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  • Very slow and erratic data transfer to and from NAS used for backup

    Home Forums Networking – routers, firewalls, network configuration Very slow and erratic data transfer to and from NAS used for backup

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      • #2257609
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        Due to heavy work load the past year or so I allowed things to quit working and am now trying to take advantage of being stuck at home to get my systems working properly again. My WD My Cloud NAS isn’t co-operating. I use it for back up, so I need to copy large chunks of data to it, and 7 KB/s doesn’t cut it.

        My network:

        Netgear GigE switch connected to AT&T router by CAT6 cable. Everything listed below is connected to it by cable, not WiFi.

        Old computer (originally Win7) running Win10Pro 1903. Runs very slowly and periodically stalls with excessive C: access.

        Newer computer with recent fresh install of Win10Pro 1909. Runs great. Both computers are Lenovo ThinkCentres of differing vintage.

        1 TB WD My Book Live NAS that contains nearly all of my data (except e-mail). I use it as a file server, operating as a mapped drive on both computers. It mostly works okay, but has occasional lapses when large transfers will get rather slow. Oddly, when I tried to get back into the dashboard after many months I can see the dashboard, but choosing any of the menu items just results in a timeout.

        3 TB WD My Cloud NAS that I use as a backup server, operating as a mapped drive on both computers. It was working fine when I stopped doing backups sometime last year (long story). Now that I’m trying to get it going again the data transfer speeds are very erratic: occasional spurts at MB speeds, but long periods of speeds in the range of 7-10 KB/s, with additional long periods at zero, triggering timeouts. It doesn’t matter which of my two Win10 computers I use to manage the transfer.

        The only changes that I can think of that have happened since the last time the My Cloud was working well have been Microsoft updates. I’m very suspicious that something more than SMBv1 got turned off or changed, but it’s quickly become obvious that this diagnosis is beyond my limited expertise.

        Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. I sure would like to get this going again before I’m called back to work.

        Moderator note: Links removed. Please follow the Lounge Rules.

        11. No advertising, except by explicit prior arrangement

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

        • This topic was modified 10 months ago by jdunham. Reason: Update
        • This topic was modified 10 months ago by PKCano.
        • This topic was modified 10 months ago by PKCano.
      • #2257748
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Turn off all network devices except the good W10 box and the backup NAS. Disconnect the internet.

        Transfer some large files to the NAS using Robocopy (use the /NP /NFL switches). This will give you the transfer rate.
        Turn on other devices one at a time and re-test.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2257868
        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        All my computers are Win7 here at home. I had to re-enable SMBv1 in order for everything on my home network to work properly. Re-enabling SMBv1 on your Win10 computers might be worth testing to see if that resolves your issues.

      • #2257894
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        Thank you, GoneToPlaid.  I did re-enable SMBv1 a few days ago.  Before that I couldn’t find the My Cloud device at all.  After re-enabling the MyCloud works, but extremely slowly, as described above, so there’s something else going on.

        Thank you, Paul T.  I’ll try that here in a bit.  I have a Robocopy script I often use for backups, but not with those switches.  I’ll add the switches and see what shows up.

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

      • #2257956
        PaulK
        AskWoody Lounger

        During the ‘long periods at zero’ transfer speed, is there any indication (visually/lights, or by touch/vibration) that the drive heads are doing seeking?

      • #2258035
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        PaulK, that hasn’t told me much.  The older My Book Live, which only rarely suffers the problem, blinks a green light steadily no matter what it’s doing or not doing.  The newer My Cloud has a steady blue light no matter what it’s doing, though it has other colors when booting up.

        I still need to try GoneToPlaid’s suggestion.  The day got away from me with other pressing activities.  Thanks to all of you for your patience.

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

      • #2258166
        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        Perhaps also check your router settings. On your Win10 computers, check that write-caching is enabled for your My Book drives.

      • #2258226
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        Finally getting back to this problem.

        I only know how to enable write caching for drives that are part of my computer, not for an NAS.  Interestingly, in checking the Device Mangler to see whether that’s possible, I see the My Book Live NAS (the one that generally works okay), but the newer My Cloud NAS is AWOL.

        What am I looking for in my router settings?  Nothing has been changed there for a very long time.  Our router was supplied by AT&T back in 2013, so I suppose it might be obsolete, but we’ve had no issue with it, and looking at the dashboard now I don’t see anything not working as expected.

        I’m off to try what you suggested earlier: transferring a large file between my newer Win10 machine and the newer NAS with nothing else on the network, including the router.

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

      • #2258257
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        Following PaulT’s suggestion, I disconnected everything but my newer Win10 machine and my newer NAS (the one exhibiting the most problems).  I identified a test subdirectory: 6.48 GB, over 5,000 files.  I then realized that the computer I’d shut down had my usual Robocopy scripts and decided to just drag and drop.

        I started by copying the test subdirectory from the NAS to my desktop.  I didn’t pay close attention to the time, but it took around 7 to 8 minutes and I did not observe any periods of slowdown.  I then copied the same directory from my desktop back to the NAS.  This time it took 33 minutes, and I observed many periods of slowdown, with transfer speeds often dropping to zero for up to a minute at a time.

        I then took that NAS off line and reconnected the older NAS (the one that seldom exhibits a slowdown problem).  I started a copy of the same subdirectory, from the NAS to my desktop.  It took 10 minutes to copy 1%, and at that point I stopped it.  This is even worse than the supposedly problematic NAS did.

        I did not try the same test with the older computer, which has its own problems, but I’ve seen the same slowdowns with it in the past and don’t expect it to do any better.

        I may be reading the wrong thing into this test, but the only thing in common with all the slowdowns is my Netgear 8-port gigabit switch.  Might the switch be dying?  Has anyone seen a problem like this turn out to be a faulty switch?  I’ve had this switch for several years, and did not see this problem prior to 2020.

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

        • This reply was modified 9 months, 4 weeks ago by jdunham. Reason: Typing error
        • #2258262
          GoneToPlaid
          AskWoody Plus

          Your Netgear gigabit switch may have bad capacitors. See this wiki article about the capacitor plague:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capacitor_plague

          Long ago (early 2000’s), I bought a used 16-port 10-100 switch off eBay for dirt cheap since it wasn’t working properly. I opened it up and discovered that it had one large capacitor whose tin cap was puffed up. The switch had only a couple of tin can capacitors. I ordered new caps, installed them, and that $20 switch worked for several years.

      • #2258321
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Try LAN Speed Test Lite (free) for an easier tool.

        Test all combinations of machine and NAS, and machine to machine (create a share on each PC for the test).

        cheers, Paul

      • #2258499
        GoneToPlaid
        AskWoody Plus

        Hi jdunham,

        I have been thinking about your 1 TB WD My Book Live NAS and 3 TB WD My Cloud NAS issues. My thinking made me recall rare yet possibly similar issues with hard drives from a few years back, especially since today I once again encountered the issue.

        Try this: In Windows Explorer, right-click on your mapped drive letter. This will show a popup Properties window for the drive. Then click on the Tools tab and click on “Check now…” in the error-checking box. This will then run the GUI version of Checkdisk. Do not additionally check the box for scanning for and recovering bad sectors. Instead, simply click the Start button. One of two things will be reported:

        — Errors were found and (hopefully) fixed.
        — No errors were found.

        If errors were found and fixed, was the only error for an incorrect free space issue fixed? This commonly causes seriously slow speed issues in Windows.

        Even if no errors were found, Checkdisk does actually fix issues within the NTFS file system which are not reported as actual errors in terms of stored data. Sometimes underlying issues in the NTFS file system itself can seriously affect the performance of the hard drive.

        Today, I experienced terrible read-write performance for one of my backup drives which was last plugged into my computer a few months ago. To resolve the issue, I finally remembered to do the above since I recalled that simply running Checkdisk did previously fix the issue, even though Checkdisk did not report any actual errors. So even though Checkdisk did not report any errors, after running Checkdisk, the affected backup hard drive’s read and write performance was back to nominal.

        Run Checkdisk on your mapped drives, and run Checkdisk on the computer which you are using for testing.

        After doing the above and if the issue still persists, then I have another solution for you to first test for, and then you to do.

        Best regards,

        –GTP

        • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by GoneToPlaid. Reason: grammar edit
        • This reply was modified 9 months, 3 weeks ago by Kirsty.
        1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #2258827
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        Updating:

        I’ve spent my discretionary time this weekend investigating.  I’ve learned a lot, and still don’t have a fix, but might have a rather unappealing workaround.

        As I indicated above, before the weekend I’d already tried every combination of Windows 10 computer and WD NAS, with every combo suffering the same problem.  That left my gigabit switch as the only hardware common to all tests.  On Saturday I rooted around in dusty old boxes and found my old D-Link 10/100 switch.  I moved all connections over to it and tested.  This resulted in exactly same behavior, with long delays, as in previous tests.  It also was no slower that the gigabit switch.  This tells me that my problem is not hardware.

        If the problem is software, it could be at either end, since both NASes are from WD and might have very similar firmware, and since both computers are running recent versions of Windows 10.  I lack another, non-WD NAS to swap in, but I do possess another computer that’s not running Windows 10.

        Back to the museum.  I found an old Dell notebook built back when I was working for Dell (and I left in 2000).  I plugged the antique in and was a bit surprised when it booted right up, giving me a functioning Windows XP Pro machine.  It doesn’t know anything about gigabit ethernet, but 10/100 is still worth testing.

        Aaaand, there it is.  This ancient notebook has no trouble copying my 6.48 GB test subdirectory to an NAS and back consistently in 25 minutes.  The same action was running hours with the Win 10 machines.  I think I now have the smoking gun, and it has Microsoft written all over it.

        I can now do backups from one NAS to the other, but only if I keep an XP machine on my network just for that purpose.  That’s a workaround, but not really a solution.  Since I have no idea what Microsoft did to break my backup scheme, I have no idea whether it’s something I might potentially fix if I were smarter.

        Tying up loose ends:

        Yes, I did check to see whether both NASes are running the latest firmware.  They are.

        GoneToPlaid, I can’t run checkdisk as you suggested.  I think that only works on internal drives or USB external drives.  There does not seem to be a way to do it on mapped NAS drives.  Since these NASes run Linux (I think), it would probably not be advisable to run checkdisk on them, anyway.  They aren’t NTFS.

        PaulT, computer to computer copying works fine.  The issue is just between Win 10 computers and NASes.  I can’t use any of these computers to replace an NAS as a file or backup server since I always buy with fairly small C: drives.  No need to pay for large C: drives if most data is going to sit on an NAS.

        If it matters to anyone reading this, my Win 10 computers are different generations of Lenovo ThinkCentre.

        Thanks to everyone for all the help.  I suspect I’ve gone about as far as I can with this, but if anyone has further suggestions I REALLY want to know.  My workaround is far from ideal.

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

      • #2258842
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        It’s most likely an SMB1 issue. Check what SMB version the NAS units support.

        cheers, Paul

        • #2259043
          jdunham
          AskWoody Plus

          PaulT, one of the first things I discovered last week when I started digging was that recent versions of Windows 10 disable SMBv1.  At that point I was unable to reach the My Cloud NAS.  Once I re-enabled SMBv1 I was able to connect to that NAS.  The surprising thing was that the lack of SMBv1 did not keep me from connecting to the older My Book Live NAS.

          Since re-enabling SMBv1 I’ve had no problem connecting to both NASes, but the extreme slowness issue has persisted.  Overnight I ran the full diagnostic on the My Cloud NAS, and it generated an error: Parameter is missing. (400041).  I have no idea what that means, but will attempt to look it up on the WD website.

          Jerry Dunham
          Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
          Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

      • #2259476
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        To remove W10 from the equation, download a linux live ISO and install it on USB, then boot Linux, connect to the NAS and try some transfers.
        Try Lubuntu.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2260257
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        Hmmm….  That looks like an interesting option, but I’d think learning a whole new OS would be rather time consuming.  It’s been two decades since I last used UNIX, and that’s the closest I’ve come to Linux.  I still use vi on Windows, but beyond that I’ve probably forgotten pertnear everything.  I’ll put it on the to-do list, but won’t get to it immediately.  When I get to it I may regret putting it off, but it’s rather intimidating at the moment.

        I think I’m going to have to accept that Windows 10 broke the WD devices and do backups with my antique XP machine until I can afford to spend money on a different solution.

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

        • #2260388
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          Linux is more like Windows when it fires up these days, so the learning curve is tiny. Running Lubuntu from a CD/USB is a simple way to test your NAS.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2263617
        jdunham
        AskWoody Plus

        Update:

        I did not try the Linux option.  I demonstrated with my old Windows XP machine that Windows 10 is the problem, so I resigned myself to using the XP machine for backups.

        Now I seem to have a new My Book Live problem.  I’ll start another thread for it, since it seems unrelated to the Windows 10 slowness problem.

        Jerry Dunham
        Co-founder, Coonhound and Foxhound Companions
        Founder, Tejas Coonhound Rescue

      • #2337933
        NASAndSlow
        AskWoody Lounger

        Hi Guys.

        I read many of your solutions.

        Still don’t understand why I get close to zero Kb/s data transfer today.

        I bought my My Cloud 4Tb in 2014. Never got any problem with it. Nothing.

        Transfer was always around 45Mb/s to NAS when it was around 60Mb/s to USB External drives. Usual.

        Last November, I needed more space on my My Cloud so I bought a 12Tb WD My Book (which is great) and I transfer everything to it so I can download and install the firmware on my NAS. Just one error, I didn’t notice that it was exFat formatted.

        So, it was slow. Too slow.

        Not for the transfer that was close to 60Mb/s but because it stopped spinning 20seconds after I stopped accessing the drive so each time I had to wait at least 15 to 20 seconds to get it running to the right RPM to have access to my data. Other than that it worked fine.

        So I did a big clean up and what was left, I emptied it to another My Book (2Tb) I have. Once emptied, I formatted it to NTFS. Now it doesn’t stop. It helps when you have to manage more than 6Tb of data. I transferred my data back to the 12Tb My Book and kept working.

        Everything went fine. until this weekend.

        I’ve been using it for a couple of days to transfer my data back to the NAS and I got at least 45Mb/s transfer, but yesterday morning, it started to get slow, and slow and real slow : 0 to 12Kb/s.

        Today, I was out of solutions so I plugged it directly to my PC with the ethernet cable. I was able to transfer again at 45Mb/s then after 30min, it started again to slow down and do the same 0-12kb/s.

        That can’t be a network problem, I’m plugged directly to the PC.

        I did a Full Test for bad sector and a Quick test and both came back healthy, no bad sectors.

        So I’m out of solutions Guys, I really need your help.

        Thanks in advance for your advices.

      • #2337948
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Does it return to normal after a 5 minute break?
        After a NAS reboot?
        After a PC reboot?
        Does it slow down after being turned on for X minutes, or after X minutes of use?

        cheers, Paul

      • #2338056
        NASAndSlow
        AskWoody Lounger

        Does it slow down after being turned on for X minutes, or after X minutes of use?

        With NAS My Cloud plugged directly to my PC, it starts transferring 50Gb (files and folders) at 45 to 60Mbr/s and when I come back later (let’s say, 1 hour later), I can see a certain percentage done and it went down to 5 to 15 Mb/s. I came back later, another 2 hours and it was at 55Kb/s. It was done when I got in my home office this morning. Usually, If I do the math,  transfer that much should take : 50 000 000 000/50 000 = 10 000 seconds = 166.7 min. = 2.78 hours so give and take, 2h 45min. at an average of 50Mb/s, which I had before the weekend.

        So,

        Does it return to normal after a 5 minute break?

        There was no break between when I launched the transfer and when it ended.
        After a NAS reboot?

        When I rebooted the NAS drive, it seemed to come back to normal and then it slows down.
        After a PC reboot?

        No effect. Starts normal and then slow down.

      • #2338285
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        plugged directly to my PC

        via USB?

        Maybe you have a SMR disk and your file transfer is a “delete then write” operation.
        See this post: https://www.askwoody.com/forums/topic/cant-kill-txf/#post-2325265

        cheers, Paul

      • #2338352
        NASAndSlow
        AskWoody Lounger

        NAS are always (or mostly) plugged to Switches, Routers or Modems with Ethernet cables so it is the Ethernet cable that is connected directly to my PC.

        What I did, I copied all files to my 12Tb My Book and then I recopied those files from that 12Tb to my NAS and files started to go fast as usual but maybe half speed.

        Took 4h instead of 18h.

        So maybe you’re right, because I was moving files and folders from one partition to another on the same NAS so it had to copy and delete the same file which can surely contribute to be really slow and got me thinking about jumping off the bridge (joke).

        So without knowing, maybe I never did that before so I never could encounter that kind of problem and it freaked me out.

        Seem to be better this morning so thanks every one for your support.

        Really appreciated.

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