Copy files to multiple USB drives — computer, USB hub, duplicator?


plug usb to computer
When it comes to USB duplication, we usually think about do it with a computer. Almost every PC ship with USB ports. By plugging USBs into computers, you can easily copy files. It’s the easiest and non-cost way and usually used by most of the people.
But what if you have to copy multiple USB.
Then you may found out that it was incredibly slow and it cannot copy files for special use such as copy a bootable USB without using software or having professional skills.
Today, we're gonna focus on the hardware, helping you to choose the right gadget.

Using a computer to copy multiple USBs

Using a computer to copy USB is the most common, convenient, and non-cost way. However, while copying multiple USBs you'll encounter some annoying problems.
‧Slow transfer speed
One of the common reasons is that the anti-virus program checks every file and it will eventually slow the speed down.

‧Transfer speed start fast and then slow down
If the transfer speed starts fast but drops down after a few seconds or minutes. Then the reason might because write cache is filling up. One the cache filling up, the transfer speed will go down to match the physical writing speed.

‧Time-consuming and tedious
A computer with a single CPU core cannot multitask as it only executes a single thread at a time. Therefore, even you load all of the USB ports on your computer, the computer just switches the process between them very quickly. For example, you drag-and-drop files to 3 USBs on your computer, the resources will be equally allocated to this three USBs, which means more USB you copy, more time you need.
In addition, if you copy and paste manually on the computer, you need to focus on the processes to see whether it has repeat or broken files, which will make the whole process stop.

Using the USB hub to speed up the process

Cause using the computer need to spend lots of time doing repetitive work, such as drag and drop. Some people will do it in another way, you can speed up the task and it’s expandable to a large number of duplication slots by using the USB hub connected to the Windows PC.

Compare to using computer ports, this can save lots of repeat work. The cons are the speed will still slow down with the increasing number of slots because each device must be verified separately through the single-stream USB channel.

Using a USB duplicator

Apart from the previous methods, there is a way that usually used in mass production - a standalone USB duplicator. It’s one of the expansive way, but efficient.
The copy process directly tied to the controller and every port is independent for faster speed, the speed will remain the same even when the targets USB increased. That is to say, if you use a 1:7 usb duplicator, the time you spend to copy 7 USBs is the same as the time you copy just one USB. Additionally, if one of USB failed in the process, others can still move on, unless the source USB is damaged.

The difference way between computer and duplicator while storing data

Let’s talk about the copy process in a technical way.
Drag and drop on the computer, it copies file by file, which means you can select the specific files you want to copy and it’ll store the transferred data in the free space. But, sometimes you might need to format it additionally.

On the other hand, the duplicator copy bit by bit(sector by sector), not only you will have the same file but there will be arranged in the same physical order, including free space and any fragmentation that was on the drive.

That means the old data stored in the drives will be covered by the one in the source. It will be exactly the same as the source drive, even the file system, so you don’t have to format it additionally, the duplicator has done it already.
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Summary

Finally, I think the best part of using a computer and USB hub is that you can drag and drop files or data whatever you want, the premise is that you don’t have to copy tons of USB. Cause if you do it with the computer, you need to plug the USB, copy and paste or use the command, and then unplug it repeatedly. Also, the copy process will occupy your computer and all you can do is wait for it to finish.
But if you have low budget to do it, then you should consider buying a USB hub to speed up the process.

As for the duplicator, you don’t have to transfer files by using the computer or installing software to complete it. It can save time in manual work and do it automatically till it finished. It’s like the easiest and efficient way to copy, expansive though. It’s more suitable for people who use it for mass production.
Recommend entry-level USB duplicator →