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How do external hard drives and flash drives lose data

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#1 bigbrown411


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Posted 02 December 2013 - 06:08 PM

Like, what are the ways data can be lost on external hard drives and flash drives. Obviously, if a hard drive or flash drives gets damaged, this is a way. But what are other ways. Please list as many ways as possible.

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#2 rotor123


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Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:32 PM

User error, deleting files

Virus damage

Power problems, I've seen a bad power supply fry hard drives.


Sounds like someone has a homework assignment?



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#3 dpunisher


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Posted 02 December 2013 - 07:44 PM

Hard drives- Mechanical- bearings wear out, lube migrates away from wear surfaces, stepper motors wear, flex circuits break, metal fatigues, platter coatings flake

                     Electrical-  Usual electromigration problems, heat cycles stress/break bonds between chip(s) and board.   At a more basic level, the magnetic domains on a hard drive are not permanent in their orientation.  Eventually they will degrade to the point data is lost. 


Flash drives- Flash has a numbered amount of write cycles depending upon type (SLC/MLC/TLC)  The more write cycles you have on flash memory, the more potential there is to lose that data to simple degradation.  Figure also as flash moves to even smaller processes, it tends to be less resilent to data loss (hence greater redundancy needed to cover this).   The controllers are also subject to the standard electromigration issues.


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