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Dependency on Lime Tech when flash drive fails?

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@jsdoc3 you're correct about larger drives possibly being less impacted by write cycles but for consumer drives the manufactures don't usually make any mention of what sort of wear leveling the drives have if any. Unless it's well hidden, the Sandisk website for example is remarkably devoid of anything resembling real specifications regarding the operation of their drives. There's static wear leveling, dynamic wear leveling, and various flavors of both, so even if a manufacture claims to implement wear leveling they need to provide more detail to really know what that means.

 

My suspicion is if the thumb drive manufactures were using wear leveling they would advertise it. I suspect in a $10 USB drive they've engineered every last penny out of it and it will have minimal to no wear leveling. But, in general, a larger drive couldn't hurt except it might run a bit warmer. And yeah, I'd periodically replace the flash drive as preventative maintenance.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, dev_guy said:

@jsdoc3 you're correct about larger drives possibly being less impacted by write cycles but for consumer drives the manufactures don't usually make any mention of what sort of wear leveling the drives have if any. Unless it's well hidden, the Sandisk website for example is remarkably devoid of anything resembling real specifications regarding the operation of their drives. There's static wear leveling, dynamic wear leveling, and various flavors of both, so even if a manufacture claims to implement wear leveling they need to provide more detail to really know what that means.

 

My suspicion is if the thumb drive manufactures were using wear leveling they would advertise it. I suspect in a $10 USB drive they've engineered every last penny out of it and it will have minimal to no wear leveling. But, in general, a larger drive couldn't hurt except it might run a bit warmer. And yeah, I'd periodically replace the flash drive as preventative maintenance.

 

I believe you are right. I assume the main few config files that get updated will happen on the same sectors over and over. it's not excessive, but from time to time (every year or two), I am make a copy of the config directory and rename the old one to "config (date)". This copies all the files to new sectors and in essence locks the space used by the current config files from being reused. This seems an easy, no impact way of addressing the minimal risk, that simultaneously gives you a record of prior configurations, which can be helpful in the future.

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13 hours ago, jsdoc3 said:

I'm quite ignorant compared to the posters, however had a thing that makes you go HMM thought - if flashdrive has good controller and most of the wear-out is from erase cycles, would a larger (storage capacity) disk in a light usage scenario like this last longer for that reason of having more blocks?

All other things equal, a larger drive will handle more wear.

 

But all things are seldom equal - larger flash drives normally uses very recent generations of flash memory that has a better cost/GB but handles less rewrites than older - but smaller - flash devices.


So older flash devices may be smaller but often have flash memories that can handle many more erase cycles.

 

Even flash drives of same brand name can differ between sizes. Thumb drives seldom contain information about how much wear they can handle, but if you look at multiple sizes of SSD in the same family, you can often see that the total # of TB of wear the drives are specified for doesn't match the individual sizes. They contain different flash chips with different technology and storage density.

 

But in the end you are very close to the truth - larger devices of the same age can normally handle more writes than smaller devices. Just that without wear information in the datasheets we can't verify it without buying a large sample of them and test.

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1 hour ago, Frank1940 said:

I did a very QUICK Google search and found this:

 

    http://forums.sandisk.com/t5/All-SanDisk-USB-Flash-Drives/Does-my-USB-Flash-Drive-have-wear-leveling/td-p/339714

 

Yes, flash drives apparently do have some wear leveling built into them.   

It's required or you wouldn't be able to use "normal" file systems on them.

 

With SLC-flash that only stores a single bit/cell it was in some cases possible to skip wear leveling by using storage models that "probably" resulted in enough spread of the wear. Dual- and triple-bit flash are so many times worse in number of supported erase cycles that it isn't possible to even for a fraction of a second consider a normal flash file system on raw flash - either the flash needs a controller with wear leveling or the device needs a special flash file system where the file system itself contains wear leveling.

 

Many new SSD specifies that the user may write max 300 times the SSD size before having consumed the warranty.

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I've used unraid for about 5 years now. I've gone through 4 usb sticks.  I've had 3 different unraid servers.

USB flash drives can be very flaky. I've had them screw up after pulling it out of a socket.  I had another that would self corrupt data about every 3 months but was fine when I re formatted.  My latest one was an HP 16gb it's lasted 8 months.. Just died.

I don't get the longevity of them as most people here do.

 

Thinking of running a Kingston card reader and running 2usbs in a raid 1 configuration.

Haha, joking..

Edited by kilobit

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46 minutes ago, kilobit said:

My latest one was an HP 16gb it's lasted 8 months.. Just died.

 

While you thought you were buying a 'name' brand, I doubt if Hp even controls the manufacturing specs and let alone the manufacturing processes for that flash drive.  Odds are, they bought a generic unit from the lowest cost Chinese supplier and had their name put on it.  You want to buy a flash  drive with the name on it of a manufacturer who actually makes memory! That name alone will give the best chance of getting a high quality unit.  Probably, from what has been said in the earlier comments, you may get a more reliable unit if it is smaller in storage capacity-- i.e., 8GB instead of 32GB.  

Edited by Frank1940

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22 hours ago, kilobit said:

Thinking of running a Kingston card reader and running 2usbs in a raid 1 configuration.

 

I do have two of the Kingston card readers that have unique GUID's but that is the exception.  There use to be a thread that was devoted to this subject and most of the devices being offered did not have unique GUID's.  Plus, there is this statement on one of the LimeTech webpages:

 

Quote

 

Can I install unRAID to something other than a USB flash device?

No.  unRAID is only supported to run from USB flash-based storage devices.  No SD card readers, HDDs, nor SSDs are supported for the boot device.

 

 

There is a possibility that this one might work (See the Customer questions and answers):

 

    https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-microSDHC-microSDXC-MobileLite-FCR-MLG4/dp/B00KX4TORI/ref=cm_wl_huc_item

 

Be aware that most of these will only boot from one of the two memory card slots.  So order a micro-SD card with a conversion carrier for SD.  Remember that USB3 devices have occasionally had problems booting properly...

 

EDIT: July 20, 2018:  Sorry, this appears not to be the case.  See here:   

 

           https://lime-technology.com/forums/topic/69235-dependency-on-lime-tech-when-flash-drive-fails/?page=3&tab=comments#comment-670533

 

Edited by Frank1940

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1 hour ago, kilobit said:

I've used unraid for about 5 years now. I've gone through 4 usb sticks.  I've had 3 different unraid servers.

USB flash drives can be very flaky. I've had them screw up after pulling it out of a socket.  I had another that would self corrupt data about every 3 months but was fine when I re formatted.  My latest one was an HP 16gb it's lasted 8 months.. Just died.

I don't get the longevity of them as most people here do.

 

Thinking of running a Kingston card reader and running 2usbs in a raid 1 configuration.

Haha, joking..

 

My experience with USBs has been excellent. Except for the one time I snapped one in half, they have gone for years and years without failing in my UnRaid servers.

 

The most common problem people have is file system corruption that can happen in a hard shutdown (e.g., power failure) or sudden removal from a running system. It is normally easily fixed by putting the stick in a workstation and running chkdsk. If left untreated, it can give some symptoms similar to what you mention.

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Hard power losses can potentially break some internal data structures used for wear leveling that can't be corrected by just formatting the drive. The format command doesn't mean anything to the USB drive itself. It just creates the required file-system data structures but depends on the drive being able to supply a correctly working linear address range of working blocks.

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On 7/19/2018 at 6:40 AM, Frank1940 said:

There is a possibility that this one might work (See the Customer questions and answers):

 

    https://www.amazon.com/Kingston-microSDHC-microSDXC-MobileLite-FCR-MLG4/dp/B00KX4TORI/ref=cm_wl_huc_item

 

Nope.  The MobileLite G4 does not have a unique GUID.  I know, I bought one as a test.  They have generic GUIDs despite the comments on Amazon.  The MobileLite G2 and the MobileLite G3 (from time to time you can still find them on eBay) do have unique GUIDs and work great in unRAID.  I have one of each for booting my two unRAID servers.  I even bought another G2 for $9 on eBay a few months ago for potential future use.

 

I have had the Kingston MobileLite card readers for 5-6 years and neither the reader nor the Micro SD card in SD adapter from which unRAID boots has ever failed.

Edited by Hoopster

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I have been using UNRAID for a little over 18 months. My issue with not with using the usb keys but the inability to replace more than one a year if failure occurs. I use Sandisk Ultra 3.0 and have had 3 of them die completely since I started using UNRAID. One was due to a motherboard failure that took the drive with it, but the other 2 just quit working. Not recognized on any system, just dead!! My key backs up every night, data/config loss is not my concern, I just have a Server down until I can get this sorted out with LimeTech. Feel like we are being penalized because of hardware failures we cannot control.

 

I had a new drive created and restored in 5 min, system back up in 10, but I cannot start the array until I get the licensing key issue resolved, sent emails to support. Now all I can do is wait . . . . . . . . . 

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57 minutes ago, eric.ruck said:

I use Sandisk Ultra 3.0 and have had 3 of them die completely since I started using UNRAID.

From what has been observed here on the forum, I think I can generalize a little. If it's tiny, it will die, if it's USB 3.0, it will die, if it's generic, it may die. The best results seem to be smaller GB capacity larger form factor USB 2.0 from major name brands.

 

These seem to be reliable, possibly because the metal casing helps dissipate the heat. I have several.

https://www.kingston.com/us/usb/personal_business/dtse9h

Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 16GB USB 2.0

 

They are cheap on amazon in the USA, $5.

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3 hours ago, jonathanm said:

These seem to be reliable, possibly because the metal casing helps dissipate the heat. I have several.

https://www.kingston.com/us/usb/personal_business/dtse9h

Kingston Digital DataTraveler SE9 16GB USB 2.0

Thanks, I was thinking heat also system cpu and MB running steady at 38-42c, but the usb drive was very very hot to the touch. Tom got me a new key within a couple hours, and I now better understand the reasoning on only one rekey per year through the automated resource. 

Will get a couple of the Kingstons to keep on hand, as Im sure the Sandisk I had to use will need replacing in 8-10 months. :)

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If apple goes bancrupt, your iPhone stops working... so what is all that pointless discussion about?

 

P.S: if there is a nuclear fallout, your life is screwed.

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I've been using the Same USB since 2009. Good old 2Gig Cruzer. 😀

 

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Funny thing I'm using a full sized (16GB) off brand (micro center) usb 3 mounted internally hanging from a cable and it has been flawless since I set up my server over a year ago do they do the silicon lottery thing with usb sticks if so I have a winner😂

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