Schorschi
Posts: 220
Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2012 9:38 pm

Weird micro SD card failures?

Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:43 pm

I have 4 PiZero based projects. House automation stuff and such. I routinely update the OS, make sure the kernel is up to date, etc. Been using Pi devices since 2012 or so. Thus, I am quite familiar with the devices, the Raspbian OS, micro SD cards, etc. Over the years I have add one or two SSD cards fail, aged or what not. But just in the last month I have seen a marked increase in failures.

Of the 4 PiZero devices, recently updated, i.e. apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade commands as usual, as well as checking the firmware/kernel version for each device, 2 failed after reboot. This is odd, since in the last several years, I have had a invalid update happen may one or twice, but never so many same evening? I checked the hardware, using different SSD card image of Raspbian, hardware is fine, both suspect failures booted.

Obviously, the next thing to test if the micro SD cards, and both that failed are now, at hardware level, in read-only mode. Yes, this suggests the SSD cards are failing or have failed. But they were not old per se, less than a year, and other than boots and OS updates about every 90 days, they are for the most part read-only, allowing for the OS write tasking for logs and such.

The micro SD card make and model detailed below. The question is, has anyone else seen a high failure rate of this brand, and/or make or model of micro SD card? I still have several Pi devices running these micro SD cards, and seem fine but maybe ticking bombs, so to speak.

Samsung 16GB Evo micro SSD
Description...
microSD card 16GB SAMSUNG EVO Class10 UHS-I support (maximum transfer speed of 48MB / s) 10-year warranty MB-MP16D / FFP
Image...
Samsung 16 EVO micro SD HC 1.jpg
Samsung 16 EVO micro SD HC 1.jpg (112.36 KiB) Viewed 498 times

wh7qq
Posts: 1377
Joined: Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:50 am

Re: Weird micro SD card failures?

Sun Nov 11, 2018 5:05 pm

Your situation does not sound too weird...uSD failure is related a bit to frequency of write cycles but can happen at any time. I am assuming you are speaking about uSDs and not SSDs...you use both terms but they are not interchangeable. The Samsungs are a good device but any uSD can crap out at any time. I have had pretty good luck with 16G SanDisk Ultras but the top brands are all competitive. It is hard to get past Marketing Dept. hype to real life experience. It's the Ford/Chevy type of question. Then there is the problem of counterfeits and the only way around that is "f3write/f3read" (Linux, as you have multiple RPis) before you put them into service. (hwtest2 for the Windows/Mac folks that might be reading this).

The saving grace is that uSD cards have gotten pretty cheap and it pays to make backup cards. Raspbian now makes that easy too.

Ger_Pa
Posts: 56
Joined: Thu Mar 09, 2017 7:00 pm

Re: Weird micro SD card failures?

Sun Nov 11, 2018 9:17 pm

SD Cards are ticking bombs per se... even more when you use them to host a OS that may see a lot write/read cycles.. If they lasted for years then you should be happy with Samsung, because those SD were not meant to be used to host an OS.

ejolson
Posts: 4260
Joined: Tue Mar 18, 2014 11:47 am

Re: Weird micro SD card failures?

Mon Nov 12, 2018 9:05 am

Schorschi wrote:
Sun Nov 11, 2018 2:43 pm
Of the 4 PiZero devices, recently updated, i.e. apt-get update and apt-get dist-upgrade commands as usual, as well as checking the firmware/kernel version for each device, 2 failed after reboot.
I have been using a number of Samsung 16GB cards without failure for about four years. Because of the early failure, it is possible you acquired some counterfeit cards or a make things read-only virus. As the newer Samsung cards also appear less suitable for use in Raspberry Pi, my current recommendation is Sandisk A1 application class cards. Another possibility is to boot the Pi Zeros without SD cards as discussed in this thread.

Return to “General discussion”