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Old 05-29-2007, 08:00 PM   #1
Rene87
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Help: Slow transfer rate of my external hard disk

I just bought an external HD: Seagate ATA 8MB 80GB 5400rpm with the Cooler Master X Craft 250 enclosure. I run it on Mac OS X 10.4.9,1.33 GHz PowerPC G4, 512MB RAM.

The partition scheme I did on my iBook G4 is as "Apple Partition Map" and formatted as Mac OS Extended (Journaled).
The problem is when I plug in the external HD into the USB port and transfer a video file with the size of about 350MB from my internal HD of this iBook to the external HD, it took me about 15min. And it takes 45min to transfer a folder that contains 11 video files with size of around 2GB.

This is too slow for me as I need to constantly transfer large and lots of video files with the external HD. The speed is slow no matter I copy files from internal HD to my external HD or from other ext. HD to my ext. HD.

I've had a look at the: System Profiler>Hardware>USB>USB Bus>USB to IDE>Speed>"Up to 12Mb/sec".

However, when I plug in my friend's external HD to the USB port, I see this under SysProfiler:
System Profiler>Hardware>USB>USB High-Speed Bus>USB to IDE Bridge>Speed>"Up to 480 Mb/sec".

And as the SysProfiler says, the transfer using my friend's HD is up to the expectation whish is fast enough. And the partition scheme of my friend's ext. HD is Master Boot Record (File System: NTFS) whereas mine is Journaled HFS+.

I'm wondering if this has anything to do with the partition scheme that I chose that causes the speed of my ext. HD or it is the USB cable that came with the enclosure I bought is too slow which can only support up to 12Mb/sec. Or anyone has any idea or solution? Thanks.

Last edited by Rene87; 05-29-2007 at 08:10 PM.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:35 PM   #2
cwtnospam
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Do you have anything else plugged into your USB ports? If there is anything on the bus that isn't USB 2, then everything on the bus will run at the slower speed.
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Old 05-29-2007, 08:57 PM   #3
Rene87
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No, there's nothing else plugged into the USB port.
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Old 05-30-2007, 04:46 AM   #4
Rene87
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Coolermaster X Craft 250 External Hard Drive Enclosure Review
http://www.madshrimps.be/?action=getarticle&articID=549

But my ext. HD already takes 8 minutes to back up only 350MB to the drive then it will take forever to back up 4.7Gb to the drive. And this is ridiculously unacceptable.

Something must be wrong at somewhere. I'm guessing it could the USB cable or the enclosure itself is faulty or something.

Last edited by Rene87; 05-30-2007 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 05-30-2007, 07:22 AM   #5
cwtnospam
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According to the site you listed, there is a USB Y splitter to provide enough power for faster drives. Are you using it? If the drive doesn't get enough power, it will be slower if it works at all.
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Old 05-30-2007, 12:27 PM   #6
ThreeDee
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One word: Firewire
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15" MacBook Pro (Mid 2010), 2.4 GHz Core i5, 10.6.5, 4GB RAM
PowerMac G4 "Quicksilver", 733 MHz, 10.4.11, 1.5GB RAM

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Old 05-30-2007, 12:59 PM   #7
cwtnospam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ThreeDee
One word: Firewire

Absolutlely.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:12 PM   #8
Rene87
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Yes, I've plugged in both of the splitter. It's the same.

But the enclosure doesn't support firewire, too bad.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:32 PM   #9
cwtnospam
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A quick search on this site will show lots of problems with USB drives, mostly related to speed.
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Old 05-30-2007, 01:40 PM   #10
Rene87
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Thanks, I will. Maybe I'll get the other USB cable for a try out. Or get the enclosure exchanged for the other one that works faster cos the speed is really unbearable.
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:11 PM   #11
macsolver
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Answer - fit a USB 2 PCI card

Hi,

I understood that the PowerMac G4 built in ports were only USB 1.1. To get USB 2 speeds, you will need to fit a USB 2 PCI card, such as those made by Sonnet -

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/allegro_usb2.html

Regards,

Nick
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Old 05-30-2007, 02:53 PM   #12
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oops...

Forget my last post - I missed the ibook bit. Sorry.

Nick
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Old 05-30-2007, 10:34 PM   #13
Rene87
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Yeah, iBook does support USB 2.0. My friend's ext. HD can go up to 400Mb/sec.

Does anyone of you think it's possible that the slow transfer rate is due to the USB cable itself? Is there a thing that some USB cable supports only up to the speed of USB 1.1? Or is it the interfaces of the enclosure itself? But the spec does say that it supports USB 2.0/1.1.
It's strange.

Last edited by Rene87; 05-30-2007 at 11:13 PM.
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:44 AM   #14
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Cabling -could- be the issue, and it is the cheapest thing to test, but at its very best, USB on the Mac doesn't perform as well as one might hope; you'll never really get the speed you want. You will be far better advised to see if you can't swap this enclosure for a firewire enclosure (usually, such enclosures support both protocols if they are good quality). You need to also pay a bit of attention to the firmware of the enclosure. Some enclosures just don't work very well on the Mac. Those that have the "Oxford" bridge set seem to be most reliable.

Joe VanZandt
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Old 05-31-2007, 08:51 AM   #15
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If the System Profiler says you're getting only USB 1.1 speeds (up to 12 Mbps), then I'd say the enclosure isn't operating up to its USB 2.0 specs. Whether it's the enclosure itself or the Y-splitter that came with the enclosure really doesn't matter. Take it back. If possible, as many have said, trade up to firewire.

Three other thoughts, if you want to keep banging away at this one: (1) Have you tried plugging the external drive into another Mac with USB 2 ports and checking the System Profiler there? If it reads as a USB 1.1 device on every Mac you try, you didn't get what you paid for. (2) What happens if you plug the external drive into your friend's NTFS (presumably) Windows machine and transfer a couple of comparable files? If it's much faster on the friend's machine, there may be something weird with the way the enclosure responds to Macs. (3) Contact the manufacturer's tech support. I'm sure you're not the first to encounter this problem.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:02 AM   #16
Rene87
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Conclusion. Formatting HD & compatibility with Mac & Windows.

So I went to the shop and told the people about this and tried out everything that we could. And finally it is the Cooler Master enclosure doesn't run well on my iBook. Maybe it's the firmware. But I'm sure that it has nothing to do with the USB cable. So I get it exchanged with other enclosure and tried out another one on my Mac, it worked well, transfer rate is fast enough. And the SysProfiler shows it as USB High-Speed Bus>USB 2.0 Storage Device>Speed>480Mb/sec.
Weird enough, maybe Cooler Master 250 just doesn't work so perfectly on my Mac, or on iBook G4. Because They've tried out another same new Cooler Master enclosure but it was just as slow.
My conclusion is, there are still numerous hardware that Mac might not be able to support, or to support to its fullest.

My partition scheme is Journaled HFS+, but when I plugged into PC(Windows XP), it didn't recognize my ext. HD. What format should I do to make it compatible on both Mac and Windows XP?
Tried this: Disk Utility>Partition>Option>Master Boot Record
But it caused my ext. HD to perform slower and transer rate is also slower.

I heard format in FAT32 is compatible on Mac and WinXP and not lower the performance of the HD. Is this true? How should I do this? And what is the best thing to do in my case.
And one more thing, what's the difference between 'Format' under "Partition", and 'Volume Format' under "RAID"? Does it affect my ext. HD or its performace and compatibility with Windows?

Help is very much appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-01-2007, 08:53 AM   #17
cwtnospam
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene87
My conclusion is, there are still numerous hardware that Mac might not be able to support, or to support to its fullest.

A more accurate conclusion is that there are still vendors out there that don't care much about quality. Your Mac can support any drive with the proper firmware, but that's up to the vendor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene87
I heard format in FAT32 is compatible on Mac and WinXP and not lower the performance of the HD. Is this true? How should I do this? And what is the best thing to do in my case.

You can format a drive FAT32 with Disk Utility and both Mac's and PCs can read/write to it. It won't lower performance, unless you mean losing some of the capabilities of HFS+, the Mac's native format.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rene87
And one more thing, what's the difference between 'Format' under "Partition", and 'Volume Format' under "RAID"? Does it affect my ext. HD or its performace and compatibility with Windows?

There are several different RAID levels. You don't want any of them for what you're doing.
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Old 06-26-2007, 10:12 PM   #18
billg47
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Same Problem... Coolermaster X Craft 250

I can corroborate your problem.

It's not your Mac, cable, drive format, or anything else.

I just bought the same X Craft enclosure, and my system profiler also shows it as only 12 Mb/sec. It's slow, slow, slow on my Powerbook G4.

It operates normally on my PC. Same cable. The PC recognizes it as a USB 2.0 device

The MAC is identifying it only as a USB 1.1 device, maybe because of the ITE TECH INC chipset (IT8903AE)... which the ITE web site shows as v0.3 (great)... http://www.iteusa.com/product_info/M...f-IT8903_2.asp

So much for the Coolermaster's promise of MAC compatibility.
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Old 06-28-2007, 03:06 AM   #19
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Thumbs down

Quote:
Originally Posted by billg47
I can corroborate your problem.

It's not your Mac, cable, drive format, or anything else.

So much for the Coolermaster's promise of MAC compatibility.

I hate to disagree, but it isn't the Coolermaster enclosure that's to blame.
My X-Craft 250 is identified as a USB1 device by my iBook G4, but my Macbook Pro happily sees it as USB2!

Maybe it's the G4 chipset drivers that don't see it correctly?

All I know is it's a pain in the you know where when you want to put 10gb of video on the iBook!
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Old 12-12-2007, 09:31 AM   #20
blie
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Cooler Master Xcraft 250

I have a Macbook Pro 10.4.11 but it will not recognize the X Craft drive. On a windows it works fine. According to Cooler Master it should work on a Mac

Does anybody know what is happing?
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