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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > VERY slow file transfer

VERY slow file transfer
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Fresh-Faced Recruit
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: durham, nc
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Nov 24, 2002, 01:09 PM
Whenever I try to move files to/from my G4 (old thing, PCI bus, 350 mhz, and OS X 1.1.5) I end up with extrememly slow speeds (like 20-30k/s) when I login to it from another computer. However, when I go the other way (log in to my laptop or something else from the G4) the file tranfer speeds jump back up to 500k-1MB a second.

Sorry if this is kinda vague. I have Appletalk turned off, along with remote events, but I'm not sure what else to do.....

-Rim Vilgalys
Mac Elite
Join Date: May 1999
Location: San Jose, CA
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Nov 24, 2002, 07:02 PM
If you can, check the network settings (speed and duplex) on both machines and the switch. ifconfig -a in a terminal window will show your setting on the Mac side - how you check the switch will depend on the switch vendor.

What you're describing sounds like one of the systems hasn't synched correctly with the switch, meaning either it is running in full-duplex mode and the switch is in half-duplex, or vice versa.

This would cause transmit or receive errors, depending on which end was mis-synched.

The other alternative is a bad cable. A weak link on the send or receive pins could also cause this kind of problem. If you don't have a spare cable, try swapping the cables and see if the problem switch to copying the other way.
Gods don't kill people - people with Gods kill people.
Professional Poster
Join Date: May 2001
Location: North Dakota, USA
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Jan 26, 2003, 03:32 PM
I'm having a similar issue to this. Here's the deal:

I'm on a college LAN, where every computer pretty much on campus is on one big network. I can ping servers very quickly, traceroute gets me them very fast.
However, copying a 600 or 700MB of data takes about an hour for me to transfer, while for people on Windows it only takes about 15 or 20 minutes. Why would my Mac OS X be going so slow?

It's always done this, as well. MSN Messenger file transfers are even more painfully slow, probably going around 10K/sec.

I checked using ifconfig -a and my network settings seem to be fine... I'm plugged into a 10/100BaseT Hub, which is then connected to the internet, all through Cat5 ethernet.

Any ideas as to speed up my performance? I'm embarassed by the lack of speed!
Senior User
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: Planet Earth
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Mar 7, 2003, 11:13 PM
I'm also having similar issues. My problem is as follows:

Ethernet: Copying to a Windows box from the Mac takes 128K every 30 seconds. Copying from the Windows machine is very fase.

WiFi: Speeds are what you would expect.
---I'm on a low Microsoft diet.
Grizzled Veteran
Join Date: Apr 2001
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Mar 8, 2003, 02:18 AM
Such problems are almost always caused by a misnegotiation between the switch/hub and the computer. Often the problems don't show up except with large packet sizes.

There is NO standard for autonegotiation. One machine may work, while the one sitting right next to it may not. It's extremely hit-and-miss.

So, to be assured that things will work, you need to set the computer for appropriate speed and duplex manually, and do the same on the switch/hub.

Additionally, your switch/hub uplinks to a campus switch. It would be preferable to have your uplink port and the port on the campus switch set manually as well, if you can convince the campus administrators to do it.

Mac Elite
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Syracuse
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Mar 8, 2003, 02:45 AM
I was having similar problems with transfering files through my college lan (much slower than my PC friends...) then on a whim I tried the broadband optimizer:


this pretty much fixed everything, and I much faster transfer speeds (faster than the PCs!)
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