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'[EE] flash vs disk'
2008\01\30@164734 by Dr Skip

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Question for the group:

4 GB usb jump drives are at a good price point, and I've found 4 GB
micro-disks, also usb, at very close to the same price. When off, both are
essentially shockproof, and when plugged in will have no real shock. It then
really boils down to storage mechanism for reliability comparison. The disk is
old familiar technology with no write-limited lifetime. Flash is maintained at
a smaller atomic scale and maybe susceptible to airport x-rays perhaps? Maybe
bit flipping from some errant particle?

If given the choice for important day to day use, or important archival use,
which would you use?

Thanks,
Skip

2008\01\30@172839 by David VanHorn

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On Jan 30, 2008 4:47 PM, Dr Skip <spam_OUTdrskipTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Question for the group:
>
> 4 GB usb jump drives are at a good price point, and I've found 4 GB
> micro-disks, also usb, at very close to the same price. When off, both are
> essentially shockproof, and when plugged in will have no real shock. It then
> really boils down to storage mechanism for reliability comparison. The disk is
> old familiar technology with no write-limited lifetime. Flash is maintained at
> a smaller atomic scale and maybe susceptible to airport x-rays perhaps? Maybe
> bit flipping from some errant particle?

On those I've tested, the flash is faster, by 2x to 3X.
The Hitachi drives I'm comparing with are rated for 2000G. (yes 2kG)
I'm worried about wearout in the flash drives too, but haven't gotten
around to testing it yet.

>
> If given the choice for important day to day use, or important archival use,
> which would you use?

Day to day, I doubt it matters.
Archival, I think I'd take the flash.  Mechanical stuff probably won't
store as well.
But, who can read 8" hard-sector floppys today?

2008\01\30@185324 by Peter van Hoof

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Dr Skip .....drskipKILLspamspam@spam@gmail.com wrote:
>Question for the group:

>4 GB usb jump drives are at a good price point, and I've found 4 GB
>micro-disks, also usb, at very close to the same price. When off, both are
>essentially shockproof, and when plugged in will have no real shock. It then
>really boils down to storage mechanism for reliability comparison. The disk is
>old familiar technology with no write-limited lifetime. Flash is maintained at
>a smaller atomic scale and maybe susceptible to airport x-rays perhaps? Maybe
>bit flipping from some errant particle?

>If given the choice for important day to day use, or important archival use,
>which would you use?

>Thanks,
>Skip

I use many USB jump drives day to day and have years of experience with them
I have only broken one , it was plugged in my laptop when i put it away and the
entire weight of the laptop was on it (broke the plug of the board. I soldered it
back on salvaging the data.

I even managed to put some of them through a washer/dryer cycle several times without
ill effects other than losing some of the finish.

That said I never have important data only on a jump drive. When moving data to
other machines I always leave the original until I have the data on the target.

I just bought two new Kingston jump drives at buy.com $19.95 for 4Gb they are
getting cheaper all the time.

I also use a usb harddrive but this is a larger 160Gb Western Digital Passport drive
just fits in your pocket but I have found it to be unreliable in powered hubs.
It seems to like root hubs probably due to exessive power usage.
If I keep this requirement in mind it works very nice (though I don't mistreat it as I
do with thumb drives).

Peter van Hoof

2008\01\30@202933 by Xiaofan Chen

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On 1/31/08, Dr Skip <drskipspamKILLspamgmail.com> wrote:
> Question for the group:
>
> 4 GB usb jump drives are at a good price point, and I've found 4 GB
> micro-disks, also usb, at very close to the same price. When off, both are
> essentially shockproof, and when plugged in will have no real shock. It then
> really boils down to storage mechanism for reliability comparison. The disk is
> old familiar technology with no write-limited lifetime. Flash is maintained at
> a smaller atomic scale and maybe susceptible to airport x-rays perhaps? Maybe
> bit flipping from some errant particle?
>
> If given the choice for important day to day use, or important archival use,
> which would you use?

>From what I know and I hear (from Seagate engineers), harddisk based
micro-drive is a dying specie. You will be much better off with the flash drive.

This is a good article.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microdrive

Xiaofan

2008\01\30@211847 by SM Ling

picon face
>
> 4 GB usb jump drives are at a good price point, and I've found 4 GB
> micro-disks, also usb, at very close to the same price. When off, both are
> essentially shockproof, and when plugged in will have no real shock. It
> then
> really boils down to storage mechanism for reliability comparison. The
> disk is
> old familiar technology with no write-limited lifetime. Flash is
> maintained at
> a smaller atomic scale and maybe susceptible to airport x-rays perhaps?
> Maybe
> bit flipping from some errant particle?
>
> If given the choice for important day to day use, or important archival
> use,
> which would you use?
> <http://www.piclist.com>


For multipurpose and standby storage, I have a 2GB uSB.  Normally, it is
with my keychain inside a USB adapter (come free with uSD) and the  adapter
size is smaller than a usual thumb drive.  I am cross using it as USB drive
for some handy storage, file transfer between machines,etc ; as a SD with an
SD adapter on our Nikon cameras; and as a uSD or miniSD for our Nokia
handphones.

Write-limit is a shortcoming.

Ling SM


'[EE] flash vs disk'
2008\02\01@060313 by Alan B. Pearce
face picon face
>> If given the choice for important day to day use, or important
>> archival use, which would you use?
>
>Day to day, I doubt it matters.

I would agree. Both methods are subject to failure.

>Archival, I think I'd take the flash.  Mechanical stuff
>probably won't store as well.

Well if someone wants something archived, my view is that it needs transfer
to other media periodically, as all media does tend to deteriorate. With
magnetic media the magnetic fields do deteriorate over time, mag tape
suffers from print through, and flash drives, along with any other
electronics associated with whatever media you use, suffer from failure.
Writable CDs also have a finite life. About the only media that I feel would
do 100 year archive would be punched card or paper tape kept in a suitable
environment.

>But, who can read 8" hard-sector floppys today?

Well, that is another reason to periodically transfer data to other media.
As you go you can update the media type.

At the end of the day the question becomes how long you want to archive for,
and will the chosen media last that long without failure.

2008\02\01@165138 by alan smith

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What about temperature?  Reason I ask...I have a fireproof case where all my important doc's are kept.  I have some CD's in there as well.  CD's wont stand up to the heat but a flash drive ought to if its made to withstand papers from burning up right?  I dont have the data on it...ie..internal temp range so its a blind assumption that given the two technolgies, the flash drive ought to survive.
     
---------------------------------
Looking for last minute shopping deals?  Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.

2008\02\01@170942 by Bob Axtell

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alan smith wrote:
> What about temperature?  Reason I ask...I have a fireproof case where all my important doc's are kept.  I have some CD's in there as well.  CD's wont stand up to the heat but a flash drive ought to if its made to withstand papers from burning up right?  I dont have the data on it...ie..internal temp range so its a blind assumption that given the two technolgies, the flash drive ought to survive.
>        
> ---------------------------------
> Looking for last minute shopping deals?  Find them fast with Yahoo! Search.
>  
I read someplace that flash drives should reach 20-40 years easily if
the plastic cases won't rot. For that
reason, I believe MMC and SD devices are less durable...

USB Flash: That's where I am placing critical stuff. 2+ YEARS and still
goin' strong, so far, no losses...

--Bob Axtell

2008\02\01@171949 by Dr Skip

picon face
Thanks for all of the comments on this. I guess I should trust flash...

However, if I continue to use Vista it may be irrelevant. I might have trouble
living longer than it takes to actually save to a usb device with it...

Now erasing half of that 3.5GB I wrote and it looks like 2 hours to completion
(and manual observation and calculation agree with that).

-Skip

PS I remember the days, not so long ago (before Christmas last year...), when I
could copy a few hundred GB from a USB drive to a network server in a few
hours. That actually takes weeks now on Vista. ARG!


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