I read an October 26, 2006 Computerworld review ( http://tinyurl.com/2wr2qu ) of the 500GB FreeAgent Pro external drive that said the transfer rate for USB is 843MB per minute. My system has 135GB of total storage. Even if all of it were in use (it's not) my calculations show that a backup of the entire system would take less than 3 hours. It's been running for at least 12 hours and still is not finished. Is this normal? Are there any configuration settings that will make it run faster?
I posted the question above to the official tech support group. The response was precisely equal to worthless:
Thank you for your E-mail inquiry.
With regards to your query, I understand that you want to know how it takes to backup the entire computer to the external hard drive, I would like to inform you that the backup time takes according to the file size and file type.
NOTE : I would like to inform that you will not be able to backup the "System files and Program files" to the external hard drive.
Maybe I did it to myself? Instead of using the USB cable that came in the box I'm using a cable that was already plugged into my computer. This cable came with a little RCA 256MB MP3 player that I've had for about 3 years. Could the cable actually have such a big impact on transfer speed?
The cable might be USB 1.1, which is slower than USB 2.0. Also, if you're using the backup software that came with the hard drive, it will be slower because it verifies every backed up file, which is time consuming.
No, the MP3 player is USB 2.0. But the verification of archived files might provide a partial explanation. However, even with that I would have thought 6 hours would be the maximum. I guess it's not that big a deal. Once the initial backup is complete the amount of data going to the external drive should be pretty small.
Well, I canceled the backup and just copied a bunch of files to the external drive. That went much faster (50-100X?). I'm sorry to lose the ability to do automatic backups but at least I am able to make copies of all those music and photo files that I don't want to lose.