A FlashDrivePros.com client recently asked us "how often should I replace my flash drive?" Her question brings up a really good point that I've been meaning to address on the blog for some time...two points, really. First, if you're still using a 512Mb (or smaller) flash drive you got back in the day, it might be on its last leg. Flash (NAND) memory can only withstand so many write/erase cycles (typically 100K-300K) before the flash drive goes kaput. And the older ones are even worse since they were created before NAND wear leveling was all the rage. Of course chances are, (thanks to Murphy) your flash drive will die the day before your next big assignment is due, and you don't have the files backed up. Which brings me to my second point: Flash drives really aren't meant for long-term file storage. This is what hard drives and online back-up utilities like iDrive.com are for. Flash drives are great for transporting files from one place to another, keeping a back-up copy of your files, or a few other cool things that I won't get into today. (Like installing Windows XP on a flash drive...maybe I'll go over this in my next blog post.)
So, how often should you replace your flash drive? My answer is, when it dies. This won't be a problem for you since you files are all backed up. But if you insist on using a flash drive for storage, at least buy one of our 3-year data insured flash drives. If it breaks or stops working for any reason, just send it to us and we'll recovery your files for free. How often should a 3-year data insured flash drive be replaced, you ask? Think about that for a while, I'm sure you'll figure it out.