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Flash media devices are much more reliable than traditional hard drives, mainly due to the fact that they have no moving parts inside and this makes them less vulnerable to shocks and drops.

Most flash media manufacturers rate their devices at 10,000 to 100,000 write/erase cycles. With normal use, USB sticks, camera cards and SSD drives can last for up to a decade without showing signs of memory wear.

Typical reasons for Flash Media Failures:

  • Electrical damage to microchips (power surges or electrostatic discharges)
  • Overheating
  • Damage from physical impacts (broken connectors or microchips)
  • File corruption (usually due to unsafe device removal)
  • Accidental file deletion or reformatting (human error)
  • Damage from malicious software – viruses, trojan horses and other malicious programs

Data Recovery from failed flash media is usually performed by direct extraction of memory dumps from NAND microchips (professional data recovery tools being used) with subsequent reconstruction of logical volume. Sometimes damaged connector or electronic circuitry needs to be repaired.

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