nick9000
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SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:44 am

I have six RPis running in my home - I love them - but to me the Pi is let down by its use of SD cards; I've had many fail on me. :( If we had a range of Pis with on-board memory that would be perfect.

Failing that I wonder if anyone has any success with 'Endurance' SD cards used for video (e.g. dashcams) such as this one?

http://amzn.eu/7sakKHx

jamesh
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:18 am

How much memory?
And there lies (one of) the problems.
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:20 am

If you want more reliability, run your Pi from a hard drive or SSD. If you have a Pi3 you can boot entirely from USB without needing an SD card at all (except for the initial setup). But even with other models you only need to start the boot process from SD, then load and run the OS from HDD or SSD (the SD card can be read only, so it's unlikely to fail).

Image

A 128GB SSD doesn't even cost much more than a high quality SD card, and at 256GB they can even cost less. They are also much faster, even with the slow USB 2.0 interface of the Raspberry Pi, because SSD are optimized for use as a computer OS drive, while SD cards are optimized for pictures and video.
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:26 am

Have you considered a USB stick, SSD or HDD?
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Gavinmc42
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:29 am

The old Pi's use SD cards, I have had many, many fail, plastic case cracks, fall apart etc.
The new + models use Micro SD cards which seem to be tougher, have not broken any yet ;)

I use PiCore Linux as it runs from ram only writes back to the card when you tell it to.
Now I mostly use Ultibo and hardly do any writes to the SD's.
I can even boot Zero's from USB so no SD card is needed at all.
My Pi3's boot and use USB sticks.

Greatest weakness or biggest asset?
Just swapping the SD card means Pi's can do other stuff, run different OS's.........
The Pi's cannot be bricked as long as you can swap the SD card.
I have used 128MB SD's to 32GB USB sticks, a single soldered on memory chip is not as flexible.

So you may think it is a weakness but I see it as the greatest feature after the I/O header..
Zero is $5, uSD's are $0 to $xx, from 256MB(my smallest, free from old phone) to 64GB(too expensive for me).
I have one Pi with a 3TB USB drive, is there any other SBC that is a flexible?

It may now be possible to run IDEs from the header in SMI mode, just needs a driver and a very simple Hat with a IDE header?
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:45 am

jamesh wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:18 am
How much memory?
And there lies (one of) the problems.
If Android is anything to go by,
8GB is too little after the OS has used it's bit.
16GB is fine (ignoring games and media) at which point you can seamlessly add an SD card to increase storage.

This does also mirrors my SD card usage on the Pi.

------

Of course as time goes by, this increases as the OS and preinstalled, cache, stuff takes up more and more room.

You then get to produce a premium rate higher model.

All gets a but messy as prices are volatile and production of each is reduced the more models you have.

SD may be a weakness but also its strength compact, cheap easy to use.

There are alternatives now though

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:07 am

MaxK1 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:26 am
Have you considered a USB stick, SSD or HDD?
USB flash drives are essentially the same tech as SD cards. They are low-end, cheap storage devices optimized for sequential read/write, which gives them poor performance as an OS drive, and they have minimal error correction capabilities, which makes them less robust in terms of data integrity.

SSD is also flash memory, but they have much more powerful processors and are optimized for use as an OS drive, so they will be much faster (even when used with the Pi's slow USB 2.0 I/O), and they have much better error correction, wear leveling and other features that enhance their performance and reliability.
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:45 am

jamesh wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:18 am
How much memory?
And there lies (one of) the problems.
Yes, just one of the problems.
What happens when the on-board memory dies or gets too old?? how do you replace it?
What if you want to pay extra for super fast memory or want a huge amount to store media on?

I say: SD cards - (one of) the Pi's greatest strengths
An inspired design choice IMO.
They are tiny, low power consumption, cheap, silent, quick and easy to replace - whats not to like?

Treat them like you would the main hard disk in your PC and you shouldn't have problems.

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:00 pm

jahboater wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:45 am

I say: SD cards - (one of) the Pi's greatest strengths
An inspired design choice IMO.
Plus, you can have multiple SD cards and swap between OSs much easier than any other computer platform I've ever sued, or have a Pi that has different setups trivially, and whatever you do you can plug in a fresh SD card and it's back to new. The decision to put all persistent storage on such a cheap swappable medium was (whether deliberate or not) an inspired choice.

I agree with jahboater.

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:28 pm

jahboater wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:45 am
...
What happens when the on-board memory dies or gets too old?? how do you replace it?
What if you want to pay extra for super fast memory or want a huge amount to store media on?

I say: SD cards - (one of) the Pi's greatest strengths
An inspired design choice IMO.
...
++

Some of the Pi's competitors use internal memory, which fails and then because there is no other easy way to boot - one must resort to a serial rescue procedure - a thing which is very unfriendly for most folks.

Install the SD one time with your fingers carefully, boot from it, and from then on just offload rootfs to the SSD. Works like a charm.
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 5:00 pm

bensimmo wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:45 am
If Android is anything to go by,
8GB is too little after the OS has used it's bit.
16GB is fine (ignoring games and media) at which point you can seamlessly add an SD card to increase storage.
Go read some threads in the Compute Module Forum. If there is on-board wMMC, you can't add an SD card. They use the same interface bus to the SoC.

How much storage you need depends on what you're doing. The CM and CM3 have 4GB. The CM3L has none, permitting the use of either an eMMC module or an SD card holder (but not both) on the carrier board. If you really, really want 16GB of built-in eMMC, then look at the NEC version of the CM3. I understand that the "street price" is about $60. List is $85.

And all of this points out that the OP can have what he wants--on board eMMC flash memory--but he's not going to get a working system for $35.

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 6:58 pm

I know the compute module, this isn't about them.

That post is about what Android is like, the standard Pi would need something similar.
It would need to be able to have Full Fat Raspbian installed, room for it to work and have other things installed.
That is the default Pi setup for a normal user.

Me personally, i'm happy the way it is.

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:36 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:20 am
If you want more reliability, run your Pi from a hard drive or SSD.
Can you give me some specifics on a good SSD (i.e., the one you use - the one in the picture) for the Pi?

Where do you get it - do you need anything special to connect it to the Pi (i.e., any kind of XYZ2USB adapter) ?
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Sun Nov 26, 2017 9:00 pm

There are eMMC modules which can plug straight into SD and micro-SD sockets. Not sure if those would work with a Pi.

No one seems to really know why SD Cards are so problematic for some people. For me, booting from SD card is probably the top feature of the Pi.

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:33 pm

I use 64GB.
I had tough time at the beginning,it was my first booting with a card ever; I even did not know whether it is the card, the memory or what.
Then I divided the partition over two, and I made sure that it was FAT32. Then it works fine.

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:58 pm

violab wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:33 pm
I use 64GB.
I had tough time at the beginning,it was my first booting with a card ever; I even did not know whether it is the card, the memory or what.
Then I divided the partition over two, and I made sure that it was FAT32. Then it works fine.
That is because you used NOOBs which is fussy about the formatting.
The alternative method which is much simpler, requires no formatting at all.
Simply download the image from here https://www.raspberrypi.org/downloads/raspbian/ and place it on the card with etcher.
It doesn't matter what is on the card before running etcher.

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:08 pm

I use 64GB.
The URL you gave links to a 32G card.

But, yeah, that's what I suspected. That you were running into the 64G snafu (aka, the "exfat bug"). That makes it all make sense.
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digger72
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:37 pm

I am facing some similar problem. When the power cord is pulled ( without giving proper shutdown command) the SD Card gets corrupted. I am working on a Super Cap solution that will make is shutdown safely when power cord is pulled.

jamesh
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:48 pm

digger72 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:37 pm
I am facing some similar problem. When the power cord is pulled ( without giving proper shutdown command) the SD Card gets corrupted. I am working on a Super Cap solution that will make is shutdown safely when power cord is pulled.
Pulling the power like that is not recommended, if it catches the SD card during a write, then the write will be corrupted. This can happen at the OS level or the SD card level.The same thing will happen with a HD as well. Do 'sudo halt' or similar, will ensure all writes are completed.

It you cannot avoid random power outages, then you can stop the PI from doing a lot of writes (e.g. log files) during standard operation which will reduce the possibility of corruption.

I've been doing a random selection of pulling the plug and using sudo halt/reboot for over 5 years. Only had one SD card corruption.
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 5:25 pm

digger72 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 2:37 pm
I am facing some similar problem. When the power cord is pulled ( without giving proper shutdown command) the SD Card gets corrupted. I am working on a Super Cap solution that will make is shutdown safely when power cord is pulled.
The MoPower UPS can be set up to use supercaps for the backup power. No need to reinvent that particular wheel. (Personally, I use commercial UPSes and do a proper shut down whenever possible.)

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:08 pm

n67 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:36 pm
Can you give me some specifics on a good SSD (i.e., the one you use - the one in the picture) for the Pi?

Where do you get it - do you need anything special to connect it to the Pi (i.e., any kind of XYZ2USB adapter) ?
https://jp.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 7#p1227747
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:12 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:08 pm
n67 wrote:
Sun Nov 26, 2017 8:36 pm
Can you give me some specifics on a good SSD (i.e., the one you use - the one in the picture) for the Pi?

Where do you get it - do you need anything special to connect it to the Pi (i.e., any kind of XYZ2USB adapter) ?
https://jp.raspberrypi.org/forums/viewt ... 7#p1227747
OK, so that's the adapter. Good. What about the SSD drive itself? What do you recommend?
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:15 pm

Search for one with a fast 4k read/write, same as for we cards.
Cheaper ones may be quite good here as you'll not hit the problems in large transfers you can get with PC setups
You're limited by the usb's relatively slow bus anyway.

Crucial/Sandisk are good for most people in a PC, they'll be fine here.

Though try running your SD card (if a UHS-I card) at 100, it adds a nice speed bump. At least for me.
I've not tried to go higher as I don't know if the Pi can.
dtparam=sd_overclock=100 in config.txt

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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:12 pm

n67 wrote:
Mon Nov 27, 2017 6:12 pm
OK, so that's the adapter. Good. What about the SSD drive itself? What do you recommend?
The SSD in the review offers good performance at a reasonable price. The 128GB set me back $64.99, which is only slightly more than a Samsung EVO+ micro-SD card of the same capacity (and significantly less than the Pro series). The main thing to look for is good random I/O performance, because that's what sucks on SD cards (and the sequential read/write speed will be limited by the Pi's USB 2.0 interface).

Best bang for the buck would be a standard 2.5 inch SSD and a SATA to USB adapter cable. The mSATA drive and adapter were more expensive, but I liked the more compact solution.
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Re: SD cards - the Pi's greatest weakness

Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:21 pm

From the comparison of benchmarks of the site I was looking at.
Their see test compared to a Evolves Plus had similar reads at 4k (with 100 setting.)
The main increase was in 4k writes compared to all SD cards.
Sequential was limited by usb2 speed and wasn't that much higher than the Evo+ at the 100 setting iirc.

Have a search and see what you can find.

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