Frequent NAND write/read

Discussion in 'Wii - Hacking' started by ZombiePosessor, May 19, 2009.

May 19, 2009
  1. ZombiePosessor
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    Member ZombiePosessor GBAtemp Fan

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    Can someone please explain to me all this talk of how frequent reading/writing of the NAND will make it fail faster? ive read that playing games off the SD card is bad for the NAND because of the way it temp uses NAND to play the VC/WW. Is this 1995? Do we have shitty technology in everything? You'd figure that in 2006, they couldve put something not so shitty in?

    Can someone tell me WHY the frequent nand access is bad? Or offer proof of "Playing games off the sd card/frequent wad (un)installs/etc leads to quicker nand failure"?
     
  2. wiiNinja

    Member wiiNinja GBAtemp Fan

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    NAND is flash. Typical number of erase cycles for modern flash parts is 100,000. You can do the math how many years it will take (typically) for you to use the flash that many times. For me, it'll probably be 10+ years; I'll probably own some other better console by then, and let this one rest in the museum. I suspect that parts with mechanical devices (such as the disc drive) in my Wii will die first, before the flash will.
     
  3. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    No matter what type of switch it is, if you keep flicking it on and off, eventually something will eventually break. It's the same for NAND as it is for other forms of flash memory and even hard memory like disks. Hell, it's even the same for rechargeable batteries. They all have a certain number of times before they wear down due to one thing or another.

    I don't remember the specifics of it, just that before releasing anything to the market, the manufacturers have to run a stress test to estimate how long it'll last before it gives out. For HDDs, it's usually something like 100k or a million read/write cycles before it starts going bad. For flash media, I think it was something like 60k r/w cycles. The theory is that if you play a game off the SD or keep (un)installing wads, etc... it'll eventually turn bad. It's the same for HDDs, if you keep defragmenting it, that uses up a lot of r/w cycles, and makes it die quicker.

    I think it's something to do with ions. Too much use can either burn the ionic switch or just saturate/drain it so that it can't be used anymore, or something like that. Either way, it does have a limited lifespan, and once you use it too much, it'll turn bad. Nothing you can do about that other than send it to ninty for a replacement.

    Come to think about it, it's the same with Wii drives. Some of them don't have a laser strong enough to read dual layer DVDs (SSBB) so you either have to manually turn it up by opening it up and turning a screw, shortening the lifespan of the laser, or send it to ninty to do it for you.
     
  4. penetr8or

    Member penetr8or Advanced Member

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    Now let's keep in mind that the NAND is not one single cell..
    When a cell burns out, there are millions if not billions of other cells that still works..

    Of course, noone knows for certain, but Nintendo would have been extremely stupid to do something like that..

    Also, for the HDD comparison: The disks are not made up of one single sector.. When one sector dies, the disk will simply stop using it.

    Those 10+ years will easily turn to 20+ years, if you do the math..
    True, constantly writing and erasing data doesn't make the NAND live longer, but it's nothing you should have to worry about
     
  5. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    I have a 4GB 2.5" HDD with 2 bad sectors. I generally can't use the drive anymore because of them. I don't know if technology has advanced to not use bad sectors now, but that drive will always stay in that state until I finally throw it away.

    It was a comparison to illustrate the point, but you're right - failures aren't likely for a long while unless you really do abuse your possessions. Even the 1:10k chance of a RAM cycle failing (and causing a crash) is so low that you'll only experience it once or twice a year, if you're even paying attention.
     
  6. Mark McDonut

    Member Mark McDonut GBAtemp Fan

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    haha yeah, and even then, we'll just see it as one of those times our game system didn't boot right then we reset it and it was fixed. "that was weird but it works now"

    anyone with a ps2 has felt this i'm sure [​IMG]
     
  7. cwstjdenobs

    Member cwstjdenobs Sodomy non sapiens

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    That's a bad HDD, I had floppies on the ST with more bad sectors than that worked up until the day I got an emu for it.
     
  8. EriktheRed

    Newcomer EriktheRed Member

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    Yeah, I never really understood the whole "ZOMG, teh sektorz!!1!" mentality myself. While it is true that cycling does have an effect, we're talking individual sectors which are almost negligible. Plus, I doubt that all the people talking about how loading games from SD will pwn your NAND stop to think about how playing a game with autosave or saving after every level causes a FAR GREATER number of write cycles than caching a game to the NAND to play it. While the number of sectors is greater for loading WiiWare/VC from SD, save files will kill smaller sectors of the NAND much quicker as I know I save MUCH MORE frequently than I switch games.
     
  9. imapterodactyl

    Member imapterodactyl GBAtemp Fan

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    Bah, it's nothing to worry about. As somebody said in another thread, you'd practically have to sit 24 hours a day doing nothing but loading games from SD to NAND for years for it to be a problem. If you want to be cautious, just do the obvious and keep the Wiiware that you play most loaded on the System Menu, and keep all the stuff you don't whip out as often on SD.
     
  10. Originality

    Member Originality Chibi-neko

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    One day those save files may become corrupted that way, although I've only seen that happen really on really old PCs and original PlayStations. Otherwise things are usually more reliable than that.

    It doesn't happen often, that sectors, cells, bits, or any other form of memory unit fails, but it does happen. The chances are low, and in most cases people won't notice it happening before they trade in their old stuff for newer, better stuff. The fact that it does happen also means that some people get a bit hypochondric about it (thinking it will happen to them just because they know it can happen, a bit like paranoia).

    You can either just ignore it totally, be aware and back up your stuff every month or so, or be paranoid and make sure that you have a hundred backups every day, half of which you put into online storage vaults (like Norton offers) and replace your hardware every time the first signs of a fault appear. It won't really make a difference, but it will at least give people peace of mind having a recent backup incase something goes wrong.
     
  11. Slimmmmmm

    Member Slimmmmmm GBAtemp MoNkEeE

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    Well I have a couple of Wiis. Both old.

    The one that was a launch day Wii I've done A LOT of writing to NAND, take your average user and times what they have done by a few hundred and your probably still not close. I've been into homebrew on it before the Wii was cracked using a modchip and GC DVDs etc, long story short I've thrashed the thing, and when I wasn't using it someone in the house was, all day every day.

    The motor on the DVD drive died, as for the NAND, no errors yet, not even one once.

    When people start putting numbers on it they are guessing and imo exagerating that the life of it will be very short. I expect that same Wii to be working on years and years to come. Really I've done sooo much testing of channels and save files on it I can assure you if your not a tester or dev then your wiis nand will last a long, long time, frequent tester imo will still have functioning nands in years too. The drive motor won't (USB loaders ftw [​IMG] )

    I've yet to see any Wii anywhere with NAND faults due to overuse, and I know a lot of people that test things for hours in a day and have launch Wiis, none have any faults yet and don't expect them for years of continued abuse [​IMG]
     
  12. penetr8or

    Member penetr8or Advanced Member

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    And that, I believe, concludes this entire discussion [​IMG]
    There is no way you're going to burn out your NAND anytime soon.. Even if you try very hard to make it happen.
     
  13. UranusKiller

    Member UranusKiller TranceMaster

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    Really small minds think of things like this, seriously lmao
     
  14. nl255

    Member nl255 GBAtemp Advanced Maniac

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    Well, if you are willing to treat the area VC games are copied to as one cell (not accurate, but it makes the math easier), given the 100k write limit you could play 27 VC games a day and it would still last for 10 years. Given that there will be some days you won't use the Wii at all, even in the worst case you will still get at least 5 years out of it. Of course, the wii has spare sectors (the NAND is probably closer to 560MB, with the extra 50MB being used as spare sectors) and wear leveling which means the NAND won't wear out nearly as quickly as my estimate.
     
  15. supagusti

    Member supagusti GBAtemp Regular

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    From the datasheet of the NAND chip:

    Finaly I think it's even better then the best usb stick out on the market....
     
  16. jesterscourt

    Member jesterscourt Not Brad.

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    So I guess the final conclusion is, yes it will probably kill it, but in 10-15-20 years, not in days, weeks, months, or single years.'
    Everyone - PLAY ON!
     

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