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I am moving data from an external USB 2.5" hard drive (encrypted with cryptsetup) to an unencrypted internal 1TB 3.5" hard drive on a GNU/Linux quad-core headless server with 2GB RAM, using Midnight Commander over an SSH connection. The USB drive is connected directly to the server; I am not copying data over the SSH connection.

Copying speed, according to Midnight Commander, is maxing at around 950 KB/s. Is this very slow? I'm sure it should copy faster than that? Less than 1MB/s is very slow? The machine, which is otherwise idle, has a load average now of over 2.0.

I am moving the files across as a backup, because I am experiencing input/output errors in one folder on the USB drive. I have not selected that folder for copying now, and all other files are copying via Midnight Commander without any errors.

Edit: Follow-up question here for reference.

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I restarted the server (it had been up for a few months) and swapped out the USB cable. The unreadable files are still giving input/output errors, but copying in Midnight Commander has returned to what I consider a normal speed for copying files between two local hard drives. Large files now take long enough that Midnight Commander is able to show the copying speed, which is now around 25MB/s. Load average is around 1.2.

I know that restarting the server and changing the cable means that it is difficult to determine which of those factors solved the problem.

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