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Are USB thumb drives as vulnerable to memory loss and failure as HDD?

Are USB thumb drives as vulnerable to memory loss and failure as HDD?

Are USB thumb drives as vulnerable to memory loss and failure as HDD?

Asked by: Guest | Views: 62
Total answers/comments: 2
Guest [Entry]

"USB thumb drives are solid state devices. In electronics, ""solid state"" means that circuits are built entirely from solid materials, in contrast to other technologies that use vacuum or gas-discharge tubes, or electro-mechanical devices with moving parts.

The difference between USB thumbdrives and what is marketed as ""SSD"" drives is the type of NAND flash memory used (as well as the device capacity, and what interface is used). But, in technical terms, USB thumbdrives are SSDs, as are drives based on volatile memory and software-based storage technologies like RAM disks.

As far as ""memory loss and failure"" vulnerability, solid state devices are not vulnerable to the same failure modes as standard hard drives. They won't suffer mechanical failure and they can't be erased by a powerful magnet. Instead, flash memory is vulnerable to other failure modes. Some failure modes can affect both types of drive; EMP, extreme circuit overload (think lightning strike), fire damage, and severe corrosion of interface contacts are just a sampling of the possibilities."
Guest [Entry]

"About the technology:

Flash is a technology based on a quantum effect. What happens is that you read the charge of a cell that is surrounded by insulating material. When you want to write to the cell high(er) voltage is applied to the pad near the cell, and electrons tunnel into the cell.(Wikipedia)

This makes Flash invulnerable to mechanical stress, that was the biggest problem of HDDs, but since there is a chance for the electrons to pass through the insulator surrounding the cell, it deteriorates over time, and depending on the size and quality of Flash cells, they have finite writing quantity.(Usually between 1000 and 100000 times), afterwards you'll see bad sectors appearing like on regular hard drives."