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I recently purchased a USB flash drive (USB2.0 – 8GB), but write speed in slow (3MB/s).

How can I improve the speed?

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Are you connecting it to a USB2 port? Check reviews by other people with that drive to see what others are getting (some may even have tips that helped them with it). If you find disparate reviews of its speed, try exchanging it; it may be from a “bad” batch. – Synetech Mar 13 '11 at 19:29

Although the speed of USB2.0 is much higher than the speeds you're seeing (480Mbps if I remember aright) the actual speed that the device can write to its internal flash chip is considerably slower.

Cheap USB 'pen drive' memory sticks tend to have cheap flash chips which are quite slow to access. More expensive SSD drives have multiple chips of a higher quality, which can both individually write faster and, due to the multiple quantity, write in parallel.

So it is highly unlikely you will be able to increase the speed of the flash drive without ditching it and spending hundreds of dollars on an SSD device.

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This is true, but you could also just spend a little more on a better USB flash drive. The speed is indeed mostly determined by the quality of the flash chip used. I believe Corsair uses the highest speed flash chips (at least mine is reasonably fast). – Keith Mar 13 '11 at 20:47
It also depends on the size of the files you are writing to the drive, if you are writing lots of small files then the speed will be considerably lower than if you were writing one large file, I use ATTO Disk Benchmark for speed testing. My Corsair Voyager gets ~10MB/s write for files > 64kB, but only 1.8MB/s for 4kB files. – Hydaral Mar 16 '11 at 3:58

Matt Jenkins isn't wrong in his description of hardware, but there are plenty of software reasons for poor performance. You could use a tool like any of these to test and get metric numbers.

The operating system & filesystem type of the USB will determine the size of the writes and the # of threads. Tell us some details about the OS / USB FS and how you're writing to it and we can get a clearer answer.

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OS:Win 7 x64 HP. USB : 8GB NTFS(Kingmax). writing with windows explorer (Copy and Paste). – MJH Mar 14 '11 at 8:36

Start by disabling RDC - from everything I've read it's a primary cause of poor local transfer rates.

Here's how.

Here's more information.

And just for more reference.

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Try to use fast file systems with large cluster-size(FAT32/64k), it will sacrifice some storage space, but can help with the I/O.

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