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Extremely slow access to files on an encrypted USB drive

Topics: Technical Issues
Sep 28, 2016 at 5:42 PM
First, I apologize if this has been addressed in another thread. I thought I saw something about this a few days ago while surfing this message board, but now I can't find it.

Next, to be clear, I am not referring to slowness while mounting or dismounting. I am experiencing significant slowness while reading and writing files to the encrypted drive.

It is far, far slower than anything I ever experienced with Truecrypt.

With Truecrypt, I used AES. I am now using Twofish. I am not cascading. I am using SHA-256.

The drive is a USB thumb drive. I have encrypted the entire drive using VeraCrypt 1.18. The filesystem is NTFS. The size of the drive is 16 GB. It is not a hidden volume, and I do not use keyfiles.

My operating system is Win 7 Pro 32-bit. The PC has 3 GB of RAM. The processor is an Intel Pentium 4 (2.8 Ghz). The PC does not support hardware acceleration.

What is particularly unbearable is the slowness/latency of my e-mail client--Thunderbird Portable version 45.3. It constantly freezes up while sending and receiving e-mail. After a period of time--say, 45 to 75 seconds--it unfreezes and continues working. It does not crash. But it simply does not do this on an unencrypted drive.

As I work on my PC right now, opening a PDF from the encrypted drive seems to work very fast, with little or no delay. I have not attempted formal testing of other applications.

But the insanely slow performance of Thunderbird may be a dealbreaker. Even when I am typing a new outgoing message, the characters stop appearing on the screen, and I have to wait for the application to "catch up" with my typing.

Is anyone else experiencing anything like this?

Does anyone have too much time on their hands?? (LOL) Would anyone care to try to duplicate the problem? :P

FYI: The PC does not support USB 3.0, and neither does the USB drive. It is a Lexar JumpDrive S50 2.0. And the USB drive is plugged directly into the PC (no hub or extension cable).

Thanks for any insight...