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I Have a 2TB WD external hardrive, with an USB3 interface.

When copying a file to it, the transfer speed is very low (800KB/s ~ 1MB/s)

In the taskmanager (under the Performance tab) in windows 8 the harddisk is fully utilized 100% (reading) even though I'm not using it.

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Do you have indexing enabled on that drive? Or a scheduled anti-virus scan? These and similar reason things would be a reason for your drive to be busy. And being busy with read actions explains the low speed when you try to do additional things with it, such as copying a file to it. –  Hennes Jun 2 '13 at 9:15
    
If you are familiar with thask manager in Windows 8, there's a "open resource monitor" link at the bottom. There you can page to disk, expand "disk activity" and see what program touches files on it. –  Kitet Jun 2 '13 at 9:38

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