Why is EX2 file handling slow

File handling on the WD NAS is extremely slower than on a shared drive on a PC.

Same issue on Windows 2K, XP and Windows 7.

“Everything” that involves a large number of files take orders of magnitude longer to do

compared to a shared folder on a PC.

An example is selecting files with Windows file explorer and copying or deleting them.

It can take minutes to start the file operations, and then hours to complete.

Doing this on a similarly attached shared folder on a PC is MUCH faster.

All possible cable and networking issues have been verified.

The common denominator is the WD NAS.

Is encryption involved? (Not enabled by me. Setup is default right out of the box)

I have three EX2 devices,. They all perfom like this.

Why is the WD NAS so slow?

What needs to be done?

Anders J

Hi AndersJ, see if the following link helps. 

When transferring large files to or from a Personal Cloud drive, performance may be slower than expected

Please read my original post and try again.

Anders J

my max speed was 45Mb/S

I only get 1-2 Mb/s. Or Was it MB? Not sure now.
Bits or bytes, much too slow.
Can’t figure out what I do wrong.

I’m getting the same thing.  I accidentally moved my music library to the wrong sub-folder.  But trying to move all my individual band folders back one directory became a huge pain in the butt.  I finally gave in, deleted the library and started the upload again.  There’s got to be a better way to manage files with this device.

Also, this would be ten times easier if the directory I am moving from stayed open in the My Cloud app.  But every time I move a file out of it, the directory collapses and then I have to wait for it to referesh all over again.

When I copy to a empty location, speed is 2-3 MB/s.

When I replace files, overwriting identical copies, speed drops to 50 KB/s.

2-3 MB/s is slow, but 50 KB/s is a disaster.

Why does it differ?

Writing/reading single files is no issue.
The problem is handling multiple files, such as when copying hundreds or thousands of files,
or when building a entire multi file project.

There seems to be a major overhead each time a file is accessed.
If the EX2 cable is moved to a XP machine instead, and a similarly shared folder,
performance is back to normal, at least 10 times faster, if not more.

Can you please attempt this and confirm what I experience,
or tell me what I do wrong.

To me this seems like a serious bug.

Anders J

Windows 7 is now copying 1 KB size files from one EX2 to another EX2,

connected through GigaByte ethernet,

at a rate of approximately 10 files per second.

Slow is an understatement.

Western Digital, can you please comment on this!

Anders J

I am unzipping a large file containing many smaller ones, and putting all files on the EX2.

The transfer speed is 0 MB/s according to the Device Activity screen.

The smbd process uses> 90 % of the cpu time.

The original question remains to answered.

Why is EX2 file handling slow?

Why does it use 90% of the cpu time to write a few small files per second?

// Anders J

I came on to ask about my similar experience.

I’m on a Mac,  I’ve had a Time Machine backup underway for over six weeks now.   Six Weeks.   And it’s not complete.

I hooked a USB3.0 WD drive to the rear of the EX2 and set a backup in motion using the dashboard.  2 hours later, 2 kb had been transferred.  The backup fails repeatedly, choking on the large Aperture Library file.

I’ve tried a drive sync between the Mac and the EX2 using Chronosync, a backup application.   Spins it’s wheels indefinitely, nothing is transferred.

I can drag an individual video file to a share on the EX2 and it will transfer okay.   It can be a gig or more, it’s not fast but it’s do-able.  I get 50 on the Blackmagic Drive speed test. 

Not fit for purpose.   It’s a disaster of a product.

Please refer to my Post “WD EX2 is a Joke!” I believe the last post to it was on October 29,2014 and it will help you understand why it’s so slow. I returned mine.

Came to look to see if they had fixed the problem so I could buy another one. But I see the problems still exists. You are right, the drive is painfully slow!!

I guess I’ll have to wait some more :-(  

I have had a discussion with WD support for the past few months now, concerning EX2 file handling speed.
They sent me a new verfied device, that performed exactly like the ones I already have.
The final conclusion from WD support is that this is as goood as it gets.

I need to use it as file server.
The file handling overhead is however large and inefficient.
Low performance while handling many small files in a Windows environment
makes the EX2 more or less useless for my application.
I will put my old XP machine back as a file server,
Its performance exceeds the EX2.

In addtion to the above, I have problems with the wdcm files/folders that contaminate the drive,
making file handling more or less impossible.
WD support claims this the way it should be.
Don’t these people use the EX2 for real work? Do they just play with it?

I’m trying to back up an Aperture database to my EX2 right now.

It is currently choking on the “Aperture Library.aplibrary/Database/Faces/Detected” directory: the files are small (3K or so) and numerous (in the thousands). 

The current throughput performance of the “Mighty EX2”?  347 Bytes per second.  NOT MBps.  Not KBps.  Bps.  A 20 year old 56k modem over a phone line would be faster!!  And this is with all the “media” functions and “cloud notifier” tasks turned off - the smdb (i.e. Samba file sharing) process is pegged at over 90% of CPU.

I want to see if I can just get a flat-out refund from WD for this device.  I stupidly didn’t do stress testing until after I could return it to the store - you give it multple gigabyte files, and while not the fastest thing in the world, it gets the job done.  But this is beyond wretched, 

As someone else said in this other thread (link below) that maybe, just maybe, some of you are doing it wrong.

How is it that some of us have no speed issues. See my post here --> http://community.wd.com/t5/WD-My-Cloud-EX2/Question-about-transfer-speed-of-my-cloud-ex2-product-request/m-p/847518#M2556

“As someone else said in this other thread (link below) that maybe, just maybe, some of you are doing it wrong.”

Maybe, just maybe, you need to read the content of our posts.  The example shown in your link is a big ISO file.  A SINGLE FILE.  We are having massive problems with databases containing MANY SMALL FILES.

The EX2’s appears to have a horrible initial overhead for processing each individual file.  You have one big file?  Then the initial hit on handling that file isn’t really noticable.  You have lots of files?  You’re in for an eternity in **bleep**.

This is happening on multiple client operating systems, and using multiple protocols (and hence file serving daemons on the EX2’s CPU).  

If someone has an actual fix, or an actual pinpointing of what we’re “doing wrong”, THAT would be a useful post - not the insulting “you’re doing it wrong”.

taamberg wrote:

“As someone else said in this other thread (link below) that maybe, just maybe, some of you are doing it wrong.”

Maybe, just maybe, you need to read the content of our posts.  The example shown in your link is a big ISO file.  A SINGLE FILE.  We are having massive problems with databases containing MANY SMALL FILES.

Maybe, just maybe, I should have read your post a little closely. Fair critique and I accept that.

But maybe, just maybe, you should have read a few of my earlier posts from last year already telling people who’ve had this very issue about the weak processor and the tiny RAM and the work around by splitting up the copying in smaller batches. The puny processor gets overwhelmed whenever you try to copy too many files (esp. files that are very small) and breaking up a copy operation in multiple batches alleviates that, as others have reported back positively to my suggestion in those posts. I know it’s not a great solution, but given that you are stuck with the hardware, that is the best workaround for this issue. You want a cheap 2-bay NAS (EX2 currently sells at $150 on Amazon) then there will be some unfortunate hardware limitations.

BTW, if these small files are meant to read-only and the directories are not meant to be added with new content, then you can speed things up a lot but with an extra and timeconsuming step, but perhaps not as timeconsuming as the copy operation to EX2. If all the files are to be used in a read-only mode, then you can create an ISO file by building a DVD or bluray iso (using most disc burning tools out there, some that are free) and THEN copying the single big iso to a share on the EX2. You will benefit in building the iso file using your computer’s more powerful CPU (instead of EX2’s weak cpu) and then after copying the big iso over, it can be virtually mounted using the iso mount feature from the dashboard. Once that is done, you can access the entire content of that iso just as if that iso was a standalone share of its own (i.e. its own top level folder). Yes, this limits it to read-only usage…but depending on the usage it can vastly improve things, since you can build up to a bluray iso of 45.5 gigs. And I suspect there is a limit to the number of isos you can mount (possibly 10) though I have not tested that limitation. I only have 2 isos mounted.

Hey Cybernut - what about binding the files together in a giant zip (using no compression or ‘store’ mode in 7zip)?

Wouldn’t that net a large file, with minimal build overhead, that you could easily add to?

Just a thought.

MowerPartsGroup wrote:

Hey Cybernut - what about binding the files together in a giant zip (using no compression or ‘store’ mode in 7zip)?


Wouldn’t that net a large file, with minimal build overhead, that you could easily add to?


Just a thought.

Well, that’s a solution but not necessarily a very user-friendly solution as then you’d have to unzip it, using command line tools in SSH (which many folks may not be familiar or comfortable with). Plus, you end up using the very little processing power of EX2 in unzipping it back, though that’d be a one-time thing. It may work for some folks in some cases though…if they are willing to delve into SSH. But if you are thinking of opening and extracting the files in a zip archive copied to an EX2 via an unzipper on your computer, then you lose all speed benefits anyway because your computer will basically be reading the contents of the remote file over the network and then sending back the individual extracted files to the Ex2 over the network. Using SSH on EX2 and unzip, you can avoid that, and yes, that would solve this issue but it isn’t for everyone. Nonetheless, it is a good suggestion for some folks. And it also does not have the read-only limitation of my earlier iso suggestion. The iso approach does not need any extracting, etc. and if they are media files and one wants the files in the iso to be available via DLNA server (Twonky server) then they can simply add media streaming on that share once the iso has been mounted as a share, just like regular shares.

Creating a big zip file is not a solution.
All content must be instantly accessible like they are on normal hard drives
if EX2 overhead wasn’t orders of magnitude greater than on a proper disk storage this would not be an issue.
I still haven’t seen any signs of interest from WD to fix this.