Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bill, May 29, 2005.

1. ### BillGuest

I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

Have you heard of something like this?

Bill, May 29, 2005

2. ### Rudy BennerGuest

"Bill" <> wrote in message
news:...
>I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> Have you heard of something like this?
>

Where did you hear this?

Rudy Benner, May 29, 2005

3. ### SheldonGuest

"Bill" <> wrote in message
news:...
>I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> Have you heard of something like this?

Not me. Since these cards are not the same as a floppy or hard drive, where
you are storing on magnetic media with heads and wear, one would think the
read/write cycle should be theoretically infinite. No moving parts. I have
yet to hear of a memory card wearing out. Anybody else?

Sheldon, May 29, 2005
4. ### Tony HwangGuest

Bill wrote:
> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> Have you heard of something like this?
>
>

Hi,
No. But every time you download you wear the card out little by
little. Electrons get tired you know.
Tony

Tony Hwang, May 29, 2005
5. ### Pete DGuest

Only damaging the card will shorten it's life.

"Bill" <> wrote in message
news:...
>I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> Have you heard of something like this?
>

Pete D, May 29, 2005
6. ### ASAARGuest

On Sat, 28 May 2005 21:45:44 -0600, Sheldon wrote:

> Not me. Since these cards are not the same as a floppy or hard drive, where
> you are storing on magnetic media with heads and wear, one would think the
> read/write cycle should be theoretically infinite. No moving parts. I have
> yet to hear of a memory card wearing out. Anybody else?

Yes, Flash RAM has a limited number of writes. This is even
mentioned in my camera's manual. But the number is sufficiently
high that it's unlikely to be noticed by the vast majority of people
using the same card for many, many years. The wearing out of Flash
RAM mostly effected people that used it as a portable drive in small
handheld computers and later in PDAs. The computers had the ability
to rewrite the same sector far more frequently than any still
camera. Semiconducter manufacturers in response developed far
longer lived Flash RAM. The only way I'd see cards wearing out
before their time is if they're used extensively to record videos.

If any cards used in cameras ever do "wear out", they're likely to
be rare events (who would still be using them?) so many years from
now that they'd be equivalent to today's 4MB cards. In other words,
little used curiosities. I remember not too long ago when my 80MB
CF card was considered to be huge.

ASAAR, May 29, 2005
7. ### Guest

Rudy Benner wrote:
> "Bill" <> wrote in message
> news:...
> >I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> >earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> >segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
> >
> > Have you heard of something like this?
> >

>
> Where did you hear this?

Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory

These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing 3
times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of the
life expectancy of 10,000 cycles. You will certainly be using SOMETHING
else in 10 years. However, I would be more concerned about wearing out
the pins/contacts of the memory from inserting/removing in the camera
and card reader. I would expect the contacts on a CF card to take
10,000 insertions but I had a child try to insert a CF and bend a pin.
Of course, your mileage will vary. Bottom line, don't worry about it.
Glenn Gundlach

, May 29, 2005
8. ### Jim TownsendGuest

Bill wrote:

> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> Have you heard of something like this?

find info from some credible sites that state flash memory is
good from around 300,000 writes up to a million..

Your card will wear out eventually, but it will be many years
until it happens.

Jim Townsend, May 29, 2005
9. ### Mr. MarkGuest

> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com

Mr. Mark, May 29, 2005
10. ### Mr. MarkGuest

> Not me. Since these cards are not the same as a floppy or hard drive,
where
> you are storing on magnetic media with heads and wear, one would think the
> read/write cycle should be theoretically infinite. No moving parts. I

have
> yet to hear of a memory card wearing out. Anybody else?

They have a limited life, but the average user isn't going to approach the
number of writes possible on modern cards.

--
Mark

Photos, Ideas & Opinions
http://www.marklauter.com

Mr. Mark, May 29, 2005
11. ### ASAARGuest

On Sun, 29 May 2005 04:22:27 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:

>> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

>
> If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>

For some Memory Sticks it's as simple as flipping a switch.

I think that he normally downloads well before the card is filled.
It's very slightly riskier to continue using the card until it's
option that forced all additional pictures to be stored in a new
folder in the card.

ASAAR, May 29, 2005
12. ### ConfusedGuest

On 28 May 2005 21:17:17 -0700
In message <>
wrote:

> Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory
>
> These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing 3
> times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of the
> life expectancy of 10,000 cycles.
> <CROP>

If that were true, it seems to me that the directory
holding the FCB's for the 1st cluster of photos would
reach 10,000 writes quickly. We *should* be seeing
tons of failing card posts.

Jeff

Confused, May 29, 2005
13. ### PhotobossmanGuest

Well my 64MB SD card lasted aprox 3 months that is when it got wet in a
Montana Mount lake around 45 degree water is all it took to destroy not only
my memory but the camera as well. However I at least did not loose my fish.

Gary

"ASAAR" <> wrote in message
news:...
> On Sun, 29 May 2005 04:22:27 GMT, Mr. Mark wrote:
>
>>> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If
>>> I
>>> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the
>>> first
>>> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

>>
>> If you don't erase the card, how will you get more files on it? <g>

>
> For some Memory Sticks it's as simple as flipping a switch.
>
> I think that he normally downloads well before the card is filled.
> It's very slightly riskier to continue using the card until it's
> reformatting would be more convenient if the camera had a menu
> option that forced all additional pictures to be stored in a new
> folder in the card.
>

Photobossman, May 29, 2005
14. ### Guest

> Yes, Flash RAM has a limited number of writes. This is even
>mentioned in my camera's manual. But the number is sufficiently
>high that it's unlikely to be noticed by the vast majority of people
>using the same card for many, many years. The wearing out of Flash
>RAM mostly effected people that used it as a portable drive in small
>handheld computers and later in PDAs. The computers had the ability
>to rewrite the same sector far more frequently than any still
>camera. Semiconducter manufacturers in response developed far
>longer lived Flash RAM. The only way I'd see cards wearing out
>before their time is if they're used extensively to record videos.

Why would video recording wear the card out more than takeing stills?

, May 29, 2005
15. ### Guest

Bill <> wrote:
>I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.

>Have you heard of something like this?

Flash cards certainly have a finite amount of _write_ cycles. Read cycles does
not cause wear and tear asfaik. Asfaik, most cards should manage at least
100 000 write cycles per block. Real old ones maybe 10 000 (less than 64 mb?).

What can wear out is the places which is often rewritten, ie the file
allocation tables (FAT). This and file allocation can be mitigated by writeing
the fat on new locations. On a harddisc you want fat+files as near as possible
due head movement. So first block(s) that are free is used. On a flashcard one
can use roundrobin allocation to make sure as few as possible writes are used.
Which requires that the user ofcourse doesn't reformat the card. Also bad
blocks that has gone bad can be marked "bad" and be avoided.

So when pic1, pic2 is written, and then deleted. pic3 is written on the
physical sectors that lies after pic2.

What can really wear out a flash card is a embedded system that uses the flash
card for swapping. Where one usually have to add enough memory and disable
swapping altogether.

It would be interesting to know if cameras verifies that the picture has been
written. And if it will handle a bad block situation well..

, May 29, 2005
16. ### David J TaylorGuest

Confused wrote:
> On 28 May 2005 21:17:17 -0700
> In message <>
> wrote:
>
>> Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory
>>
>> These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing
>> 3 times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of
>> the life expectancy of 10,000 cycles.
>> <CROP>

>
> If that were true, it seems to me that the directory
> holding the FCB's for the 1st cluster of photos would
> reach 10,000 writes quickly. We *should* be seeing
> tons of failing card posts.
>
> Jeff

Yes, but I understand that the logical to physical mapping on cards is not
constant, for exactly this reason. Thus they wear evenly rather than
having a single region continuously hammered.

David

David J Taylor, May 29, 2005
17. ### teflonGuest

On 29/5/05 3:30 am, in article , "Bill"
<> wrote:

> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> Have you heard of something like this?

Why tie yourself into knots worrying about the inside of a memory card? It's
because of the different kind of pictures it sees.

Just take pictures and leave the insides of flash cards to the technicians.

teflon, May 29, 2005
18. ### Ron HunterGuest

Bill wrote:
> I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
> earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
> segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>
> Have you heard of something like this?
>
>

Yes, and it's true, but I would expect the card to be long obsolete
before you get near that limit. I usually let the card get a few dozen
pictures on it before erasing. It really isn't a practical issue.

--
Ron Hunter

Ron Hunter, May 29, 2005
19. ### Ron HunterGuest

wrote:
> Rudy Benner wrote:
>
>>"Bill" <> wrote in message
>>news:...
>>
>>>I heard that a memory card has the limit of certain number of writes. If I
>>>earse the memory card after every download, I will be writing to the first
>>>segments of the card every time. Hence, shorten the life of the card.
>>>
>>>Have you heard of something like this?
>>>

>>
>>Where did you hear this?

>
>
> Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory
>
> These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing 3
> times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of the
> life expectancy of 10,000 cycles. You will certainly be using SOMETHING
> else in 10 years. However, I would be more concerned about wearing out
> the pins/contacts of the memory from inserting/removing in the camera
> and card reader. I would expect the contacts on a CF card to take
> 10,000 insertions but I had a child try to insert a CF and bend a pin.
> Of course, your mileage will vary. Bottom line, don't worry about it.
> Glenn Gundlach
>

If the CF slot on a device is properly designed, it would be impossible
to bend a pin unless something got into the slot. Unfortunately, NOT
all devices are designed that way. I never had a problem with inserting
a CF card, but then I was always careful.

--
Ron Hunter

Ron Hunter, May 29, 2005
20. ### Ron HunterGuest

Confused wrote:
> On 28 May 2005 21:17:17 -0700
> In message <>
> wrote:
>
>
>>Flash memory does indeed have a finite life. See
>>http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_memory
>>
>>These values are consistent with data from chip makers. Even erasing 3
>>times a day, every day would take 10 years to hit the low end of the
>>life expectancy of 10,000 cycles.
>><CROP>

>
>
> If that were true, it seems to me that the directory
> holding the FCB's for the 1st cluster of photos would
> reach 10,000 writes quickly. We *should* be seeing
> tons of failing card posts.
>
> Jeff

Quickly? Say you wrote and erased the same sector 10 times each day,
that's 1000 days, or 3 years of use. I would probably consider that a
good use life. I understand that newer cards are rated at 5 times that now.

--
Ron Hunter

Ron Hunter, May 29, 2005