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Data rescuer warns: Unreliable USB sticks due to inferior components

[14:40 Tue,6.February 2024   by Rudi Schmidts]    

CBL Datenrettung GmbH is one of Germany&s largest data recovery service providers. As the company processes many cases of defective storage media, it is able to recognise typical trends at an early stage and thus issue early warnings when unusual failures become more frequent. As is currently the case with cheap USB memory sticks.

The company is currently seeing a trend towards a further decline in the quality of newer memory chips in microSD and USB sticks. In particular, many no-name USB sticks are increasingly coming into the company&s own data recovery laboratory, where the manufacturer&s logo on the NAND chips has obviously been removed or made unrecognisable. CBL concludes from this that it is highly likely that these are chips from well-known manufacturers such as Hynix, Sandisk or Samsung, which have actually failed quality control - but are nevertheless being resold and placed on the market via other channels with reduced storage capacity information.

Likewise, apparently discarded and unrecognisable microSD cards are soldered onto a USB stick and managed using the external controller on the USB stick&s circuit board instead of the microSD&s internal controller. The USB sticks were mainly promotional gifts of dubious quality, but also included branded products.

CBL therefore advises against relying too much on the reliability of flash memory. Also because the chips become "technologically worse" due to the fundamentally higher storage density.


Originally, NAND flash memory cells could only store one bit at a time (SLC, single level cell). Today&s quadruple-level cells (QLC), on the other hand, store four bits per cell, which reduces writeability (endurance) and storage capacity (retention). In addition, denser cells are more sensitive to temperature.

CBL therefore provides the following tips for the use of flash memory for data backup:

- Anyone who frequently writes and deletes data on USB sticks should use several sticks in rotation - flash memory chips only offer a limited number of erasure cycles and age.

- You should not use USB sticks that are as small as possible, as the force when plugging them in often acts directly on the chips and they have poorer heat dissipation than larger, more robust models.

- It is still essential to click on "Safely remove" or "Eject" and wait for the operating system to OK before removing the data carrier.

If you are storing flash storage media for a longer period of time, you should also bear this in mind:

- Cool storage - high temperatures accelerate the gradual loss of data.

- Use high-quality storage media - a USB stick as a promotional gift is probably not a good long-term storage device.

- Use and read out the memory annually or every six months - this allows the error correction mechanisms to copy "fading" data internally.

- Use little-used memory, do not write to the edge - this allows the internal data maintenance and error correction mechanisms of high-quality flash media to function for longer.

Link more infos at bei www.cbltech.de

deutsche Version dieser Seite: Datenretter warnt: Unzuverlässige USB-Sticks aufgrund minderwertiger Komponenten


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deutsche Version dieser Seite: Datenretter warnt: Unzuverlässige USB-Sticks aufgrund minderwertiger Komponenten

last update : 14.Juli 2024 - 12:02 - slashCAM is a project by channelunit GmbH- mail : slashcam@--antispam:7465--slashcam.de - deutsche Version