Thursday, May 24, 2012

Copying files to several USB drives verse copying one drive at a time

I was given the task to prepare X amount of USB drives to hand out to clients. I was thinking about a good  way to approach the preparation of these USB drives.

1. Format the drive
2. Copy the data
3. Verify the data is written to the drive correctly.

I started by copying one drive at a time, this worked but. It works, but takes a long time. In this configuration you are better of using division of labour to get the job done (i.e 3-4 people copying single USB drives at once).

I noticed that copying files to a single USB drive it never consumed the total available bandwidth on the USB bus. This is probably because the memory in the USB drive (about 4 MB /Sec) is slower than the actual USB bus on the computer (USB is 480 Mbits /Sec or about 60 MB/Sec).

So I re-programmed copy2USB application that I created to do 'one to many' at once. This proved to be even more effective. I then was then preparing 4 USB drives at once or in management speak I just quadrupled my productivity.

If you do the math you could probably hook up to about 15 USB drives before you would hit the max transfer limit. I would recommend using SSD as the source drive.

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