Hacking Micro SD lifespan

Mantis41

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In the next year or so I am expecting a lot of flash cart users who frequently use our DS day to day will experience glitches and failures due to our SD cards reaching the end of their life.

Most manufacturers state Micro SD memory has a lifespan of 10,000 write cycles. In a camera or other recording device this could take 10 or more years as the cards are sequentially filled instead of being constantly overwritten in the one spot. At most this would be once or twice a day or around about 500 writes a year, for a very heavily used camera.

The way we use the SD cards in our DS this could be a lot shorter. With the operating systems constantly writing to configuration files, SD caching and users constantly overwriting saves, our cards could be pushed past the manufacturers life expectancy in around 2 years with heavy use. How long they continue to function error free after that time is anyone’s guess, it would most likely depend on the quality of the particular card.

I’m not sure how much internal error checking and isolating of bad memory (marking bad sectors???) these cards are capable of.

It might be something to bear in mind when posts start talking about glitches in this or hangs in that. Re-formatting may solve the problem temporarily but like a bad sector on a hard drive you may just end up placing another piece of data into the sketchy memory location resulting in another function or ROM falling over.
 

jefffisher

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i really don't think it will be a problem, 100,000 cycles.
you save at most what like ten times a day?
it's going to last you 27 years
(100000/10) / 365 = 27ish
and thats without wear leveling aslong as you keep some spare room on that memory card it will write to different blocks all the time making it actually last much longer.
even saving the game 100 times a day 2.7 years is quite a long time for something that cost you around ten bucks to replace.
 

Mantis41

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I think most of the HC cards we are now using are based on (MLC) and only have a 10,000 write lifecycle. The older cards (SLC), usually 1 and 2GB non HC varieties were rated at a 100,000 write lifecycle. So based on you estimates our HC cards are expected to last around 2.7 years.

Edit: I would agree with the saves at most being written to 10 times a day however akAIO or Moonshell could do many more writes than that to a particular file and emulators probably even worse, which would reduce the lifespan to under 2 years.
 

squall14716

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Just make sure you keep a backup and sync any changes whenever you put it in your computer, so in case it does fail, all you're out of is maybe a little progress and a few dollars.
 
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