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Old 19 October 2017, 09:49   #1
Predseda
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Compact flash lifespan

A lot of us have Compact Flash card in our Amigas. I consider it as the best solution in reliability / speed / lastability ratio. I would like to know if anyone of you already encountered a failure of this card in your Amiga? What is your experience?
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Old 19 October 2017, 09:50   #2
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Haven't had any die on me yet, but I've seen them go blank or stop responding in my friends' machines.
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Old 19 October 2017, 10:23   #3
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I had one fail after about 2 months. Even the pc wouldn’t detect it so I switched to an SD card instead. That is still going strong in my A600.
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Old 19 October 2017, 10:33   #4
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Never had a CF card die on me but I've had a few uSD cards die, although they have done so very early so they were probably always faulty. I had one uSD card die last week when I was testing two that I just bought off ebay. One passed the test fine while the other just stopped responding completely.. This is why I always do a full pass on all new cards that I get.
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Old 19 October 2017, 11:20   #5
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I have bad experience with SDs and especially microSDs, but no one around me reported bad CF. Thats why I am asking.
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Old 19 October 2017, 11:31   #6
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A quick poll like this won't give you a very useful answer though as the sample size is way too small and too subjective.

Had a quick look around the web and could not find an objective study regarding the reliability of the different types, so it is all pretty much down to speculation and anecdotal evidence.
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Old 19 October 2017, 12:55   #7
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Yep, in situations like this, everyone knows someone who's had one or the other die on them, but statistically it's meaningless. Both CF and SD are used professionally, and don't just die unless they're faulty (which could happen to either), fake (which happens a lot when buying from less reliable sources), or worn out (hundreds of thousands of writes to the same cells - not typical Amiga usage).

Personally I've had incompatibility issues with some CF cards but never had a failure. Same for SD and microSD. I've never had a failure across dozens of cards of either technology.

Best bet would be simply to buy a quality manufacturer device from a reputable source. It'll cost you more than a random card from eBay, but chances are it will outlast your Amiga.
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Old 19 October 2017, 19:07   #8
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A week ago I got a new SODIAL 8GB Compact Flash card (https://www.amazon.co.uk/SODIAL-Prof...+compact+flash) that lasted only 3 days before failing. It cost £6 - about half the price of a 8GB SanDisk CF. Being a cheapskate bit me in the ass.

What I learned is that a faulty hard disk device can totally prevent a A1200 from booting. Even not getting to the Kickstart boot screen.

Last edited by Xav; 19 October 2017 at 23:22.
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Old 19 October 2017, 19:13   #9
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I've had three of them fail however, in each case they failed early - like, within days.
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Old 19 October 2017, 20:07   #10
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I have had 2 Fail on me ---
I now use SD + Micro SD Cards
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Old 19 October 2017, 21:09   #11
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I haven't had a single one failing yet, from crappy no-brand things to the more "pro" Sandisks.

I dunno if it helps but I tend not to write to them as much as I can. I usually keep my frequently written-to data (pictures, modules, downloads) in an external SD card on my PCMCIA card reader.
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Old 20 October 2017, 12:10   #12
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I trust SD/microSD much less than CF personally. :-)
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Old 20 October 2017, 15:38   #13
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I know SDs are less reliable, but I also never had an issue with an SD yet, and I heavily use many of them.

The only thing I have had die on me are USB sticks. I have a couple of Raspberry Pi systems that I have on 24/7, and they have killed USB sticks plenty. Brand stuff like Sandisk and Kingston has not survived.

Usually a lifetime warranty claim gets me a replacement, but they die again if they are bad. I always have to make sure I buy the best sticks or they will die eventually.
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Old 21 October 2017, 00:47   #14
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Out of interest, how much/often do you have to write to a usb stick to kill it?

I've never had a storage device fail on me, except that 2gb hard drive i dropped onto a wooden floor while it was running. That was expected really.
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Old 21 October 2017, 01:06   #15
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Flash storage, be it SD, CF or USB stick, is all more or less the same, and can all take somewhere between 1,000 and 100,000 rewrites of the same block depending on the type of flash used. Better quality stuff will last for more cycles but will be more expensive. And some devices, such as SSDs, have integrated "wear levelling" that transparently swaps the blocks around on the drive so that the same ones aren't rewritten too many times. This makes them last much, much longer.

In general this won't be an issue for Amigas (though I would avoid using FFS because its volume bitmap will create a "hot spot" for writes), but using it without wear levelling for other systems can wear out flash quite quickly when used for virtual memory for example. This could be what made Akira's USB drive die - a swap file being constantly rewritten by Linux without wear levelling could reach 100,000 writes easily enough over time.
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Old 21 October 2017, 02:23   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daedalus View Post
And some devices, such as SSDs, have integrated "wear levelling" that transparently swaps the blocks around on the drive so that the same ones aren't rewritten too many times. This makes them last much, much longer.
Even CF and MicroSD employs wear leveling, although not as advanced as you will find in high quality SSD controllers.

One thing to remember is also that quality brands usually have life time warrantees, so if they die you can get them replaced.
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Old 21 October 2017, 05:29   #17
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had a CF card just stop working in my A1200 after about 2 years use so I strongly recommend backing up your entire CF card to HD if possible as unless they are a SSD as the regular CF cards will stop working one day unfortunately
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Old 21 October 2017, 05:49   #18
demolition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klx300r View Post
had a CF card just stop working in my A1200 after about 2 years use so I strongly recommend backing up your entire CF card to HD if possible as unless they are a SSD as the regular CF cards will stop working one day unfortunately
A regular SSD will also stop working one day and so will anything else, so backups are always a good idea.
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Old 21 October 2017, 06:13   #19
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A regular SSD will also stop working one day and so will anything else, so backups are always a good idea.
very true
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Old 23 October 2017, 16:26   #20
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Quote:
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This could be what made Akira's USB drive die - a swap file being constantly rewritten by Linux without wear levelling could reach 100,000 writes easily enough over time.
True. The sticks were cheap and this thing runs Linux 24/7.
I should look into redirecting the swapfile, so next time I kill only that and not my whole drive!
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