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Low eSATA transfer speed


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Hey Guys,


hope everybody is enjoying there sundays. I ran into a problem a little while back and could not fix it. It all started by buying a new 4TB HDD as a Backup for the stuff stored on my N54L. I plugged the HDD into a spare eSATA external enclosure and was disapointed by the low transfer speeds (10MB/s). There should be more possible as I was trying to Backup rather large data, Acronis System Backups 10-50Gb in size.


But 1st my setup:


N54L with 8GB ECC RAM, headless Ubuntu server 12.04 LTS on 16GB USB jump drive on internal USB, Original Bios, no RAID


As I already said I do not exceed 10MB/s in transfer speeds, even though more should be possible!? I scanned the HDD with HDD Tune Pro for Bad Sectors but non were found, Even though it has already reallocated 8 sectors. To test that, I used another perfeclty fine 2TB HDD plugged in the external case and again a maximal of 10MB/s. I enabled the Write Cache in the BIOS but still nothing.

The external enclosure is a RaidSonic Icy Box IB-351StUS. I tried to find some solution but all I tried didn't help. I asked in a couple of different forums but the problem was that the Linux guys thought its a Hardware issue, while the Storage people believed its due to the OS. So I kinda hope I'm here at the best place where both expertises get together.

I use the following rsync command to copy the files:

rsync -rltRDvu --modify-window=1 --progress --delete --delete-excluded --exclude-from=/home/ivan/BackupExclude.txt /source-path /target-path

First I had the 4TB HDD formatted as NTFS as I wanted to be able to read the Data from a Windows PC as well. But in addition I also tried ext4 formatting without resolving the issue.


Any idea would be much appreciated, as this problem is driving me crazy. I just want to have a rather quick possibilty to Backup my data.



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Again me, I run a couple of Benchmarks on the 4TB Toshiba and the 2TB WD. There is no difference in the Benchmarks, neither under Windows 7 or a Live Linux Distro. Also no bad sectors on the HDDs, even though the 4TB Toshiba has 8 sectors reallocated.

I then tested by copying a couple of files with rsync (rsync -ah --progress /Source /Target) on the disks formatted as ntfs and ext4. As expected when formatted as ext4 I achieve sligtly higher transfer speeds in comparison to ntfs (45MB/s vs 35 MB/s). But still far away from the observed 10MB/s. I thought that maybe the additional flags I use for the Backup (rsync -rltRDvu --modify-window=1 --progress --delete --delete-excluded --exclude '/path to textfile' /Source /Target) cause the slow transfer speeds but again no. The transfer speeds are the same as w/o the additional flags. All these tests were done running the HDDs in the external enclosure.


To sum up:

- the HDDs should be fine

- the external enclosure is not limiting

- rsync can achieve much higher transfer speeds albeit the flags set


So is the eSATA port on my N54l limiting with the stock BIOS? What kinda speeds did u achieve? I really run out of ideas here....

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  • 1 month later...
I just flashed the latest BIOS and the Sata drivers haven't been updated in 2 years according to the asus downloads page, so I have all those.

Seems odd that the mobo would have an eSATA port just because, and not actually have it working to eSATA standards
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