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  #1  
Old 9th March 2008, 10:55 AM
medisyn Offline
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slow ntfs write speed

I am trying to run my first home server using fedora and I have run into a problem. My ntfs partitions write very slow. Reading speed is just fine but both my internal and external drives that have ntfs have write speeds around 5 MiB/sec, so that rules out usb problems.

This is my first time trying to use linux as something other than desktop and its working great so far, I just need to get this write speed issue resolved.

Also converting them to ex2/3 is not really an option because one drive runs windows and another is external and I feel having a ex2/3 formatted drive is kinda useless if I need to quickly plug it into another computer. Is there some tweak I can do to get the write speed up to snuff or is this just a drawback to ntfs-3g?

Last edited by medisyn; 9th March 2008 at 10:58 AM.
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  #2  
Old 9th March 2008, 11:58 AM
Hlingler Offline
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See: http://www.ntfs-3g.org/support.html
and search the page for "speed".

V
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  #3  
Old 9th March 2008, 12:29 PM
medisyn Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlingler
See: http://www.ntfs-3g.org/support.html
and search the page for "speed".

V
That was the first page I checked, also I compiled and installed the newest version
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  #4  
Old 9th March 2008, 12:47 PM
Hlingler Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by medisyn
That was the first page I checked, also I compiled and installed the newest version
In future, please state such things up front: what you have already tried, where you have already looked for answers, etc., etc., etc., so that those of us who respond can give helpful suggestions.

If you have already read that page, then I think you already have the answer: it is the "nature of the beast". How are you determining the write speed, and why do you think that it is slower than expected?

Regards,
V
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  #5  
Old 9th March 2008, 11:30 PM
medisyn Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlingler
In future, please state such things up front: what you have already tried, where you have already looked for answers, etc., etc., etc., so that those of us who respond can give helpful suggestions.

If you have already read that page, then I think you already have the answer: it is the "nature of the beast". How are you determining the write speed, and why do you think that it is slower than expected?

Regards,
V
When I boot into windows the same drive (USB 2.0) has no problems writing at 20 MiB/sec and it have it drop to 5 MiB/sec is VERY noticeable. I used a stopwatch to time how long it took to send a 700mb ISO.

I am sorry I didn't write what I already tried, but I assumed there may be some setting I could put in /etc/fstab that might fix it. I was hoping this was a sorta common configuration problem that I somehow goofed on.

I did also test an internal drive that is running NTFS (its write speed was around the same. 5 MiB/sec to an internal drive you know something is wrong.) so I assume its nothing to do with the USB drivers/hardware and the fault lies in NTFS-3g. Write speed is just fine and dandy with the native file system....
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  #6  
Old 9th March 2008, 11:41 PM
medisyn Offline
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If it helps here is my /etc/fstab


Code:
tmpfs   /dev/shm        tmpfs   defaults        0       0
devpts  /dev/pts        devpts  gid=5,mode=620  0       0
sysfs   /sys    sysfs   defaults        0       0
proc    /proc   proc    defaults        0       0
#Entry for /dev/sda3 :
LABEL=/ /       ext3    defaults,usrquota,grpquota      1       1
/dev/sda5       /home   ext3    defaults        1       2
/dev/sdb1       /media/FreeAgent_Drive  ntfs-3g defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8   0       0
/dev/sda1       /media/windows_drive    ntfs-3g defaults,locale=en_US.UTF-8    00
/dev/sda2       swap    swap    defaults        0       0
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  #7  
Old 10th March 2008, 02:16 AM
Hlingler Offline
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Your fstab looks fine to me (but make sure that there's a space between those two zeros at the end of the line for sda1). You could try mount option noatime (then remount), but I doubt that it will help. I know of no additional mount settings that might affect speed there, however, you can always read "man fstab" and "man mount". Also, I checked my ntfs-3g packages, and I find no config files that I have altered, so I know of no settings there that might help. BTW, FireWing1's fwfstab is a great GUI utility to manipulate fstab if you don't already have it (yum install fwfstab). It includes handy mount/unmount buttons.

The info on that link and attached links suggests that your write performance may in fact be lower than expected, but it also clearly says that there can be many factors contributing to this. One thing it suggests is a defrag of the ntfs drive. There are several other suggestions as well. Be aware also that, due to the switch to libata to access HDDs as SCSI devices, hdparm and DMA are currently broken. The net result is lower I/O performance overall. Most people don't seem to even notice. I have looked into this, but it appears that there is no solution in sight. I am certainly no expert on this stuff however, so if someone else knows more, I too would like to know....

Regards,
V
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  #8  
Old 15th March 2008, 06:52 AM
medisyn Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlingler
Your fstab looks fine to me (but make sure that there's a space between those two zeros at the end of the line for sda1). You could try mount option noatime (then remount), but I doubt that it will help. I know of no additional mount settings that might affect speed there, however, you can always read "man fstab" and "man mount". Also, I checked my ntfs-3g packages, and I find no config files that I have altered, so I know of no settings there that might help. BTW, FireWing1's fwfstab is a great GUI utility to manipulate fstab if you don't already have it (yum install fwfstab). It includes handy mount/unmount buttons.

The info on that link and attached links suggests that your write performance may in fact be lower than expected, but it also clearly says that there can be many factors contributing to this. One thing it suggests is a defrag of the ntfs drive. There are several other suggestions as well. Be aware also that, due to the switch to libata to access HDDs as SCSI devices, hdparm and DMA are currently broken. The net result is lower I/O performance overall. Most people don't seem to even notice. I have looked into this, but it appears that there is no solution in sight. I am certainly no expert on this stuff however, so if someone else knows more, I too would like to know....

Regards,
V
thanks for the help. I found how to benchmark it. This is with the newest stable version of NTFS-3g check it out.

# /sbin/hdparm -t /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
Timing buffered disk reads: 56 MB in 3.01 seconds = 18.60 MB/sec
[root@localhost FreeAgent_Drive]# /sbin/hdparm -t /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 180 MB in 3.02 seconds = 59.70 MB/sec

also ntfs-3g uses 70% cpu to transfer only 6mb/sec.

the slower write speed is becuase /dev/sdb is usb. but the write speeds is about 5-6.5 MiB/sec max. I know that the ntfs driver is not that great but 70% cpu to write at only 6 megs is horrible.

Last edited by medisyn; 15th March 2008 at 07:08 AM.
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  #9  
Old 15th March 2008, 07:05 AM
Hlingler Offline
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Ah, yes! I forgot about those tests...IIRC, it says to do them several times back-to-back and average the results, and you can do "-tT" to get both cached/uncached reads. Unfortunately, I have no NTFS-only HDDs to compare, and those tests are for the entire disk, not per partition.

Those results do look quite low when compared to native ext3 HDD times. Perhaps with the results of a few more tests to compare.... What flavor of Fedora are you running, BTW?

V

EDIT: And based on the info in that link, 70% CPU use sounds fairly high....

Last edited by Hlingler; 15th March 2008 at 07:07 AM.
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  #10  
Old 15th March 2008, 07:11 AM
medisyn Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlingler
Ah, yes! I forgot about those tests...IIRC, it says to do them several times back-to-back and average the results, and you can do "-tT" to get both cached/uncached reads. Unfortunately, I have no NTFS-only HDDs to compare, and those tests are for the entire disk, not per partition.

Those results do look quite low when compared to native ext3 HDD times. Perhaps with the results of a few more tests to compare.... What flavor of Fedora are you running, BTW?

V

EDIT: And based on the info in that link, 70% CPU use sounds fairly high....
I am running
#uname -r
2.6.24.3-12.fc8

Here is the version of ntfs-3g I am running
ntfs-3g-1.2129-1.EL4

I know its not a fc8 package but I was just trying it out and it performs the same. As I said before this drive can do 20 MiB/sec + read/write in windows. I would be happy to get around 12.
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  #11  
Old 15th March 2008, 07:17 AM
medisyn Offline
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here is what you requested

/dev/sda:
Timing cached reads: 454 MB in 2.01 seconds = 226.41 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 182 MB in 3.02 seconds = 60.25 MB/sec
this is the internal drive

/dev/sdb:
Timing cached reads: 462 MB in 2.00 seconds = 230.92 MB/sec
Timing buffered disk reads: 54 MB in 3.06 seconds = 17.62 MB/sec
this is the usb drive

Here is the usb drive. I am super confused at these results. Is there a way to test write speed? I just know over ftp or samba the ntfs drives can only go at 6 MiB/sec when a non ntfs drive can max out the 100mbit ethernet connection.
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  #12  
Old 15th March 2008, 07:35 AM
Hlingler Offline
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Quite frankly, I'm a little confused now, too. Compared to my tests, your results don't look all that bad. sda has one NTFS partition, and shares the rest LVM with sdb. As you can see, sdb is quite a bit faster overall - or so it would seem:
Code:
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:23:28 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   838 MB in  2.00 seconds = 418.08 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:   12 MB in  6.74 seconds =   1.78 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:24:02 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   672 MB in  2.00 seconds = 336.09 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:   24 MB in  4.81 seconds =   4.99 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:24:28 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   672 MB in  2.00 seconds = 335.82 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:   28 MB in  4.72 seconds =   5.93 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:24:53 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   588 MB in  2.00 seconds = 293.76 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:   42 MB in  3.23 seconds =  13.01 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:25:13 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
 Timing cached reads:   744 MB in  2.00 seconds = 372.13 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  100 MB in  3.05 seconds =  32.78 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:25:36 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
 Timing cached reads:   808 MB in  2.01 seconds = 402.94 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  134 MB in  3.73 seconds =  35.96 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:26:12 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
 Timing cached reads:   686 MB in  2.00 seconds = 342.98 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  160 MB in  3.02 seconds =  53.02 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:26:33 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
 Timing cached reads:   500 MB in  2.00 seconds = 250.03 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  176 MB in  3.01 seconds =  58.39 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:26:53 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
 Timing cached reads:   586 MB in  2.00 seconds = 292.67 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  186 MB in  3.01 seconds =  61.76 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:27:27 /home/Vince]# hdparm -tT /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
 Timing cached reads:   590 MB in  2.01 seconds = 294.22 MB/sec
 Timing buffered disk reads:  188 MB in  3.01 seconds =  62.48 MB/sec
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:28:02 /home/Vince]# uname -r
2.6.23.15-80.fc7
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:30:51 /home/Vince]# rpm -q ntfs-3g
ntfs-3g-1.1120-1.fc7
[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:31:02 /home/Vince]# smartctl -i /dev/sda
smartctl version 5.37 [i386-redhat-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-6 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Hitachi Deskstar T7K250 series
Device Model:     HDT722516DLA380
Serial Number:    VDK91GTEEYZ3YR
Firmware Version: V43OA99A
User Capacity:    160,041,885,696 bytes
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   7
ATA Standard is:  ATA/ATAPI-7 T13 1532D revision 1
Local Time is:    Sat Mar 15 02:31:20 2008 EDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:31:20 /home/Vince]# smartctl -i /dev/sdb
smartctl version 5.37 [i386-redhat-linux-gnu] Copyright (C) 2002-6 Bruce Allen
Home page is http://smartmontools.sourceforge.net/

=== START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
Model Family:     Seagate Barracuda 7200.8 family
Device Model:     ST3250623A
Serial Number:    4ND4KCZ0
Firmware Version: 3.04
User Capacity:    250,059,350,016 bytes
Device is:        In smartctl database [for details use: -P show]
ATA Version is:   7
ATA Standard is:  Exact ATA specification draft version not indicated
Local Time is:    Sat Mar 15 02:31:23 2008 EDT
SMART support is: Available - device has SMART capability.
SMART support is: Enabled

[root@presario Sat Mar 15 02:31:23 /home/Vince]#
I kow of no write tests offhand. Will keep an eye out. Hopefully someone with more knowledge/experience steps in....

Regards,
V
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  #13  
Old 15th March 2008, 07:35 AM
medisyn Offline
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I just removed ntfs-3g and compiled the newest stable version and nothing really changed. Uses maybe 50% cpu now and write speed is slow.
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  #14  
Old 15th March 2008, 07:37 AM
medisyn Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hlingler
Quite frankly, I'm a little confused now, too. Compared to my tests, your results don't look all that bad. sda has one NTFS partition, and shares the rest LVM with sdb. As you can see, sdb is quite a bit faster overall - or so it would seem:

I kow of no write tests offhand. Will keep an eye out. Hopefully someone with more knowledge/experience steps in....

Regards,
V
Yeah write speed is the real problem. read speed seems to be just fine.
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  #15  
Old 15th March 2008, 07:41 AM
Hlingler Offline
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USB could be a problem with that kernel - I've read issues here from other posters (USB mouse+kernel-2.6.24.3-12=lock-ups).
Try: sudo cat /var/log/dmesg|grep -i usb
and: sudo cat /var/log/messages|grep -i usb
looking for warnings/errors....

V

EDIT: keep in mind too that, while you have tried an updated ntfs-3g driver, it relies on fuse to actually mount the file system, so that could be a factor too....

Last edited by Hlingler; 15th March 2008 at 08:19 AM.
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