Recent Wildly Fluctuating Copy Speeds of Large Files (125+ GB) to External Hard Drives


@Winuser ,

Thank you for sharing your experience. I still have the same issue. Like you, I think it is some kind of Windows bug that has decided to afflict my Dell 8930 SE. The overall copy speed, despite the fluctuations showing, is where it should be: 100 to 107 MB/s, according to the Teracopy Log.

I have decided to just ignore this copy speed display "glitch." It is simply a nuisance at this point.

Have a great day.

Regards,
Phil
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 (Build 22631.3593)
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS8930 SE
    CPU
    Intel i7-9700K 4700 MHz
    Motherboard
    Dell XPS 8930
    Memory
    32 GB (4 x 8GB SK Hynix DDR4 @1333 MHz) (2666 MHz)
    Graphics Card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 (6 GB) GDDR6 300 MHz
    Sound Card
    None
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell UltraSharp U2518D 25"
    Screen Resolution
    2560 x 1440
    Hard Drives
    NVMe Intel 1024 TB
    Seagate 2 TB, SATA-III
    PSU
    850 W Gold Standard
    Case
    Dell XPS 8930 Base (Special Edition)
    Cooling
    Air
    Keyboard
    Dell 0G4D2W
    Mouse
    Dell MOCZUL
    Internet Speed
    Download 553 Mbps, Upload 686 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium, plus Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    BIOS Version 1.1.31
  • Operating System
    Windows 11 Pro Version 23H2 (Build 22631.3593)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell XPS 15 7590
    CPU
    i7-9750H 4.5 GHz
    Motherboard
    Dell XPS 15 7590
    Memory
    16 GB (2 x 8GB @ 1333 MHz) DDR4-2666 MHz
    Graphics card(s)
    NVIDIA GeForce 1650 4 GB GDDR5
    Sound Card
    None
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell XPS 15 7590, 15.6" InfinityEdge Anti-Glare, Non-Touch
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
    Hard Drives
    512 GB M.2 PCle NVMe SK Hynix
    PSU
    130W Power Adapter
    Case
    Dell XPS 15 7590
    Cooling
    Air
    Mouse
    Logitech M510
    Keyboard
    Laptop
    Internet Speed
    Download: 400 Mbps, Upload: 203 Mbps
    Browser
    Google Chrome
    Antivirus
    Kaspersky Premium, plus Malwarebytes Premium
    Other Info
    BIOS Version 1.27.0
I have a new home built desktop with a similar problem. (12 gen i5 CPU, 32G Ram)
I am trying to copy from an old internal SATA HDD to M.2 SSD. And the transfer is going painfully slow.

I have tried a number of different things, from Disabling the Indexing service, to running the command "netsh int tcp set global autotuninglevel=disabled" and unchecking Remove Differential Compression. None of which has helped. There is no third party virus software. This is a fresh install of Windows 11 Home.

I've also tried using Robocopy rather than file explorer.

What I have discovered after watching this for a few hours is that it will copy 10-15 mb of data very quickly, then it will pause for 10 seconds and do nothing, then it copies another chuck of the files and so on.

Any idea what is causing it to pause like this?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Yes ,Thanks. Tried Safemode. No improvement.
You may have a hardware or driver problem. It may take some trial and error testing to isolate the issue with everything non-essential disconnected. But first, have you updated your computer's firmware?
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 10/11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Acer
Or it may be no problem at all.

My sister recently built a new desktop rig to replace her laptop. When we copied a bunch of old Macrium Backups from an older 4 TB Seagate desktop external drive to a brand new LaCie Desktop external drive, she experienced the exact same thing - and this was on a brand new install of Windows 11.

That was last week - yesterday, I was at her home when she had an issue with a very large folder of movies she had RIPped from her DVDs - and I watched it do exactly as what the OP describes with my own eyes. With some files it would drop from ~200 MB/s down to ~120 MB/s, but with other files it would drop flat to zero, and stay there for a second or two (and in a couple of cases, noticeably longer), but the overall transfer rate was within the spec of the drive over a USB 3.1 gen 2 Type-C connection to the LaCie.

So, twice on a system built at the beginning of this month.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 23H2 Current build
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HomeBrew
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * 32 GB - Corsair Vengeance 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING (12G-P5-3955-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2x Eve Spectrum ES07D03 4K Gaming Monitor (Matte) | Eve Spectrum ES07DC9 4K Gaming Monitor (Glossy)
    Screen Resolution
    3x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    3x Samsung 980 Pro NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 2 TB SSD (MZ-V8P2T0B/AM) } 3x Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 1 TB SSD (USB)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Arctic Liquid Freezer III 420 RGB + Air 3x 140mm case fans (pull front) + 1x 120 mm (push back) and 1 x 120 mm (pull bottom)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S | MX Master 3 for Business
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
    Browser
    Nightly (default) + Firefox (stable), Chrome, Edge , Arc
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB 5 Beta
  • Operating System
    ChromeOS Flex Dev Channel (current)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryville 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S (shared w. Sys 1) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
Or it may be no problem at all.
external drive to a brand new LaCie Desktop external drive, she experienced the exact same thing - and this was on a brand new install of Windows 11.
but the overall transfer rate was within the spec of the drive over a USB 3.1 gen 2 Type-C connection to the LaCie.

So, twice on a system built at the beginning of this month.

In my situation I am working with an internal drive. So USB is not involved.

In my case it does seem to be a hardware problem. Although CHKDSK found no problems with the drive, other disc programs like HDSENTINEL identified there to be a communication issue between the drive and the motherboard. However I am at a loss; I switched to a different SATA cable, and a different port on the board, but the problem remained. I moved the drive back to the previous 8 year old computer and it works fine.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11 Home
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
Was the drive on the old system encrypted using BitLocker or anything else? Is the new drive on your new system encrypted with BitLocker?
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 23H2 Current build
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HomeBrew
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * 32 GB - Corsair Vengeance 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING (12G-P5-3955-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2x Eve Spectrum ES07D03 4K Gaming Monitor (Matte) | Eve Spectrum ES07DC9 4K Gaming Monitor (Glossy)
    Screen Resolution
    3x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    3x Samsung 980 Pro NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 2 TB SSD (MZ-V8P2T0B/AM) } 3x Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 1 TB SSD (USB)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Arctic Liquid Freezer III 420 RGB + Air 3x 140mm case fans (pull front) + 1x 120 mm (push back) and 1 x 120 mm (pull bottom)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S | MX Master 3 for Business
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
    Browser
    Nightly (default) + Firefox (stable), Chrome, Edge , Arc
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB 5 Beta
  • Operating System
    ChromeOS Flex Dev Channel (current)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryville 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S (shared w. Sys 1) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
Yes, I've had the fast/slow/fast copy issue with Win11 on copying large map/data files (~200Gb) to external USB disks for backup safety.

I tested this with two different laptops - same files and external disks - and found the same issue. All I could find in the MS literature was a brief acknowledgement of this issue accompanied with the escape clause about "most home users won't need to experience this" (which assumes that most do not have large files to copy). So I tentatively concluded that this was a RAM management issue with Win11 that MS had no intention of resolving as yet.

My own resolution for this was to sort out some batch files using RoboCopy. Seems to work as a sync tactic, with copy progress quite fast and without any significant fluctuation.
 

My Computer

System One

  • OS
    Windows 11
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HP 15s_du1xxx
    CPU
    Intel i5 10210U
    Motherboard
    85F1
    Memory
    16Gb
    Graphics Card(s)
    Intel UHD
    Sound Card
    Realtek
    Screen Resolution
    1920 x 1080
So I tentatively concluded that this was a RAM management issue with Win11 that MS had no intention of resolving as yet.

That's an interesting take on it.

Perhaps that is one of the reasons why I simply don't see it as much.

Which, when tied in with the OP's analysis, as well as several other posters with similar issue, might, in fact, be a bit larger than this - not just a RAM mgmt issue, but also much larger, and much faster, data transfer caches (write buffers), that the system is able to fill up much more easily, than the drive(s) can actually keep up with.

The running theme here seems to be that older (and usually mechanical) drives work fine in / with older systems, but seem to do this stop-and-go process on newer systems. My own system has no mechanical drives in it, and has gobs of RAM, so the SSDs play nicely with my file transfers - even when transferring hundreds of GBs.

But even on an internal architecture, like SATA, older drives simply may not have a sustained write capability to keep up with how fast a newer machine can fill write buffers, so there is a necessary pause to let the drive(s) in question play 'catch up', or more technically speaking, give it enough time to flush the buffers after writing the data to disk so it can accept more data.
 

My Computers

System One System Two

  • OS
    Windows 11 23H2 Current build
    Computer type
    PC/Desktop
    Manufacturer/Model
    HomeBrew
    CPU
    AMD Ryzen 9 3950X
    Motherboard
    MSI MEG X570 GODLIKE
    Memory
    4 * 32 GB - Corsair Vengeance 3600 MHz
    Graphics Card(s)
    EVGA GeForce RTX 3080 Ti XC3 ULTRA GAMING (12G-P5-3955-KR)
    Sound Card
    Realtek® ALC1220 Codec
    Monitor(s) Displays
    2x Eve Spectrum ES07D03 4K Gaming Monitor (Matte) | Eve Spectrum ES07DC9 4K Gaming Monitor (Glossy)
    Screen Resolution
    3x 3840 x 2160
    Hard Drives
    3x Samsung 980 Pro NVMe PCIe 4 M.2 2 TB SSD (MZ-V8P2T0B/AM) } 3x Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0 1 TB SSD (USB)
    PSU
    PC Power & Cooling’s Silencer Series 1050 Watt, 80 Plus Platinum
    Case
    Fractal Design Define 7 XL Dark ATX Full Tower Case
    Cooling
    Arctic Liquid Freezer III 420 RGB + Air 3x 140mm case fans (pull front) + 1x 120 mm (push back) and 1 x 120 mm (pull bottom)
    Keyboard
    SteelSeries Apex Pro Wired Gaming Keyboard
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S | MX Master 3 for Business
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
    Browser
    Nightly (default) + Firefox (stable), Chrome, Edge , Arc
    Antivirus
    Defender + MB 5 Beta
  • Operating System
    ChromeOS Flex Dev Channel (current)
    Computer type
    Laptop
    Manufacturer/Model
    Dell Latitude E5470
    CPU
    Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-6300U CPU @ 2.40GHz, 2501 Mhz, 2 Core(s), 4 Logical Processor(s)
    Motherboard
    Dell
    Memory
    16 GB
    Graphics card(s)
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520
    Sound Card
    Intel(R) HD Graphics 520 + RealTek Audio
    Monitor(s) Displays
    Dell laptop display 15"
    Screen Resolution
    1920 * 1080
    Hard Drives
    Toshiba 128GB M.2 22300 drive
    INTEL Cherryville 520 Series SSDSC2CW180A 180 GB SATA III SSD
    PSU
    Dell
    Case
    Dell
    Cooling
    Dell
    Mouse
    Logitech MX Master 3S (shared w. Sys 1) | Dell TouchPad
    Keyboard
    Dell
    Internet Speed
    AT&T LightSpeed Gigabit Duplex Ftth
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