Memory Card Storage Strategy

Started Aug 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Michael Pardee New Member • Posts: 21
Re: Memory Card Storage Strategy

Yes it is a bit wasteful compared to just loading the good jpg and raw files onto bigger drives. However there is a lot to be said for the simplicity of not overwriting the cards to keep as a last-resort archive of originals, and the costs are within an order of magnitude of other archival methods.

However, after further searching I found some bad news about the long term reliability of flash:
and one of the comments linked to a NASA study from 2008:

"Early bit failures were observed during both endurance and data retention testing"

Basically, flash memory relies on stored charge, which will eventually deplete. If you are regularly powering on the device then it might not be as big of a problem, but leaving the cards in a closet for 10 years will probably result in some data loss. I'm pretty sure flash is a lot better than spinning hard drives in this respect, but if you are going to have to verify/refresh/transfer files to new media every so often anyways, it seems it would be a LOT easier to do it with bigger drives or let a cloud service handle that for you.

It is possible that being in a dark cool environment like a river even helps flash maintain its charge longer, and a 10 year longevity number seems to be thrown around for consumer-grade flash, so the "3 years in a river" stories don't surprise me.

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