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USB 3.0 SuperTalent Express DUO 8GB recently had its partition corrupted and declared itself "write-protected" and I was told in chat by @sidran32 that this usually means that flash drive gone bad due to writing cycles limit being reached. Having this thumbdrive for over a year being used infrequently, I was in doubt and referred to SuperTalent's support. I was given recovery tool which I executed but it failed first time prompting me to reinsert it. After that, I formatted it with Windows 7 integrated format utility since recovery tool offered to do this as well which was successful.

The problem as I have noticed is with integrity of SuperTalent:

enter image description here

Compare above to SanDisk's Micro Cruzer 8GB:

enter image description here

Am I missing something? Both thumbdrives are of 8GB and have same FAT32 file system.

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The lifetime of a flash memory cell is reduced each time the cell is used. After some time, a much-used cell becomes faulty and cannot be used anymore. Then it will be automatically sorted out by the flash memory controller and marked as not available.

The most logical explanation to me is the one you already got: Your Super Talent flash drive seems to have several "sorted-out" cells.

However, since you said that you didn't use your drive very often, another explanation could be that Super Talent typically sell their flash drives with a lower capacity compared to the ones from SanDisk. Nevertheless, the minimum capacity a factory-new 8 GB flash drive should provide is 8,000,000,000 bytes (which is not the case with this Super Talent drive).

Please note that 1 GB (109 bytes) is not equal to 1 GiB (10243 bytes). Drive manufacturers use the exact SI prefixes which often leads to confusion dependent on which units are used by the operating systems to display the drive capacity.

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@Ramhound I don't understand. 1 byte is 8 bits. Since when 1 byte turned to be 4 bits? – Boris_yo Jun 14 '12 at 11:35
SuperTalent support offer me RMA. Should I proceed or live with that and see how it will perform? SuperTalent give limited lifetime warranty which I don't know precisely what it means. – Boris_yo Jun 19 '12 at 17:51

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