Direct copy from USB to MBLD

I have attached my old external drive to my MBLD via the drive’s onboard USB connection, and when I try to copy files with my laptop from one mapped drive to the other, the transfer speed is limited by my laptop’s wireless speed.

Is there a way to “directly” copy from the USB drive to the MBLD and take advantage of the full USB 2.0 transfer speeds?

You can try to connect the laptop using a wired connection and usually that gives you a faster transfer rate. Or just connect the USB hard drive to the laptop and transfer the files from there.

The files are still being copied across the network - effectively slowing down both both the MBLD and the USB drive attached to it - because in a network copy - all the data that you are copying is being transferred via SMB or AFP from the external USB drive - through the MBLD’s network interface - through your laptop - and back through the MBLD’s ethernet port into the USB drive.  All of this is relatively slow.  You can speed this up by connecting your laptop to your network with an ethernet cable - assuming that your network has a gigabit infrastructure - however - if it is a 100 megabit wired network - you will see some improvement but not that much.  This is not a a problem with the MBLD - rather it is a limitation with network file transfers in general.

I am not familiar with the MBLD - but if there is by any chance a file copy utility built into the MBL firmware - you would log into the MBLD’s dashboard and initiate the copy from there - and that would have the best chance of approaching the MBLD’s full drive speed as well as maximizing the transfer to the USB drive.  If this functionality does exist - you would find it in the MBLD’s dashboard.

Another thing you could try - if you have enough space on your laptop - would be to connect your laptop to your wired network - copy the files from the MBLD’s internal drive to your laptop - and then copy them from your laptop to the USB drive attached to the MBLD.  This should be faster than network copying from the MBLD to the USB drive.

A third option would be to attach the USB drive to a USB port on your laptop - and then attach the MBLD to your laptop by plugging the MBLD’s ethernet cable directly into the ethernet port of your laptop.  This will cause the MBLD to assign itself a 169.254.x.x self-assigned ip.  You will be bypassing your LAN and you should be able to greatly improve the transfer spped over and above what you were getting on your LAN  - at least in the scenario you have described.  If this copying is a one-time event (or an infrequent event) then it is feasible to do this - but if it is a regular event - then it could prove to be somewhat painful.

Be sure to completely shutdown your MBLD via the dashboard before disconnecting from the network and connecting directly to your laptop.


Hi there,

i really want to connect my MBLD as a wired connection all the time.

Could you explain a little further how to do this as just plug and play wont work.

Really appreciate that!


Plug it into your network.

Turn it on.

Connect to it using the WD DIscovery program.

Configure it and set it up to your liking …


Plug it in… to my PowerBook. With firewire. Done

Turn it on… Yup

Connect with WD Discovery… Nope.

No Green Light on front. Cant establish connection.


Thanks in advance for your superior knowledge!


  The MBL cannot be connected via Firewire.   It’s Ethernet only.


Ethernet cable is what I meant… Does this change things???

Thanks again!..

Well it is supposed to work with the ethernet cable as a regular external hdd. I tried it and it worked. Make sure your ethernet port is not disabled and check for driver updates. Also see if you are running the latest firmware of WD. also make sure you have WD smartware installed and running.

I don’t see any reason it shouldn’t work now.

Another option you have is to connect your USB drive to mbld. It will be mounted as a share. Login to mbld using ssh and initiate a direct transfer using copy commands. You may need to be familiar with Linux OS.

Let me know if you need more detailed steps.

Baby steps!!

I really want to know how transfer files through ssh. Can you explain, please?

If you need to know how to enable ssh, check out this thread:

  1. Connect the USB to mbld. Make sure it is detected and shown in dashboard. A USB share will be created and shown under Shares.

  2. Create a share in mbld that needs to contain USB data. You can do this through the dashboard website.

  3. Login to ssh. The USB share will be created at /DataVolume/shares/. The share you created to store USB data in mbld will be at /DataVolume/shares/

  4. Here are the steps to copy.

cd /DataVolume/shares

cp -R /* /

  1. Voila! The contents of USB drive is now copied to mbld.

Alternatively, you can keep the USB drive connected always. You can still access the files from there. If you have raid1 configuration then this will not have dual copy which can be a downside.

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