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I'm experiencing very slow data transfer speeds over USB 2.0 on my nix box and was wondering how I can pin-point the cause of the problem.

I've looked into iotop and top but the cpu and mem figures look normal (compared to guides I have checked).

The box which is affected is Ubuntu 12.04 32bit Server running on an Asus EEE 701 2G model and I am transferring from the OS over USB 2.0 to an external HDD (which transfers at 30MB/s+ on Windows 7 on other machine).

I get rsync write speeds of 1MB/s from OS to USB HDD which seems ridiculously slow. These speeds are consistent with other USB HDDs and sticks.

migrated from stackoverflow.com Dec 11 '12 at 18:16

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First, please make sure you actually have USB 2.0. Paste the output of the commands:

lsusb
lsusb -v

Install atop, then run atop as root:

apt-get install atop
atop

And start your transfer. Keep watching atop while the transfer is happening. Let it run a minute or so. Atop takes 10 s between updates. Look for any colored lines (e.g. red lines).

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