I have two computers connected to a router with 100MB/s ethernet cable and network cards.

On computer A with Windows XP I am sharing some files. From computer B with windows 7 I am downloading these files with windows file sharing.

The problem is that the speed is only around 200-800kb/s! If I look at the networking tab in the task manager(on computer B) this is about 5% of max.

If i do the other way around though, share a folder on computer B and upload files there from computer A, I will get 60% network usage on computer B and the transfer is a lot faster.

This time I'll just share on B and transfer from A but I'm curious how it can be such a huge difference and how to fix it next time.

Edit Gha! Got an error about not having enough diskspace even though there is over 50Gb left and after that i can't even access computer B from computer A, because "you might not have access to this network resource", even though i havn't touched any settings during this time. It also paused all the time to ask if i want to overwrite files. I give up and go back to basics. Installed an ftp server on computer A and now i'm downloading at steady 9MB/s without any rights problems or questions locking the rest of the transfer :)


You might want to try using a program called teracopy - Teracopy website

It shows you transfer speeds and lets you pause transfers etc. It certainly sped up my transfers using XP (Vista and Windows 7 don't seem to need it though)

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You don't need to install something from a 3rd party company when Microsoft makes a free piece of software called RichCopy that can do it. Why do so many people want to reinvent the wheel?

By the way, if you copy multi-threaded, like RichCopy will do, then you will get a lot more speed than with just 1 thread.


The percents you're seeing relate to the network card in the computer, and not to the speed of the network itself, which in your case is dictated by the router.
I would guess that one of the machines has a network card rated at 100MB and the other at 1GB.

Also, the displayed percentage is just an approximation that might be off the real value by dozens of percents, so just take it as an indication, rather than precision science.

  • I'm looking at the graph on one computer only, i'm sure this(and the other) computer has a 100Mb network-card. When downloading files from the other computer this graph lays steady around 5%, when i upload from the other computer instead this graph jumps up to 60-80% instantly and remains there until the upload is complete. This is a difference in about 8MB/s, i highly doubt that windows meassures so badly. – ara Sep 16 '09 at 11:32
  • If both machines are nearly identical, can this relate to some software installed on one machine but not on the other? First candidates are always antivirus programs. However, you may in one go test whether an installed application is behind this by doing the test after booting both machines in safe mode with network. – harrymc Sep 16 '09 at 12:09

In my experience, the file-write performance of the target machine heavily influences the performance. Lots of things can influence that, from network card-vs-HD I/O contention, CPU efficiency, driver efficiency (both network and drive), it's a bit open-ended.

Temporarily turning off the target machine's real-time anti-virus scanning can help a lot too, depending upon the AV that you use. IMO Avast and AVG seem the "least" impact upon performance, but opinions vary.

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