Copying 2 Things At Once



This is kind of a silly question, and i should probably know this especially as long as i’ve been on a computer… but i’ve noticed this as long as i can remember but wasn’t sure if there was a way around it.

Is there a way to speed up copying two things at once (specifically on a multi-core computer). I came across it today so i figured i would just post the question.

I just finished recording 2 hours of HD footage to 2 different P2 cards. Normally I would just drag each folder separately to keep the speed up. I tried doing both at the same time (just to see) and 1 transfer stayed at about 14MB/s while the other dropped to 1.5MB/s. I stopped the 1.5 transfer, copied the first folder and then copied the second at the 14MB/s speed as well. Otherwise it was telling me the 2nd transfer would’ve taken 9hrs. I thought once the first transfer ended the 2nd would’ve gotten a speed bump but it only went up .5MB/s (i waited a good 2 mins to see). So i cancelled it, and retransferred the 2nd and it returned back to the 14MB/s.

Since i am on a i7 quad core, is there a way to designate somehow that one transfer uses 2 cores and the other transfer uses the other cores? Or is that something that is done automatically anyway or do i need to tell it to do it? Wasn’t sure if it was a setting somewhere or what.

Thanks in advance for any help and advice.


As an owner and user of a quad core computer I can tell you that copying multiple files in seperate copying operations is not sped up by using a multi-core cpu

The issue is that often the files you want to copy at the same time are either on the same physical hard drive or going to the same physical hard drive and trying to do two operations at once that access the same drive at one of both ends of a copy operation slows things dramatically.

However if you are copying two multi-Gigabyte files at the same time when neither files is on the same source drive OR on the same destination drive there is no perceptable difference in copy speed between doing a single copy and a double copy at the same time.

Unfortunatly this presumes that you have a computer with multiple
cores and atleast four physical hard drives (OR SSD)

Involve any of the four drives in more than one silmutaneous operation and it all slows way down.

I tend to do an awful lot of “serial” copies where I use an old DOS based file management program to copy files either by single point to point copying, “mirroring” directories, or “Alt-copying” large groups of “tagged” files
(either manually tagged or tagged by file extension, file location or attributes)

It’s kinda neat to watch 210gb of mp3 and jpg files go from one drive to another in about half of the time I could have moved them using Windows Explorer.
PArticularly when I can copy them all “in path” with the directory file/folder “Tree” structure intact.


awesome… glad to know i havent been missing out all these years then. thanks for the help!