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  1. #1
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    USB thumb drive vs. micro SD card (via USB)

    I have a large capacity USB thumb drive and a large capacity micro SD card that was left over from a tablet with a tiny USB adapter for the micro SD card. Both are USB 2.0.

    Is there any advantage to using one over the other. These are for 100+ GB of data and some portable apps needed when I travel.
    Which device would be best?

    Also, is there any significant difference using a micro SD card that is plugged directly into a built-in card reader vs. a USB 2.0 adapter

  2. #2
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    Either should work, but one may be faster than the other. You can test by copying lots of data with Robocopy - it will give you a throughput figure.

    Using a built-in reader would be more convenient as you don't need to plug things in and out when you pack up.

    What do you mean "which device would be best"?

    cheers, Paul

  3. #3
    5 Star Lounger RussB's Avatar
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    I would take both, they are small enough and the slower of the two would make for a very nice backup, just in case.
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  4. #4
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    I prefer a USB thumb drive over a micro SD card, because there is more chance of my touching the contacts on the card than on the thumb drive, therefore possibly shorting out the card.

    If there is the possibility that you will be using a different computer when you travel, then that would favor the USB thumb drive, because all modern computers have USB ports, but not all have card readers.

    Personally, I would consider using both, and saving stuff to both media, because if one goes bad, you have the other.

  5. #5
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    Paul T asked me "What do you mean "which device would be best"?"

    I meant which of the two was most likely to be free of problems, such as loss of data, malfunction, etc.

    Since that post, I've measured the transfer time of a 280MB file (279,458KB) transferred from my hard drive to both devices.
    The results: . . . . . . . . . . . . . Time . . . ..Average transfer rate
    124 GB Micro SD in USB adapter . . 24:10 - - 13.10 mb/s
    256 GB USB Thumb drive. . . . . . 3:19:58 - - -1.39 "

    As far as convenience, the adapter for the micro SD card is less than 1/10 the size of the thumb drive and took 1/10 the time to transfer the test file.

    Here's a picture of the two: photo.JPG

    (The Thumb drive's stainless steel part swivels around, reducing the storage size.)

    Thanks for all your thoughts on this question. Unless I hear that the micro SD card is less reliable, I'll be using that for travel.

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    I think they are both unreliable for anything long term. I'd make sure that any data I put there would be put onto a more permanent drive as soon as one was available.

    Joe

  7. #7
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    I think they are both unreliable for anything long term. I'd make sure that any data I put there would be put onto a more permanent drive as soon as one was available.

    Joe
    SSD?
    Mechanical?
    Paper??
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

  8. #8
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Although nothing is perfectly reliable, mechanical is more reliable than SSD, thumb drive, or micro SD card.

  9. #9
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Not sure where that info comes from but HDDs do generally give a bit of warning if monitored where as SSDs die suddenly.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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    All things fail, so the best solution is have 2 copies. It doesn't matter where the copies are, although you should keep them physically separate in case of loss.

    cheers, Paul

  11. #11
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wavy View Post
    Not sure where that info comes from but HDDs do generally give a bit of warning if monitored where as SSDs die suddenly.
    That info comes from my own experience, as well as from reading lots of blog posts about the high failure rates of SSD-type storage (solid state drives, thumb drives).

    I have had a few thumb drives fail on me; but I have rarely had a hard drive fail. Also, the thumb drives usually failed instantly; whereas with the hard drives, there has usually been some warning (clicking noise, etc), giving me time to copy my data off of the drive.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2015-08-18 at 11:41.

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