Products > Computers

let's face it: usb-sticks are not reliable

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tooki:
How is that normalized in any way? (Or new? Consumer deception was much worse in the early days of industrialization, which is when and why our various regulatory bodies were created.)

My point was that USB thumb drives aren’t fundamentally unreliable. I’d argue the contrary. Fraudulent products don’t make the product type in general unreliable until they comprise a market share sufficient to make significant the chances of receiving a fraudulent product. I don’t think we are there with thumb drives.

Ed.Kloonk:

--- Quote from: tooki on September 29, 2022, 06:19:04 am ---How is that normalized in any way? (Or new? Consumer deception was much worse in the early days of industrialization, which is when and why our various regulatory bodies were created.)

My point was that USB thumb drives aren’t fundamentally unreliable. I’d argue the contrary. Fraudulent products don’t make the product type in general unreliable until they comprise a market share sufficient to make significant the chances of receiving a fraudulent product. I don’t think we are there with thumb drives.

--- End quote ---

Don't get me wrong. I'm with you.

I meant that the proliferation of these products on eBay that are not only sub-standard but fraudulent by not having the capacity as stated on the labelling.

The normalisation is annoying (to me) because it's just accepted these are on the market up alongside good products. Data reliability is one thing, but selling rubbish because nobody with the power to do so will bother to stop them is just rotten.

50ShadesOfDirt:
As with anything (tech or otherwise) we buy these days, it's warranty and model obselescense) ... if someone warranties it for 2-, 3-yrs, or more, the quality is probably in there. I've seen warranty's drop to the 1-yr level, and some (many?) as low as 90- to 30-days.

If that isn't an obvious *don't use OUR device* red flag, I'm not sure what is ...

It isn't that flash is in everything, it's the warranty that they put on it or anything ... some are jokes, some imply real seriousness about quality (for the most part).

Next up is the intangibles behind the product ... here you have to dig into their website "support" pages, and see if they actually produce firmware updates, have healthy-looking support pages/articles, etc.

Finally, if you got this far with a prospective tech purchase, it's forum detective work ... what are others saying about it?

I couldn't buy a tech device with a 1-yr, or 90-day, or less warranty, without considering it "disposable", and planning accordingly.

tooki:

--- Quote from: Ed.Kloonk on September 29, 2022, 06:42:52 am ---Don't get me wrong. I'm with you.

I meant that the proliferation of these products on eBay that are not only sub-standard but fraudulent by not having the capacity as stated on the labelling.

The normalisation is annoying (to me) because it's just accepted these are on the market up alongside good products. Data reliability is one thing, but selling rubbish because nobody with the power to do so will bother to stop them is just rotten.

--- End quote ---
But is it normalized?!? Despite their popularity, I doubt eBay and aliexpress actually comprise any significant percentage of thumb drive sales. Consequently, I very much doubt fraudulent thumb drives are actually have a significant market share. I would argue that most people just go and buy a drive at the store, where it’s nearly guaranteed to be real. (What I will admit is a big question mark is whether Amazon has managed to introduce any significant amounts into the market, since tons of people shop on Amazon who wouldn’t shop on eBay or aliexpress.)

Berni:
Amazon does also sell bad or unsafe products because it lets other entities be sellers on the platform much like aliexpress.As far as warranty goes the EU requires a minimum 2 year warranty period, so we can't use short warranty as a indicator here.

However in general modern flash chips are not exactly the pinnacle of reliability. They are heavily optimized for high capacity, making the cells as tiny as possible (less charge per cell, less erase cycles) and multiple bits per cell (more chance of a bit flip due to leakage)..etc. Yes you can still buy high quality flash, but thumb drives usually get the worst bottom of the barrel stuff.

Another consequence of this cheep modern flash is large erase pages. This makes modifying data in small chunks very slow and inefficient (especially with no caching). So the areas with the filesystem tables (that sit next to the partition table) are likely to get moved around flash for wear leveling a lot and if you pull the drive out at that moment you could bork the whole filesystem.

I am pretty paranoid of cheep storage media. I buy thumb drives at a price premium from well known brands with reviews and benchmarks (A lot of USB 3.0 drives are slower than good USB 2.0 drives!) and i run the cheep drives i get as marketing gifts trough the write test to identify the fakes(found quite a few so far)

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