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slow backup

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I have retrospect backup for desktop 5.1 with a 2.4 gig pentium, 512 mg ram and winxp. I did a backup of the hard drive using an external hard drive connected with firewire. The backup ran at a performance of 200-400 mg/min. I'm trying to do a second backup of the hard drive to a different backup set but now the performance is only 5-10 mg/min. Everything is identical to the first backup, nothing has changed. The external hard drive has a capacity of 120 gig. The first backup set was 16 gig. Nothing else is on the external hard drive. I tried rebooting but this second backup is still slow. Is there something I'm missing? Thanks for your help, Larry.

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