Memory card failure?

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
JimH123 Senior Member • Posts: 2,725
Re: Memory card failure?

ajff wrote:

Found it interesting in another thread regarding preferred memory card sizes that many (if not most) use smaller sized cards (16 or 32gb) to minimise the risk of loosing pics due to “memory card failure”.

I’ve been into digital since 2001 & taken thousands (or 100s of thousands)of pics using memory sticks, compact flash, sd, micro sd without (knock on wood) ever had a single card failure. I even broke a camera by falling into a river once & was still able to recoup the pics from the memory stick...

Is my experience an aberration?

Could it be because I’ve always stuck to the Sony memory sticks & later Sandisk cards or am I just memory stick lucky?(!)

BTW, my std size these past few years are 64g cards in all my cams with a couple of extra 128s for good measure that I take with me on trips (shoot jpg+Raw & they fill up fast- especially on race days or air meets)

Be aware that all Flash Memory cards experience a problem called "wear out".  They are spec'ed for a certain number of write/erase cycles.  The older cards with lower density actually had longer life expectancies.  Newer cards with much higher densities have shorter life expectancies.

When a card wears out, you don't know about it at first.  These memory cards use something called ECC (Error Correction) and what they do is fail a bit here and a bit there and as long as the part hasn't exceeded to ability of ECC to correct the problem, you're never the wiser.  As time goes on, more and more bits fail and eventually ECC can't fix it any longer.

Flash memory is incredibly expensive to manufacture and there are only about 5 or 6 manufacturers of Flash Memory in the world.  Each of these manufacturers does package their parts, add a memory manager and then see them.

But there are other companies that don't manufacture the actual wafers from whence the individual die are produced.  Instead they buy known good die and add their own memory manager and do their own packaging.  Some of these companies are quite good.  Others, not so good.  And from these, most of the failures happen.  And there are a number of ways one can fail.

- The package may fail.

- The memory manager may fail.

- The stack of die that makes up the memory may fail.

- The part may wear out.

You just don't know when one may fail.  But fail they can, and fail they do.

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