Reliability of USB Flash Drives

  Batch 09:09 22 Jul 2010
Locked

I bought a 64GB Corsair USB Flash Drive, from Ebuyer, which was DoA (Dead on Arrival).

My intention was to use this as a robust backup device for off-site storage that I could also easily take with me on my travels.

Having investigated more, I see that quite a number of people are having very similar issues (either DoA or later on - e.g. after a month or two). One particular recurring theme is that the firmware seems to get corrupted making any existing data on the device inaccessible for all practicable purposes.

This raises the question of how reliable [high capacity] USB Flash Drives are (particularly in the context of backups rather data transportation)?

Any views or experiences out there on this matter?

  woodchip 09:47 22 Jul 2010

As with other Hardware Media, they last as long as they last. Its like asking how long is a piece of string. They last longer if treated correctly, just like your own body does, i.e Using the Safe Removal icon in the System Tray the one with the Green arrow on it. In theory you are better buying a good make, rather than just a cheep one

  Graphicool1 10:24 22 Jul 2010

My personal experience of PC storage units IE Disk's, Flash Drives and/or Hard drives. Is that NONE are 100% dependable, that is why you would be better spreading your back-up's etc, over as many different storage unit's as possible.

The new TB HD's are a disaster in the making. Even before PC's, 'Putting All Your Egg's In One Basket' was never considered a good idea and still isn't. To my mind it never will be!

  Graphicool1 11:02 22 Jul 2010

My personal experience of PC storage units IE Disk's, Flash Drives and/or Hard drives. Is that NONE are 100% dependable, that is why you would be better spreading your back-up's etc, over as many different storage unit's as possible.

The new TB HD's are a disaster in the making. Even before PC's, 'Putting All Your Egg's In One Basket' was never considered a good idea and still isn't. To my mind it never will be!

  Graphicool1 11:03 22 Jul 2010

Oops

  Batch 13:08 22 Jul 2010

Thanks guys, but I have the overall backup strategy etc. well covered - I haven't been in IT for over 40 years for nought.

Given my DoA experience and what I have found on the Corsair forums, I'm specifically considering whether USB Flash Drives are (particularly high capacity ones) not a suitable backup medium (i.e. for long term storage) or whether it might be particularly an issue with Corsair drives or.....

  onthelimit 14:02 22 Jul 2010

Blimey, has it been going that long? I didn't see a computer at work until 1988!

  Batch 14:46 22 Jul 2010

Yep. First job in IT (or Data Processing as I suppose it was called then) was as Computer Operator in the Computer Dept. at Harrods - got the job through my father who was a Buyer at Barker's in Kensington - long since gone (both Barker's and my father).

One interacted with the computer (an RCA 301 I seem to recall - see click here) by way of a panel of toggle push buttons (which represented the computer registers) and which lit up. The buttons were grouped in to sets of 3. Each set of buttons were effectively a binary representation of the values 0 - 7 (for each button, light ON = 1, light OFF = 0). By entering the relevant binary values it instructed the computer which program to run off magnetic tape.

How things have changed.

I used a usb flash for my vista raid drivers, died after about 6 months, this one had had a fair bit of use beforehand though.
I upgraded to windows 7 64 bit from vista 32 bit used a brand new 4 gig flash for the iso, this one died as it was writing...
I have gone back to dvd burning, I just don't trust them, they were not cheap ones, maybe i'm just unlucky.

  Ian in Northampton 15:48 22 Jul 2010

When I started in the computer industry in 1975, a mainframe computer had just 4k of memory, which was more than enough to run an entire accounting suite. 'Visible record minicomputers' were all the rage, combining computing with ledger cards (some of which had a magnetic stripe on them which recorded the data about that account or product so that the computer could read it - but there was still a printed ledger card as well). They used a 'rat hole' to load via paper tape. My mate and I couldn't understand, at the launch of a new minicomputer, why it didn't have a rat hole. Turned out that's what the cassette drive was for...

On the subject of backup/security... I have two internal 250GB drives backed up to two external 250GB USB drives. These are backed up to a 1TB external USB drive - which is backed up to another 1TB USB drive which is stored well away from the PC. Paranoid? Me?? :-)

  woodchip 16:49 22 Jul 2010

Seem to remember something about punched cards. Like a old music roll

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

Best phone camera 2017

Stunning new film posters by Hattie Stewart, Joe Cruz & more

iPad Pro 10.5in (2017) review

28 astuces pour profiter au mieux de votre iPhone