Slow performance of external hard drive

What are the causes due to which an external hard drive may work or boot at a slow speed?

Hard disks are considered as the secondary storage devices of our computer system. Hard drives are used to store primary data of the system such as operating system, documents etc. In addition to internal hard drives of computer systems, we can also use external hard drives. There are several chances of losing our data stored in our system due to security attacks, accidental modifications, hard disk crash etc. External hard drives can be used as a backup of internal hard disk. But some times the external had disk may run slowly. It can be because of several reasons. Application and data in the external hard disk may reduce the speed of the drive. Also, virus infected files and corrupted files will also affect the performance of the external hard disk. However, you easily increase the speed of the external drive by following some simple tips.

Possible causes of slow performance of external hard drive and some methods to resolve the problem are given below:

  • Possible causes

  • Disable Remote Differential Compression

  • Enable Optimize for Performance

Possible causes

There are several reasons for the slow performance such as slow booting, slow working etc. If the hard drive is full and if you are performing a task that does not support the hard drive memory, then the hard drive become extremely slow. Another cause for the slow booting or slow performance of external hard disk is due to the default Windows setting for the firewire connected drives. It may slow down the external drive performance. Remote Differential Compression enabled in Windows system also slow the transfer rate of external hard disk.

Disable Remote Differential Compression

Remote Differential Compression is a feature of Windows system which checks the changes in the file over a network to transfer data with minimal bandwidth. It continuously checks for file changes and this service can hinder the system performance and therefore result in slow external hard drive performance. To disable Remote Differential Compression, Select ‘Start’ menu and open ‘Control Panel’. Switch to ‘Classic Views’ and select ‘Program Features’. Then choose ‘Windows feature on and off’. Scroll down and uncheck ‘Remote Differential Compression’.

Enable Optimize for Performance

The default firewire settings will slow down the external hard drive performance. To change the settings, select ‘Start’ menu and click on ‘My Computer’. Select external hard drive and select the ‘Properties’ by right clicking on it. Then click the ‘Hardware’ tab and highlight the drive that you having problem from the drive list and click on ‘Properties’. Then click the ‘Policy’ tab and can see two radio buttons ‘Optimize for quick removal’ and ‘optimize for performance’. Select ‘Optimize for Performance’ and click ‘Ok’. If you are running Windows 7 or Windows Vista then select ‘enable write caching on the disk’.

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