Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

jmt356
SilverLounger
Posts: 2069
Joined: 28 Mar 2010, 01:49

Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by jmt356 »

How can I figure out whether my external USB hard drive is 2.0 or 3.0? I can't find anything on the label. The only thing that looks remotely like an indication of speed is 1.0A, which is next to the voltage on the label. However, I do not believe 1.0A is a speed; I believe the only speeds are 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0. Do manufacturers not print the speeds on the labels?

Here is the hard drive information:
Toshiba DTB310 1TB
P/N HDTB310EK3AA
E329786

An online search appears to indicate it is 3.0. However, I am getting write speeds of only 40 mb/s, whereas 3.0 should be writing at 4.8 Gbits/second according to https://www.seagate.com/support/kb/how- ... -172213en/.

I have it plugged in to a 3.0 USB drive.
Regards,

JMT

User avatar
Leif
Administrator
Posts: 6839
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 08:21
Location: UK

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by Leif »

jmt356 wrote:
10 Jun 2020, 11:49
... 1.0A, which is next to the voltage on the label.
This will refer to the current, i.e. 1.0 Amp.

jmt356 wrote:
10 Jun 2020, 11:49
However, I am getting write speeds of only 40 mb/s, whereas 3.0 should be writing at 4.8 Gbits/second according to https://www.seagate.com/support/kb/how- ... -172213en/.
No! The article you linked to states "Up to 4.8 Gbits/sec" - there are a lot of other factors to take into account, some of which are covered in the article.
Leif.

User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 69411
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by HansV »

1) Look at the connector. If it has a blue strip, it's USB 3.0, otherwise it's USB 2.0.
USB3.jpg
2) In File Explorer, display the Details Pane (from the View tab of the ribbon).
Select the USB drive.
If it's a USB 3.0 drive:
If you connected it to a USB 3.0 port, you'll see 'Connected to USB 3.0'.
If you connected it to a USB 2.0 port, you'll see 'Device can perform faster when connected to USB 3.0'.
Here is a screenshot of what I see when I connect a USB 3.0 drive to a USB 2.0 port:
S3355.png
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Regards,
Hans

jmt356
SilverLounger
Posts: 2069
Joined: 28 Mar 2010, 01:49

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by jmt356 »

Hans: The details pane states “Connected to USB 3.0.” Moreover, the USB port is 3.0.

However, I continue to get very slow speeds. Currently, the speeds are 3 to 10 MB/s. My source disk is a Crucial MX500 3D SATA 2.5” Internal SSD. Both the USB drive and USB port are 3.0, so even if I am not getting 4.8 Gbits/sec, I should at least be getting 100 to 150 MB/s if everything were functioning as it should.
Regards,

JMT

User avatar
HansV
Administrator
Posts: 69411
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 00:14
Status: Microsoft MVP
Location: Wageningen, The Netherlands

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by HansV »

I'm not a hardware expert. Perhaps someone else can comment on the speeds that you report.
Regards,
Hans

User avatar
John Gray
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 4764
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 08:33
Location: A cathedral city in England

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by John Gray »

I can't see from the thread whether the connecting cable from the USB external hard drive to the PC's USB 3.0 port is one which has blue USB 3 connectors at each end.
If it's only a USB 2.0 cable, that could explain the somewhat slower speeds you are experiencing.

However, I do large backups nightly on some servers to 4 TB USB external hard drives, and on (rare) occasions the data transfer rates drop from USB 3.0 to USB 2.0 speeds for no obvious reason...
John Gray

Snaccident - “the unintentional eating of an entire packet of biscuits".

jmt356
SilverLounger
Posts: 2069
Joined: 28 Mar 2010, 01:49

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by jmt356 »

John Gray: The end of the connecting cable that plugs into my laptop's 3.0 port is blue, but the end that plugs into my USB external drive is not blue.
Regards,

JMT

User avatar
StuartR
Administrator
Posts: 11048
Joined: 16 Jan 2010, 15:49
Location: London, Europe

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by StuartR »

I looked for the specs for your disk drive, but I couldn't find a spec for maximum transfer speed. I did notice that it is a 5400 RPM drive, which is pretty slow.

How are you testing the drive speed? The quoted figures are generally a guarantee that you will never get a faster data transfer. You will only get close to this limit if you are streaming data using many simultaneous I/O commands that operate in parallel. Things like copying a file using windows explorer are often single threaded and there is a lot of overhead between each data transfer.
StuartR


User avatar
John Gray
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 4764
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 08:33
Location: A cathedral city in England

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by John Gray »

jmt356 wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 20:21
John Gray: The end of the connecting cable that plugs into my laptop's 3.0 port is blue, but the end that plugs into my USB external drive is not blue.
In which case I would try a USB 3.0 cable which has a 'blue' connector at each end (assuming it is has the standard USB A to USB B plugs), to see if you get any improvement.
John Gray

Snaccident - “the unintentional eating of an entire packet of biscuits".

User avatar
viking33
PlatinumLounger
Posts: 5678
Joined: 24 Jan 2010, 19:16
Location: Cape Cod, Massachusetts,USA

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by viking33 »

You could TRY a new USB cable or another USB Port ( if you have one) but as Stuart said, "the label only lists the max speed not the actual running speed."
Never expect a USB drive ti equal an internal hard wired drive.
BOB
:massachusetts: :usa:
______________________________________

If I agreed with you we'd both be wrong.

jmt356
SilverLounger
Posts: 2069
Joined: 28 Mar 2010, 01:49

Re: Is my external USB hard drive 2.0 or 3.0?

Post by jmt356 »

John Gray wrote:
12 Jun 2020, 08:22
jmt356 wrote:
11 Jun 2020, 20:21
John Gray: The end of the connecting cable that plugs into my laptop's 3.0 port is blue, but the end that plugs into my USB external drive is not blue.
In which case I would try a USB 3.0 cable which has a 'blue' connector at each end (assuming it is has the standard USB A to USB B plugs), to see if you get any improvement.
John Gray: I own several 3.0 USBs and none of them have blue on the side of the cable that plugs into the USB drive. The side that plugs into the laptop, which looks like the image that Hans posted above, does have blue.
Regards,

JMT