performance - What do different patterns mean in Windows 8 file copy dialog

  • MainMa

    When copying or extracting files, Windows 8 shows the chart with the speed of the operation.

    I noticed several patterns:

    • Randomness,

    • High speed at the beginning, then low speed during the most part of the operation,

    • Mostly constant speed.

    1. Randomness/nice mountains.

    enter image description here

    2. High speed at the beginning, then low speed during the most part of the operation.

    enter image description here

    3. Low speed at the beginning, then high speed during the most part of the operation.

    (Similar to the previous image, but inverted)

    4. Mostly constant speed.

    (Same as previous image, but without the fast start)

    I'm curious, what each of those patterns mean?

    Do some indicate that there may be a problem with hard disk performance?

    Why the nearly constant speed is so rare, even when copying a single large file from and to a spinning drive, or when copying a single large file or a bunch of small files from and to an SSD?

  • Answers
  • soandos

    Several things could be going on:

    1. Hard drive caching could be giving a nice initial bump
    2. Other things could be getting written to the drive at the same time (causing randomness)
    3. For whatever reason, caching did not occur, and nothing else is getting written to the drive.
    4. Something else to keep in mind is that it is faster (in extreme cases much faster) to do things to a small amount of large files, as opposed to a large amount of small files.

    Something else to look at is the task manager, and see if that shows these same patterns. If it shows the randomness one when you are copying a file then something else is going on.

    None of this indicates a problem, but rather more is going on than you see in that dialog.

  • Related Question

    windows 7 - What is the difference between Skip and Don't Copy buttons in Copy File dialog?
  • Vadim

    This is a silly question.

    In Windows 7/Vista when a user trying to copy multiple file, it looks like he has five options:

    1. Copy and Replace
    2. Don't Copy
    3. Copy, but keep both files
    4. Skip
    5. Cancel the operation.

    It looks to me that option 2 (Don't Copy) is the same as 4 (Skip). However, it's kind of strange for Microsoft to put two buttons that perform the same action. I probably miss something.

    Could you please tell me what I'm missing?

  • Related Answers
  • schöppi

    I think it's for DAUs which are familiar with the old replace window and are immune against learning new things..

  • Earls

    Correct, they are virtually the same in function.

    However, it doesn't seem strange to me at all that Microsoft would do something absolutely redundant and stupid.

    Consider: If you open up "Computer" and click on "Organize" then select "Folder and Search Options", click the "View" tab. You see a whole bunch of checkboxes... Except for... Hidden Files and folders! Now tell me, what is the functionality difference between two radio buttons (on/off) or one checkbox (on/off)? I think it's been that way since Win95? Inane inconsistencies in UI design.

  • deltaray

    Its the same as the difference between Abort and Fail.