Currently, my various data files (the files I create myself and are thus irreplaceable), are spread out over several directories on a couple of system. I want to consolidate them all into one place. I want to put them all onto a flash-drive (or even better a memory-card since it goes inside a laptop instead of sticking out of the side). Since they would all be in a single, small location, it makes them easier to back up as well as always available on any system I am using (which is good because then I always have something to work on).
My only concern is the nature of flash-memory. I’ve read countless articles and opinions on how flash-memory is reliable, is not reliable, does wear out, won’t wear out for most people, and so on. Unfortunately none of it is conclusive (certainly not for a broad range of devices).
To accommodate the nature of flash-memory, I have decided to make “regular” back-ups of the drive (though I am up to 5.5GB already, so I can only keep a couple at a time).
This leaves one potentially major issue: Corruption/notification of failure.
I can accept having to rely on making backups for peace of mind, but what I am dreading is that the drive will accept a write but then later on, when I try to read it, it turns out to be garbled.
So what I want to know is if there is a warning or error when a flash-drive/memory-card fails. Obviously it will attempt to remap dead cells as much as possible, but is corruption a real concern? Will users be told that the drive could not be written so that they can stop using it, or could we find out only after continuing to use it for a while a discover corrupted files—that may even make it into the backup! (Ideally, I’d like to know if there is a warning in general, but at least in Windows.)
(Finding an answer to this question is surprisingly difficult due to the nature of the query terms. The last one finds information about the delayed write failure message, but that goes for any removable drive and is not specific to flash-memory device. There is a similar question here that asks what happens when a flash-drive fails, but it is more along the lines of remapping cells instead of error-notification which is what I am asking; I want to know what happens after wear-leveling fails.)