My Book Essential 3TB is slow when less than 170GB left

I have this strange problem with my 3Tb MB Essential. The speed of the disk comes to a crawl when I am at 170GB or less in free space. Copying a 1GB file to it takes hours. If I free up space, it works, until it’s down to 170GB or less.

I have checked the disk in Disk Utility and Smartware and it desn’t find anything wrong with it. I have updated it with the latest FW etc.

The disk is GUID partitioned and 1 large partition formatted as journaled and case sensitive.

Have you tryed changing data cables the one you are useing could possibly be faulty.

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Have you defragged the disk or whatever the equivelent is on a Mac? Is this a drive that gets used a lot?


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I have tried a different cable and that didn’t work. I will look into defragging. I know it is said one doesn’t need to, but I’ve heard others say you still do, so I will try that. I should perhaps mention that it isn’t exactly at 170GB, but approx there. Don’t know if there is an exact mark, but it always happens once I get around that mark.

Very strange I must say.

Is it possible that there are bad or “slow” sectors at the end of the drive? Slow sectors are those that require several read retries.

Try HD Tune’s read benchmark. Look for dips in the graph.

Can I use this program on a HFS+ formatted disk? I have a windows laptop I can run it on, but not sure if it’ll work when the disk is HFS+.

WD’s support says my machine probably can’t handle 3TB and I should try it on another computer instead… Why wouldn’t an iMAC running 10.6.6 handle this disk?

johhenrik wrote:

 Why wouldn’t an iMAC running 10.6.6 handle this disk?

Because there are known issues related to Macs and USB 3.0 that Apple will barely address with the release of OSX 10.7 (Lion)? :neutral_face:

Care to share some more info? Plus, it’s only USB2.0 on the iMAC, or are there issues in these cases too?

iMacs have issues translating USB 3.0 bridges because they are not currently designed to allow physical expansions and the chipset operations are tightly controlled by the UEFI of the computer, locking down drive work-arounds (In other words, Apple never thought you’d connect a USB 3.0 device to an iMac).

Still, your problem is not related to USB 2.0 or 3.0, your problem is the saturation of the drive, which happens to most drives on both Windows and Macintosh when the drive is nearly full…

Hmm… I have never seen anything like this before, and I have been buying harddisks for at least 20 years. I mean, it goes from 30MB/sec to a few hundred KB/sec. It’s completly useless when it happens.

So I updated with the new firmware, 1.015. Now the boundary where the problem happens chenged. Now I can use up until 165GB free, and then it basically “freeze” again. So hopefully another fw is coming which might fix this…

edit: typos

Look at post 9 he explained it to you once. Your Drive is full  plus the Apple problems what’s hard so understand ?