Are X4* thinkpads just plain slow
with external drives? I was copying some files from a USB 2.0 external drive, and a friend noticed that the speed was about 10x slower than it should be. And yes, on a second friend's Gateway laptop, he was right. How and why should a Gateway be 10x faster than my X40?
On my box, I've timed a large 350 mb file at 110 seconds, so about 3 megabytes per second. It's better than nothing, but clearly there's a bottleneck other than
my fixed HD.
I don't know the best way to diagnose the problem. Can anyone give me advice?
Here's my vitals, and what I've done so far:
thinkpad: X40, 1.2 ghz, 1.5 gb ram, WinXP Pro fully updated
external USB drive: 80 gig BUFFALO 5400rpm 1.8inch (I think), powered by 2 USB cables, listed as USB 2.0. Reformatted* (see FWIW below) as NTFS.
* First I checked IBM for BIOS updates
, but none of the fixes since my version (1.43 1UET93WW 2004-10-13, Embedded controller 1.12) apply to USB issues. I prefer not to flash BIOS unless it's known to fix a problem I have.
* Second, thinking it might be a USB driver conflict, in Device Manager I uninstalled all host controllers (therefore all entries) under the USB section and the rebooted. Upon (slow) reboot, it recreated the following entries
Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB 2.0 Enhanced Host Controller - 24CD
Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C2
Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C4
Intel(R) 82801DB/DBM USB Universal Host Controller - 24C7
For each of the above entries, there's a "USB Root Hub" entry as well. And when the disk is attached, there's a "USB Mass Storage Device" entry as well, which under Properties > Locations lists "Location 0 (USB 2.0-IDE Bridge Adapter)".
However, the transfer times have not increased. The above entries where there before, anyway.
* Third, I ran Diagnostics after rebooting pressing the blue Access IBM button, which initated the DOS program PC Doctor. Under Utility > Benchmark there is no USB Drive or Mass Storage option. The external drive _is_ detected as being a secondary IDE drive, and it's listed as being removable. (However, it's not listed as a Logical Drive.. for that it seems to only list the 4 gig IBM service partition and some other 8 mb drive, a RAM drive maybe?)
That's where I'm at. Advice?
When I uninstalled my USB entries, did it also erase info for my digital camera?
Also, if someone out there has practical experience with this kind of drive on their X4* machine, can you tell me how fast files usually transfer? A 350 mb file, by my stopwatch, takes about 2 minutes to read or write. Sometimes the estimate by winXP is correct, and sometimes it's initial estimate is a factor of 2 over.
FWIW: BUFFALO is a reputable name here in Japan, but early after using the drive I did get some bad sectors. Immediately after buying it I successfully backed up a 20 gig folder without timing it (just let it finish, maybe ~30 min?), then I put the drive away. After 2 weeks, there were suddenly read/write errors, and I had to reformat the drive as ntfs using a gparted boot disk (winXP couldn't do it), then run chkdsk /f /r /x on it. chkdsk reported about 100 mb of bad sectors. However, after that it's worked like a champ and has even survived Tokyo super-humidity. (And in case you're wondering, No, returns in Japan are not standard practice.)
Now that I've been digging for info on drive speed, I have an idea about why the drive might have had some problems. I stumbled on the whole "left usb is underpowered" problem. (Check this post
and also there's a very similar post in the T4* forum.) I can't be 100% sure, but my drive might have crashed after I used the left side for my power-only USB cable and the right side for the actual USB data cable. Since I'm right-handed, and since the data cable is shorter, I usually put it on the left side with the power cable wrapping around to the right side. But again, that's just a guess.
Anyway, now that the bad sectors are identified, I wouldn't suspect they would be causing such a decrease in speed (factor of 10!), but I'm mentioning it just in case.