i am running debian lenny on my machine. The problem is when I try to copy data from usb device to my hdd, The transfer rate is very very slow, Even if i put 10MB file to copy it takes arround 15min to cp to hdd. But the same usb device it i connect to laptop it works fine. Even it was problem when etch was there, i though it may get solved after upgrading to lenny. Is there any solution for this..

  • Is it a USB drive or usb based external hdd or some usb communication device like phone?
    – Viky
    Jun 4, 2009 at 11:43
  • Its sandisk usb prive(pendrive). Jun 5, 2009 at 6:27

4 Answers 4


As Bernd asked:

Which usb module is loaded? uhci or ehci

lsmod | grep hci

The output should look something like this:

uhci_hcd               22404  0 
ehci_hcd               34688  0 
usbcore               134576  5 oss_usb,usbhid,uhci_hcd,ehci_hcd

If it only shows uhci and not ehci, then the usb 2.0 drivers just aren't loading


Does your desktop have USB 2? Is the specific port you're using USB 2?

You can check by looking whether the USB HCI driver module is ohci/uhci (USB 1) or ehci (USB 2).

  • No! i am not running it on any specific port. Jun 4, 2009 at 10:29
  • It's possible that the machine only has USB 1 ports, or it has USB 2 ports but you plugged it into a slower USB 1 port without realizing. The laptop almost certainly has the faster USB 2 ports, which is why it's faster there.
    – Mark
    Jun 14, 2009 at 2:24
  • No, My comp has 4 ports, 2 ports back side and front side 2, Even i checked it, Its show very slow.. Jun 15, 2009 at 10:30

I would check the output of "dmesg" to see if the kernel or the drivers are outputting any error messages. I've had very slow reads and writes with certain drivers (old NTFS drivers before NTFS-3G, for example) that were fixed by upgrading to a newer version.

You could also check "lspci -v" to see if the kernel thinks your onboard USB controllers are 1.0 or 2.0 (ohci/uhci is USB1, ehci is USB2).

"lsusb" can also list the detected USB devices and can assist in troubleshooting.

If this drive is NTFS, also look at the NTFS-3G driver. It's fast, reliable, and works beautifully with my 300G external USB drive.

  • i use reiserfsck. Jun 5, 2009 at 6:26

Some machines have slow and fast USB sockets. On mine, for instance, there are 2 USB sockets on the keyboard that are very slow (but much more convenient), but the ones on the back of the machine itself are much faster. If I have any sizeable files to transfer, I use the ones on the machine.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.