Windows 7 Forums

Welcome to Windows 7 Forums. Our forum is dedicated to helping you find support and solutions for any problems regarding your Windows 7 PC be it Dell, HP, Acer, Asus or a custom build. We also provide an extensive Windows 7 tutorial section that covers a wide range of tips and tricks.


Windows 7: Are flash drives reliable for storing photos and documents?

05 May 2016   #1
atikovi

W7P64
 
 
Are flash drives reliable for storing photos and documents?

I have about 16GB of photos and documents to store outside my computer in case the hard drive dies. Currently I keep copies on an old external hard drive, on two older laptops, and on a 16GB flash drive that is maxed out. I just picked up a 32GB one to replace it. At $11, are they a good place to store copies of your files?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
05 May 2016   #2
oscer1

win 7 64 bit
 
 

hi best place to store would be an external hard drive. used to be that flash drives where so you could move files to one computer to another and was not ment to use a reliable backup. they where prone to fail more then cd/dvd. if you wan to use flash drives then I would have two of them with same stuff on them in case one fails you have another to make copies of. you should always have two copies anyways cause you never know when one going to fail.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2016   #3
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
The worst problem with flash drives is they are easily dropped
Cheap ones are cheap for a reason
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

05 May 2016   #4
atikovi

W7P64
 
 

Well, that's 4 devices I have backup copies stored on right now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2016   #5
atikovi

W7P64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ThrashZone View Post
Hi,
The worst problem with flash drives is they are easily dropped
Cheap ones are cheap for a reason
Never dropped one but they weigh nothing and wouldn't suffer any damage if you did. What reason? Bought a Sandisk 32GB for $11, what's wrong with it?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2016   #6
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

Backup is a complicated topic. In my experience the only universal rules are:
1) Test your backups. Among other things this means data integrity, not just "the files are there".
2) Have at least two backups, and store them in different [geographical] locations.

Beyond that it comes down to how much the information is worth to you, and how much you will spend protecting it.

WRT USB flash as backup medium, I've never known a well-treated flash drive to work fine one day and not work after weeks or months of non-use. In my experience flash dies during write. OTOH I have never used flash as long term storage. I'm sure there are studies, but I'm similarly certain it's not considered good practice. At the very least, don't use no-name flash media from China off eBay.

As for me, I use magnetic tape. Yes, that's still a thing, but it's not practical for the average Joe. Thing is I have access to my employer's full inventory of LTO tape drives. I also have a lot of experience with them, so I know how to test for problems. So I bought a used drive on eBay, knowing I could borrow one if it ever came to that.

Otherwise, I would probably just upload to the cloud, probably pre-encrypted. I don't know the standards for privacy, security, and disclosure on the average cloud provider, but I know of at least one that offers seamless encryption that even they can't break*. Or maybe I'd be using M-Disc.

* Tarsnap, "Online backups for the truly paranoid". It's primarily targeted at Unix/Linux users though.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2016   #7
atikovi

W7P64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by alphaniner View Post
1) Test your backups. Among other things this means data integrity, not just "the files are there".
With 16,000 photos is there an effective way?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 May 2016   #8
alphaniner

Windows 7 Professional x64, Arch Linux
 
 

Oh, absolutely. Basically, you use a tool to compare files at the binary level. Google "windows file compare tools" for starters. BeyondCompare is my favorite tool for Windows, but it's quite complex and might not be a good starting point.

Another method is checksumming. Generally, you generate checksums of the original files and store them to a text file. Then you copy the files to the backup location and generate checksums again, comparing the new checksums to the originals. The advantage here is that you can store the file containing the checksums along with the backup (or elsewhere) to ensure the data is still "intact" years later. Again, there are tools for this. I do most of my backups from Linux these days, but I used to use md5summer for checksumming in Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2016   #9
ThrashZone

Win-7-Pro64bit 7-H-Prem-64bit
 
 

Hi,
Dropping on a hard surface it doesn't matter.
Only a feather wouldn't mind
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 May 2016   #10
OvenMaster

Win7 Pro 32bit; Zorin OS 9 Core (in VM)
 
 

I switched to USB flash drives after 10+ years of using DVD+RW for my backups. It was not an easy decision, juggling brand reputation, reliability, price, write speed, and size. I ended up with a Lexar 128GB USB 3.0 drive for $30 from Amazon.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
Reply

 Are flash drives reliable for storing photos and documents?




Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search




Similar help and support threads
Thread Forum
The most reliable hard drives in 2015, according to Backblaze
Read more: The most reliable hard drives in 2015, according to Backblaze | ZDNet
News
Don't buy flash memory on eBay, it's not reliable
I'll preface by saying that it is not 100% unsafe to buy USB drives or SD cards from eBay- I have bought genuine cards before and there are legit sellers of such products. I bought 2 genuine Micro SD cards about 3 months ago- not only did both pass tests, but I've had each one filled to capacity...
Chillout Room
Storing Files On a Bootable Flash Drive
This is Just a Question. While A Flash Drive is bootable, are you still able to store files on it?
General Discussion
RELIABLE hard drives?? where's the QA
gang I have been reading up on the current crop of new/unused hard drives - the spinning kind - and am bummed to see the high levels of negative feedback on so many of the 'top ranked' hdd's. I have been sorting the rankings by user/owner feedback to find one that first of all has a lot of...
Hardware & Devices
storing scanned documents
Right now all of my scanned document are stored by the month i.e.. February, March, etc. I do not want them stored this way. I just want them accessible without regard to the month. Help!
Software
Windows storing "Documents" folders in wrong place
So I recently upgraded to an SSD, I moved the Location of the Documents folder to my HDD, now when I play games it stores files, where they should normally be in the Documents Folder, in the E:\ drive rather than E:\Documents. My "Document Properties" look like this: ...
General Discussion


Our Sites

Site Links

About Us

Find Us

Windows 7 Forums is an independent web site and has not been authorized, sponsored, or otherwise approved by Microsoft Corporation. "Windows 7" and related materials are trademarks of Microsoft Corp.

Designer Media Ltd

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 21:24.

Twitter Facebook Google+



Windows 7 Forums

Seven Forums Android App Seven Forums IOS App