Howto: Speed-up all USB drives in Windows 7 and Windows 8. USB speeds for all Thumb drives, cameras, and other external USB disks will be oodles faster with a minor tweak. This change is recommended. Updated for Windows 8.
At first I thought it was a problem with the 64-bit drivers, then I suspected a problem with the backup program, but the real issue turned out to be how Windows 7 and 8 handles USB drives. This turned out to be interesting and is applicable to all kinds of devices.
Follow these steps - which must be done for each plugged-in
USB Device where you want improved speed. The drawback to this change
is you can't unplug the drive at will; you must use a simple menu,
In Device Manager, change the drive's USB Policy to "Better Performance".
1. Plug-in the USB drive and allow it to mount normally.
2. Start, Control Panel, "Device Manager"
3. Open the "Disk Drive" section, locate the USB drive section (illustrated in red box). In the details, locate the USB drive. Make these changes:
a. Other-mouse-click (right mouse) the drive, Properties
b. Click the [Policies] tab
c. Choose "Better Performance"
d. Click OK and close the control panel
4. In the System Tray, click the arrow to expand hidden icons; choose the USB icon ("Safely Remove Hardware and Eject Media); eject the disk and unplug the USB cable. Re-plug-in the disk for the changes to take effect.
you purchase a new USB drive, you will need to make this same setting.
Set one time per device, regardless of which USB port it is plugged
This holds true with thumb drives, cameras and
all other external writable drives. I have not researched, but there is
probably a global policy which can set this for all devices.
Disk operations will be a zillion times faster. The new backup took
exactly 23 minutes, which was a slight improvement over the original 8
hours. Everything, including standard file-copies to this drive, was improved.
made a conservative default setting, which allows you to pull drives
without fiddling around with software. But if you make these changes,
you will have to exercise restraint when pulling a drive; you will have
to use the System Tray menu to eject the disk.
Cameras seem to
corrupt their memory cards more-often-than-not and it is probably best to
leave the USB settings for this device unchanged, mostly because people tend to unplug cameras and run away; everyone is always in a rush..
Hard Disk Cache
The local Hard Disk
has a similar setting, which I also enable on my own computers.
Control Panel, Device Manager, "Disk Drives"
Locate the hard disk (may be labeled as "ATA Device")
B. Select Properties
[x] Enable Write Caching on the Device
[x] Turn off Windows Write-cache buffer flushing on this device*
*only recommend doing this on
battery-powered laptops or on desktops with UPS protection.
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