[SOLVED] Safe storage of USB data stick?

sepota

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Hi,

I was curious, is it safe to store a USB memory stick in a narrow metal container around 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in diameter? Metal appear to be the same as nut and bolt.

Or will it ruin my data? Should I wrap it in a cloth?

Thanks
 

kanewolf

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For weeks or months, I agree. But since the OP hasn't provided any duration, it is more difficult to tell. Could there be galvanic reaction between the metal container and the metal end of a USB drive? Maybe. Knowing the duration and environment is the key questions.
 

sepota

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Hi indoor, heated and cooled around 15C-20C, no water humidity around, for 5 year
Thanks

 

zyh1987

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quick search on data retention period on usb flash returns some interesting thing.
many suggest the data retention period is under a year without power. of course, when you leave the device powered. you should not have data retention issue as the cells are constantly refreshed/charged.

if you are doing archival, personally I think nand based flash drive is a terrible idea.

I'm no nand experts, but I'd image these storage cells are just small capacitor that holds charge.
like all capacitor they will discharge overtime, and eventually you can't tell the 1 and 0 anymore.

I think DVD are the better choices, sure there are degradation as well, but I think usually they last for about 5-10 years. unpowered.
 

sepota

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Thanks :)



 

USAFRet

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I recently pulled out a stack of DVD's. All burned movies or TV, within the last decade or so.
Of about 50 tested so far, about 1/2 unreadable.

And a couple of them actually starting to delaminate.
 

zyh1987

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It really hard to store large data without power, you could use multiple disc and in hoping one of them survives.

search up M-disc, it's a claimed to have 1000 year retention period.
 

I had a USB flash drive with a backup restore image I made of my previous laptop when I bought it ( early 2015), and tossed into a cabinet. When I got a new laptop last month, I wanted to put a new Win 10 install on the old one before I gave it to a friend. So I pulled out that USB flash drive to put the latest Win 10 installer on it.

Out of curiosity I checked to see if the old data was readable. It was. So I suspect the USB flash data retention times are all over the place. Some drives can retain it for years, some for less than a year. Unfortunately there's no easy way to test it beforehand. If you write data to a USB stick and toss it in a cabinet for years, its capacity will probably be obsolete by the time you get around to testing if it retained data.


If you want to store data on DVDs for a long time, you need to be careful to buy better discs, not the cheapest ones. Tayo Yuden and Verbatim are consistently rated the best. Though even with them, I would not expect the data to last more than a decade, definitely not two. (Pressed CDs and DVDs like you get from store-bought software has nearly 100x the reflectivity of writeable discs, so have much better longevity, probably exceeding 50 years.)

http://www.digitalfaq.com/reviews/dvd-media.htm

For DVD-Rs (and CD-Rs), the drive actually matters as much as the media. Some drives are better at pulling data off of marginal discs. There is a ton of error correction coding on these discs, so a small difference in ability to read data can make a huge difference. The old Plextor drives (which cost 3x-10x as much as the cheap drives) were phenomenal at pulling data off degraded discs. I had an old Plextor CD drive which I kept around long after everything had switched to DVDs, just because it could pull data off of old CD-Rs that nothing else could.

Delamination is usually fatal though. The reflective layer can in theory be repaired, but the data layer is almost directly underneath the reflective layer. So delamination of the reflective layer usually means destruction of the data layer.
 

USAFRet

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Right.
I just posted that as a counterpoint to:
"I think DVD are the better choices, sure there are degradation as well, but I think usually they last for about 5-10 years. unpowered."

It make s BIG difference in how and with what.
 

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