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  • "Better Performance" Option for USB Drives

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 "Better Performance" Option for USB Drives

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      • #350006 Reply
        BobStr
        AskWoody Plus

        Today, over on the How-to Geek website there’s an article about “How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 10.” I thought I’d give it a try, especially since on my new MS Surface, every time I connect any but one of my USB drives, it freezes the mouse, requiring me to use the touch pad, which I hate. I doubted that it would help on the freezing issue, but what the heck, and what could it hurt?

        The procedure is to go into Disk Management | Right click on the USB drive in question | Properties tab | Better Performance. The article adds that “Microsoft recommends you also activate the ‘Enable write caching on the device’ setting under Write-caching policy if you select Better performance.” However, although I could enable “Better Performance,” when I selected “Enable write caching on the device” as well, and then hit the “OK” button, I got a message stating “Windows could not change the write-caching setting for the device. Your device might not support this feature or changing the setting.”

        Googling the issue before I posted here, I saw where one guy inquired about how to turn off write caching and was told that it couldn’t be done, because all USB drives do it. Didn’t make sense to me, since the option clearly appears on the Properties tab, but that’s the advice that was dispensed.

        In any case, the drive I tried this on is a brand new 32 GB SanDisk Cruzer Glide 3.0. I tried it with the drive formatted both for FAT32 and NTFS. Same result both times.

        For laughs, I then tried my oldest pen drive, a 2 GB PNY, which is well over 10 years old, and is my only USB drive that doesn’t make the mouse freeze on this laptop. (None of them causes freezing on my seven-fyear old Win 7 desktop or on my other laptop, which is so old it has Win XP on it). The properties tab had an option for “Better Performance”, but no sub-option whatever for “Enable write caching on the device.”

        So that’s two drives; no dice.

        Can anybody shed light on why all this is so? Does this suggest a problem with my setup, or are some USB drives just like this?

        Thanks large.

      • #350008 Reply
        DriftyDonN
        AskWoody Plus

        Is this asking to use the USB as Virtual Memory?

        • #350034 Reply
          anonymous
          Guest

          No, it is for waiting until later to save data using a system memory buffer instead of immediately committing data to the flash drive.

          1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #350042 Reply
        anonymous
        Guest

        Reading many answers the most often I could find is it may simply not be supported by the hardware or driver.

        Is it just Windows weirdness?, I do not know if the following will help you:

        While the flash is unplugged from the computer, I have not ever tried uninstalling the USB flash drive in Device Manager to see if that will make Windows forget the current policy applied to the drive, thereby cleaning up any blocks on changing settings.

      • #350121 Reply
        woody
        Da Boss

        It’s a change in the default setting.

        My understanding is that MS changed the default setting in 1803, but I may be wrong. No idea why this caught on yesterday.

        • #350125 Reply
          doriel
          AskWoody Lounger

          Hello. I think you are diong this wrong. Isnt flashdisk’s cache just tiny piece of memory? I think this is just for external “cylindric” harddrives (I have Apollo Imation UX series). I would like to test this setting, but I cant find it. I can enable “better performance”, but I cant find the cache option you are talking about. Can you tell me where to find it so I can test it for you?

          Windows 10, 1803 – 17134.648

           

          better-performance

          Dell Latitude E6530, Intel Core i5 @ 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, W10 1809 Enterprise

          HAL3000, AMD Athlon 200GE @ 3,4 GHz, 8GB RAM, Fedora 29

          Attachments:
          • #350197 Reply
            mn–
            AskWoody Lounger

            There definitely was some writeback caching visibly going on with at least the larger but still slowish USB2 flash sticks in W10 1709.

            Mind you, it looks like things might not be quite that clear on 1809 … well, at least on .379 and without explicitly changing the policies, it’s still possible to have the “safely remove” procedure fail, too. Which means that the USB drive is going to be in an inconsistent state anyway if pulled. (No, didn’t have anything visibly open from there either.)

        • #350131 Reply
          b
          AskWoody Plus

          It’s a change in the default setting.

          My understanding is that MS changed the default setting in 1803, but I may be wrong. No idea why this caught on yesterday.

          I think MS only documented the default change for the first time last week:

          Windows 10, version 1809 and later: Change in default removal policy for external storage media

          3 users thanked author for this post.
      • #350198 Reply
        cmptrgy
        AskWoody Plus

        You are using
        On the How-to Geek website, you found an article “How to Optimize USB Storage for Better Performance on Windows 10.” and decided to try it w/o success.
        https://www.howtogeek.com/410353/how-to-optimize-usb-storage-for-better-performance-on-windows-10/

        This one is according to Microsoft
        Windows 10, version 1809 and later: Change in default removal policy for external storage media
        — Applies to: Windows 10, version 1809
        https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4495263/windows-10-1809-change-in-default-removal-policy-for-external-media

        Your “basic” issue is: When you want to use your new 32 GB SanDisk Cruzer Glide 3.0, the mouse freezes and you need to use the touch pad.

        Personally I recommend you troubleshoot your “basic” issue to determine what’s wrong in the first place: how can an adjustment to do something else when an item doesn’t perform as it should?

        Concentrate on only using the 32 GB SanDisk Cruzer Glide 3.0 for the time being.
        — There are conflicting results when trying all of the other USB flash drives: leave them out of the equation right now.

        I don’t have time to describe a troubleshooting procedure right now but that’s the direction I would go.
        — I hope others will consider that and even be better than me on how to go in that direction if they agree that’s a good idea.

        EDIT: It might be a good idea to ensure you are up-to-date on Windows Updates for the version you are using.

        Another edit that’s very interesting: the how-to-geeks article is based on Oct 2018 update 1803 but the Microsoft article is based on 1809 and that article was updated on April 3 2019. It wouldn’t surprise me if things didn’t go well in 1803 in some situations and Microsoft had to update whatever needed to be addressed in 1809. Just saying.

        HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

      • #350239 Reply
        cmptrgy
        AskWoody Plus

        Hello everyone, I just finished a response and now I don’t see it even though it last updated 1 hr 22 minutes ago by me.
        — I don’t know what I did wrong but if can determine that, please let me know.
        — I was in the process of doing some edits and trying to explain better what I was promoting.
        — I’m writing this response in a txt document and is copied and pasted in.
        — From now on unless I mentioning something simple in just  a sentence or two, I’ll use the method I’m doing now: write what I wish to contribute to the issue of the post at hand and the copy/paste it in.



        @BobStr
        my recommendation was to troubleshoot the basic issue of why the mouse freezes when you connect most of the USB flash drives but one of them doesn’t present a problem.
        — Since there are discrencies of what’s going on please stay with the new 32 GB SanDisk Cruzer Glide 3.0.

        Also please note that the how-to-geek article is based on 1803
        https://www.howtogeek.com/410353/how-to-optimize-usb-storage-for-better-performance-on-windows-10/
        but the Microsoft article is based on 1809
        https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4495263/windows-10-1809-change-in-default-removal-policy-for-external-media
        — And this article is recorded as Last Updated: Apr 3, 2019
        — BTW, the Microsoft article has already been mentioned by b in #350131

         

        HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

        • #350242 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          Hello everyone, I just finished a response and now I don’t see it even though it last updated 1 hr 22 minutes ago by me.
          — I don’t know what I did wrong but if can determine that, please let me know.
          — I was in the process of doing some edits and trying to explain better what I was promoting.

          The response got caught in the spambucket due to too quick submit/edit/submit/edit. Slow down a little and let the system update before you make the next operation.

          3 users thanked author for this post.
        • #350377 Reply
          BobStr
          AskWoody Plus

          I appreciate the advice, and have in fact been pursuing that issue separately. Last week someone told me that MS Surface machines were “notorious” for having under-powered USB connections. It was news to me that power was an issue at all with USB connections, but my knowledge of computers is limited to following directions and using software, so I looked into it a bit. Another person agreed, and suggested that a powered USB hub might do the trick. I think it’s nuts that they’d make a laptop that can’t simply be used with an external drive without attaching another source of power, but what do I know? So I duly ordered one from Amazon and hope to have it delivered by the end of this week. If that doesn’t help with the freezing problem (which happens for every one of the six USB drives I’ve tried, with the exception of my old 2 GB pen drive), then I’ll be back here posting about it in a new thread.

          Thanks.

      • #350259 Reply
        cmptrgy
        AskWoody Plus

        I then tried my oldest pen drive, a 2 GB PNY, which is well over 10 years old, and is my only USB drive that doesn’t make the mouse freeze on this laptop.

        — Maybe the 2 GB PNY is a USB 1.0 and is the slowest of them all and the mouse has the time to become active.
        — I don’t know what settings to check out but see what you can find out.

        HP EliteBook 8540w laptop Windows 10 Pro (x64)

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