), why so slow??

Where do you look to solve this problem? Well, the PC hardware hasn’t changed from when it performed as expected and the slowdown is consistent across several different USB drives so that leads me to look at software. Something has changed, what is it??

A quick driver check, my USB is Intel hardware & they haven’t ever updated their USB 3 driver – it’s still V 1.0 – so it’s not that. Just to be sure though, I uninstalled the existing driver, choosing to delete the files as it uninstalled, then reinstalling the freshly downloaded driver. All of which was a complete waste of time, no improvement whatsoever. Considering I’d made no change whatsoever, I could hardly expect much of a result.

Trawling the bulletin boards offered a variety of solutions – certainly there is no shortage of Windows users suffering this affliction anyway. You’ve always got the option of enabling write-caching on individual USB drives, giving the impression of faster USB performance but that caching word just means that it’ll finish off writing to the disk when you’re not watching. May as well do that anyway, follow the steps below:

Right click any attached drive, Properties. Hit the Hardware tab for the list of currently-attached drives, select a USB drive & hit Properties again. In the new window, hit Change Settings for yet another pop-up window where you hit the Policies tab & select Better Performance. Note the proviso that goes with this selection is that to ensure data integrity you’ll need to right-click Eject the drive before removing. Now hit Apply & OK, you’re done there.

If that did change anything, it may have made my transfers marginally quicker. No slower, but not much quicker. Ok, so what else has changed here? Well, of course there’s this data-intensive entire swap-out replacement of Windows that happens every time Microsoft decide we need to update our OS… so what have MS changed in this Creators update vs the previous Anniversary update? Who’s gonna have that info mapped & available? BV is, Black Viper.

For years blackviper.com has been the Go To reference site for understanding & configuring Windows Services, I’ve been going there since way back in the XP age.  There I found the changes listed:

Connected Devices Platform User Service_????? is new.
DataCollectionPublishingService is removed.
Data Usage is new.
DevicesFlow_????? is new.
Hyper-V Virtual Machine Management is new.
IP Translation Configuration Service is new.
LPA Service is new.
Natural Authentication is new.
Optimize Drives changed from Manual to Disabled by default.
Token Broker is new and default description is not available.
Wi-Fi Direct Services Connection Manager Service is new.
Windows Defender Network Inspection Service renamed to Windows Defender Antivirus Network Inspection Service.
Windows Defender Service renamed to Windows Defender Antivirus Service.
Windows Defender Security Center Service is new.
Windows MultiPoint Server Host Service renamed to MultiPoint Service.
Windows MultiPoint Server Repair Service renamed to MultiPoint Repair Service.

There it is, right there in the list. #9 Optimize Drives is Disabled by default. Now although this service reads as an old-style defragment utility, it’s not – it’s far more capable than that. SSD-aware, TRIM capable and more, part of what this service does do is manage effective data writes to USB drives… We have our culprit. Caught red-handed. Thanks Microsoft, f#*k you too.

I changed my Services setting to Automatic & the Recovery setting to Restart the service, then fired up my USB drive writer of choice – Rufus, loaded my Hack Attack .iso in & pointed it at the drive that I’d recently cancelled compiling to because it was going so damn slow. A mere 25 minutes later, I was successfully test-booting a VMware instance from that drive – my USB speeds haz back!

I was almost this excited.

So, to fix your painfully-slow USB data transfers, do this:

Start Button, Run, type Services.msc (alternately, type into a Command window)
In the Services pop-up, scroll down down down to Optimize Drives, right-click, Properties, change Start Up Type to Automatic. Now the Recovery tab, change the failures option to Restart the service. Now hit Apply then OK and you’re outta there.

The way it should be.

Automatic start and persistent recovery.

This has been another public announcement from 1024kb in the interest of your PC satisfaction.