USB storage devices are often regarded as a consumable because they are cheap nowadays. But with all the essential data that you store on them, you may reconsider your perception about it and take the necessary steps to extend the life of a storage device.

Check out some useful tips below to find out how.

1. Protect Your USB Drives from Physical Damage/Loss

To minimize the risk of physical damage, keep your storage media in a box, purse, or pouch or whatever clean container that you have that can be appropriately used. Keep them away from high temperature, water, and magnetic emissions like your cell phone.

Also, handle them with care since they are not made to endure great pressure or rough treatment. It is also best if you are extra cautious when you insert/eject a drive from its slot. Don’t touch the contact surface directly, and hold the device by its edges instead.

2. Remove the Drive When It’s Not in Use

This is one of the main reasons why USB drives die — whether you forgot to remove them or if you’re planning to use them shortly, avoid making a habit of leaving them in the slot when not in use. Write operations are a major reason for the wear of a USB drive. Unlike hard drives, flash storage devices don’t have a head but write data to cells instead. There is a limit on how many times a cell can be written. If you leave a USB device in its slot, it is still regularly checked by the operating system (the OS performs write operations), and this wears on the drive.

3. Don’t Edit Files on the USB Directly

This is another case that you should avoid doing on your storage device — do not edit the files while they are in the drive. Copy them to a hard drive, make the necessary edits, and then copy them back. If the edits could take some time, you’re better off removing the device and reinserting it when you are done with the edits. It’s that simple yet so easily forgotten.

4. Remove the Drive Safely

When you want to remove a USB device from its slot, don’t directly pull it out. You need to first instruct the operating system you are done with the device for now so that the OS can stop reading it. Only after this can you remove the drive.

5. Don’t Defragment

Flash media doesn’t require defragmentation. You might think that even if it doesn’t, you as a diligent owner to provide it anyway. Avoid doing this because by defragmenting your drive, you are actually killing it slowly. The reason behind it is similar with the cases above — defrag is a write operation and as such it wears your drive out. If you have enabled auto defragment for your flash media, turn it off immediately.


This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, October 8, 2016 at 6:38:29 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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