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PC/XL data transfers very slow ?

joeyo 0 Points
edited November -1 in TomTom Car Forum
I found the sticky post "How to backup your unit's contents properly" highly valuable. My first XL backup was made with TT HOME. Henceforth I have followed your procedure. Thank you !!

Now a question about the speed of data transfer between my TT XL IQR (bought in Germany last week) and my PC : Siemens Scaleo P, Intel Quad CPU Q8200 @ 2.33GHz, 2336 MHz, 4GB RAM, 215 GB free on C:\
My XL has 2 GB memory, 1.68GB occupied (after I pruned out unwanted voices), and includes the latest TT MAP for Western_and_Central_Europe_2GB.

To dump all the XL memory to PC (MS Explorer FileCopy) took about 55 minutes (the "busy X" indicator on the XL was on most of the time). Subsequently, I deleted the map files on the XL in folder Western_and_Central_Europe_2GB, and FileCopied them (1.56 GB) back from PC to XL, which took about 17 hours !! Here the "busy X" on the XL appeared about once per minute or so, for about 6-10 secs at a time. BTW, I disabled virus scanning for external devices on my PC's GDATA virus protection to see if it was holding things up, but no noticeable improvement.

This seems very slow. Is it normal with this device ? When I try to make other updates to the XL using TT HOME (eg the map data), it is also very slow to write files to XL memory, and the "busy X" on the XL behaves similarly (on intermittently for about 6 secs, with ~1 minute absences in between). What should the data transfer rate be, approximately, when downloading data to the XL ? Is is possible that my XL firmware/BIOS is faulty ?

Comments

  • dhn 336 Points
    I believe your model is still of the USB 1.1 standard rather than USB 2. That would explain the slowness.
  • joeyo 0 Points
    Thanks for this info. The size of my XL memory dumped to PC was 1.66GB = 13599 Mbits. The dump took about 55 minutes, so the average data rate was 4.12 Mbits/sec. This falls inside the spec for USB1 quoted by Wikipedia of max 12 Mbits/sec, so you are probably right in saying that the XL interface being USB1.1 explains the time for the dump, but it does not explain the much slower average data rate to write data back to the XL. To restore the map file (1.56GB = 12780 Mbits) on the XL using Explorer copy/paste, after I had deleted the onboard map file, took about 17 hours, so the average data rate was 0.21 Mbits/sec, nearly 20 times slower than the dump !

    I assume that the "busy X" indicator on the XL display (the "X" is shown blocking a hand from pulling the USB cable) indicates that data is actually flowing on the USB connection. During the rest of the time (about 95%) for the restore, I assume that the firmware on the XL is thinking about something, possibly shuffling data around its internal memory. This suggests to me a highly inefficient design of this on-board function... remember, this XL model has no removable memory card, so the user is at the mercy of the on-board mechanisms for maintaining the on-board memory.

    I have to say that I like the navigation functionality of the TomTom XL, and the user interface is quite acceptable (to me). However, it is a pity that technical magazines which publish comparative reviews of such devices do not seem to evaluate the support software which a user must use to maintain SW/data installed on the product. During my traumatic introduction to this task over the last few days, mainly motivated by the need to exploit the TT free Map Update guarantee during the first 30 days after purchase, I found the TT HOME software to be highly flaky. On several attempts to update the XL (the map, the application SW, and to install an additional computer voice), TT HOME chugged away for some time, typically several hours, and then failed with an error when writing some file or other to the XL. In the end I had to fix these problems by a process of trial and error, using Explorer to re-copy individual files from the PC to the XL, but without having much idea what they were for. Somehow (mainly by good luck, I think) it is now back in working order.

    BTW, I also tried to use the TT clear_flash tool a few times (as suggested by various website discussions, including a formum on the TT server), but with inconclusive results... see my new post "TT Clear Flash Tool".

    I really don't understand why TomTom mar their really good basic product by making it so slow to upload data from the PC, and by providing support software (TT HOME) of such dubious quality. After all. TT want to make money by selling their extra services (new maps, and various other software/data products)... what's the point when the user is likely to go crazy trying to install the updates on the XL ? Sooner or later, the word will get around, and TT's sales will suffer. I noticed several negative posts on this theme on the Amazon UK Customer Reviews forum (unfortunately, after I had purchased the XL).
  • dhn 336 Points
    All gps brands have positive and negative comments all over the Internet.

    Home is basically a not great piece of software, I absolutely agree. But, not everybody suffers the slow read/writes you are experiencing, not even with your model. Something else is going on.

    Send a pm to mvl. He LOVES to get to the bottom of issues like this.

    Tell him I sent you....... :lol:
  • Tim 1480 Points
    To restore the map file (1.56GB = 12780 Mbits) on the XL using Explorer copy/paste, after I had deleted the onboard map file, took about 17 hours,
    Wow, something's wrong there. I did a similar transfer of a map back to an XL the other day and it took about 45 minutes. I didn't time it, but that's my recollection.
  • joeyo 0 Points
    Thanks dhn and Tim for your interest and help. Your replies are really encouraging. I think that now I'll try sending a problem report to TT about the USB transfer speed on writing to the XL, to see what they say. Maybe I should return the XL to them under the guarantee.
  • dhn 336 Points
    That might be a good option.........
  • Tim 1480 Points
    I haven't read through each post yet, but was the GPS plugged in using the included USB cable, directly into the computer (as opposed to a hub or keyboard)?
  • joeyo 0 Points
    Yes, the XL was connected directly (no hub) to a USB socket on the front panel of my PC using the USB cable provided by TT. See my first post for PC type.
  • dhn 336 Points
    Try a USB port on the back.
  • joeyo 0 Points
    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I had no time to pursue the problem until this evening. I have just made a smaller-scale test of data transfer PC to TT XL with the USB cable plugged into the back of the PC (again, no hubs in the connection). Using MS Explorer, I copy/pasted the French computer voice files to the XL from the Backup01 directory previously made by TT HOME on my PC; the files were:

    Juliette.16000.LTTS7CodecMsx.32800.10.bin 26989KB
    Juliette.vde 1 KB
    JulietteGildedParalinguistics.16000.LTTS7CodecMsx.32800.10.bin 795 KB
    JulietteGildedPhrases.16000.LTTS7CodecMsx.32800.10.bin 1554 KB
    JulietteTT.16000.LTTS7CodecMsx.32800.10.bin 1895 KB

    I pasted the files to the XL, in a new (empty) folder
    D:\LoquendoTTS\data\voices\Juliette

    The combined size of the files was 30.5 MB
    The operation took 19 mins and 15 secs. The average data rate for Explorer to complete the paste was therefore 0.21 Mbit/sec, which is entirely consistent with the data rate which I reported in my first post (17 hours to paste the map files- total 1.56 GB - to the new, empty, folder Western_and_Central_Europe_2GB on the XL).
    This result did not surprise me.

    In Explorer I Ejected the XL (D:), which responded normally, restarting and asking me if it should connect to the computer; I replied "No" and the Navi App started normally. I powered it off.

    In order to try to reduce the possibility that the problem may be due to some conflicts in the Windows drivers, I restarted my PC in Safe Mode, and made a partial repeat of the above test. I reconnected the XL, deleted (with MS Explorer) the last two files in the above list, and copy/pasted them back again (3.5MB). The data rate for the operation was about the same: 0.2Mbits/sec.

    I think that the next thing to try will be to reformat the XL internal memory, as described in tomtom.com/1898

    However, I think I'll try e-mailing TT support first, to ask their agreement to this step, because if it doesn't improve the transfer rate for writing to the XL, to something in the ball-park of USB1, then I shall want to send the device back to TT under the guarantee.

    This will take a couple of days I guess (or more, depending on how long it takes TT to provide a clear reply and agreement to my request). I'll report back to this forum when there is something new to say.

    BTW: I should mention that when operating on the XL with Explorer, I always ensure that TT HOME is not activated. I have seen that when TT HOME has been activated, it always leaves behind a process TTHOMERunner.exe, which will automatically re-start TT HOME again whenever the XL makes a connection to the PC. I kill TTHOMERunner.exe using Taskmanager.
  • brianc 0 Points
    You are not alone. Did you ever find a cause?

    Brand new TT XL 340S with 2GB membory - Windows Vista.
    Download speed not too bad when backing up to PC.
    When restoring - either through windows or through TT Home - 8 hours to upload map file (1.6 GB). No other USB device on machine has an issue....

    USB plugged into direct motherboard access socket (no hub, etc).

    EVEN Worse - the TT 340S comes with US_Canada_Mexico map (1.6GB)- and the latest map it tries to upload with 30 day gaurentee is 1.9+ GB...... even when you take off all the extra stuff (voices, overlays, etc...) the map WILL NOT FIT on the internal memory.....
  • brianc 0 Points
    joeyo....

    Do you happen to be running Windows Vista (if yes - which version)?
    What computer are you using?

    Just switched everything to an XP laptop from a Vista desktop - my map upload speed went from 8 hours to about 1 hour........
  • brianc 0 Points
    Workaround for slow transfer rates on Vista........

    Do not use graphic interface file Explorer to transfer map files....

    Plug in TT
    Select Connect to Computer
    Exit TT Home program
    Open "Command Prompt"
    Utilize former DOS "Copy" or "Xcopy" commands to move files to TT...


    Sample test file (74MB size)
    Vista Explorer file copy and past to TT > 2 Hours
    Command Prompt Copy to TT 13 minutes...
  • dhn 336 Points
    Thanks for the feedback......
  • mvl 191 Points
    I haven't had the chance to play with an XL 340, but many have reported very slow uploads after app 8.414. Something to do with the new bootloader maybe.

    One thought, in Vista, do you have the write cache turned on? In XP it's in the drive properties as "optimize for performance" vs "optimize for disconnect". Perhaps the "optimize for performance" setting will help.

    Glad to know that the command prompt workaround does the job, makes me really second guess how vista was engineered though.

    And in response to your map issue, call Tomtom support. They'll put map 830 on your account/device temporarily until they can shrink 835 to fit.
  • brianc 0 Points
    Thanks...

    Optimize for performance is the default and the option to change is "grayed" out...

    It seems to be a larger issue with big files (map files). Maybe how Vista handles these files.....

    For the map - I unfortunatly was one of the first pepole to report the map size issue on the Wednesday the new map came out (poor timing for me). They asked me to wait a week and call back - by then the map should be fixed.
  • mvl 191 Points
    140/340 owners are posting that the shrunken map is now available.
  • You are not alone. Did you ever find a cause?

    Brand new TT XL 340S with 2GB membory - Windows Vista.
    Download speed not too bad when backing up to PC.
    When restoring - either through windows or through TT Home - 8 hours to upload map file (1.6 GB). No other USB device on machine has an issue....

    USB plugged into direct motherboard access socket (no hub, etc).

    EVEN Worse - the TT 340S comes with US_Canada_Mexico map (1.6GB)- and the latest map it tries to upload with 30 day gaurentee is 1.9+ GB...... even when you take off all the extra stuff (voices, overlays, etc...) the map WILL NOT FIT on the internal memory.....
    I believe the slow WRITE speed is a natural consequence of flash memory. Reading is always quicker than writing. I am having a similar problem with write speeds, my TT xl will get there eventually but just takes alot longer writing than reading. There is nothing wrong with the device, slow write speeds are the norm with cheap flash memory.
  • dhn 336 Points
    It's not the memory. It's the fact that some models are just usb 1.1 compliant, not the faster 2.0.

    The 340 is one of the 1.1 models, unfortunately.
  • brianc 0 Points
    USB 1.1 does not explain everything......

    USB1.1 has 12 Mbit / sec max transfer speed for disk drives.... and 8 bits are in a byte...this gives 1.5 MB / sec max. If we assume a 30% is lost due to inefficiency....we can get a round 1MB/sec transfer rate.....

    This means that the 1.6GB (1,600 MB) file should take 26 minutes (NOT >8 hours through Vista)

    The USB transfer rate also does not expain the differences between transferring through Windows Vista and XP and the DOS prompt.....

    It really does not explain why TomTom was behind the times and decided to keep the ancient v1.1 USB many years after 2.0 came out in 2001.....
  • mvl 191 Points
    There was a flash controller bug causing the 4+ hour map installs. It was fixed in late 2009.

    On the USB 1.1 models, the transfer is now 30-60 minutes after the download completes.
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