I noticed that copying a large file from one location on a network drive to another location on the same network drive takes much longer than copying it locally. Instead of copying the file locally, the network computer sends the file to my remote computer, which sends it back to the same network computer. This means the files are being transferred over the network completely unnecessarily. Is there a way to fix this issue? It's becoming a real hassle to manage the video files on my network drive.

Note: This is the case with both Windows and Linux (using Samba) network folders.


This is as I would expect. You're initiating the copy from your computer. Your computer is the medium over which the files will be copied. You could try running something like psexec to initiate the copy command from the remote computer.


  • 1
    +1, also if you could initiate direct server to server transfers there would be ample opportunity for abuse of the network, and plenty of other problems.
    – Chris S
    Jun 18 '10 at 0:23

Just to pad out a little on what joeqwerty has said, a copy operation is effectively memory based. i.e. The source is first read into memory, either completely or in segments, and is then written out to the destination. Without using fancy tricks there is no way the memory part of this can occur on the network share, which as far as the client is concerned is nothing more than a remote disk drive. This same problem occurs with things like FTP as well.


Moving the file doesn't incur the penalty, just copying.

On a trivial historic note, w-a-y back at the dawn of corporate networking, when NetWare was King, Token Ring was common, and Ethernet generally involved coax of some kind, Novell ran into this problem. The NCOPY command theoretically told the server to copy a file from point A to point B instead of what the DOS COPY command did, which was copy the file over the network to memory before writing it out over the network again on the new location. Like a Move, it was pretty fast (compared to copy). Time passed, and the need for a Windows NetWare client emerged, and NCOPY went away. Copies worked like they always did on DOS.

Everything else in the known world works the way John and joe described. Which is to say, anything written in the last 20 years behaves like that.

  • That's the price of "progress" :) Jun 18 '10 at 5:41

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