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Is it faster to move files between media in large pieces (i.e. many files and folders within an archive) or move them file-by-file? Is there a significant difference, considering that the file transfer completes with no errors?

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"Better" how? Faster? Less chance of corruption? –  Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Nov 23 '11 at 1:10
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@techie007 I meant faster. Edited! –  iglvzx Nov 23 '11 at 1:11
    
@techie007 This is not a duplicate, as they are asking about a queue of file transfers. I am asking about transferring the files as a single archive (e.g. *.zip), as opposed to file-by-file (individually). –  iglvzx Nov 23 '11 at 1:13
    
Do you count the time of archiving and unarchiving? which basically means one copy at each side. –  mouviciel Nov 24 '11 at 9:09

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If contents and size are equal, then transferring one file should be faster due to only having one header/index entry to deal with. The setup and tear-down overhead of many files can add significant time to the transfers.

See this SU question for more info: Why does copying the same amount of data take longer if spread across many separate files?

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