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I need to copy about 2 terabytes of media files from one hard disk to another (both external, USB 2). While doing a test run, I noticed the speed was between 20 to 22 MB per second (without using any utilities.) Is this acceptable speed? Will file copy utilities make big difference? Pls suggest some freely available tools/utilities to copy files.

OS is Windows 7

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TeraCopy is the dragon you need.

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Does it really speed up the process? – Romeo Mar 28 '12 at 4:57
@Romi No, but if an file fails to copy, it can help. – HackToHell Mar 28 '12 at 5:43

I prefer to copy large amount of data using synchronization utilities like Super flexible file synchronizer because it is much easy to restore copy/sync operation in case OS fails, working process freezes or even Blue Screen.

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I'm more concerned about the copy speed at the moment. Will it help speed up file copying? – Romeo Mar 28 '12 at 5:03

I use Robocopy not so much for the speed of transfer, but I noticed using Explorer to do large transfers slows down my Windows Explorer.

Robocopy in addition to not using Explorer, has the ability to resume transfers, so if there is a problem or I need to pause or abort the copy. I can pick the transfer up without needing to recopy all the files.

Third party copy utilities say they use larger transfer buffers than Windows, however, I personally don't usually notice a difference. It really depends on the type of data (i.e. a lot of small files, vs a few big files) if the buffer sizes seem to help me.

In the end, I look for feature like (resume, logging, error handling...) rather than speed.

I assume Robocopy has low overhead because you can turn the updates to the command line off, and there is no GUI to eat up CPU time. Some say using the multi-threading switch helps, but if you only have one source disk and one destination disk, I'm not sure if that will help because the drive heads will be swapping between files. I believe one file at a time would work best for one set of heads.

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