Question A question about the lifespan of a USB flash drive running a windows 10 operating system

Mar 31, 2021
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I want to install windows 10 on a USB flash memory and connect it to a mining rig. As every flash memory has a limited lifespan if my memory would be connected to the rig 24/7 with windows continuously running on it, what should be my expectation of the lifetime of this drive? And do you think this is a wise solution? My flash drive's brand is Sandisk Ultra Flair CZ73.
 
Mar 31, 2021
5
0
10
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Thank you so much for your reply. When the mining software runs on Windows 10, the task manager shows something around 100KB/s Disk activity. If I am not mistaken this means something around 100K360024 = 0.008 TB/day. I saw on a website that a USB Flash Drive can be used for between 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles. I do not know how to correctly convert these figures to TBW as the cycle in this sentence is an ambiguous word to me. Maybe this means we can write and erase the whole flash drive 10000 times which leads us to different TBWs for different capacities of flash drives.
I might use an SSD drive instead of a flash drive. But, honestly, a flash drive is cheaper, and apparently, other minors have used it in their hardware setups.
 

lvt

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Apr 19, 2021
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If you have to stick with an USB drive for the operating system, use an USB drive with highest capacity possible. The larger capacity it has, the longer it will last.
 
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hotaru.hino

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Thank you so much for your reply. When the mining software runs on Windows 10, the task manager shows something around 100KB/s Disk activity. If I am not mistaken this means something around 100K360024 = 0.008 TB/day. I saw on a website that a USB Flash Drive can be used for between 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles. I do not know how to correctly convert these figures to TBW as the cycle in this sentence is an ambiguous word to me. Maybe this means we can write and erase the whole flash drive 10000 times which leads us to different TBWs for different capacities of flash drives.
I might use an SSD drive instead of a flash drive. But, honestly, a flash drive is cheaper, and apparently, other minors have used it in their hardware setups.
TBW is exactly as it says: how much data can be written to the flash storage device until the flash memory is considered worn out. Don't worry about the erase/write cycles figures because that's just an estimate and a lot of cheap flash devices probably use QLC which has an even worse cycle count than that.

At the end of the day, you're going to chuck the flash device long before you wear it out.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Thank you so much for your reply. When the mining software runs on Windows 10, the task manager shows something around 100KB/s Disk activity. If I am not mistaken this means something around 100K360024 = 0.008 TB/day. I saw on a website that a USB Flash Drive can be used for between 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles. I do not know how to correctly convert these figures to TBW as the cycle in this sentence is an ambiguous word to me. Maybe this means we can write and erase the whole flash drive 10000 times which leads us to different TBWs for different capacities of flash drives.
I might use an SSD drive instead of a flash drive. But, honestly, a flash drive is cheaper, and apparently, other minors have used it in their hardware setups.
You're overthinking it.
They can die from causes other than simple write/erase cycles.

Buy 5, swap in a new one when the current one dies.
 
I saw on a website that a USB Flash Drive can be used for between 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles.
This information is hopelessly outdated, and applies to robust 50nm NAND flash from 2008 for MLC and SLC, respectively. Modern small process nodes simply have far lower endurance of around 1000 write/erase cycles for TLC and 100 (!) for QLC. Modern drives are just so large now that the TBW doesn't look too bad.

Yep, the TBW rating is indeed the number of write/erase cycles multiplied by the drive capacity. For consumer drives, it's also the maximum amount that can be written to the drive where the data should still be retained for a minimum of 1 year without power. As those SSD durability tests showed, in practice you can write far in excess of the rated TBW and the drive will still work fine--provided it isn't unplugged from power for very long. So for a drive that will be running 24/7 this should not be an issue at all.

As for Sandisk, those are the people who invented QLC back in 2009 (16 voltage levels per cell!) and started using it in all of their flash drives shortly after that. I expect most companies now probably use the cheapest garbage QLC NAND available for flash drives and reserve their better stuff for SSDs which would be much more expensive to RMA
 

Karadjgne

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Have to use a seriously large flash to accommodate Windows on flash in the first place, I'd not try and cram it on a 64Gb, that'd be pushing it, better off with a 128Gb. Be cheaper to run Linux from an external hdd/ssd.
 
Get cheapest SSD you can find. Like $30. You don't want to lose hard-mined coins due to $10 USB disk failing...
You're overthinking it.
They can die from causes other than simple write/erase cycles.

Buy 5, swap in a new one when the current one dies.
The problem here is what alabacho said, the wallet is what is being written to and you don't want to loose that, it's not about the usb failing and just replacing it, if the usb fails all your work is gone with it.
Optimally the wallet should be on a raid array so it's always baked up and resides on at least two drives.
 

USAFRet

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The problem here is what alabacho said, the wallet is what is being written to and you don't want to loose that, it's not about the usb failing and just replacing it, if the usb fails all your work is gone with it.
Optimally the wallet should be on a raid array so it's always baked up and resides on at least two drives.
AH yes...if you're writing the wallet to it as well....thats not good.
 

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