Average Lifespan of A USB Flash Drive?

Hello again everyone!
I am curious to know what the average lifespan for writes and reads a USB Flash Drive is capable of. I have done a bit of research, and can't seem to find any reliable results.

I recently received a used computer, And while all the components in the machine seem to be working as intended, the hard drive is running on its 6th year of usage. I have read from multiple sources that this is the average life for a Hard Drive, and suspect the drive to fail some time soon. I am storing all somewhat important documents and files on 2 USB Flash Drives (Total of 48GB) until I can afford to buy a new HDD.
And yes, I use a external 1TB HDD for frequent backups, I just prefer to keep the drive disconnected from the PC to help extend the drives lifespan.

Any help on this topic is greatly appreciated!

Depends on the quality of the internal components and how it's treated. If you used it everyday, the connectors would eventually wear and oxidise, but that would probably take using it for years.

I've never had a USB drive fail on me because I treat them well and buy from brands I trust (SanDisk, Corsair, Kingston, and Integral).

I found some 512MB sticks from I think 2003/2004 in January. They still had all of the files on them and nothing was corrupt.

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@Zavarrr One of the USB Drives I am using is Lexar. I have heard of the company before, and owned a few SD Cards from them. Would you consider this company trust worthy?

Really depends on how you use it, I have a Kingston 2GB flash drive for almost 10 years now, and still constantly used for office type of stuff, and it doesn't even have a casing anymore, got wet a few times, dropped a thousand times, and the damned thing is still working.
I also have a very old hdd way back from 2003, an old maxtor fireball that's still operational and is still in good condition, if you take care of your hardware, it would definitely last longer than its average lifespan of around 4-5 years.
About the external drive, just make sure you always place it in a comfortable spot when turned on and the drive is spinning, make sure its always flat, and avoid putting it on top of the case without a leather or any non-conductive casing, and of course never drop it.

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Lexar drives are pretty good, I've used a couple of them too.

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Yeah, they're normally good.

Alright, just wanted to make sure! Both my drives are in the back of my PC, and will, if ever, be removed only occasionally. Hopefully they will last!

Well, I don't have any I/O data or anything, but I can tell you that in the 9 or 10 years or so of owning flash drives, I've not had a single one die on me. Even my old 128mb drive still works. My 4gb sandisk drive by far has had the most use. It got used and abused daily for years when I worked in IT, and it's still a part of my daily carry today. Matter of fact, the only time I don't use it is when a file is larger than 4gb. Then I pull out one of my 64gb drives.

So, I wouldn't worry too much about the flash drives dying on you. The part of the drive most likely to fail is the usb connection, which I think only needs to be rated for 1,500 insertions or something. You should be fine until you can pick up a new HDD. You might want to burn some backup dvds to store away too, if you are paranoid about data loss.

Also, that 6 year old HDD could die tomorrow, or it could last another 10 years. It's a crap shoot. I've got an old 27gb Seagate Barracuda from 1998 that still works fine, and I've had 1tb drives fail within 6 months, and pretty much everything in between (not to mention the numerous DOAs, and first week failures). So while it's good to have a backup plan in place in case of failure, the fact that it's 6 years old doesn't automatically mean it's at the end of it's life.

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I would rate them as a good mid-range one, I've never had a usb go out on me either but a good amount of the lexars slow down after a bit of use. I usually get Adata and Sandisk. Also have a few g.skill and kingston. I have had people give me bad hard drives but I've never had one go out on me. I have had a seagate 750 external stop working but was able to take it apart and use it in my computer. I still got 20gb ide drives from around 2000ish that are still in use.

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Avoid metal cased one like the Kingston high-ends, static killed the controller on those things so fast.

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Well, the hard drive in my system is from some company I have never heard in my life. Its an Hitachi Ultrastar. The drive seems fine, and I ran multiple test on it. No errors with SMART or anything, it just concerns me that its old. And when processing information, its pretty load! I'll make a backup of Windows and use the drive until it dies. We'll see what happens!

Those are out of my budget anyway! Hahaha!

Hitachi (HGST) make the most reliable consumer HDDs on the market.

Yeah, like @Zavarrr said, Hitachi makes some of the most reliable drives out there. So, odds are, the drive will be fine for a while longer. The sound level could be a couple things. It could just be a loud drive (some are), and it could be fragmentation as well. Drives tend to be louder when they are hashing.

Really? I never knew! Haha! So, When, and if this drive fails, should I buy another one from this brand?

Sure, if it's in your price range.

Usually until I lose it at the library and take another one.

Did some Googling, Does this company even make HDDs anymore? What I have read up on so far states that they were purchased by WD, then sold to Toshiba. The end of Hitachi? :/

They're owned by Western Digital. Basically, most drives which are labelled as Toshiba are built by HGST.


Never had one die ever, had them from 64mb to 64gb and not once have they packed up.
They keep on going until I lose them

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