Jan Leow's Press Blog

WD MyBook seems to be slowing down

This Western Digital WD MyBook external hard drive which I got around Nov 2008 seems to be slowing down. Whevener I want to store a large file, it lags and takes ages to copy over. I’m not sure whether this is due to Windows 7 and the overal hardware of my desktop PC or just this WD MyBook HDD fault.

I tried switching from its current firewire connection to a standard USB connection and there was a slight improvement. Could be my imagination. Perhaps the Windows 7 firewire driver is not so good or what I’m not sure. Previously in Windows Vista the data movement was pretty smooth.

Using other portable external hard drive, they don’t seem to lag as much as this WD MyBook. So at this moment the suspect is on the WD MyBook.

Western Digital My Book External Hard Drive

The salesman at the store was right that there is not much speed difference in data transfer between a USB and a firewire connection. the eSata may be faster though. But my desktop PC didn’t have eSata. I actually paid a little more for the extra connection. Oh well, if there isn’t any great improvement in data transfer speed I think I will just stick to USB connection in future if ever I upgrade any external hard drive. Especially now that they are coming up with USB version 3.0. Perhaps I may just stick to portable versions instead of bigger powered versions like this one.

I’m also wondering whether using NTFS rather than FAT 32 may also be a contributing cause to the increased lag. NTFS uses more overhead for data storage although it has better feature and able to store files greater than 4GB, it is indeed slower than its Microsoft predecessor FAT 32 file storage system. In this regard the Linux ext3 /4 file system would be far superior than NTFS. Unfortunately Windows don’t support this file system. I wonder if I can find an open software to be installed in Windows 7 to read and write into a Linux ext3 or 4 filesystem. Will have to dig around the internet and see.

For now I just have to be patient whenever transferring large file. Mind you, even 300MB file lags like mad!

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