Copying data is slow

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I have a couple of gigabytes of files (x-rays) that I have on a computer and also backed up to external drive. Every other day about 50-60 files are added. Copying 50-60 files by itself is simple if you know which files are there since the files are spread out through tons of different folders. I tried to use copy, xcopy, teracopy via command line to backup data that's different from day to day. I'm really not sure why, but it's taking hours to do so. i have a feeling that it's scanning every file and checks if it has to be backed up or not. Is my assumption correct or not or am I doing something wrong? I've tried a different types of switches from the command line, but it's the same thing. Please let me know what I'm missing here. Yes, the fact that it's copying to external drive through USB can have an overhead and slow it down, but it's hard to believe that it would take hours.

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hours for 2 gigabytes? I'd expect 2 gigabytes to transfer much more quickly than that on USB 2.0. Perhaps there is an issue with your USB.

As for automatically syncing files, I found this useful.

No, it's hours for 50-60 files which is like 20 MB total. that's why I was saying that my feeling is that it's scanning all the files. I'll look into your link

Also, it's not that specific USB device. I've used at least a dozen of them: USB flash stick drives, USB portable harddrives, Apple capsule. I've used all available USB ports, so I don't think it's that.

Test the USB interface a different way. Create a folder, copy the files into that folder. Connect a blank USB device and drag and drop just that folder. Is it just as slow?

Can you give us the command lines you have used? I'm suspecting that the commands you've used are copying all the data back over everyday, overwriting the existing files on the external.

Robocopy has the ability to skip files that already exist on the destination:

You may also want to look into backup tools that have a GUI and built-in scheduler. Crashplan can back up to your external for free:

Synchronicity looks great thank you. It took 2 minutes 17 seconds to scan 17GB of data and than a couple of seconds to copy the difference. I tried it from the GUI. I see that there's a command line available as well. I'll look into it.

I don't have remote access to those machines now, but I did use /d switch in xcopy which "Copies files changed on or after the specified date" as well as other apps.

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