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The time now is Fri 15 Dec 2017, 06:31
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 Forum index » Advanced Topics » Hardware
USB Flash Drive Quality
Moderators: Flash, Ian, JohnMurga
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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 2178

PostPosted: Thu 06 Jul 2017, 15:06    Post subject:  

Using a cheap unbranded ?? (Integral) 32GB flash stick as I write this.

Incredibly slow to write. OK read.

Deleted original partitions and repartitioned as a single ext2 ... installed grub4dos bootloader.

I have the main Debian filesystem.squashfs (like puppy.sfs) extracted to the / partition and a empty filesystem.squashfs, with the USB label set as usbpersitence ... so when booted

persistence persistence-read-only persistence-label=usbpersistence

its like a frugal install with no changes preserved, with everything in the save space (parition save 'file') and nothing in the equivalent of puppy.sfs. 1.6GB of used space (uncompressed filesystem, with libre, firefox ... etc. installed) Booted that way runs great, as good as HDD. That set up however also means it can be booted as though a full install i.e. for applying updates (including kernel upgrades) ... but booted that way is slow (as its writing to USB rather than storing all writes in ram). Just about bearable, a bit like the ol-days and comparable to perhaps being internet connected at a 9600 baud rate type pain (ok, usable, but not good). Fortunately updates are a thing you can just kick off and leave via a single command ... and then return later to reboot back into faster read-only mode again (normal usage).
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slavvo67

Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 1436
Location: The other Mr. 305

PostPosted: Thu 06 Jul 2017, 20:08    Post subject:  

Nice to see even the cheap USB's have some usability.

Just a quick note about my favorite, PNY... they seem to be increasing in price. I try to get the 64gb 3.0 at around the $20 U.S. price point. Every once in a while you can catch them near that price... that's when I stock up Laughing

They say there's a newer version than the one I usually buy on the link below but if the newer version means paying $10 to $20 more (50% to 100% increase), I'll just stick with what works good.

https://www.amazon.com/PNY-Turbo-64GB-Flash-Drive/dp/B00FDUHDAC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1499385908&sr=8-1&keywords=pny+64gb+3.0+usb
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rufwoof

Joined: 24 Feb 2014
Posts: 2178

PostPosted: Thu 06 Jul 2017, 21:50    Post subject:  

£10 (around US$7.50) for that 32GB ... and that's USB2. I don't use USB's that much and haven't even upgraded the PC's ports to having any USB3 yet, so I'm not really up on prices. Just a spontaneous purchase whilst in a shopping queue of a general store, one of those pick up and drop in the basket whilst you're waiting purchases.

Nice idea of stocking up when prices are lower. Similar to my general add-low/reduce-high investment strategy Smile
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slavvo67

Joined: 12 Oct 2012
Posts: 1436
Location: The other Mr. 305

PostPosted: Fri 07 Jul 2017, 00:05    Post subject:  

Just a quick FYI, USB 3.0 sticks still work faster than regular 2.0 sticks EVEN IN 2.0 USB PORTS!!! Really interesting so while you may not get the full 3.0 speed, it's still faster than the normal 2.0 stick.

Quote:
Similar to my general add-low/reduce-high investment strategy.
- We call that dollar-cost averaging or averaging down. Wink [/quote]
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 821
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jul 2017, 04:46    Post subject:  

slavvo67, I agree on PNY quality. I have one of their first 1Gb sticks, it has been with me for many years now, still used for temporary backup, never failed. The same for an old TDK 8Gb, it is the most visible of them, flashing led in a pale blue cover. I have 2 SanDisk Cruzer Edge 32Gb that I have been using for temporary backup for the last 3 years, and they seem stable enough. I also have 2 mini SanDisk 8Gb for music only, they are still OK. The one I most regret buying, is a SanDisk Ultra 16Gb, but not for bad performance. It is just too wide for allowing 2 USB-anything mounted side-by-side in a standard 4 port USB dock, simply stupid design!
My very first 128Mb stick in the photo below, along with the latest SanDisk 8Gb mini. The 128Mb is still used for backup, but I don't remember the make.

tallboy
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Mike Walsh


Joined: 28 Jun 2014
Posts: 3225
Location: King's Lynn, UK.

PostPosted: Sun 09 Jul 2017, 05:37    Post subject:  

Tallboy, I agree with you about the 'nano' design SanDisk drives.....and with slavvo67 about the USB 3.0s working faster, even in a USB 2.0 port.

I have a pair of SanDisk Ultra Fits in 32 GB, another four in 64 GB, and recently purchased a pair of 128 GB models. I use these latter two as 'external storage' in ye ancient Dell lappie (an original Inspiron 1100 from 2002). I upped the original 20 GB Hitachi hard drive to a 32 GB KingSpec IDE/PATA SSD, then to a 64 GB model.....currently triple-booting Slacko 560, Xenialpup 7081, and rg66's X-Slacko 232 (based on 570). The original Celeron was upgraded to a 2.6 GHz P4.

The pair of Ultra Fits occupy the rear two USB 2.0 ports. Don't need 'em for anything else, since everything else I pull across the network from the big Compaq PC in my bedroom. So from an original 18.5 GB (usable), I now have 320 GB on the old girl. The only snag with the Ultra Fits is that they do seem to run pretty hot.....but they haven't given any problems yet.

Not bad for what most folk call an old brick..!

----------------------------------------------------------

BTW, about the Transcend drives that were getting high praise earlier in the thread? Hardly surprising, since Transcend (until fairly recently) produced gear exclusively for the industrial sector.....where high reliability, along with bullet-proof build-quality, are almost a prerequisite if you want your product to sell.

There's some very demanding customers out there in industry...


Mike. Wink

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Pelo

Joined: 10 Sep 2011
Posts: 12591
Location: Mer méditerrannée (1 kms°)

PostPosted: Wed 12 Jul 2017, 13:42    Post subject: Transcend is cheap and perfect,  

Transcend is cheap and perfect, regarding to physical size, to stick labels. Cruzer is small, and expensive enough. But quality is Ok.
But they are many. Only a list of bad trade Marks would be enough.
I don't buy with rétractable system, this one breaks fast.
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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 8346
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 06:48    Post subject:  

Hi guys,
I have just posted a comparison of Emtec and Lexar flash sticks that I purchased from BigW here in Australia.

I bought the Emtec 16GB USB2 drives, a pack of three, for AU$20, yesterday, but when I observed how slow it was, decided to do a simple write test, comparing with a Lexar 8GB USB2 stick also purchased from BigW.

Emtec: 1.6MB/s
Lexar: 5.3MB/s

This is how I tested:
http://barryk.org/news/?viewDetailed=00629

It is a simple technique, that bypasses caching.

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Billtoo


Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 3296
Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 20:04    Post subject: USB Flash Drive Quality  

I ran the test with a 32gb usb-3.0 Kingston Data Traveler 3.0 flash drive which
is plugged into a usb-2.0 port.

# sync
# #echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 54.245 s, 19.8 MB/s
#
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Moat


Joined: 16 Jul 2013
Posts: 775
Location: Mid-mitten, USA

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 20:20    Post subject:  

I've no idea about comparative speeds (never had a reason to test, as they subjectively seem just fine in relation to numerous others I've used) - but I love the Sandisk Cruzer Fits! My favorites, by far. So small you can just leave 'em in the port and forget about it - perfect for Puppies. I've a few 8GB's that I've had for years - re-formatted many times and ran numerous Pups on... still performing just as new, AFAICT.

The fact that the newer Ultra USB 3.0 versions exist in a 128GB size is simply mind blowing! Shocked If only I had a 3.0-ported computer...

Bob
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scsijon

Joined: 23 May 2007
Posts: 1263
Location: the australian mallee

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 20:44    Post subject:  

I've a number of mixed brands but the best i've found are my TDK 64Gig Blue's, Toshiba Black's (19mbps read/4mbps write) for the largest files (without the need for rewriting multiple blocks as they all can, and do seem to loose their way transfering data) and the old Sandisk Cruser Edge series. My workhorses are Lexar 16gig dark grey Slides (most without case as it makes them capable of being used anywhere) which have been going since 2014.

Latest aquisition are a couple of sandisk usb adapters for microSD cards, great idea by sandisk adding them to their microDS to SD adapter range.

My oldest are some Sony 512Meg usb2.0 and even though they are 'chunky' they've not let me down and worked even in old usb 1.0 ports that have been classed as unuseable. It usually just meant the port hardware is the origonal 1.0 specification which the latest usb2/3 devices are too fast in their i/o buffering to handle.

I do have some Emtec, and if you read the specs you will see that they are for photo storage in cameras and smartphones/tablets and not 'constant data movement'. Also Emtec have a number of sub-types which are usually defined by their body color as far as write speed is concerned and gold is not the best write speed, some are ok and some not for what we use them for.

You also need to look at what Class they are.
for example with usb3 ...
Class 4 is:
Read speed Up to 30MB/s
Write speed Up to 6MB/s
Class is:
Read speed Up to 45 MB/s
Write speed Up to 14 MB/s
all the way up too..
Class 10 is:
Read speed Up to 95 MB/s
Write speed Up to 90 MB/s

I do note that most of the sites now state something like (and I quote from transMemory's) :
* The terms ‘Super Speed USB 3.0’ and 'Hi-Speed USB 2.0' used herein are the name of a specification upon which this product is based, it does not guarantee the speed of its operation.
** e.g. Read and write speeds may vary depending on the read and write conditions, such as devices you use and file sizes you read and/or write.

Oh, and for those with dead usb units you can try recharging the internal capacitor/solid-state battery by leaving them plugged in to a powered up not just turned on (I don't have to say why do I) old workstation (not a notebook or too modern a pc) that's doing nothing for a day or two and see what happens. They will usually come up enough to get your data off if they don't come up to be usefull again. The old 1.0 specification did say they should be plugged in at least once every 90 days for an hour to 're-stabalise their internals'.

Oh and just something for your minds:
There are usb3.1 256gig models with up to class 12 speeds (140/140) due out there for public release this year. Will we need SSD's soon?

anyway have fun

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BarryK
Puppy Master


Joined: 09 May 2005
Posts: 8346
Location: Perth, Western Australia

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 21:13    Post subject: Re: USB Flash Drive Quality  

Billtoo wrote:
I ran the test with a 32gb usb-3.0 Kingston Data Traveler 3.0 flash drive which
is plugged into a usb-2.0 port.

# sync
# #echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 54.245 s, 19.8 MB/s
#


Don't forget to put the path to where the partition is mounted, for example of drive sdb and partition sdb2 mounted at /mnt/sdb2:

Code:
#  sync
# echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
#  dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/sdb2/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct


Oh, and don't forget to delete 'dummyfile' afterward, if you don't want a 1GB file left on the usb stick!

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Billtoo


Joined: 07 Apr 2009
Posts: 3296
Location: Ontario Canada

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 22:19    Post subject: Re: USB Flash Drive Quality  

BarryK wrote:
Billtoo wrote:
I ran the test with a 32gb usb-3.0 Kingston Data Traveler 3.0 flash drive which
is plugged into a usb-2.0 port.

# sync
# #echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB, 1.0 GiB) copied, 54.245 s, 19.8 MB/s
#


Don't forget to put the path to where the partition is mounted, for example of drive sdb and partition sdb2 mounted at /mnt/sdb2:



Code:
#  sync
# echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
#  dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/sdb2/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct


Oh, and don't forget to delete 'dummyfile' afterward, if you don't want a 1GB file left on the usb stick!


There was a 1gb dummyfile on the drive after the test that I did which I have deleted.
I can't get the following to work:

Code:
#  sync
# echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
#  dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/sdb2/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct


Gets an error and quits.

# sync
# echo 3 > /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches
# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/sdb2/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct
dd: failed to open '/mnt/sdb2/dummyfile': No such file or directory
#
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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 821
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 23:27    Post subject:  

Barry, will the FS on the drive have any influence on the result? You have played around with these flash drives for some years now, do you prefer to format the drives to another FS, like ext-something, and in that case, which?

tallboy

Oh, and /proc/sys/vm/drop_caches, should it be set back to 0?

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tallboy


Joined: 21 Sep 2010
Posts: 821
Location: Oslo, Norway

PostPosted: Fri 28 Jul 2017, 23:42    Post subject:  

Hmmm...
The stick is the SanDisk Ultra 16Gb that I dislike because it is too wide to mount side-by-side with anything.

# dd if=/dev/zero of=/mnt/sdb1/dummyfile bs=1M count=1024 conv=fdatasync oflag=direct
1024+0 records in
1024+0 records out
1073741824 bytes (1.1 GB) copied, 117.339 s, 9.2 MB/s

CPU is a 2.6GHz P4, USB2.0, not very impressive....

I take that back, my results are extremely good compared to these!:
Barry wrote:
Emtec: 1.6MB/s
Lexar: 5.3MB/s

Very Happy
tallboy

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