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October 8, 2008
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October 13, 2008

Fix Vista Problem Slow File Copying


Using the Windows Vista OS hasn't always been headache-free for me.  Particularly when copying large files or just many files, it can be very slow!  Trying to compress (i.e. .zip archive) many files at once the same story.  And almost everyone using Vista has seen the dreaded "Windows Needs Your Permission to Continue" message.  Today I'm going to talk about what I do to deal with each of these.

File Copying

Starting with file copying, one day I was copying large HD video files from my internal SATA hard drive to an external PATA via the USB 2.0 interface.  I was disappointed to see my transfer speed drop from over 20 megabytes per second to just a few kilobytes or even bytes per second.  That's right, bytes per second!  FYI – I am using a Core 2 Duo machine running Vista Home Premium with all recommended updates.

Checking around the Internet I read that to solve this you can disable something called Remote Differential Compression.  Didn't work.  Also, there was a suggestion to disable creating the preview icons in file folders.  Didn't work.  But what DID work is a free program called TeraCopy.  It even integrates in the Windows shell so you can right-click in a folder and run the app or just drag and drop file copy will work too.

If you need to see the difference in a better way, use the Task Manager (right click your task bar for quick access to this program) and then under the Performance tab hit the Resource Monitor button.  You'll see a graph just like in the picture of this post.


Once when I was trying to .zip some photographs to maintain the original files I didn't expect to have any problem using Vista's built-in .zip archiving.  But alas, my hopes of doing this with the most modern OS from Microsoft to date were quickly gone when quite the opposite was happening to the task at hand.  It seems that here is another broken feature of Vista.

My guess as to why this is happening is that the more files there are, the slower things will be due to something Vista does with them.  My solution to this was to purchase an update to an old favorite program of mine, Stuffit version 12.  Now if I want to .zip files it's Zippity Do Dah! ( Sorry, ha-ha)

User Account Control

Tell me what's worse, slow file copying or having your computer nag you about not having permission to do something when it does?  You may have seen this trying to update iTunes as an Admin "Error 1310…. file c:\config.msi\…."  If you're an Admin and run the program with like privileges, why would the Vista OS tell you to make sure you have read-write access to that directory?

Be careful if decide to follow, but after a year and half of leaving UAC intact, I've disabled it.  Problem is gone!  I'm going to rely on my Acronis True Image backups and AVG AntiVirus software to keep my PC safe.  For a quick and easy way to turn off UAC hit the link here.

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