Vista Slow File Copy – Fix

Are you tired of waiting around for Vista to copy your files, did XP seem so much faster at performing the same job?  You’re not alone in thinking there is a problem with the current RTM version of Vista. 

MS claim that they’ll fix the problem in Vista SP1 (whenever that is) but for now they’re keeping quiet about a hotfix.  Fortunately this hotfix is available to you if you know where to look.  So, I’ve made your life easier and included the locations below (I did not link directly because the site uses an anti-leech mechanism).



I noticed an improvement – transfers to my external USB drive are now 7-10MBS, much better than the 3MBS I was experiencing before the fix.

30 thoughts on “Vista Slow File Copy – Fix

  1. http://

    For those of you using the Realtek RTL8139/810x Family Fast Ethernet NIC, and if your are having massive internet download slowdown and file transfer slowdown in Windows VISTA, your problems are over: One needs to update the driver. Basically very simple, it just took me two days to figure it out and find the right driver. All the blogs and websites talk about disabling this, and tweeking that. I tried all that crap and it didn’t work. No one suggested to install the following driver at least that I could find and if the folks who are trying to solve this problem are like me, I know, I know you want to throw your computer out the window, and you are sitting there saying, Why Why Why didn’t I wait to do this upgrade. Just Google —> “” and you will find it.
    Install the new driver and just like magic your internet speeds and file transfer speeds should once again be smokin, of course your milage will vary dependent on the speed of your ISP and network. Whew!

  2. http://

    I am having this problem too, odd however, is that if I copy files from an XP Virtual PC session from the Vista box, over the network, the speed is just like it used to be in XP… Very odd indeed.

  3. Dennis Wright

    I don’t think there will be anything in SP1 that will fix Vista’s performance issues. It is just a series of minor bug fixes. It won’t stop the freezes and disk-thrashing, or stop Superfetch helping itself to all the RAM.

    Anyway, SP1 is only due out in Beta some time late on this year and will only be rolled out sometime in 2008.

    So don’t hold your breath.

  4. http://

    Dennis Wright, Please refrain from definitive comments without research…

    “As Mary Jo Foley forecasted, a Windows Vista SP1 drop was made in mid-July. We’re hearing, however, the drop was made to a small group of random testers for “pre-beta” testing. Pre-beta testing is usually conducted to test software that is more mature than a first-stab, annihilate-your-machine alpha but doesn’t quite implement all the required functionalities to be labeled a true beta.

    The service pack comes labeled with a build string matching its recently released WDK brother and smells of Server 2008 kernel, which is A Good Thing™ — 6001.16549(longhorn_sp1beta1.070628-1825). (Thanks C.)

    Queried Microsoft and beta participants are denying the program’s existence, as expected. We’ll have to suffer with our malfunctioning Windows Vista installs for just a tad longer. ”

  5. http://

    This fix only addresses network transmission. However, my problem from day 1 (11/30/06) hace been local file copy/delete/move. Excruiatingly slow. Well, I discovered this fix on a board & now Vista performs these actions blazingly fast:

    Open Programs & Features, select Turn Windows Features On or Off, deselect Remote Differential Compression. It will take several minutes for the system to deactivate. Reboot to make sure & try it.

    Works like a charm!

  6. http://

    I found this solution to SLOW file copy/delete/move:

    Open Programs & Features
    Select Turn Windows Features On or Off
    De-select Remote Differential Compression
    Select OK

    It will take several minutes for this to be de-activated.

    Reboot to be sure it takes.

    Now these operations fly!

  7. http://

    Clyde appears to be correct. with Remote Differential Compression = on default option being the problem. I haven’t fully tested the result yet, but tried copying one file large file. previously took about 5 minutes to copy 250MB. now it does it in under 7 seconds.


  8. artemuse

    Remote differential compression unchecked
    Indexing unchecked
    Windows defender inactivated
    DFS unchecked

    According to all cures to apply

    Unfortunatey still 50 seconds to rename or delete a directory…

    Nothing found on microsoft. Better install ubuntu.

  9. http://

    I tried the “Remote Differential Compression”, it did nothing. Copy occurs at 2 MB/sec… SLOW.. The stupid Vista wants me to wait and entire workday to copy 70 gig of files! All you geeks that recommend “turning on the permanstil and reloading the fadoozal” are full of it. The program should work without having to be a programmer or a waster of time. They better fix this!

  10. robgarrett

    I cannot agree more – it’s pathetic that we have to apply patches and know about hidden settings to get Vista to perform properly. It bugs me that a virgin install of Vista has so many features turned on that eat up my CPU and memory. After every Vista install I end up turning off most of the crap to make it run properly.


  11. http://

    Try robocopy, it’s now built into the OS. Open up a comman prompt, type robocopy. You can get a list of commands which is actually rather extensive, but the syntax is basically:

    robocopy [source] [destination] (no brackets)

    Add /MIR if you want to copy all the subdirectories as well. It’s fast.

  12. http://

    From my experience… the problem with the copying appears to be Vista’s handling of compressed files. I was experiencing horrible copy times, not just on network transfers, but locally as well.

    After a bit of watching to see what was going on, I noticed that Vista does not copy zip files as one file. It actually copies each file seperately, which is a huge performance hit as it unzips and rezips archvies.

    Search for how to turn off Vista’s built in handling of zip files, and try those copies again. I am no longer having the trouble that I was having.

  13. http://

    Thanks Bill. Robocopy appears to work for me. 16GB takes 20-odd minutes to transfer on my XP laptop. Vista was going to take 2-3 hours. Awesome. Big thanks to Toshiba and MS for taking my money and giving me this rubbish.

  14. http://

    I tried Vista when it came out first and dumped it in favour of XP, partly due to poor file operation performance. Now SP1 is out, so I decided to give it another try. Still extremely slow. And I’m talking local file operations. The problem is exacerbated by the seemingly endless prompts about admin rights and UAC. (OK, I’m exagerrating on the “endless” prompts – but it’s really irritating! I know what I want my operating system to do!! Just do it!!!) Not to mention the problems I had trying to get Outlook to access my PST file from my XP machine (which I did resolve by the way). So, after a couple of weeks battling with Vista (it really, really seems like a battle!) I’m going back to XP. And I think I’ll have a serious look for a flavour of Linux as my future OS. Summary: Vista. Pretty. Useless.

  15. robgarrett

    Sorry to hear that you’re downgrading from Vista. I can certainly sympathize with your pain, however, I managed to train my install of Vista by first turning off all the unnecessary services that are installed by default, and then sticking to applications that didn’t need admin access to run in normal mode. UAC hardly bothers me these days unless I try something I know needs admin rights.


  16. Jason

    Hello all…I’ve been hearing and reading about the slow copy issue…I got new sony laptop in February 2008, it came with Vista Ultimate. As you can imagine, I’m moving lots of files, many gigs….I didn’t think much of it before but thought I’d check again today.

    Copy from laptop hard drive (raid 0) to external usb hd….19gb and transfer speed range from 6 – 8 MB/sec, there are 12.4GB left and it says 1 hour 18min remaining, although I realize that time remaining thing usually isn’t correct.

    Anyway, just posting now to give a reference, I haven’t installed any fixes…just disabled that RDC option, no speed change with RDC off.

    Now 11.5GB left and reports 30min 20 sec…..I see it is all over the place.

  17. Kasper

    Thanks for the tip! After disabling the RDC option I went from app 6-7mb/sec to app 18mb/sec. Copy speed multiplied almost by three. Amazing. (If this hadn’t worked I would have downgraded to XP… I was fed up with Vistas lack of speed)

  18. http://

    All of you poor, poor people who get 2MBs, prepare to feel sorry for me: 9KBs. I can’t even get a 1MB file copied before windows goes kaboom on me.

  19. http://

    So I setup a Media Center this weekend from Vista to a XBox 360. Should be simple, it was in setup, but any activity took forever to get to my 360. Streaming a movie 15 minutes to start. Pictures 10 second delays between each. Tried this tried that, I’ve been painfully aware of Vista slow copying even with SP2, but just assumed some way somehow that Vista Media Center had to take that into account and do something different. Otherwise what is the point of it?

    So for giggles I move over to the XP box and do it. Presto. Movies start up in less then 3 seconds (down from 15 minutes). The pics and mp3 are pretty much instantaneous. So I can just summize that it’s all going back to rediculous read/write times of Vista and yes you do get the feeling that this is some sort of DRM measure behind this. But if so why even make Media Center? Why even market that 360 as the your media hub? I guess a hub of only Live content which is overpriced to, pretty much 2x more then it should be across the board.

    I rather have this run on the Vista system for reasons I don’t need to bore anyone with, so I’m still open for a fix. I know there has to be one, because it would be news you couldn’t escape from if everyone had this issue. I mean things like TVersity works with Vista (my system crawls with it), but if this slowness was common to all Vistas there would be huge techinical notes, but nothing. Silence.

  20. robgarrett


    Media Center and XBOX 360 Extenders use RDP technology, not file copy, which is the main topic of this thread. I suspect you have a different issue if your movies are not streaming from your media center. Do movies render quickly on the MCE box itself, if not it may be a decoder issue. Otherwise, can you try using the “tune network” wizard on your XBOX 360?


  21. http://

    I found this thread near the top of a Google search for “Vista slowness”.

    I use both Macs and PCs, plus Vista occasionally on an Intel Mac. Vista on my one year old HP seems to get more sluggish every week. Copying 500 text files from one directory to another just took ten minutes. On my three year old non-Intel Mac G5, moving the same group of files from one folder to another took seconds. The Mac is loaded with non-Apple software and system junk. The HP is vanilla, with the latest version of Vista Home and a few mainstream programs like Office and Quickbooks.

    I don’t use Windows on the Intel Mac enough to say if it is also slowing down as much but it does seem less snappy. I’d expect the HP (AMD Athlon Processor 64 X2 5000+ 2.6 GHz and 2gb RAM) to copy and delete files faster than an old pre-Intel Mac.

    I did try all the suggestions found in the comments above but haven’t noticed any improvement.

    Regarding the commentary about “get a Mac” – yes, Macs also have problems, but when I ran XP on a PC, I felt the two were fairly equal in performance. I’ve heard good things about the Windows 7 beta so I’m hoping that will allow us to get past these basic “low-level” problems with Vista.

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