Is my USB drive slow because it’s defective?

Patrik Žec April 4, 2013

I bought a Kingston DataTraveler 101 G2 16GB USB flash drive.
The speeds published for it on the Internet are:
write: max 20MB/s
read: max 22MB/s

write: 5MB/s
read: 10MB/s

However, on my PC I only get:
write: 2.5MB/s
read: 11MB/s

I have a 2 GB version of this USB and that gives good results write: 9,5 MB/s read: 16,5 MB/s.

Do you think the 16GB drive is a bad piece?

  1. salim benhouhou
    April 5, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    speed varies it's rarely the same as the one published .

  2. Mike
    April 5, 2013 at 12:02 pm

    There are a lot of things factoring into the achieved speeds.

    As it was already mentioned it highly depends on the files being transmitted. A lot of small files will result in a rather low transfer speed wherein larger files will give you higher more stable transfer speeds.

    Another point is the utilization of your system and the other drives being involved. For example if your hard drive is currently doing e.g. defragmentation while you attempt to transfer things the achieved speed will again be rather slow. If your hard drive is almost idle there shouldn't be a bottleneck on this end.

    My personal suggestion that takes very little effort is to chose another USB port ~ if it is a desktop system use one on the back of the computer instead of a front-panel port.

    Depending on the physical and logical hardware devices of your system the current port may be sharing resources (same IRQ) e.g. with your graphics card or maybe the hard drive controller. Such things can already impact the performance. Also physically the ports on the back are directly soldered to the motherboard wherein front-panel ones can be influences by cables etc.

    Lastly, advertised speeds often don't come close to real-life examples and tests. Therefor your results don't particularly shock me.

    • Mike
      April 5, 2013 at 12:15 pm

      I did a final google search on your USB drive and all my results advertised the DataTraveler 101 G2 with 10MB/s read and 5MB/s write which makes me believe that your speeds are just fine.

  3. ha14
    April 5, 2013 at 8:14 am

    hope it is note fake Kingston DataTraveler

    try to run Chkdsk on USB drive
    Open Command Prompt and there you type Chkdsk X: /r (X is usb key letter, see yours which one is)

    then try to defrag the usb key

    right-click the USB key in windows explorer, then select Properties, switch to Policies tab, and choose "Optimize for performance". Click OK. make sure you use the "Safely remove hardware" icon always.

    Resolving USB Speed Issues, “This Device Can Perform Faster” Error

    FAT16 vs FAT32 vs NTFS speed on USB stick

  4. whirlwindoflife
    April 5, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Sometimes it could happen because it is fragmented. Try formatting the drive, and see if it helps.

  5. Jim Chambers
    April 5, 2013 at 3:24 am

    There are a lot of cheap knock-offs of name brand flash drives going around especially 8GB and up. Hope you didn't get stuck with one. Was price too good to be true?

  6. Lisa Santika Onggrid
    April 5, 2013 at 3:02 am

    Speed can vary wildly depending on what kind of files are being written on the disc. Copying many small files will be quicker than one large file. I can't say whether it's really a lemon or not, but USB stick with larger capacity tend to be slower.

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