ValiDrive Extraordinarily Slow

  • SpinRite v6.1 Release #3
    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.
  • 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!

  • 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.)


Oct 22, 2022
Greetings all!

So, been running some USB sticks I have lying around through ValiDrive.

No problems so far until I started it on this old 4gb Sandisk Cruzer that I have my VeraCrypt recovery info on.

While the other drives, including the 128gb one, went through in seconds, this 4gb one is s l o w l y crawling along. Also, the first time I tried, it returned some read errors. So, I stopped it and re-inserted the drive and ran a disk check, and Windows says the drive is just fine. So, I started ValiDrive again, and the same lack of speed is occurring, although it's not telling me there are any errors this time. Those errors are distressing as I don't want to lose the data on this one. Might have to try figure out if there is a way to get VeraCrypt to create a new rescue info disk for me...

Anyway, any ideas why such a small drive could be so slow? At this rate, it might not finish before I have to leave for work in a couple of hours...

it returned some read errors.
It's not certain (to me, anyway) that USB devices work the same as SSD's. It seems that maybe the FTL (the part of the device that maps disk addresses (LBAs) to flash blocks) is more simplistic in USB devices--if for no other reason than being USB, they're unwilling to assume they won't be forcefully ejected/removed at any second. Accordingly, some of them seem to get much slower with age/use than SSDs seemingly do.

I have perfectly new USB devices that work very slow with ValiDrive, and others that a very fast. I attribute this to the internal differences in design, of the FTL, and of the flash controller. I think newer designed devices seem to work faster than some of the older ones.

Sounds like this device is in trouble. Not because it's not a valid device, but probably because it's been well used and some of the flash data blocks are showing some wear an tear. Once SpinRite 6.1 comes out, perhaps you could run a level 2 or 3 on it, and refresh it a bit, making it work more like new... but at the risk of potentially killing it for good. (So make a backup of your important data NOW before the worst comes.)
I run Windows 7 so I cannot speak to Windows 8, 10, or 11. But, if you start a chkdisk from the graphical file manager interface, there's a check box to run a surface analysis. After running the backup that @PHolder mentioned, you could try this. It would be kind of like a SpinRite level 2 except it won't be able to try as hard to fix read errors. It reads each sector. It would at least get the controller to take a peek at the status of each sector. Again, after a backup, you could try formatting the entire drive from the graphical interface in file manager and turn off the check box that says "quick format". I'm pretty sure this will write zeros to every sector. This would trigger an even more extensive analysis by the controller. If TRIM isn't enabled for this drive, initial writes to it may be slow while the flash erases data blocks. If TRIM is enabled, these erase operations should happen in the background over time to make the drive ready to write as fast as it can until you fill up the internal write cache, as I understand it. Also, if you go into file manager, right click on the drive, click properties, then hardware, then properties, then change settings, then policies, you will find "quick removal" which has write caching off, or "best performance" which has write caching on. If write caching is on, writes are sent to RAM before sending to the drive and it's much faster. If write caching is off, data is sent to the drive only as fast as it can take it, which may be slower. I like to keep write caching off on both removable drives and internal drives in case there is a power failure. Finally, if you're running a USB 3 drive on a USB 2 port, it will be much slower than it might be capable of. SpinRite 6.0 should be able to run on a USB drive if the BIOS detects the drive upon boot. Hope this helps.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
Last edited:
I think it is your flash drive that is slow. ValiDrive seems snappy with good hardware.

I have tested 3 so far ........
1) Kingston DataTraveler 3, 8GB -- read time = 771 ms; write time = 663 seconds ( glacier slow)
2) Lexar S80 , 32GB -- read time 1.7 seconds; write time 14.9 seconds (quick!)
3) Lexar S75, 32G -- read time 2.05s; write time 1,980 seconds (painfully slow)
The speed seemed to vary by device.

A generic device on the top of a pen/stylus was very fast. 64 GB
One SanDrive was fast 512 MB, the other was slow 64 GB.
The HP drive was slow 32 GB.
A generic device with my employer's logo on it that was a freebie was so slow I left for 20 minutes to let it finish the second half. 16 GB

All were valid. I was sure the pen top and the employer devices were going to be bad.

The 64GB SanDisk is a weird one. It says USB 3.0 on the drive, but it can't be recognized unless it is in a USB 2.0 port or using a USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 extender.