Sep 16 2007

Remote Differential Compression And Your Vista Network

There’s been a lot of talk on the net lately about Vista and Remote Differential Compression slowing down file transfers. So I decided to give it a test.

Remote Differential Compression (RDC) allows data to be synchronized with a remote source using compression techniques to minimize the amount of data sent across the network. (From Microsoft)

I did a test on my home network to see if it really did slow down file transfers. I set up a 4.35 gig test file and transferred to a different hard drive inside my computer. I then transferred the same file across my home wired network to a different computer. I also performed the same test in Windows XP in my dual boot configuration.. Here are the results.

4.35 Gig test file, Windows Vista with Remote Differential Compression on.

Hard drive to Hard drive: 3:12 Computer to Computer: 13:54

4.35 Gig test file, Windows Vista with Remote Differential Compression off.

Hard drive to Hard drive: 2:47 Computer to Computer: 13:03

4.35 Gig test file, Windows XP

Hard drive to Hard drive: 1:33 Computer to Computer: 8:15

Turning off Remote Differential Compression saved 25 seconds on the internal test and 51 seconds in the network test, and Windows XP just stomped on Vista saving 74 seconds on the internal test and a whooping 288 seconds in the network test.

(You’re results may vary)


1. Click the Start Orb.

2. Type Features in the search box.

3. Click Programs and Features under the Programs section.


4. Under Tasks Click Turn Windows Features on or off.


5. Click Continue if prompted in the UAC.


6. Remove the check mark next to Remote Differential Compression in the Windows Features dialog box.


7. Click Ok, and in a few minutes Remote Differential Compression won’t be slowing you down any more.



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    11 Comments on this post


    1. Vista Revisited - » Remote Differential Compression And Your Vista Network Part 2 wrote:

      […] Remote Differential Compression And Your Vista Network […]

      October 20th, 2007 at 10:13 am
    2. How to Improve Network Performance in Windows Vista | Vista Revisited wrote:

      […] a regular reader you know we discussed some ways to improve this issue by turning off RDC Remote Differential Compression and it helped a little, but for the most part the problem remained, and I learned to live with […]

      May 24th, 2008 at 12:38 pm
    3. Why is my Removable Disk Backup Slow? wrote:

      […] off Remote Differential Compression.  On Vista or higher Windows some users have reported slower file transfer when RDC is turned on.  Although Microsoft recommends against turning it off, you might experiment […]

      February 23rd, 2012 at 2:16 pm
    1. Tim said:

      So why does this happen? Is there a way to even match vista’s download results with xp?

      September 16th, 2007 at 6:16 pm
    2. Kevin said:

      @ Tim, I’m not sure why Vista is that much slower than XP. Microsoft totally rewrote the network stack in Vista so maybe we’ll see some improvements in the coming months. But I will continue researching this issue. Stay tuned.

      September 16th, 2007 at 9:33 pm
    3. Mike said:

      It is a normal situation for Microsoft?
      Win 2000 had more bugs then 98
      XP was really slower then 2000
      And Vista?


      April 30th, 2008 at 12:17 pm
    4. Chris said:

      Vista is not slower than XP when it comes to moving files, just different. I’m no expert but i did read somewhere that in XP the copying process continues even after the on screen dialog disappears.

      December 23rd, 2008 at 5:15 pm
    5. Corinna said:

      I wanted to comment that disabling Remote Differential Compression in Vista improved the transfer speed to a Leopard computer by about 8-10 times. This was the critical clue that cracked the case.

      June 15th, 2009 at 11:18 pm
    6. Jay said:

      RDC is not meant to send whole files, so that’s why it may be taking longer for plain old file transfers. But if you are syncing a whole 4GB file between two computers, RDC will vastly improve the time to do so. In the past, the whole file had to be resent if one of the copies had been changed. RDC sends only the changes. Also, keep in mind that for this to work, both machines have to be RDC capable, which would seem to imply that you have to have all Vista machines.

      As Chris said above. Vista is not slower at copying, XP just tells you it’s done when it really isn’t. I’d rather the OS do its thing and tell me when its really done, otherwise I’ll yank the USB key or network cable and potentially lose data!

      June 30th, 2009 at 5:31 pm
    7. Kevin said:

      @ Jay, Thanks for leaving a comment. I never tested syncing files so that may be the case, I only tested moving files around my network.

      But turning off RDC did improve my transfer times, and yes most of my machines are Vista except for the 1 lone XP box, And Service Pack 1 seems to have fixed the issue.

      June 30th, 2009 at 6:45 pm
    8. Ned said:
      September 4th, 2010 at 4:59 pm


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