This article provides instructions to improve the performance of an external storage device when using Windows.
Here are a few methods to improve the performance of your device:
NOTE: Enabling write caching will increase the speed of your device regardless of the format you choose.
Checking system resources:
When doing large data transfers or trying to maximize overall speed of the transfer it is best to ensure that any extra tasks are held to a minimum. This will allow your system to put more focus on the data transfer which should increase its performance.
What is write caching?
Write caching is used to improve performance by using the volatile memory (RAM) to collect write commands sent to a storage device. Caching these commands allows the computer to temporarily save them until it's written to an external storage device.
While it’s true that write caching improves performance, some precautions need to be taken. It’s important to be aware of the risks such as data loss or data corruption due to power loss, hardware failure, or not safely ejecting the device simply because the data left in the RAM has not been written to the external storage device. For more information see this linked Microsoft article.
NOTE: It’s extremely important to safely remove your external storage device before disconnecting it from your computer. Safely removing instructions are provided below.
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Some external storage devices are preformatted exFAT for compatibility with both Mac and Windows computers. If you use the drive only on a Windows computer, you can optimize file copy performance by formatting the drive NTFS.
Choosing a file system
Use NTFS if:
…you connect the storage device to Windows computers, and you don’t need to allow a Mac to write to the storage device.
Use exFAT if:
…you need to allow both Mac and Windows computers to read and write to the storage device.
NOTE: If your device has write caching enabled, exFAT file system is not available when performing a Quick Format. See below:
In this case, to reformat exFAT you need to delete the volume in Disk Management then follow the prompts to format the drive as exFAT.
For additional instructions, visit How to format your hard drive.