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wear levelling types, endurance and integrity


Kit2009

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Hi. I've got some questions about wear levelling on old and new flash drives, as the info on Corsair's website seems a little unclear to me. The questions are basically relevant to the endurance of the drives and (I think perhaps) the integrity and confidentiality of data which is stored on a drive for only occasional access.

 

I've been using a Flash Voyager 8GB GT for over a year now with no techy type problems. (I managed to lose 2 caps, but that was quickly fixed, thanks). I also have an old 1GB Flash Voyager. I've been using the GT with an on-the-move sync, email, and encryption program, Dmailer. The program stores data on the drive in an encrypted form, but does not encrypt the entire drive and sometimes I store raw unencrypted data on the drive separate from the encrypted parts - for instance if I'm just transporting from one machine to another. I use both the GT and standard Voyager in this way, for transporting reasonably private but unencrypted data from one computer to another (at home or between home and work). If ever I move anything in this way which I really want to securely erase afterwards (like a backup of my emails) I user Eraser to overwrite the old file with zeroes (having previously discovered how easy it is to recover deleted files). I'm looking to get some more USB memory sticks and have discovered the old SLC memory sticks like my GT are no longer made, more's the pity. While reading up on this, and checking out Corsair's latest drives, I noticed the FAQ page on wear levelling which states most of Corsairs drives use dynamic wear levelling (http://www.corsair.com/_faq/FAQ_flash_drive_wear_leveling.pdf). However the pdf page for the new mini-Voyager says it "supports" static wear levelling (http://www.corsair.com/_datasheets/CMFUSBMINI-8GB.pdf).

 

I wonder if anyone can please confirm which of Corsair's current Voyager and Survivor sticks use dynamic and which static levelling, and which type my SLC-based GT and older 1GB stick use (I think the old stick is also SLC). I understand the type of wear levelling used has an overall effect of a drive's longevity, though if under static levelling both encrypted and unencrypted data is constantly being moved around on a drive I'm a bit worried about it becoming corrupt as well as spread around on the drive without being deliberately accessed. I can see there is a difference between these types of levelling, but am not sure of any implications or if one type is more secure than another for my purposes here (accepting that flash sticks using software encryption are not the most secure choice anyway).

 

I'm guessing the only way to be sure data is ever overwritten on a USB stick is to re-write to the entire drive, but I also wonder if the type of wear levelling used by Corsair makes this unnecessary?

 

Sorry if this post seems garbled - comes from me just knowing enough to get confused here. Hope someone can set me straight. Thanks

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