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iMac lags severely when transferring data over USB

post #1 of 13
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Please don't turn this into a Mac flame thread. I don't own a Mac, this is my work computer assigned to me. My entire workplace uses Macs.

My work computer is a 2.8 GHz Core 2 duo iMac with 2 GB ram running an up to date OSX 10.5.8 OS.

Whenever I am transferring files to or from my USB stick the computer bogs down to the point that just typing text lags several seconds behind my actual typing. Surfing the web becomes almost impossible. Using normal MS office programs becomes impossible as well. I usually find something else to do while transferring large files.

It also happens during small file transfers but it is not such a problem since the computer is only lagging for a few seconds.

Has anybody else experienced this or found a solution?
    
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post #2 of 13
I hate to say this, but, I think it's because it's a Mac. My sisters iMac does the same and so do our MacBooks that my high school gave us.

Edit: Are your co-workers having the same problem, also?
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post #3 of 13
One of my USB ports on my mac is a bit screwy. Check your Console to see what's going on.
post #4 of 13
Is this a HFS+ formatted USB stick? I'm assuming it's a FAT formatted? Unless your company has installed a NTFS plugin that allows r/w capability to NTFS formatted partitions.

Does it happen with other USB sticks? I dont think i've ever really had an issue with file transfers.. I would run Disk utility on the internal drive to make sure things are kosher. If the drive is failing it could be causing slowness (especially if there's data concurrently being transferred to it).
 
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post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by MrHackysack View Post
I hate to say this, but, I think it's because it's a Mac. My sisters iMac does the same and so do our MacBooks that my high school gave us.

Edit: Are your co-workers having the same problem, also?
I've had this problem on a work Mac as well, with a FAT formatted mem stick on a C2D macbook pro. No idea what caused it, other than a higher-than-usual overhead while transferring files. Never could figure out what the cause was.

OP, what types of files are you transferring? I noticed that when my macbook bogged down during file transfers, it was mainly due to transferring tons of small files (like hundreds or thousands of .txt or other ascii files) rather than a few large files.
    
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post #6 of 13
Is the drive NTFS? if so you can get lag if you are using ntfs3g
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post #7 of 13
Had a problem like this, would slow to a standstill if I was writing to or from the drive. Turns out the HDD had gone bad, but it was perfectly fine when web browsing etc. It might be something to look into. My iMac was a dual core 2008 model for reference.
    
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post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by microsoft windows View Post
The people who manage your workplace aren't very computer smart. There is no practical reason behind using Macs in an enterprise setting.
We do computational biology, (what you guys would call "folding"). We require a UNIX environment to run our software and Macs provide this while still being user friendly. They also offer significant discounts considering we are a state university.

Macs are a painless and easy way to have a UNIX system while still being able to run Microsoft Office and other productivity software on the same OS.

Our Macs don't do the folding, they are an interface for a 1,000 + CPU cluster located elseware on campus. We just analyze the data and interface to the cluster on the Macs.
    
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post #9 of 13
Thread Starter 
I think I figured it out. I use the 3rd party fan control software SMCfancontrol on my Mac. I have always thought the temps were suspiciously low even at full load. I never see them climb above 40C and the fan never seems to speed up. Out of curiosity I cranked the CPU fan speed to max and did a large transfer. The transfer speed was much faster and there was no lag!

I think the thermal sensor for the cpu is faulty and the factory fan control software is not increasing fan speed with load. Increasing my cpu fan speed to 3100 RPM seems to have worked wonders for file transfer rates.

I'm not positive this is the actual problem but it sure seems to have worked...
    
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post #10 of 13
i just transferred ~4GB onto a flash drive from my macbook (in sig) and it showed no sign of lagging, i was able to switch between multiple applications and web pages smoothly. does the imac have any apple care warranty left?
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