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Gradually degraded write performance of TBP on USB 3.0 stick

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joetron2030
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Gradually degraded write performance of TBP on USB 3.0 stick

Something I've noticed over the past couple years is that TBP seems to be really struggling with write performance to my 32GB USB 3.0 flash drive.The one I have is a "Micro Center" branded drive. The USBDeview utility says it's a Kingston flash drive under the covers.

For what it's worth, I've been using TBP for several years now at least. It's been a long time in any case. I don't remember it being so slow a few years ago even when the install was on a USB 2.0 flash drive. It doesn't seem to matter what the Internet connection speed is. Any time I start TBP and it starts pulling in new messages, I go to read an unread message, take action on an existing message, or move a message, I can't do anything else until the write processing has completed. Otherwise, TBP will appear hung-up. I.e., if I click on an unread message to read, it can take up anywhere up to 5 or 10 seconds before the activity light on my flash drive stops flashing. This is with nothing else on that flash drive.

I have one IMAP account and one local account (for message archiving purposes only) configured. The IMAP account is configured to run IMAP and SMTP securely over TLS.

My questions:

  • Is this poor performance due to the inefficiencies that have been gradually collecting over the course of various versions of TB?
  • Is this poor performance due to the USB flash drive I have?
  • Is this poor performance due to a combination of the two, or something else entirely?

I have read in passing that there's finally plans to "modernize" TB by the Mozilla folks. I thought I could live with it until Mozilla got TB back on track. But, I honestly do not know if I'll be able to put up with the poor performance for that long.

webfork
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re: degraded write performance of TBP

I've got a similar situation with a copy of TBP that I've been running for years. You might be seeing performance issues connected to plugins so I would run the program in safe mode before you try anything else. It's easy to turn back off again.

From what I know about flash media, your drive probably isn't the problem. Regardless, performance issues are easy to test by copying to another USB drive. There are a variety of USB speed test tools to see if this is a very rare hardware issue (meaning the port is having issues).

You might also try installing a new copy of TBP, copying over the DATA folder from your thumb drive (overwrite the default folder) and then launch. If you see dramatic performance increase, you might just manually copy over the settings from the first program to the new copy.

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KevinM
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-Degraded Performance-

I haven’t used Thunderbird on a USB drive in years, but…

In my experience Thunderbird performance is very dependent on random write speeds, and random write performance on USB drives ranges from just okay to atrocious. You’d think newer USB3 drives would be better, but despite vastly improved sequential speeds, many newer thumb drives have even worse random write performance than older USB2 drives (not that there weren’t any terrible USB2 drives mind you).

And random write performance will degrade along with sequential performance – if not worse.

I know of no solution. I don’t know of any way to improve Thunderbird’s performance, and I don’t believe there is any way to restore a thumb drive to like-new performance.

webfork
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re:Degraded performance

> You’d think newer USB3 drives would be better, but despite vastly improved sequential speeds, many newer thumb drives have even worse random write performance than older USB2 drives (not that there weren’t any terrible USB2 drives mind you).

I haven't seen anything on this before - do you have a link or some more data here?

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joetron2030
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RE: Degraded performance

That's what I seemed to experience, too. Performances seemed much better with a USB2 flash drive than with USB3.

joetron2030
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Resolution

I'd forgotten I had opened this topic in the spring. I eventually got around this problem when I switched to a USB3 "flash drive" that was created by putting a 16GB m.2 2242 SATA SSD that I had laying around into a Vantec USB3 m.2 SATA enclosure.

Write speeds with the m.2 SATA SSD were vastly better than the USB3 thumb drive I had been using.

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