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Is flash drive wear a significant issue?

Is flash drive wear a significant issue?

My netbook has a flash drive instead of a hard disk drive, and I'm using Ubuntu Netbook Remix with ext3 as the file system. I've read some articles concerning flash drive wear, and the main concerns seem to be:

Asked by: Guest | Views: 30
Total answers/comments: 5
Guest [Entry]

"Generally speaking, Flash drive wear and tear is always brought up (SSD and USB) However, I haven't seen it.

I have personally found that cheap USB Flash drives for example go faulty and simply do not get recognised well before you actually see wear and tear.

Also, newer drives use technologies that randomise the locations of writes. I suppose, lets say you have a 100 GB drive and fill it up with 99.5 GB's, then you keep using .5 GB over and over again, you can reach the limit, but again, I use SSDs and USB sticks on a daily basis for very heavy use (over the past few years) and generally speaking, the drives die of general failures well before you see this as a problem.

No Experience with alternative File Systems, However I personally wouldn't bother... Use a mature file system and if it fails within a usable time, take it back under warranty. (if in the UK, up to ~6 years under the sale of goods act as you can say it was designed with a fault and not fit for the purpose of storing data... I am not a lawyer, but I took a laptop back 4 years after buying for a similar reason).

Also, for Windows just maybe worth a look in, I remember seeing a product from Diskeeper, that looks interesting - meant to optimise and extend the life of SSD disks, but I am wondering if it is needed and found several articles doubting it (only linked to one) and goes in to detail about wear and tear. Also, I can not longer see the product on their website, so it must of either been scrapped or built into a different edition."
Guest [Entry]

"SSD drives use flash based on the 100,000 write cycle technologies, not the 1000. We haven't had flash drives running that long in the real world, but really, except for perhaps the page file on a normal system, the drive isn't getting that many writes. And modern drives do some wear leveling, and automatically compensate for a few bad blocks.

I give the following advice: If you are not doing something insane (a data logger that fills the drive 500 times per second) don't worry about it. Keep good backups, use the system, and in all likelyhood you're going to replace it for faster/bigger parts long before you hit the flash write lifetime."
Guest [Entry]

Manufacturers are also looking at new flash technologies such as NAND Flash which have a much higher number of write cycles. The company I works for uses flash drives on our hardware. Early systems would have a flash failure after 2 years of operation. We quickly replaced the flash with better versions. The current projection is 20+ years in the same application.
Guest [Entry]

"Firstly, flash wear is not a real problem. Usually something spoils before the lifespan of flash is reached.

Wear levelling is real. It happens in USB drives. But it does not activate until significant wear has occurred. E.G. 1/3 of lifespan. I can't confirm but wear level is probably real in SSD since a small USB drive can implement it.

""Also, newer drives use technologies that randomise the locations of writes. I suppose, lets say you have a 100GB drive and fill it up with 99.5GB's, then you keep using .5GB over and over again,""

This won't work as the 0.5Gb data gets shifted around, thanks to wear levelling. Meaning, storage from the 99.5Gb will be swapped with the original overused 0.5GB storage. That implies the flash cells ages somewhat uniformly.

I shall iterate my point that it is highly unlikely the flash reaches its lifespan before some other failures."
Guest [Entry]

"I've had a number of those cheap ($10 for 8GB) drives go dead after 1 year due to bad sectors where the log was constantly written.

If you are talking a cheap USB stick drive don't expect it to last that long. Using a non-journal system seems to help, but even system logs that are rotated often still cause wear and failure on those cheap drives."