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How long can you store a USB flash drive?

Last response: in Storage
July 29, 2008 1:46:26 AM

Hi all,

Does anyone have a report or evidence as to how long you can store a flash drive? I have one as a backup (not my only one) and wonder how long it can go if I never plug it in?

Look forward to your thoughts, thanks all!
a b G Storage
July 29, 2008 5:48:02 AM

A long time. If anything, it will help prolong its life. Flash memory wears out, but time is almost irrelevant to the wear process - what matters is the number of times a given bit has been read or written. The less you read and write to it, the longer it should last.
July 29, 2008 6:11:58 AM

As said it's the write cycles that cause them to fail. If you keep the same data on it and never plug it in, then it will last longer than you will live. It's not in this link, but here is some additional information.

Flash memory - Wikipedia
July 29, 2008 6:13:21 AM

The general consenses is about 10 years until you start to get I/O write errors.
Mounting and reading from the devices will last until entropic decay transpires.
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