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

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DiTBho:
Back to 2011, I bought a couple of usb-sticks from Amazon, TDK and Sandisk brand new sticks, supposed to be "decent quality" for a kind of backup kind of backup you carefully store inside a locker and don't touch for years.

Yesterday night I mounted those usb-sticks in my Linux box to read some old files and ...

--- Code: ---sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 1c 42 1e 00 00 f0 00
blk_update_request: critical medium error, dev sdc, sector 1851934
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 1c 42 a8 00 00 02 00
blk_update_request: critical medium error, dev sdc, sector 1852072
Buffer I/O error on dev sdc1, logical block 926005, async page read
 sdc: sdc1 sdc2 sdc3
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 7a e0 60 00 00 f0 00
blk_update_request: critical medium error, dev sdc, sector 8052832
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 7a e1 60 00 00 f0 00
blk_update_request: critical medium error, dev sdc, sector 8053088
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 FAILED Result: hostbyte=DID_OK driverbyte=DRIVER_SENSE
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Sense Key : Medium Error [current]
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 Add. Sense: Unrecovered read error
sd 7:0:0:0: [sdc] tag#0 CDB: Read(10) 28 00 00 7a e1 00 00 00 08 00
blk_update_request: critical medium error, dev sdc, sector 8052992
Buffer I/O error on dev sdc3, logical block 394064, async page read

--- End code ---
Quick test

--- Code: ---dd of=/dev/null if=/dev/sdc3
dd: reading '/dev/sdc3': Input/output error
3152512+0 records in
3152512+0 records out
1614086144 bytes (1.6 GB) copied, 1521.2 s, 1.1 MB/s

--- End code ---

Thanks god, I also saved all those files in DVD-ram cartridges and even a copy on an hard-disk, which are all in perfect working condition.

Not a single file was lost.

Moral of the story: don't trust USB-sticks!

james_s:
Based on a sample of just two that you bought 11 years ago?

I've had dozens of USB sticks over the years, so far I've never had a single one of them fail. They're as reliable as just about any other consumer storage.

wraper:

--- Quote from: DiTBho on April 11, 2022, 07:00:52 am ---Back to 2011, I bought a couple of usb-sticks from Amazon, TDK and Sandisk brand new sticks, supposed to be "decent quality" for a kind of backup kind of backup you carefully store inside a locker and don't touch for years.

--- End quote ---
And here is your mistake. NAND cells discharge over time and in case of MLC, TLC, QLC it becomes hard to distinguish actual data within the cell as basically it's stored in analog voltage levels. For long term storage you need SLC flash, or one which is rewritten from time to time (decent SSD do this automatically). Type of error correction used and if it can adjust to diminishing voltage levels matters a lot too. I have even worse, Patriot 64GB SD card purchased about 10 years ago which starts corrupting the data after about 1.5 years.

DiTBho:

--- Quote from: james_s on April 11, 2022, 07:05:20 am ---Based on a sample of just two that you bought 11 years ago?

--- End quote ---

Based on several similar episodes happened in the last eleven years.

Just, if in the other cases I have used and handle without care the USB that I brought around - and you think - ups, doesn't it no more work? d'oh, must be your fault - in this case the two sticks were securely stored in a locker for years.

DiTBho:

--- Quote from: wraper on April 11, 2022, 07:39:16 am ---
--- Quote from: DiTBho on April 11, 2022, 07:00:52 am ---Back to 2011, I bought a couple of usb-sticks from Amazon, TDK and Sandisk brand new sticks, supposed to be "decent quality" for a kind of backup kind of backup you carefully store inside a locker and don't touch for years.

--- End quote ---
And here is your mistake. NAND cells discharge over time and in case of MLC, TLC, QLC it becomes hard to distinguish actual data within the cell as basically it's stored in analog voltage levels. For long term storage you need SLC flash, or one which is rewritten from time to time (decent SSD do this automatically). Type of error correction used and if it can adjust to diminishing voltage levels matters a lot too. I have even worse, Patriot 64GB SD card purchased about 10 years ago which starts corrupting the data after about 1.5 years.

--- End quote ---

Yup, precisely the point, lesson learned  :D

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