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Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

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Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by wendolene26 »

I'm experiencing issues with files on a memory stick becoming corrupt having accessed and successfully worked on them several times in the last few weeks. I do operate a backup process so at worst if I cannot retrieve the copies from the "working memory stick" I have a print out of the latest update and a separate digital copy of the file before editing took place. Re-typing 3-4 pages worth of text isn't the end of the world - as long as it's a one-off.....

As these are documents I am using both at home and at work (hence the memory stick scenario) can anyone else suggest a better way of doing this, or have I just happened upon a reputable make but duff memory stick that was made "on a Friday afternoon" and if I replace the memory stick my issues should resolve themselves??
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by WillPool »

Wendolene

I used to have some issues with a memory stick that I used between work and home, work being windows and home being IOS due to having a Macbook.

I had to re-format said stick every now and again to stop the issues.

What I did was to use some cloud storage so that there was always a back up in the event of the stick failing and me having a damaged copy on my hard-drive.

Hope this helps a wee bit ./thumbsup..

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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by Keith1983 »

You're not storing the memory stick near any magnets are you?
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by kevlarion »

You could email the document to your home address, and email back in to work. That also gives you a backup of the latest version on your email sent items.

If the file is too big for that and you have access to cloud storage (many corporate firewalls are configured to block it), then maybe use a drop box or google drive.

I have been known to transport files on my phone and bluetoothing them onto / off of computers. You could also plug the cable into a usb port and transfer the files that way.

If your computers both have a memory card slot, you could perhaps use an SDHC card, these are a bit more operating system independant than USB sticks because they are primarily designed for cameras and other portable devices.

When you plug a usb stick into a computer it sees it as an external hard drive and the virus scanner will check the files... if there is a spreadsheet or other document with macros, then the virus scanner might pop them in quarantine for you, making them unuseable.

USB sticks are usually OK, but you have to treat them fairly gently. and operating systems sometimes have difficulty reading from sticks formatted on other operating systems. Static electricity can also play havoc with the data on plastic USB sticks, so don't put them in a poly bag, or loose in a purse with polyester, nylon or silk lining... leather and natural fibres like cotton are ok. Or use a USB stick with a metallic case.

Transformers, power supplies and speakers can also corrupt memory sticks, so try to keep them at least a few inches away from any of those.
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by bernicarey »

Or even near your mobile phone?
A Mobile can emit a strong enough field to wipe hotel room keys (I've done that one before ;) ).
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by wendolene26 »

Thanks for the helpful advice guys. I have resorted to using a combination of memory sticks, google docs and emailing them to myself, depending on how important the document is.

Not all the PCs I have access to have a memory card slot, but that's useful to bear in mind for future. I generally have 2-3 or more memory sticks depending on what I'm doing and I have to say am guilty of storing them in a "zip-lock" bag before putting them in my handbag, just from a tidyness perspective. I knew about being near bank cards causing an issue, but not mobile phones or stored in plastic bags so that's some new helpful information for me.

Thanks
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by witsd »

Keith1983 wrote:You're not storing the memory stick near any magnets are you?
I'm fairly certain that flash memory isn't affected by magnets.
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by kevlarion »

When you put a stick down next to a magnet, and when you lift it up and every other time you move it, the magnetic field will induce an EMF (Voltage) in the conductors of the stick. If the magnet is strong enough, and the movment is fast enough this can be higher than the threshold for the CMOS junctions in the chips and cause damage to the information by changing 0s ot 1s and generating false clock pulses which shift the data in the memory which would break the checksum for the sector or packet and result in that sector or packet being reported as faulty.
An example of a strong enough magnet would be a whiteboard magnet (if it was lying on the desk), or any industrial magnet.
As Berni says, phones can damage them, not just mobiles, but Dects too.

USB Sticks are good for short term storage of data, but long term storage is often compromised by ESD and magnetic interference
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by bernicarey »

witsd wrote:
Keith1983 wrote:You're not storing the memory stick near any magnets are you?
I'm fairly certain that flash memory isn't affected by magnets.

You'll find lots of Blogs denouncing as a myth that USB memory devices can be affected by 'Magnets', and essentially they are true, Flash memory isn't affected by magnetic fields like a flop disk was, so I wouldn't 100% agree with Kevlarion, as with a solid magnet it may be difficult to replicate the exact pulse required to damage the device, but his theory is sound, HOWEVER...

These blogs are all about 'Magnets' not Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). An EMF can induce an electrical pulse that will damage electronic components, that's why they talk of Solar Flares disrupting satellites and why mobile or DECT phones can affect other electronic items.
That's how contactless chargers work, inducing a charge into the phone, through a pickup coil in the phone back.

I've seen plenty of solid state devices damaged by random electronic fields, I see no reason for USB memory sticks to be any different. .salut
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Re: Issues with files becoming corrupt on Memory Sticks

Post by AMC1 »

I use the email back ups method on multiple accounts/cloud storage, allowing to access from anywhere without needing to carry anything about. My only flaws with the usb is format changing on different operating systems eg windows /IOS. worth a check to see the original file format/name isn't changing when using different locations after saving.
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