Has anyone stored a thumb drive in a freezer? I'm tired of backing up stuff on dvds. Cloud storage is $$ and I only have basic very basic broadband. Now I make dvds and put them in the bottom of my chest freezer in the garage. It works for at least 10 years. Yes I do make full clones on a portable HD, but that won't help if the house burns down. People and pets come first. a nice 64 GB thumb drive would be so much faster and easier! Thanks
thumb drive keep in freezer?
Posted 15 January 2015 - 09:21 PM
no expert in this area (or any area. ) but believe flash drives do not make good long term storage devices, be that thumb drives or ssd's and a normal hard drive is much better, i'd also be concerned about moisture if storing in a freezer when it came time to de-thaw it and get access to the data again.
i think i'm correct in saying flash drives erase themselves over time and need to be re-written to preserve the data, so even if storing in a freezer wasn't a problem to start with then if left for a couple of years they would still be blank when you tried to get your data back from them anyway.
Posted 16 January 2015 - 06:48 PM
Thanks for the input. I didn't think flash drives "died" so quickly. The manufacturers say they are good to-4 F, for storage. Good thing?? my old computer died before I had to use the BIOS flash they suggested I store on a flash drive.
Posted 16 January 2015 - 08:49 PM
they may not, i can't find any definite answers for how long they will retain their data.
when i said a couple of years that was just off the top of my head, they may last 10 or more years, but don't think so, then again i'm often wrong because my memory plays tricks with me.
found this article that says " Solid State, or "Flash" drives, though still new, would theoretically last longer." than a normal hd, which i believed to be incorrect.
Posted 17 January 2015 - 03:54 PM
Flash drives and similar such as SD cards or SSD drives tend to be more write and rewrite dependant rather than time, the more you write, delete and write again to them is what tends to degrade them, so it should in theory last a long time, keeping them at cool temperatures, in a dry environment, (not freezing) is also recommended.
Some manufacturers give an estimated number of cycles of write and rewrite times, usually above 10000 times.
An interesting article about storage media here :-
Scroll down the page to what they say about flash memory.
Posted 17 January 2015 - 06:00 PM
yes that's true, but if you only ever write to a flash device once and then put it in storage it still gets bitrot over time so the data is corrupted/lost because the electrical energy is dissipated and why you need to refresh the data, in fact i belief the controller on flash memory devices does this refreshing automatically.
now i believe (right or wrong) if you wrote the same data to both a new ssd and a new mechanical hard drive just the once and put them in storage, the data on the ssd would be lost long before the data on the hd, over a long enough time data on both devices would be lost, but i believe the hd device would be over 10 years where as the ssd would be under 10 years.
i just can't find any data to backup or disprove my belief, and can't remember the source of my belief, whether it was manufacturing/scientific data sheets or something else.
in actual use in a pc it's the other way around i believe a normal hd drive will fail before a ssd will.
For SSDs, Dell's response to a simular question:
6. I have unplugged my SSD drive and put it into storage. How long can I expect the drive to retain my data without needing to plug the drive back in?
It depends on the how much the flash has been used (P/E cycle used), type of flash, and storage temperature. In MLC and SLC, this can be as low as 3 months and best case can be more than 10 years. The retention is highly dependent on temperature and workload.
Data Retention @ rated P/E cycle
SLC ... 6 Months
eMLC .. 3 months
MLC .. 3 Months
have seen reponse to this quest that suggest 10Years for SLC and 8 Months to 1 yr for MLC. But Highly dependent on Temperature, die size of nand, and quality of NAND chips.
On other media.
CDs very good, have some cds over ten yers old that still work.
DVDs commercial ons seam to be quite Long, But the Garden varity DVD write once and DVD =/- R can be very short. There are several posts that indicat movies stored (not the commersial version) data degregation can occure in as little as 6 months. HIGHY dependent on temperature/RH. For Long term Data retention use Class M DVD disk - NOT not all DVD writers are certified for Class m writes.
HDD. Biggest problem here is magnetic domain migration. This is when the domain is opposite the domain next to it. Like putting to magnet next to one another. Newer platters have gone to perpendicular domains, and are "packed" at a much higer density. Just not sure how long, but over time the data on magnetic platters also become unreliable. Newer HDDs may be shorter than the "older" HDDs. Had some OLD SCSI 2 gig High end drives that were stored for 4 years, some survived, some didn't. Most here do NOT normally stich a HDD up for 4 to 5 years and then retrive data from the HDD.
lots of opinions in that topic but no actual links to factual data to hard and fast numbers which would prove things one way or the other.
Edited by terry1966, 17 January 2015 - 08:04 PM.
Posted 18 January 2015 - 06:50 PM
Thanks for all your time and efforts. The article on storage is interesting but pessimistic - I have many CDs that have lasted over 20 years,comercial - and some backup CDs that I made are still going strong after 14 years.
Maybe flash drives just haven't been around long enough to get a good base line. Also some brands are SUPPOSED to be better. Like hard drives, some HDs are a lot better than others. Guess I will become a test project. If I do a last ditch backup 2x a year of the importent stuff - at least to me - I'll have my pix, money stuff and graphics saved no matter what happens. Although the graphics and money emails still may not be readable because of changes in their programs - but thats another forum! At least I know that the idea isn't a complete no-brainer.
Posted 19 January 2015 - 06:41 PM
to be honest i think, the best advice is to use different storage media and keep refreshing the data/ backup media every couple of years and not rely to heavily on a single media type stored safe for long term, like 10+ years in a freezer.
yes it could well last 10 years without problem but what if it didn't?
trouble today is we have so much data to store, that it really is hard work, time consuming and costly to make and keep good copies of everything but if your serious about keeping that data for future generations then that is the only viable way in my opinion.
multiple copies on multiple media types in at least 2 locations, some people use banks, i use my daughters home, don't like/trust the "cloud" so would never use that as an off site storage location, but that's just me.
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