Firewire Passport Studio Ridiculously Slow Transfer Rate

I have just bought a WD My Passport Studio portable 2TB Firwire 800 hard drive to use with my 2009 MacBook Pro 13" 250gb laptop.

I know that the computer’s internal disk speed matters, but for a time machine backup for 150gb it’s estimating 3 hours, that means the transfer rate is around 120 mbps rather than the supposed 800 mbps that justifies the added expense of using firewire.

Any suggestions on why it’s so slow and how to speed it up? I put the Mac’s internal sata through it’s paces, but I would still expect a significant upgrade from my previous USB 2.0 drive. 



The estimated time of 3 hours is not just related to the transfer speed. I believe this is a time machine issue.

Try transferring a file manually and see if it still slow.


Thanks for your response, by machine issue I assume you mean the internal SATA drive in my Mac is slow and that’s what’s affecting the transfer rate.

When you say “transfering manually” do you mean drag and drop?