Is it really that bad to use a USB Flash drive as external memory?

Discussion in 'Wii U - Games & Content' started by Shinigami Kiba, Aug 1, 2015.

  1. Shinigami Kiba
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    Shinigami Kiba GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Smash's updates have accumulated to a whooping 2.5GB now, there's not enough room in my system for that since I have the basic model because I wanted a white Wii U. At the moment I don't have a hard drive with an external power source, well I do but I can't find its USB cable and I think that HDD is broken anyways. I do have a nice 16GB USB Flashdrive/Thumbdrive I've had for years now and used successfully to play games on my modded Wii many times. That flash drive has yet to fail me.

    Is it THAT bad if I move my Smash data to it so updates can download to it? I really don't feel like buying a new hard drive just for Smash
     
  2. HaloEffect17

    HaloEffect17 Splatoon Fan

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    Nope, sounds fine. I have a USB drive that I transfer data to since the Wii U's flash memory capacity sucks.
     
  3. Tigran

    Tigran GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Really, no. Flas drives do have a finite amount of read/write, but so do hard drives. Flash is just likely to wear out sooner. But you should be able to get an hdd pretty cheap.
     
  4. SickPuppy

    SickPuppy New Member

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    Nintendo recommends using a usb hdd and not a flash drive.
     
  5. WiiCube_2013

    WiiCube_2013 GBAtemp Guru

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    But here's the question: Can you trust Nintendo's judgement? (being that the company has an outdated mentality)

    Anyway, I'd recommend an HDD or a USB with SD Card adapter to use an SD Card.
     
  6. SickPuppy

    SickPuppy New Member

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    When it comes to compatible hardware I think we can trust what nintendo says. Then again if your junk corrupts on a flash drive you can always re-download the corrupted title from the eShop.
     
  7. Shinigami Kiba
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    Shinigami Kiba GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Nintendo also says to use a HDD with an external power source, do I REALLY need that too?
    I mean how quickly could my flash drive wear out from Smash bros, it's not like it's going to be streaming data from the flash drive non stop, or write to it? I don't play this stuff all that much either.

    I could get a HDD but not any time soon, maybe next month, would the flash drive wear out in a month? Again I don't play Smash non stop, maybe 20-30 minutes a day
     
  8. laudern

    laudern GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Just use the flash drive. Who really cares. 16gb flash drives are worth less than a a big Mac meal these days.
     
  9. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    I'd rather use an externally powered HDD, but in a pinch a Flash drive should be fine. The only real issues I could see is the Wii U's power issues or maybe it has very poor support for Flash drives. As for the limited rewrites, it's not like you'll be copying and deleting a game to/from it every hour so I wouldn't worry about that.
     
  10. Shinigami Kiba
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    Shinigami Kiba GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Thanks guys
    I'll use the flash drive for this month then buy a cheap HDD in a month or so, I'm not worried about the flash drive btw I'm worried about my precious Smash data :)
    anyway thanks a lot

    Edit: Moved all my Samsh stuff plus downloaded the 2.5GB update onto the flash drive and there are no problems whatsoever
    isn't Wii U's internal memory flash anyways? I see no reason why this would be an issue, plus as I said I used to play games on this very flash drive years ago
     
    Last edited by Shinigami Kiba, Aug 2, 2015
  11. MidLevelCrisis

    MidLevelCrisis GBAtemp Regular

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    Had the same problem a while ago, the only reason to use a HDD is because of the external power source. Apperantly there is a risk when using A flash drive or HDD without external power where the WiiU cannot provide enough and it will corrupt the medium with read/write errors? I think it is probably linked to the stand by mode and automatic updates, assuming stand by mode puts the machine in a low power state?

    But the problem I had is that it is nearly impossible to find a HDD with a small size (both physical and storage wise), as they are only sold/built anymore with desktops in mind with sizes starting at 500GB and up. Making them smaller is actually not economical anymore. And All the small portable ones are for laptops and either have a USB Y cable for extra power, (though I couldnt find one of those either), or just the single USB connection.

    This would not have been a problem for me if the WiiU didn't demand the entire drive to be formatted to a filesystem PCs can't use, but nooooo.
    So after a while of searching and not being able to update or save, and having to delete and reinstall games on my pityfull 8GB (but really only 4GB usable) WiiU I was like, ah fuck it, and bought a 16GB flash drive of a respectable brand with good read/write speeds. Up until now It works fine, but then again, I am not a power user, and only play the occasional MK8 and splatoon match these days. Still, the whole thing annoyed me way more than it should have and I try to keep all the SAVE data on WiiU. The WiiU is probably my least favorite gaming system I ever owned by now, and the 3Ds my favorite ><.

    Ever since I got a WiiU gamecube adapter and found out I can use it on PC I've been hooked on the dolphin emulator playing my GC games in HD, not just wind waker.

    BTW, dont get fooled by the whole solid dtate memory has a finite read and write count, though based on truth, that number is so high these days the user wil probably not reach it in his lifetime, but HDDs also wear and tear, and often have mechanical malfunctions before the discs themselves wear out. Build quality is what matters for both. I've had cheap sticks malfunction sure, but burned through a lot more expensive hard drives in my lifetime.
     
    Last edited by MidLevelCrisis, Aug 5, 2015
  12. leafeon34

    leafeon34 GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    I've had 2 HDD's die on me from the click of death. I've never had a USB stick die on me from too many rewrites. To my understanding the amount of watts consumed by a USB stick is negligable so I wouldn't worry about power supply issues.
     
  13. deinonychus71

    deinonychus71 GBAtemp Fan

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    Been using a very small usb stick for a while (64GB, but barely visible) and no trouble so far.
    Just waiting for a 128GB for the Wii/GC games, I really hate having hdd around when I travel.
     
  14. TecXero

    TecXero Technovert

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    An externally powered USB HDD would solve that. That's if you care enough to use a HDD.
     
  15. Garro

    Garro Pendulum of souls!

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    I used to store my games and saves in a flash drive and everything was good for two good years, but around the time Smash WiiU 1.0.2 came out, I tried downloading it using my phones 3G, when it finished downloading the WiiU gave me a corrupted update error, after that, half of my digital games stopped working and a few saves from my physical games too (screen turned black and gave me an USB storage is corrupted message), and entering Data Manager would do the same so I was never able to recover my save files.

    After that I started using an old USB hard drive I had but sometimes the hard drive wouldn't get enough power from the WiiU to work properly (even using an Y-shaped cable) and a few weeks later it lost its partition and I had to reformat it.

    Probably I'm very unlucky when it comes to external storage on the WiiU, but I would be a little wary if I were you.
     
  16. sethirion

    sethirion Advanced Member

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    I did not know you have to format the whole disk. This gives to the point of:

    Did you know it is a bad idea formatting NTFS a flash drive? It is because of the kind of indexing needed for this file systems, it has to read constantly. That is why a USB flash drive is preferable to be FAT. Also recall they are different technology for memory.

    Perhaps the file system really wears out the memories, combining the power issues, Nintendo just recommends something which can work with their system.
    A good option are those enclosures for internal HDD's which (almost) all have an independent power adapters.
     
  17. sj33

    sj33 GBAtemp Addict

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    Depending on the drive, you don't necessarily need an external power supply.

    I use an 2.5" laptop drive in a USB caddy. On my regular Wii, this runs quite happily on one USB port. With the Wii U, it requires a Y-cable to get extra power from a second USB port. I'd say most 2.5" drives can be powered by 2 USB ports.

    Posters above have had less luck, of course. See how you go.
     
  18. OfficialFBomb

    OfficialFBomb GBAtemp Advanced Fan

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    Shit, idk i use a 128gb usb 2.0 and it runs nice and fast, no issues or bottle necking, and i also have a 1tb 5400 rpm portable using a single usb 3.0 cable, and it runs just as fast, no issues, or bottle necking. I used a standard 2.5 inch drive in a cheap 6 dollar caddy, its also 5400 rpm on both single and dual cable and have no issues and same speed results. The thing is the Wii U's usb ports bottle neck, and they recommend dual cables, to improve how fast the device can connect to the os... Weather you use a flash drive, portable hdd, or a sd card adapter, it all works just the same
     
  19. VinsCool

    VinsCool Delusional

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    i use a micro sd card through a usb card reader and I have no problems. it's been a year I let it connected to my wiiu.
     
  20. LightyKD

    LightyKD Future CEO of OUYA Inc.

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    I used to use a 16 GB USB stick in my early Wii U days. I honestly would go back to using a USB stick if there was a decent priced one that was close to 200 GB. Nintendo doesn't recommend USB sticks but for the most part, they're safe.