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Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there

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Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« on: September 28, 2018, 05:44:23 PM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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Until today I have been able to use all my usb drives with Linux Lite and had no problems, but today I tried to copy a 225 meg file to a new Kingston 16 gig drive and nothing appeared to happen; the progress bar stayed at the beginning with no change until after several minutes I finally got tired of sitting there and ejected the drive. When I tried putting it in my Windows PC it asked me if I wanted to scan it to fix it, so I reformatted it. Then I tried the same thing again with the same result.

This time, rather than scanning or reformatting it, I just looked at the contents on the PC and the copied file appears to be there. This behavior should not be happening, obviously. It seems like the window manager is freezing, I guess, but I don't really know enough about Linux to say that authoritatively. In this case, I have installed (and am using) PCManFM, which I prefer to Thunar. When I tried looking at the USB drive with a different window no files showed up while this was happening.

Any ideas on this? Funny, how for a new Linux user, everything is mysterious. :-)

UPDATE: I tried with a different USB drive and the same thing happened. I used a different file to copy, too. It just sits there and says "File operation is in progress..." with no progress shown in the bar at all.
Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 05:50:50 PM by Tyrannocaster
 


Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #1 on: September 28, 2018, 06:01:07 PM »
 

bitsnpcs

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Hello Tyrannocaster,

can you reboot and then try again.

I remember trying a variety of things when I had this issue once and this was what solved it in the end.
I have not had the problem since or needed to reboot due to it.

Some of what I had read at the time said it could be mounting issues like not unmounting and ejecting (which was not what I'd done), or that files were still transferring when I unmounted ejected, this could be the case.

The other one I read was about the trash on the usb stick, it said it can occur in Nautilus (and also in Dolphin) if the trash can has files moved to trash that are not deleted, and to hold down the Ctrl key and press h to show the hidden files in the trash can of usb stick and delete them before unmounting or ejecting.
I have since then removed usb sticks and not emptied the trash can 1 time, (yesterday) and the error didn't reoccur, so I am unsure if that was the cause the previous time and if it can be an intermittent or random error/cause, not happening every time, or if it was unrelated to the cause.

Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 06:13:34 PM by bitsnpcs
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #2 on: September 28, 2018, 06:17:06 PM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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Yes, I wondered about rebooting, too. I did, and then copied the file again; this time the progress bar immediately showed 100% but it still says "File operation in progress" with the window open several minutes later. Ah, it just now disappeared; I didn't time it, but it was a long time. I didn't have this issue at all for the first several days I used this OS, and I copied a lot of files via USB - mp3s, videos, and photos, all with none of this.

I'd like to fix this, because the whole idea of using the USB drive is for quick transfer of files, and this is anything but quick.

Thanks for the quick reply.
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2018, 06:26:21 PM »
 

bitsnpcs

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Glad it helped as a temporary measure.
Hopefully someone has a fix for this.

@Scott and @gold_finger helped me sort an issue on a portable hard drive where it was taking very long times, it has worked perfectly ever since.

I am unsure if this is suitable for USB sticks though, can anyone confirm either way ?

Here is the link - https://www.linuxliteos.com/forums/hard-drives-and-ssd's/does-it-look-right/msg32914/#msg32914
On the link it was #2 Option that worked on the portable drive.
Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 06:36:33 PM by bitsnpcs
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #4 on: September 28, 2018, 06:51:12 PM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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To see if it was an issue with the window manager, I copied the file again using Double Commander. The same thing happened that I got last time - the copy was very quick according to the progress bar, but the progress window never closed, although the destination pane of Double Commander showed the file there. I finally closed the progress window manually. This seems very odd.

So then I copied it using a terminal. The file appeared immediately in the destination folder, but the terminal didn't "come back" to me for almost two minutes. Does it really take two minutes to transfer 225 megs? And if so, why is the progress bar suddenly so misleading?
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2018, 07:05:06 PM »
 

bitsnpcs

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Google says 40MB/s is the fastest actual rate (not theoretical rates) for USB 2.
Unsure of USB 3 it is meant to be faster.
Based on that alone, less than 6 seconds would be normal for 225MB.
Last Edit: September 28, 2018, 07:07:13 PM by bitsnpcs
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2018, 07:43:17 PM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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This computer has only USB 2.0 ports. On my Windows PC with USB 2.0 I get anywhere from a low of a few megs a second (3 or 4) to almost 20, seemingly based on the phase of the moon. :-) If I were getting 2 megs/s here, it should take about 110 seconds, or almost two minutes, but that is an awfully slow transfer rate.

The really confounding thing here is the progress bar, which seems to be stuck at one end or the other, with nothing in between.
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #7 on: September 28, 2018, 07:51:58 PM »
 

supergamer

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If you still have thunar installed can you please try a test with that and what I am suspecting has been an issue since 2006.
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #8 on: September 28, 2018, 07:55:09 PM »
 

bitsnpcs

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If the Ram or cpu is being used heavily for the transfer due to some issue it might make the progress bar not work in real time ?
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #9 on: September 28, 2018, 08:06:49 PM »
 

supergamer

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I ran into this issue when I created a faster version of Vectorlinux called Velocity. I used Fluxbox and PCManFM. I discovered way back then that dbus and PCManFM didn't cooperate as smoothly as Thunar. Copying smaller files worked just fine until you got to something around 20mb in size then you started seeing what your experiencing now. I have not dabbled into that realm again as there was to many issues with Fluxbox that I didn't like, like having to use icons to open and eject usb drives and not mounting things correctly. I wish I could give you more answers but sometimes things do not get fixed. I hope it is just a config file in PCManFM to allow the polling of mounted volumes.
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2018, 10:34:21 AM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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I don't think it's a PCManFM issue because copying the same file in the terminal exhibits peculiar behavior as well, as does copying in Double Commander. AFAIK, PCManFM, Thunar and also Double Commander are just frontends for regular system commands like you would use in the terminal. I just tried doing the same file transfer using two Thunar windows and got the same result; the file appears to have copied over successfully, but the progress bar in this case was stuck at about 90% and it took about two minutes to finally close.

Are there distros that do not exhibit this behavior? If I can't get this sorted out, I am seriously going to look at other distros, as I have this computer, a Windows PC, and two Macs here and I have to be able to move stuff between them easily. That would be a real pisser, as I really like Linux Lite in all other respects, at least so far. Or maybe this is just a Linux thing?

As an afterthought, I tried copying a folder of videos over; the folder had 13 files in it (each about 260 gigs, so roughly the same size as my first file already described) and a total size of 3.4 gigs. In this case, the progress bar moved, but the progress was jerky - it seemed to show the progress in steps. It also took 23 minutes to copy all the files. Interestingly, the Task Manager showed processor spikes (up to 100%), at first from Thunderbird, but when I closed Thunderbird then Firefox started doing it. I couldn't close Firefox because I was writing this post in it. :-) When the transfer finally finished the CPU use went down to about 10%, then down to about 3%, which is the normal idle value for this setup. It's interesting that according tot he Task Manager it was other programs that were spiking but I have a feeling that if I had closed Firefox then it would have simply moved to another process.

Then, out of curiosity, I copied the same files to the same flash drive from my Windows 7 PC using the USB 2.0 port; it took just over 10 minutes, with the speed given as @5.6-5.8 megs/sec pretty much the whole time.

In Windows, you can set the properties of a flash drive to allow write caching, which can speed up the transfer. On this computer, although I can do that with hard disks via Gnome Disk, that option is grayed out for mounted USB drives.
Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 10:45:08 AM by Tyrannocaster
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2018, 11:42:44 AM »
 

supergamer

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Do me a favor, create another user account and perform the same test. If this behavior is the same then there is something messed up as it should not do it on Thunar. It is possible an update did this as I am not having this issue on either 16.04 based or 18.04 based. The updates to the 16.04 base do not exhibit this problem using Thunar as I am using that for my computers.
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2018, 11:48:48 AM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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Do me a favor, create another user account and perform the same test. If this behavior is the same then there is something messed up as it should not do it on Thunar. It is possible an update did this as I am not having this issue on either 16.04 based or 18.04 based. The updates to the 16.04 base do not exhibit this problem using Thunar as I am using that for my computers.

I'm new to Linux; I wouldn't know how to create another user and I don't even have to login on this machine since nobody but me ever uses it. If I create a new account is it easy to delete it later? I want to keep it as simple as possible. I did do some updating a few days ago, but I don't know what was installed.

I'm glad to hear that not all systems suffer from this annoying behavior, though.
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #13 on: September 29, 2018, 12:36:03 PM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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I downloaded the live Peppermint 9 and ran it on this machine, then copied the first file I mentioned above from my hard drive to the same USB drive I have been using during all this. Exactly the same thing happened; that is, the progress bar picked a spot (in this case, 100%) and stayed there for the whole time it took to copy the 22g meg file - two minutes. Same speed as with Linux Lite, and although I was not running Firefox at the time, I did have the Task Manager running and it showed CPU usage going up to 100% in spikes. So it's obviously not a behavior that is specific to Linux Lite, but more likely Ubuntu. I will have to try something really different and see what happens then.

I tried it with Manjaro XFCE Live using Thunar with the same result. I guess it's a Linux thing. :-( While the Mac doesn't really have issues with drivers (they are very good at plug-and-play), Windows certainly does sometimes. Can you get different drivers for things like this with Linux?
Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 01:52:01 PM by Tyrannocaster
 

Re: Copying to a USB drive - no progress but file is there
« Reply #14 on: September 29, 2018, 02:30:13 PM »
 

Tyrannocaster

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Found this on the Ubuntu forums:

Found the fix all i did was unmount, remove drive, and run sudo modprobe ehci_hcd in the Terminal. Insert drive and agian sudo modprobe ehci_hcd when I put the drive in and wow 20/mbs thought i would share. Hope I dont have to do it every time... but it's not to hard...

[https://askubuntu.com/questions/122113/copy-to-usb-memory-stick-really-slow]

Also, this thread has info in it which seems useful, but it's over my head: https://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/linux-hardware-18/usb-2-0-slow-write-but-fast-read-solution-yet-500937/

And here's one from someone who claims to have solved the problem, but I can't understand the solution because I'm just too new at this:

The problem, as it turns out, was the sync option used to mount the filesystem, which appears to be performance-killer. Mounting it with flush option instead of sync solved the problem: sudo mount -o async,flush <device> <mountpoint>

I don't know how to turn those bracketed entries into stuff for my system.

There are lots of threads about this problem, I have found, but there is no consistent solution. Apparently a lot of people think this is a bug that was introduced way back in 2008 and hasn't been fixed, but I can't speak to that, only repeat what some guys said on the internet - how helpful that is, we all know.
Last Edit: September 29, 2018, 06:25:59 PM by Tyrannocaster
 


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