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USB Flash Drive Dilemma

20 posts in this topic

Posted

I have this drive, that I got like a week ago.

http://www.supermediastore.com/product/u/sony-micro-vault-32gb-usb-2-0-flash-drive-white-usm32gm-w

Problems I have with it, it is dead slow in read/write rate. I know this because how long it takes to install Debian/Ubuntu on it. Plus, when it gets done, I restart, and I get a blinking cursor in the upper left, and it keeps restarting many times.

So, do I take this cheap thing really, is cheap? It does show up in BIOS, but it can never physically boot onto it.

So, do any of you know a 16GB, perhaps, that can BOOT?

I'm running off a 8GB atm.

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Posted

Well, actually i've never had one that wouldn't boot, except for a 256mb one that I got, I don't know where. That one would never boot. Though I have had some large ones that were slow as ****.

I did purchase a 16GB PNY from walmart to install Mountain Lion on my Mac Pro. One second, i'll run HD tune on it and let you know how fast it is.

25 mb Read

So I guess it might be slow to put the data on it but should install pretty good.

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Posted

Sounds like a defective flash drive.

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Posted

Sounds like a defective flash drive.

Any way I can check for that?

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Posted

Any way I can check for that?

If you don't mind losing the data you have on it right now, you can get speed statistics using dd. Something like the following should work, assuming your flash drive is /dev/sdx.


sudo dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sdx

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Posted

h2testw is a good way to check for defective/fake drives, plus it throws in a speed bench too. it's Windows only though :/

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Posted

Actually, my USB drive is sdg. I have nothing besides the basic OS on there. I'm running the code atm. I'll let you know.

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Posted

Still running after 1.5 hours... *twiddle thumbs*

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Posted

Still running after 1.5 hours... *twiddle thumbs*

Yeah, expect dd to take a while. Even on a decently fast drive it will take a while. For reference, I used that same method to wipe a 320 GB hard drive recently - it took ~3.5 hours. Unless you have a very high end flash drive it should be much slower than my example (per GB, of course). If your drive is actually experiencing the problems you say be prepared for dd to take a while. I guess I should have put a warning on my original post...

Save a copy of the result, kill dd, and call the drive bad if it takes more than 8 hours. For a 16 GB flash drive, even a low end one, it should take much less than that, but it is definitively faulty if it reaches 8 hours. You can make dd print statistics at any point (rather than just when it completes, which is default) by sending it the signal USR1. For example:


# Make all instances of dd print statistics

sudo killall -USR1 dd


# Make all instances of dd print statistics once per minute

sudo watch -n 60 killall -USR1 dd


# Terminate all instances of dd

sudo killall dd

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Posted

Well, I can do other thing whilst this runs, so I'm all good ;)

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Posted

Doing a DD of 0 won't necesserially find any problems, it's the same reason why RAM tests have different stages, setting everything to zero checks if all the bits can be disabled, if you have a problem with a bit (or bits) being set to 1, no matter how long you wait, it'll never pick them up.

Not booting from it is strange, are you sure you set it up properly and marked the partition as active?

Are you able to boot from it via GRUB from another USB?

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Posted

Tell me, does this look OK?


61046785+0 records in

61046784+0 records out

31255953408 bytes (31 GB) copied, 10255.1 s, 3.0 MB/s

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Posted

That's telling you that there's been no problems with the drive whilst writing 0s to it and it's now blank with 0s, as said before that doesn't mean there's no problems with it (doesn't really mean anything)

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Posted

Oh, and the DD list didn't seem to bring anything up.

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Posted

That's telling you that there's been no problems with the drive whilst writing 0s to it and it's now blank with 0s, as said before that doesn't mean there's no problems with it (doesn't really mean anything)

I didn't suggest it for checking problems with the flash memory, I suggested it for testing the speed. You can't effectively test the write speed with something like /dev/random because that data is not uniform. Bad flash is an entirely different issue.

Tell me, does this look OK?


61046785+0 records in

61046784+0 records out

31255953408 bytes (31 GB) copied, 10255.1 s, 3.0 MB/s

That write speed is pretty close to what I got doing the same test on an older flash drive that I have.

1953793+0 records in

1953792+0 records out

1000341504 bytes (1.0 GB) copied, 326.464 s, 3.1 MB/s

Since your write speed appears to be fine, maybe you should check for bad memory like n_K is suggesting. Try the following:

sudo badblocks -n -s -v /dev/sdx

Your output should look something like this if all goes well:

Checking for bad blocks in non-destructive read-write mode

From block 0 to 975871

Checking for bad blocks (non-destructive read-write test)

Testing with random pattern: done												

Pass completed, 0 bad blocks found. (0/0/0 errors)

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Posted

After almost 5 hours...


Checking for bad blocks in non-destructive read-write mode

From block 0 to 30523391

Checking for bad blocks (non-destructive read-write test)

Testing with random pattern: done												

Pass completed, 0 bad blocks found. (0/0/0 errors)

So, it works, but....

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Posted

You really want to use something like dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/dev bs=512k

I've found that having a block size really shows the speed better.

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Posted

It looks like there is nothing wrong with your flash drive. The speeds are not particularly great, but they are in line with other modern flash drives. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do about it. Running an OS off of any USB 2.0 device is going to be rather slow, regardless of the memory read/write speed.

If you want to get a good flash drive with fast read/write speeds, I highly recommend the Patriot Supersonic Boost XT. It is a USB 3.0 flash drive with a durable casing and much faster flash memory than most other flash drives. If you plug it in to a USB 2.0 port it will get no better speeds than the Patriot Xporter Boost XT, which is still faster than most generic USB 2.0 flash drives because of its better flash memory. I have owned 5 Patriot Xporter Boost XT's of various sizes and they have all been very fast and reliable. I have 1 Patriot Supersonic Boost XT which is very fast when plugged into a USB 3.0 port. I would only consider running an operating system off of a good USB 3.0 flash drive (plugged into a USB 3.0 port). USB 2.0 drives are just too slow.

Patriot Supersonic Boost XT 8GB

Patriot Supersonic Boost XT 16GB

Patriot Supersonic Boost XT 32GB

Patriot Supersonic Boost XT 64GB

You really want to use something like dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/dev bs=512k

I've found that having a block size really shows the speed better.

The point was not to write the data as fast as possible, it was to test the drive for possible defects.

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Posted

Yeah, I'll look into those. I'll just use my 8GB one for the now.

Now, don't really want to open a new thread, but I remember in Gnome 3.6, that under File, it had a "connect to server" option. How can I do this in 3.8? Been looking over google for awhile.

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Posted

I haven't used GNOME 3.8 (or 3.6 for that matter), but I think that you should be able to connect to a server using the location bar. For example, press CTRL+L then type 'smb://your_server_name_or_ip/your_share_name' to map a SAMBA share. The familiar "Connect to Server" dialog will pop up to prompt you for credentials or any other details it needs. That method will work for all protocols Nautilus supports, including SSH, FTP, and WebDAV.

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