I constantly delete and add data on my Memory Stick Duo because I watch movies on PSP.

  1. Does constantly deleting and adding movies on a Memory Stick Duo degrade its performance?
  2. Do the constant deletions and saves of movies on the Memory Stick Duo shorten its life span?
  3. How many deletes and adds can a SanDisk Memory Stick Duo sustain until it gets destroyed?
  • Although not mentioned in the Q, it should be noted that defragmentation of memory devices is completely unnecessary, provides no performance gain and shortens the life of the device by virtue of many extra read/erase/write cycles. – Sky Sanders Mar 20 '10 at 16:45
  1. Performance, as in drive read/write speed, will not be degraded over write cycles.
  2. Yes, flash memory (including that in SSDs) can only handle a certain number of writes.
  3. See the link in 2. It is about 100k, though for cheap chips it might be less.

No, it does not have any impact. In fact, your SanDisk memory stick has a very generous warranty: a lifetime warranty. According to this (already outdated) article, modern durable memory has a "write endurance" of anywhere between 100,000 and 1,000,000 cycles. So, realistically, even if you manage to write to your card twice every day, it will last between 100 and 1000 years. It's no wonder you get a warranty like this.

So if you manage to live that long or manage to get that many I/O operations out of it and kill it: fear not. You can just get a new one.

That said, I'm unsure about fragmentation on devices such as these. If you regularly fill the stick to (near) full capacity, data could fragment fairly quickly. A regular formatting or disk defragmentation will resolve this, and has no ill effects on the stick. I stand corrected that defragmenting memory cards is indeed bad practice. If you run a defrag long enough, you might actually reach that write cycle limit. Just don't do it since it has no added performance benefit.

  • I think one should not defragment solid state disks. There's no mechanical parts that need to move, so the benefit, if any, is minimal, while in fact ill effects such as "write endurance" may occur. And regardless of the warranty, data loss is never fun and warranty never covers that. See also superuser.com/questions/4091/… – Arjan Mar 20 '10 at 13:01
  • yeah that's right I've red it on maximum pc, lifehacker and gizmodo. No defragmentation required for flash memory – Wern Ancheta Mar 20 '10 at 13:11
  • -1 Defragging memory is not only completely unnecessary it does, in fact, degrade the device in that virtually all bytes get multiple additional write cycles. – Sky Sanders Mar 20 '10 at 16:43

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