Incredibly slow firewire disk throughput

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Performance' started by Roof Fiddler, Dec 10, 2006.

  1. Roof Fiddler

    Roof Fiddler Guest

    I'm copying a 60GB file from my internal 300GB SATA drive to my external
    250GB firewire drive.
    With RC2 on an Athlon 64 with 1GB RAM with Vista reporting 664MB used, and
    CPU usage averaging about 15%, and resource monitor reporting that nothing
    besides explorer.exe is using much disk bandwidth (explorer.exe is reading
    from the SATA drive at about 535MB/min and writing to the firewire drive at
    about the same rate), and the disks audibly moving their heads only a couple
    times every few seconds, explorer reports that my file is copying at
    8.66MB/s (a bit under 70Mb/s).
    That's a small fraction of the sustained sequential transfer rates of modern
    disks, and a small fraction of the firewire bandwidth. I would have expected
    the copy to proceed at least 3 or 4 times this speed.

    The problem can't possibly be the SATA drive or the computer's SATA hardware
    or Vista's SATA software because even while the 60GB transfer mentioned
    above is still in progress, I tried copying a 450MB file on the SATA drive
    (from one filename to another), and the transfer averaged about 15MB/s,
    which means the SATA drive was sustaining over 38MB/s total (read the 450MB
    file, write a copy of the 450MB file, and read the 60GB file all

    So the problem must be on the firewire side. I don't have another computer
    or another firewire drive I can test, and it's not practical now to try
    another OS.

    Why is it so slow?
    Roof Fiddler, Dec 10, 2006
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  2. Roof Fiddler

    Jeff Guest

    Is firewire 1394?
    If so, I thought I heard that 1394 isn't supported in Vista.
    Gave it a shot. might be why

    Jeff, Dec 10, 2006
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  3. Roof Fiddler

    Robert Moir Guest

    That can't be right. Not supporting Firewire would be an absolute joke.
    Robert Moir, Dec 10, 2006
  4. Roof Fiddler

    Toby Broom Guest

    I've used my firewire drive.

    Toby Broom, Dec 10, 2006
  5. Roof Fiddler

    Tom Lake Guest

    I don't have any firewire devices but I do have a port for them
    and it shows up in Device Manager with no errors.

    Tom Lake
    Tom Lake, Dec 10, 2006
  6. Roof Fiddler

    Robert Moir Guest

    As have I. The OP's problem wasn't that the drive didn't work but rather
    that the throughput was awful.
    Robert Moir, Dec 10, 2006
  7. Roof Fiddler

    HDFatBoy2003 Guest

    I've been searching for answers on this question also. Vista does support
    1394 but at what level I've not been able to determine. I've read articles
    that 1394b is not support at this time and won't be until SP1. Okay I'll
    live with that, but it seems HD wise 1394 is running at S100 speeds instead
    of the standard S400, much like it was implemented in XP.
    HDFatBoy2003, Dec 10, 2006
  8. Roof Fiddler

    Roof Fiddler Guest

    That would explain it.
    So I tried using the USB interface on the same drive, and got sustained
    throughput over 21MB/s, compared to the under 9MB/s I got with firewire.
    It would be really interesting to hear what lame excuse MS gives for failure
    to run at S400.
    "Uh, we've got over 50,000 employees here and billions of dollars in assets
    and we've had half a decade to work on Vista, and we got USB running fast
    with no problem, but uh, we don't really have the time, or enough
    programmers, or uh, our programmers are too incompetent to get more than
    token usability out of firewire."
    "Huh? Uh, no, we would never tell our programmers to intentionally cripple
    firewire so consumers will use only USB so manufacturers will produce only
    USB equipment so Apple's firewire will fall by the wayside, why would you
    ever suspect that?"
    If MS wants to wage war and refuse to support firewire, that's fine, but it
    shouldn't try to deceive people at the same time by pretending that it does
    support firewire.
    Roof Fiddler, Dec 10, 2006
  9. Roof Fiddler

    Jane C Guest

    Firewire itself is supported. What is not supported is IP over 1394, so no
    networking via Firewire.
    Jane C, Dec 10, 2006
  10. Roof Fiddler

    John Bailey Guest

    That is an interesting view. Is the support for Firewire given a lower
    priority because it is from Apple, or maybe because USB devices are so much
    more common. Lets face it, most of the devices that support firewire also
    have a USB port. If the support for Firewire was there I would bet that only
    a small percentage of Windows users would even know it.

    Yes, Microsoft is a large organization and there are probably more than
    thousand people working on Vista (but not 50,000), but that doesn't mean that
    they don't have to make decisons on what is worked on and what isn't. There
    were a number of features in the earlier alphas and betas that were removed
    because they just couldn't be completed on time so why would they pick
    Firewire support (used by a small percentage of users) over any of these
    features that would be used by the majority of their user base?

    That being said, if you upgraded your machine you might want to check the
    driver in use in case it didn't upgrade and is still using the XP driver for
    some reason. I also use a firewire external drive, and I am getting
    considerably better throughput than you are reporting.

    Given the choice, I hope Microsoft spends man hours fixing the numerous
    other issues with Vista (like getting more devices to work properly, getting
    their network issues resolved, and for Gods sake adding support for the
    development tools on the platform) before even looking at Firewire.
    John Bailey, Dec 14, 2006
  11. Roof Fiddler

    Toby Broom Guest

    I took the same diskdrive (WD1000) & put it in my external Firewire
    enclosure, max speed reported by copying 2x4.5Gb files was according to
    windows 26.6Mb/s, put the same drive in my USB 2.0 enclosure 24.4Mb/s.

    They seem the same to me.
    Toby Broom, Dec 15, 2006
  12. Roof Fiddler

    lazersgm Guest

    here is the fix.

    'Performance is slower than you expect when you read from or write to
    an IEEE 1394 hard disk that uses a VIA Technologies 1394 host controller
    in Windows Vista' (
    looks like a problem with via firewire. worked on my system.
    lazersgm, Dec 12, 2007
  13. This hotfix made it worse. Also, I have the TI chip set built into my
    motherboard and the read/write performance is horribly slow. I am running
    Vista 64bit Business.
    VideoEditorUnhappyWithVista, Jan 14, 2008
  14. The only reason I am still using a Windows machines is I hate MACs more.
    Microsoft should be ashamed of what I have just discovered. I use my machine
    primarily for editing Video. I also have VMWARE Workstation installed on my
    machine. Trying to copy video off my DTE FS-4 PRO using Vista 64bit I get
    556 kbps copy rate. Using VMWARE and Windows XP 32 bit I get over 40 mbs
    OS OUT! Running a Virtual Machine inside Vista I get better performance from
    firewire. Microsoft is lucky I hate Steve more than than I hate Bill.
    VideoEditorUnhappyWithVista, Jan 14, 2008
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