The life of a flash drive

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by Troglodyte, Dec 28, 2004.

  1. Troglodyte

    Troglodyte Guest

    Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.


    Cheers Trog
     
    Troglodyte, Dec 28, 2004
    #1
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  2. Troglodyte

    Gurble Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <> had
    this to say:

    >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >
    >
    >Cheers Trog


    Other than the problems that can be caused by not unmounting it (or
    "stopping" it in Windows speak), they should in theory last a lot
    longer than a hard drive - amongst other reasons, for the fact that
    there are no moving parts.
     
    Gurble, Dec 28, 2004
    #2
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  3. Troglodyte

    Gurble Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <> had
    this to say:

    >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >
    >
    >Cheers Trog


    Other than the problems that can be caused by not unmounting it (or
    "stopping" it in Windows speak), they should in theory last a lot
    longer than a hard drive - amongst other reasons, for the fact that
    there are no moving parts.
     
    Gurble, Dec 28, 2004
    #3
  4. Troglodyte

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 04:24:06 +1300, in message
    <>, Gurble wrote:

    > On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <> had
    > this to say:
    >
    > >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    > >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    > >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    > >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    > >
    > >
    > >Cheers Trog

    >
    > Other than the problems that can be caused by not unmounting it (or
    > "stopping" it in Windows speak), they should in theory last a lot
    > longer than a hard drive - amongst other reasons, for the fact that
    > there are no moving parts.



    Flash RAM has a finite life time in terms of the number of times you
    can rewrite data.

    This is different to a hard drive which has a finite life time measured
    in hours spinning (regardless of any writes).
     
    Ralph Fox, Dec 28, 2004
    #4
  5. Troglodyte

    Ralph Fox Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 04:24:06 +1300, in message
    <>, Gurble wrote:

    > On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <> had
    > this to say:
    >
    > >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    > >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    > >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    > >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    > >
    > >
    > >Cheers Trog

    >
    > Other than the problems that can be caused by not unmounting it (or
    > "stopping" it in Windows speak), they should in theory last a lot
    > longer than a hard drive - amongst other reasons, for the fact that
    > there are no moving parts.



    Flash RAM has a finite life time in terms of the number of times you
    can rewrite data.

    This is different to a hard drive which has a finite life time measured
    in hours spinning (regardless of any writes).
     
    Ralph Fox, Dec 28, 2004
    #5
  6. Troglodyte

    Dogboy Guest

    Troglodyte wrote:
    > Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    > general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    > normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    > coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >
    >
    > Cheers Trog
    >


    There is nothing inherently unreliable about the Pen drives. There is a
    write/read limit, which will give you a "big number" of writes and
    reads, Ive heard various claims from 10,000 to 1,000,000.

    The main thing about them is they get a lot of abuse. Ive had my one for
    a couple of years now and the USB plug bit is getting somewhat loose.

    Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    (and has got me).

    --
    Dogboy
     
    Dogboy, Dec 28, 2004
    #6
  7. Troglodyte

    Dogboy Guest

    Troglodyte wrote:
    > Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    > general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    > normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    > coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >
    >
    > Cheers Trog
    >


    There is nothing inherently unreliable about the Pen drives. There is a
    write/read limit, which will give you a "big number" of writes and
    reads, Ive heard various claims from 10,000 to 1,000,000.

    The main thing about them is they get a lot of abuse. Ive had my one for
    a couple of years now and the USB plug bit is getting somewhat loose.

    Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    (and has got me).

    --
    Dogboy
     
    Dogboy, Dec 28, 2004
    #7
  8. Troglodyte

    Bruce Knox Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <>
    wrote:

    >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >
    >
    >Cheers Trog

    Hi, from what I know the USB bit can be the most unreliable. If you
    get read errors a bit of alcohol and a cotton bud can get you going
    again.

    Bruce.
     
    Bruce Knox, Dec 28, 2004
    #8
  9. Troglodyte

    Bruce Knox Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <>
    wrote:

    >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >
    >
    >Cheers Trog

    Hi, from what I know the USB bit can be the most unreliable. If you
    get read errors a bit of alcohol and a cotton bud can get you going
    again.

    Bruce.
     
    Bruce Knox, Dec 28, 2004
    #9
  10. Troglodyte

    Enkidu Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <>
    wrote:
    >
    >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >

    Mine went through the wash and still works!

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    --

    The National Party manifesto can be viewed here:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/policy/index.html
     
    Enkidu, Dec 28, 2004
    #10
  11. Troglodyte

    Enkidu Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <>
    wrote:
    >
    >Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable than a
    >normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies during the
    >coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >

    Mine went through the wash and still works!

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    --

    The National Party manifesto can be viewed here:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/policy/index.html
     
    Enkidu, Dec 28, 2004
    #11
  12. Troglodyte

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Bruce Knox wrote:
    > On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >> general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable
    >> than a normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies
    >> during the coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >>
    >>
    >> Cheers Trog

    > Hi, from what I know the USB bit can be the most unreliable. If you
    > get read errors a bit of alcohol and a cotton bud can get you going
    > again.


    What do you do with the cotton bud?
    --
    ~misfit~
     
    ~misfit~, Dec 29, 2004
    #12
  13. Troglodyte

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Bruce Knox wrote:
    > On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 03:04:18 +1300, Troglodyte <>
    > wrote:
    >
    >> Got a pen drive 2.0 some months ago. No probelsm with it. Just a
    >> general question. How do they last ? Are they any less reliable
    >> than a normal hard drive ? Plan on using it on a daily basies
    >> during the coming year, and would like to be able to trust it.
    >>
    >>
    >> Cheers Trog

    > Hi, from what I know the USB bit can be the most unreliable. If you
    > get read errors a bit of alcohol and a cotton bud can get you going
    > again.


    What do you do with the cotton bud?
    --
    ~misfit~
     
    ~misfit~, Dec 29, 2004
    #13
  14. In article <cqsctr$qed$>, Dogboy <> wrote:

    >Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    >some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    >you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    >difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    >(and has got me).


    Isn't that just your normal risk of filesystem corruption when you don't
    do a clean unmount? Why not just format it with a journalled filesystem
    like reiserfs. :)
     
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Dec 29, 2004
    #14
  15. In article <cqsctr$qed$>, Dogboy <> wrote:

    >Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    >some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    >you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    >difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    >(and has got me).


    Isn't that just your normal risk of filesystem corruption when you don't
    do a clean unmount? Why not just format it with a journalled filesystem
    like reiserfs. :)
     
    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro, Dec 29, 2004
    #15
  16. Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:
    >>Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    >>some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    >>you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    >>difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    >>(and has got me).


    > Isn't that just your normal risk of filesystem corruption when you don't
    > do a clean unmount? Why not just format it with a journalled filesystem
    > like reiserfs. :)


    well, for one, windows doesnt read it by default, so it would limit it's
    "portability" between machines.

    sure, not an issue if you dont use windows, but ~90% of all users do.

    I believe if you format them with ntfs they are also fine... although Im
    not sure how windows handles permissions etc on removable volumes, or
    even if it "allows" it.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Dec 29, 2004
    #16
  17. Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:
    >>Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    >>some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    >>you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    >>difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    >>(and has got me).


    > Isn't that just your normal risk of filesystem corruption when you don't
    > do a clean unmount? Why not just format it with a journalled filesystem
    > like reiserfs. :)


    well, for one, windows doesnt read it by default, so it would limit it's
    "portability" between machines.

    sure, not an issue if you dont use windows, but ~90% of all users do.

    I believe if you format them with ntfs they are also fine... although Im
    not sure how windows handles permissions etc on removable volumes, or
    even if it "allows" it.
     
    Dave - Dave.net.nz, Dec 29, 2004
    #17
  18. Troglodyte

    Dogboy Guest

    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:
    > In article <cqsctr$qed$>, Dogboy <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    >>some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    >>you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    >>difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    >>(and has got me).

    >
    >
    > Isn't that just your normal risk of filesystem corruption when you don't
    > do a clean unmount? Why not just format it with a journalled filesystem
    > like reiserfs. :)



    Well, it is and it isnt. Filesystem corruption is certainly possible.
    What I was REALLY talking about though was something which happened to
    me about 6 months ago. Being the family tecchie I was called in to look
    at a relatives machine.

    I had my flash drive in and I started playing around in DOS for some
    reason so instead of rebooting I just decided to pull it out. When I
    did that I literally saw a spark jump from the USB port (or nearby case)
    on to my USB flash drive. I thought it was totally fried but after a
    lot of messing around I managed to recover 3/4 of the space. 1/4 was
    lost. Files were long gone by that time.

    Now that I think about it, it sounds like something isnt grounded
    properly on that machine or something like that. Could explain why its
    been a POS from day one. The point is, you never know.

    --
    Dogboy

    Wargame Terrain Generator
    http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~healer8/
     
    Dogboy, Dec 29, 2004
    #18
  19. Troglodyte

    Dogboy Guest

    Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:
    > In article <cqsctr$qed$>, Dogboy <> wrote:
    >
    >
    >>Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    >>some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    >>you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    >>difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    >>(and has got me).

    >
    >
    > Isn't that just your normal risk of filesystem corruption when you don't
    > do a clean unmount? Why not just format it with a journalled filesystem
    > like reiserfs. :)



    Well, it is and it isnt. Filesystem corruption is certainly possible.
    What I was REALLY talking about though was something which happened to
    me about 6 months ago. Being the family tecchie I was called in to look
    at a relatives machine.

    I had my flash drive in and I started playing around in DOS for some
    reason so instead of rebooting I just decided to pull it out. When I
    did that I literally saw a spark jump from the USB port (or nearby case)
    on to my USB flash drive. I thought it was totally fried but after a
    lot of messing around I managed to recover 3/4 of the space. 1/4 was
    lost. Files were long gone by that time.

    Now that I think about it, it sounds like something isnt grounded
    properly on that machine or something like that. Could explain why its
    been a POS from day one. The point is, you never know.

    --
    Dogboy

    Wargame Terrain Generator
    http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~healer8/
     
    Dogboy, Dec 29, 2004
    #19
  20. Troglodyte

    Enkidu Guest

    On Wed, 29 Dec 2004 15:10:55 +1300, "Dave - Dave.net.nz"
    <> wrote:

    >Lawrence D¹Oliveiro wrote:
    >>>Also make sure you unmount it like the other poster mentioned. If for
    >>>some reason it wont unmount make sure you switch off the machine when
    >>>you take it out. 99% of the time pulling it out directly doesnt make a
    >>>difference if your not moving any data across, but that 1% will get you
    >>>(and has got me).

    >
    >> Isn't that just your normal risk of filesystem corruption when you don't
    >> do a clean unmount? Why not just format it with a journalled filesystem
    >> like reiserfs. :)

    >
    >well, for one, windows doesnt read it by default, so it would limit it's
    >"portability" between machines.
    >
    >sure, not an issue if you dont use windows, but ~90% of all users do.
    >
    >I believe if you format them with ntfs they are also fine... although Im
    >not sure how windows handles permissions etc on removable volumes, or
    >even if it "allows" it.
    >

    It's all done by numbers. SIDs actually.

    Cheers,

    Cliff
    --

    The National Party manifesto can be viewed here:

    http://www.labour.org.nz/policy/index.html
     
    Enkidu, Dec 29, 2004
    #20
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