How to fix Vista slow file transfer?

Posted by Kevin Brady on Mon 19th January 2009 at 11:16 PM, Filed in Project Management Software

TerraCopy Could Restore Your Faith in Vista grin Down Load TerraCopy Pro

Some weeks ago my main office PC deciding to give up the ghost.

Drat & Double Drat!!

The old PC running on XP had been a great workhorse having performed faultlessly until the moment of death. Faced with having to get a new PC in a hurry I decided to upgrade to the following top of the range spec :-

Hap Pavilion A6355
AMD Phenom ™ 9500 Quad Core Processor 2.20 Ghz
Display – NVIDIA Geforce 8500GT
Vista Home Premium

Vista Windows Experience Rating 5.3Microsoft explains this rating as follows “A computer with a base score of 4.0 or 5.0 is able to run all new features of Windows Vista with full functionality, and it is able to support high-end, graphics-intensive experiences, such as multiplayer and 3 D gaming and recording and playback of HDTV content. Computers with a base score of 5.0 were the highest performing computers available when Windows Vista was released”

Once I had got the PC up and running I had a huge restore task requiring transfer from a remote back-up facility. This process went faultlessly. The problems started when I tried to unpack the zipped back-up files and start the process of copying, moving and deleting data in sizes ranging from 200 Megs to 3 Gigs. Using Vista’s own files copy, move, delete facility most of the files I needed to restore to my new PC would take 20 + minutes for one file to be moved. Furthermore, such tasks sapped so much processing time that to ask Vista to do anything else would cause the file move, copy or delete process to stop responding. Some forums suggest that this is caused by Vista making exhaustive attempts to “recalculate” the remaining time for copy /move /delete to complete. In my case the transfer rate was never above 35kbps and not the 10mb as promised by Microsoft.  At this rate it was going to take me days to get myself operational again.

The poor performance of this basic function was frankly a disgrace and perhaps is explained in my post If all else fails threaten the Project Manager. I looked online and spent a couple of hours looking through numerous Vista support forums /blogs and I soon found myself among friends who were equally frustrating and unhappy.

The suggestions for resolving this unhappy state of affairs ran as follows:-

• Upgrade to a Vista 64 bit version of the operating system. (many forums seemed to suggest that the problem was just as bad after such an upgrade than before)
• Uninstall Vista and replace with XP - best overall solution in my view
• Take your PC and Vista and sell on ebay and buy an Apple 
• Use Tera Copy Pro which replaces Vista’s copy/move and delete utility.

I went for the last option which at £15 pounds has been a cheap /quick and complete solution to this problem

Down Load TerraCopy Pro

TeraCopy is a compact program designed to copy and move files at the maximum possible speed, providing the user a lot of features some of which Vista certainly does not have :-

• Copy files faster. TeraCopy uses dynamically adjusted buffers to reduce seek times. Asynchronous copy speeds up file transfer between two physical hard drives.
• Pause and resume file transfers. Pause copy process at any time to free up system resources and continue with a single click.
• Error recovery. In case of copy error, TeraCopy will try several times and in the worse case just skips the file, not terminating the entire transfer.
• Interactive file list. TeraCopy shows failed file transfers and lets you fix the problem and recopy only problem files.
• Shell integration. TeraCopy can completely replace Explorer copy and move functions, allowing you work with files as usual.
• Full Unicode support.

I hope anyone who has suffered at the hands of Vista will find this post useful grin


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Reminds me of the time, just over a year ago, when I decided that the (new) notebook I had bought should benefit from having Vista installed. This I duly did, and it looked very pretty, but when I tried to copy some files off my networked XP Pro PC, something went very, very wrong. The Vista notebook could see the file that needed copying, but it took over six hours to partially copy one 2Mb file. When I tried to do it the other way, I discovered that the XP PC could not even see the Vista notebook, even after I installed the LLTD option to the XP PC.

At this point, I reverted to XP Pro on my new notebook, having read several articles which said that Vista’s networking capability was about as useful as a chocolate fireguard.

That problem was fixed in SP1 for Vista, but as I now had a working notebook, I was not prepared to do the upgrade again - reinstalling applications just because you want to upgrade the OS is not a good idea.

It is only now having bought another notebook, that I have re-imaged the original one with Vista SP1 which is now used by my wife. Needless to say, the networking is fine.

Posted by Chris Jones  on Sat 31st January 2009 at 08:37 AM | #

Thanks for the comment Chris. I have to say SP 1 did not fix the problem for me or many others. However, some have benefited from this patch. I am moving to a Mac and not coming back to Microsoft until they can start delivering reasonably fault tolerant software.

Posted by kevin Brady  on Tue 3rd February 2009 at 07:56 PM | #


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