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Old 02-09-2008, 01:01 AM
Grinder
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Default Flash Drive/Zip Drive Backups

Is there any reason why backing up to a flash drive would be inferior to
backup up to a Zip disk?

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Old 02-09-2008, 01:33 AM
kony
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Default Re: Flash Drive/Zip Drive Backups

On Sat, 09 Feb 2008 01:01:48 GMT, Grinder
<grinder@no.spam.maam.com> wrote:

>Is there any reason why backing up to a flash drive would be inferior to
>backup up to a Zip disk?


Generally speaking flash drives are more reliable, but not
foolproof.

They're more resistant to damage and generally more reliable
than a zip disk, though a good quality zip disc might retain
data for longer than the typical 10 year period cited by
many flash manufacturers, BUT would the zip drive itself
last that long? They seem troublesome enough when brand
new. Periodically refreshing, rewriting the data on the
flash drive seems the best option of the two.

Which type of flash drive are you considering, only the USB
thumbdrive style? By eliminating the card reader you
eliminate one failure point, as USB sockets are easy to come
by, but by putting the USB connector on the thumbdrive you
have a less reliable PCB to connector stress point than if
using a flash card with only gold plated contacts directly
on the PCB. Some flash thumbdrives do have the contacts
directly on the PCB but these are often designed to be as
thin as possible (whole drive size) with thin casings giving
less protection.

Ultimately it's hard to forsee how it might be damaged till
it happens, so consider where you'll use it, like whether
it's to be carried around in your pocket or not, used by
someone else who might not be as gentle with it as you might
be.

There do seem to be some flash thumbdrives not as reliable
as others (but unfortunately some owners just report that
theirs quit working without any specifics about what they
think was (let alone proof of) the failure mechanism).
Someplace like Newegg, which has a lot of user reviews of
the more popular products, might give some idea if
particular designs seem more prone to failure in general
use.

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  #3 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2008, 02:38 AM
Grinder
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Default Re: Flash Drive/Zip Drive Backups

kony wrote:
> On Sat, 09 Feb 2008 01:01:48 GMT, Grinder
> <grinder@no.spam.maam.com> wrote:
>
>> Is there any reason why backing up to a flash drive would be inferior to
>> backup up to a Zip disk?

>
> Generally speaking flash drives are more reliable, but not
> foolproof.
>
> They're more resistant to damage and generally more reliable
> than a zip disk, though a good quality zip disc might retain
> data for longer than the typical 10 year period cited by
> many flash manufacturers, BUT would the zip drive itself
> last that long? They seem troublesome enough when brand
> new. Periodically refreshing, rewriting the data on the
> flash drive seems the best option of the two.
>
> Which type of flash drive are you considering, only the USB
> thumbdrive style?


Yep.

> By eliminating the card reader you
> eliminate one failure point, as USB sockets are easy to come
> by, but by putting the USB connector on the thumbdrive you
> have a less reliable PCB to connector stress point than if
> using a flash card with only gold plated contacts directly
> on the PCB. Some flash thumbdrives do have the contacts
> directly on the PCB but these are often designed to be as
> thin as possible (whole drive size) with thin casings giving
> less protection.
>
> Ultimately it's hard to forsee how it might be damaged till
> it happens, so consider where you'll use it, like whether
> it's to be carried around in your pocket or not, used by
> someone else who might not be as gentle with it as you might
> be.
>
> There do seem to be some flash thumbdrives not as reliable
> as others (but unfortunately some owners just report that
> theirs quit working without any specifics about what they
> think was (let alone proof of) the failure mechanism).
> Someplace like Newegg, which has a lot of user reviews of
> the more popular products, might give some idea if
> particular designs seem more prone to failure in general
> use.


Thanks for the remarks.


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  #4 (permalink)  
Old 02-09-2008, 02:21 PM
Roby
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Default Re: Flash Drive/Zip Drive Backups

Grinder wrote:

> Is there any reason why backing up to a flash drive would be inferior to
> backup up to a Zip disk?


I installed a small DOS network at a veterinary clinic in 1997. Daily data
backup was to 100 mb Zip disks written by the just-released parallel port
Zip drive. They replaced that system last month: used the same disks and
drive six days a week for ten years! Every second backup was verified
with file-by-file compare and results logged. It never failed. Amazing.


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