readspeed for USB flash drives?

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    Guest:
    The 3rd release of SpinRite v6.1 is published and may be obtained by all SpinRite v6.0 owners at the SpinRite v6.1 Pre-Release page. (SpinRite will shortly be officially updated to v6.1 so this page will be renamed.) The primary new feature, and the reason for this release, was the discovery of memory problems in some systems that were affecting SpinRite's operation. So SpinRite now incorporates a built-in test of the system's memory. For the full story, please see this page in the "Pre-Release Announcements & Feedback" forum.
    /Steve.
  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for some very handy tips!

    /Steve.
  • BootAble – FreeDOS boot testing freeware

    To obtain direct, low-level access to a system's mass storage drives, SpinRite runs under a GRC-customized version of FreeDOS which has been modified to add compatibility with all file systems. In order to run SpinRite it must first be possible to boot FreeDOS.

    GRC's “BootAble” freeware allows anyone to easily create BIOS-bootable media in order to workout and confirm the details of getting a machine to boot FreeDOS through a BIOS. Once the means of doing that has been determined, the media created by SpinRite can be booted and run in the same way.

    The participants here, who have taken the time to share their knowledge and experience, their successes and some frustrations with booting their computers into FreeDOS, have created a valuable knowledgebase which will benefit everyone who follows.

    You may click on the image to the right to obtain your own copy of BootAble. Then use the knowledge and experience documented here to boot your computer(s) into FreeDOS. And please do not hesitate to ask questions – nowhere else can better answers be found.

    (You may permanently close this reminder with the 'X' in the upper right.)

EagleTalon

Member
Dec 21, 2021
6
0
Can Readspeed test USB flash drives. I am guessing not but eventually Spinrite will be doing those too.
So can anyone recommend a DOS or Windows utility program that will measure the read speed (not write)
of a USB flash drive?
 
Yes, I believe it can test any drive that DOS can see (via the BIOS.) Traditionally that includes the USB device DOS booted from. If you mean testing other USB drives than the one it booted from, the answer is likely no, but put the drive into the machine before resetting/rebooting and it MAY be detected by the BIOS and supported for read testing.
 
I understand that Readspeed runs under DOS which requires to be booted under Legacy BIOS. But I thought that Readspeed does not depend on the BIOS data to detect the available drives. I thought that it uses the new code to enumerate all the drives on its own. Is that no so? When I run Readspeed, the USB boot drive is not listed in the test results. There is no way I can tell it to test that drive.
 
I understand that Readspeed runs under DOS which requires to be booted under Legacy BIOS. But I thought that Readspeed does not depend on the BIOS data to detect the available drives. I thought that it uses the new code to enumerate all the drives on its own. Is that no so? When I run Readspeed, the USB boot drive is not listed in the test results. There is no way I can tell it to test that drive.
ReadSpeed (and eventually SpinRite 6.1) no longer depends on the BIOS for accessing internal SSD or HDD drives.

USB drives, however, are presently detectable and enumerable only via the BIOS. ReadSpeed 1.0 is not designed/intended to see/access/benchmark USB drives.

SpinRite 6.1 will be able to detect and enumerate USB drives, but with limitations imposed by the system BIOS. Thus, SR 6.1 may or may not be able to benchmark a USB drive.

Full USB support will come with SpinRite 7.1 per the development roadmap linked in PHolder's previous post.
 
Last edited:
Got it. Thanks for the info. So can anyone recommend a method or program running under Windows to measure (roughly) the read speed of a USB drive. Thanks.
 
@EagleTalon You can get some idea by copying giant files to and from the drive. Read speed will also be faster than write speed. And, it depends on lots of factors. One is whether Windows write caching is on, and it normally is. The other is whether the drive has to erase blocks in flash before writing, which is slow. Also, the USB interface may be a limiting factor. If it's USB2, it is limited to about 40 MB / S if I recall. If it's USB3, ON an active USB3 port, it's limited to about 300 MB / S if I recall. Someone can correct me if I'm wrong. No time to look it up now. But, Crystal Disk Mark is a popular disk benchmarking program that you can use. There is another popular one, which I unfortunately am not remembering right now, but someone will probably mention it.


May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
the read speed of a _x_ drive
CrystalDiskMark is what I have seen "professional reviewers" use. There are a whole suite of tools they use, maybe some of these:
Not all of these are free. Under Linux you can use hdparm https://man7.org/linux/man-pages/man8/hdparm.8.html
 
I haven't tried this, but you can run a level 2. You know the size of the USB drive and how long it takes to read it all. I never did the math on mine. Of cause some extra time for Spinrite processing will be added in making things look slower than they are. From what i've seen with flash drives, running Spinrite shows plenty of write retries. With rare exception there's quite a few suggesting write operations are quite a bit slower in real life than the manufacturer says. Try a level 4 on a flash drive and watch the real time activity screen a few minures, you'll see what I mean. All those pauses are retries slowing throughput down. At least for me, the good news is once a flash drive is written any following reads are done with little needed corrections, but I have had one or two cheap flash drives so bad on both operations I would not use them.

If flash drive speed is your main concern you may want to look into Transcend's Jetflash high durarion line. They are a bit expensive but quite fast. I use one to run a bootable Ubuntu OS. If you search Jetflash you should find a thread with a little more info on them.
 
If the USB drive is visible to the BIOS, the development version of Spinrite will benchmark the drive. The current development version can be downloaded from https://www.grc.com/dev/spinrite/SR-R08j.EXE. It is not fully functioning, but does get as far as the benchmarks.

Download this, add it to your bootable Readspeed stick. Boot into DOS and run it.
 
What most people fail to realise is that there is no simple answer to "What is the Read Speed" of a USB Flash-drive (or most other storage devices). Here is a screen grab from my goto USB speedtest utility - FlashBench. The green line is the Read speed - the red line is the Write speed (the full numerical output is also available). This utility taught me the reality of USB flash-drive performance - transfer speeds fall dramatically with the size of the files being transferred.
Kingston_G3_64GB.PNG

Many USB3 drives are faster than this example and quite a few are worse - but all are much slower transferring small files compared to large ones.
You can also test SSD drives and HDD drives with this utility and you will see they also follow the same pattern of speed performance.
You can get a copy of FlashBench here: www.softpedia.com/get/System/Benchmarks/FlashBench.shtml
This utility may not give you a nice simple number - but it teaches you the reality of Read/Write speeds.
 
  • Like
Reactions: SeanBZA