What can harm flash memory?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Fred B., Nov 3, 2004.

  1. Fred B.

    Fred B. Guest

    We all no xrays in airports and security checkpoints can ruin photographic
    film.

    But what can damage flash memory cards? I mean, not the obvious leaving in
    direct florida sunlight for two days, etc. I mean common situations...like
    even the same xray machines?

    Scanners of non xray type?

    I have SD cards for my PocketPC, I don't care about those. But my
    Compactflash cards for my cameras, I do care about.
     
    Fred B., Nov 3, 2004
    #1
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  2. Fred B.

    Julian Tan Guest

    Possibly static electricity? Especially if you leave them in your
    pockets unprotected...
     
    Julian Tan, Nov 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. Fred B.

    Ken Tough Guest

    Fred B. <> wrote:

    >But what can damage flash memory cards? I mean, not the obvious leaving in
    >direct florida sunlight for two days, etc. I mean common situations...like
    >even the same xray machines?
    >
    >Scanners of non xray type?


    Semiconductors are affected by xrays (or higher energy rays like
    gamma rays etc). The affect is cumulative in nature, and applies
    to all the semiconductors in your electronics, not just the memory
    chips in your memory cards. [Worry about the CPU and chips in your
    camera and lenses more than your replaceable memory cards].
    Scanners typically have x-rays of low enough energy that they make
    negligible effect, but you wouldn't want to leave them in there
    for weeks at a time. A recent article on x-ray exposure to ICs
    recommended a zinc foil filter, which helps cut absorption in
    silicon/oxides while still allowing detection of copper, lead etc.

    --
    Ken Tough
     
    Ken Tough, Nov 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Fred B.

    MarkH Guest

    "Fred B." <> wrote in
    news:7Jfid.18904$:

    > We all no xrays in airports and security checkpoints can ruin
    > photographic film.
    >
    > But what can damage flash memory cards? I mean, not the obvious
    > leaving in direct florida sunlight for two days, etc. I mean common
    > situations...like even the same xray machines?
    >
    > Scanners of non xray type?
    >
    > I have SD cards for my PocketPC, I don't care about those. But my
    > Compactflash cards for my cameras, I do care about.


    Apparently nailing a CF card to a tree can damage it.


    --
    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at www.gigatech.co.nz
    "There are 10 types of people, those that
    understand binary and those that don't"
     
    MarkH, Nov 4, 2004
    #4
  5. "Fred B." <> wrote in message news:<7Jfid.18904$>...
    > We all no xrays in airports and security checkpoints can ruin photographic
    > film.
    >
    > But what can damage flash memory cards? I mean, not the obvious leaving in
    > direct florida sunlight for two days, etc. I mean common situations...like
    > even the same xray machines?
    >
    > Scanners of non xray type?
    >
    > I have SD cards for my PocketPC, I don't care about those. But my
    > Compactflash cards for my cameras, I do care about.


    I accidently installed the batteries the wrong way in my Oly 3000Z. It
    zapped the memory card. I was surprised- I assumed there would be
    reverse voltage protection built into the camera. Learned the hard
    way that this is not so.
     
    Don Stauffer in Minneapolis, Nov 4, 2004
    #5
  6. Fred B.

    Guest

    On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 09:08:00 GMT, MarkH <> wrote:

    >"Fred B." <> wrote in
    >news:7Jfid.18904$:
    >
    >> We all no xrays in airports and security checkpoints can ruin
    >> photographic film.
    >>
    >> But what can damage flash memory cards? I mean, not the obvious
    >> leaving in direct florida sunlight for two days, etc. I mean common
    >> situations...like even the same xray machines?
    >>
    >> Scanners of non xray type?
    >>
    >> I have SD cards for my PocketPC, I don't care about those. But my
    >> Compactflash cards for my cameras, I do care about.

    >
    >Apparently nailing a CF card to a tree can damage it.


    And always make sure you change your cards in subdued light - never
    in direct sunshine.

    MJ
     
    , Nov 4, 2004
    #6
  7. Fred B.

    secheese Guest

    On Thu, 4 Nov 2004 10:10:36 +0200, Ken Tough <>
    wrote:

    >A recent article on x-ray exposure to ICs
    >recommended a zinc foil filter, which helps cut absorption in
    >silicon/oxides while still allowing detection of copper, lead etc.


    Source? I'd be interested in reading this.


    _____________________________________________________
    He whom God has touched will always be a being apart;
    he is, whatever he may do, a stranger among men;
    he is marked by a sign.
    - Ernest Renan (1823-1892)
     
    secheese, Nov 4, 2004
    #7
  8. Fred B.

    ZONED! Guest

    On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 15:02:50 GMT, wrote:

    >And always make sure you change your cards in subdued light - never
    >in direct sunshine.
    >
    >MJ


    I never heard of that. Why? Anything supportive on line?
     
    ZONED!, Nov 4, 2004
    #8
  9. Fred B.

    Gadgets Guest

    Gadgets, Nov 4, 2004
    #9
  10. Fred B.

    secheese Guest

    On Thu, 4 Nov 2004 20:56:26 GMT, "Gadgets" <info@gadgetaus....com>
    wrote:

    >Funnily enough, there is plenty of info on the first page of a Google
    >search...
    >http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=x-ray "compact flash" damage



    I read nothing conclusive re. x-ray damage to solid state devices on
    this google output. In fact, the little bit of additional research I
    did do, indicates that x-rays will likely not harm electronic devices.
    Geez... all modern x-ray machines use CCD detectors. "Funnily"
    enough... they survive!

    _____________________________________________________
    He whom God has touched will always be a being apart;
    he is, whatever he may do, a stranger among men;
    he is marked by a sign.
    - Ernest Renan (1823-1892)
     
    secheese, Nov 5, 2004
    #10
  11. Fred B.

    Ken Tough Guest

    Ken Tough, Nov 5, 2004
    #11
  12. Fred B.

    Guest

    secheese <> writes:

    > I read nothing conclusive re. x-ray damage to solid state devices on
    > this google output. In fact, the little bit of additional research
    > I did do, indicates that x-rays will likely not harm electronic
    > devices. Geez... all modern x-ray machines use CCD detectors.
    > "Funnily" enough... they survive!


    Teh device survices, problem is that data in you Flash chip may not
    be life as you knew it Jim....

    Just like the CCD, the X-ray generate electrons in Si, and thse can
    , WILL, corrupt data on flash gates if the exposure is high enough.

    --
    Paul Repacholi 1 Crescent Rd.,
    +61 (08) 9257-1001 Kalamunda.
    West Australia 6076
    comp.os.vms,- The Older, Grumpier Slashdot
    Raw, Cooked or Well-done, it's all half baked.
    EPIC, The Architecture of the future, always has been, always will be.
     
    , Nov 5, 2004
    #12
  13. Fred B.

    Guest

    On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 18:03:59 GMT, no_email@please_post.net (ZONED!)
    wrote:

    >On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 15:02:50 GMT, wrote:
    >
    >>And always make sure you change your cards in subdued light - never
    >>in direct sunshine.
    >>
    >>MJ

    >
    >I never heard of that. Why? Anything supportive on line?


    It's been extensively commented on in alt.tinfoil.beanies.
     
    , Nov 6, 2004
    #13
  14. Fred B.

    Ken Tough Guest

    wrote:

    >Teh device survices, problem is that data in you Flash chip may not
    >be life as you knew it Jim....
    >
    >Just like the CCD, the X-ray generate electrons in Si, and thse can
    >, WILL, corrupt data on flash gates if the exposure is high enough.


    Not only that, but the holes created migrate to the PN boundaries
    and don't recombine, so the damage does eventually build up and
    cells and/or the whole die could go into latch-up. But it's a
    slow process, and the beam energy needs to be tuned to Si absorption
    for it to have biggest effect. X-ray scanners will not make much
    difference.

    (The biological 'sterilising' x-rays in the US postal service are
    enough to damage chips permanently, though).

    --
    Ken Tough
     
    Ken Tough, Nov 6, 2004
    #14
  15. Not true, someone trying to be funny.


    "ZONED!" <no_email@please_post.net> wrote in message
    news:...
    > On Thu, 04 Nov 2004 15:02:50 GMT, wrote:
    >
    > >And always make sure you change your cards in subdued light - never
    > >in direct sunshine.
    > >
    > >MJ

    >
    > I never heard of that. Why? Anything supportive on line?





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    Richard Tomkins, Nov 12, 2004
    #15
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