Does constantly formatting damage the microSD?

Discussion in 'R4 DS' started by CSD, Aug 3, 2007.

Aug 3, 2007
  1. CSD
    OP

    Member CSD GBAtemp Regular

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    I have a Japanese Kingston 1GB microSD. Are there any hard and fast rules when it comes to how many times or how often it can be formatted? I only recently got my R4 and I've already done it once when switching to a new batch of games and updating the firmware. I imagine I'll be doing this a lot for the next week or two as I try out new games, and to avoid corruption or fragmentation, I will probably format it every time.

    So would this have any negative effects on the microSD?
     
  2. HBK

    Member HBK Clover - Fearless to Speak Now. ;)

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    No, it doesn't cause damage, AFAIK. But why format so many times? You state corruption, but I try new games and I just delete the ROM and .sav and voilá. Gone.

    Fragmentation? Well, this is not exactly a HD. It gets only just a little fragmented with time.

    Though if you format a lot, I suggest using this tool:
    http://gbatemp.net/index.php?download=389

    It formats your MSD card better than Window's format tool.
     
  3. UltraMagnus

    Member UltraMagnus hic sunt dracones

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    basically, flash chips have a limited number of writes for each sector before that sector dies, however after a sector dies the whole card will no longer work

    i, personally would not worry about it, i have only ever seen this happen once, and that was for a usb pen drive that was in day to day use every day for over three years

    so in other words, try to avoid continuously formatting it, but dont worry about it too much...
     
  4. CSD
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    Member CSD GBAtemp Regular

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    Thanks for the help. And thanks for the link, brutalboy. I'll be using that from now on.

    See, I was under the impression that deleting/copying is the cause of corrupted save files. I thought formatting would be a safer bet.

    On average, how often should I format?
     
  5. Skye07

    Member Skye07 GBAtemp Fan

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    In belgium a PC magazine did a test, with SD & CF cards to see how many times you can write, erase & format. After a week nonstop looping this process they gave up on over 300.000 times. I'd say don't you worry about breaking your card because of formatting [​IMG]
     
  6. Lukeage

    Member Lukeage GBAtemp Regular

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    I've read somewhere than on average they have a write cycle of close to a million writes on average before failure.

    As for fragmentation, it isn't a concern on flash memory because the access times don't make a difference because there isn't a physical head to move to read the next part.
     
  7. CSD
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    Member CSD GBAtemp Regular

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    That's good to know.

    Skye07, 300 or 300,000?
     
  8. coolbho3000

    Member coolbho3000 GBATemp Kikkoman Naturally Brewed SoySauce Fanatic

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    I wouldn't worry, a typical CD-RW is only 1000. [​IMG]
     
  9. HBK

    Member HBK Clover - Fearless to Speak Now. ;)

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    No problem. I'm here to and I'm glad to have helped you. [​IMG]

    No, generally corruption occurs when, for example, you physically disconnect your MSD reader/adapter from your USB/card reader slot WHILE it is reading or writing. That's why you should always use the Safety Removal Tool (I don't, and I don't have corruption, but I always make sure the light goes steady on the MSD reader and all writing to the disk has ceased).

    I'd format only IF I had noticeable signs of corruption, TBH, but once a month is fine. [​IMG]
     
  10. faiyez

    Newcomer faiyez Member

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    always something that does it better than windows [​IMG]
     
  11. philco1

    Member philco1 GBAtemp Regular

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    You will damage the card more by taking it in and out of ur M3/R4 than by formatting it multiple times [​IMG]
     
  12. JacobReaper

    Member JacobReaper I Love You....

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  13. Retal

    Member Retal GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Or before the cache is flushed.
     
  14. CSD
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    Member CSD GBAtemp Regular

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    Got it. Thanks again.
     
  15. lildaz

    Member lildaz GBAtemp Regular

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    agreed. planing to use this instead.
     
  16. jtroye32

    Member jtroye32 GBAtemp Fan

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    which is why they need to make solid state hard drives mainstream.

    with only 1gb there won't be any fragmentation slow down or performance decrease with use. so don't worry about formatting more than every once in a great while.
     
  17. h8uthemost

    Member h8uthemost GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Wow, thanks for letting us know about this tool brutalboy.

    I'm guessing it lets you pick the type of FAT that you want to format in, as well as setting the Clusters?

    I wonder if it works with other types of memory. I guess I'll know when I use it.

    Thanks for the tip.
     
  18. Fat D

    Member Fat D GBAtemp Maniac

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    I had corruption because the included microSD reader and my front USB ports were both not really stable.
     

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