Backup to USB is taking hours... is this normal

I have about 2TB stored on a 4TB My Cloud. I connected a 5TB external USB 3.0 hard drive directly to the My Cloud and created a “Sync” backup job. It’s been running for 13 hours and still about 3/4 done. Is this normal? Thanks

Hi, I have not tried this myself, however the posts that I have seen in the community, indicate that USB backups tend to take longer than if you would do it on the computer, and it can be slower if someone is accessing the drive.

Thanks… I gave up on the Sync job and went with a standard “copy” job. It’s really unfortunate that there is no way to schedule periodic automatic backups that would do incremental backups of new/modified files.


So is FreeFile Sync something that can be installed on the WD My Cloud? I currently have a 4TB My Cloud with a 5TB external USB hard drive attached to it via the USB connection. Thanks

Generally no, Free File Sync is a program you install to your local computer. The confusion stems from your use in your first post of: a "Sync" backup job. Are you using Safepoint / Backup to backup the My Cloud to the attached USB hard drive? Or are you using WD Sync to sync or backup your computer to the USB hard drive attached to the USB port on the My Cloud?

A “sync” and a “backup” are two slightly different tasks that accomplish slightly different end results.

If one is using Safepoint / Backup, one can instead use Rsync to copy files/data from the main My Cloud drive to a USB hard drive attached to the My Cloud. Use the forum search feature, magnifying glass icon upper right, to read through the other discussions on using Rsync on the My Cloud. Here is one such discussion:

There are numerous complaints about the slowness of backing up to a USB hard drive attached to the My Cloud. Start with the following discussion on slow copying speeds:

There are other options mostly for the older gen 1 v4.x My Clouds, which include using an alternate OS (clean Debian) on the My Cloud that may provide better copying speed between the USB port and the My Cloud hard drive.

If one is using WD Sync, one can use Free File Sync ( instead, which more than a few here have done, due to the various issues some are having with WD Sync.

Just a general comment on copy speeds. One almost never gets the advertised copying speed either from a computer to the My Cloud or from the My Cloud to an attached USB hard drive. The reasons are numerous and include the slow/low powered processor used by the My Cloud and the hard drive speed/hardware used by both the My Cloud and the USB hard drive or computer. One can use various methods to test the copy/transfer speed to or from the My Cloud to get a feel for the actual transfer speed. Also note that typically, depending on the backup or sync being performed the first backup or sync is always the slowest and takes the longest amount of time.

Thanks for the very informative reply! Ideally, I’d like to have an up-to-date backup of the data that resides on My Cloud on the external USB drive. Something that runs periodically and “mirrors” the data in case the My Cloud crashes.

Here are my options… Thanks!

Because your using the newer generation v2.x My Cloud feel free to add your voice to the call for WD to implement the ability to schedule a backup to USB to one of the following Cloud Ideas thread:

As Bennor suggested, I assumed from your repeated use of capitalised ‘Sync’ that you were running the WD Sync program on a PC or Mac external to the MyCloud, rather than using Safepoint (v4) or Backup (v2) on the device itself. Hence the suggestion of FreeFileSync which would also be run on device external to the MyCloud.

Once again we see where this stupid difference between the older first gen v4.x Dashboard and the newer second gen v2.x Dashboard rears its ugly head. The older v4.x firmware doesn’t have a user selectable option (that I’ve seen) to have Safepoint perform a; “Synchronize”, “Copy”, or “Incremental” backup type. It’s, from what I’ve seen, an incremental backup after one performs the first initial full Safepoint backup.

WD really should change either one or both generation firmware versions so they have identical Dashboards, identical features and identical terminology. Otherwise this repeated confusion and miscommunication will continue with no end.