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How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:53 pm
by solar3000
I have many pis.
I have one running as a clock. It often has uptimes of over a year. Currently, its uptime is:

Code: Select all

 17:47:44 up 378 days, 40 min,  1 user,  load average: 0.07, 0.06, 0.01
Its been running since 2013 or 2014 I forget. I just left it there and I actually forgot I even have it there. So its been running I guess four or five years non stop.

Should I change the sd card?
Do you change your sd cards regularly? Or just keep it there until it dies?

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Tue Jan 01, 2019 11:01 pm
by W. H. Heydt
IF you're not writing to the card, there is no reason why it should ever be changed. That said, there will always be some write activity, but if the Pi is just passively running a program, that will be minimal and the card may outlast you.

I would take a backup periodically and wait for the card to die.

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 12:59 am
by Imperf3kt
MicroSD cards are a lot more enduring than stuff like USB thumb drives, and I've still got thumb drives I used heavily for more than ten years. I see no point in replacing something that is working.

Now, being so old, I'm not putting anything critical on them, only using them for transfers and such, but I'm still using them.

The same is true of my microSD cards (and all my dozens of flash based storage) - use it for half a dozen years, when I get a new / bigger / faster model, switch the old one out to light duty but don't throw it out.

I've only ever had one SD card fail on me, and it was dead out of the package. Other failures have happened, but were limited to the plastic casing, which a bit of glue fixes.
MicroSD cards don't suffer that issue and the flash memory used on (genuine) cards is generally much higher quality as well.

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:48 am
by solar3000
Well, in my dash-cam, the SD card dies every six months. Of course, its in heat, then cold...

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 3:00 am
by W. H. Heydt
solar3000 wrote:
Wed Jan 02, 2019 2:48 am
Well, in my dash-cam, the SD card dies every six months. Of course, its in heat, then cold...
More to the point...it's being written to more or less continuously. That's the wear that will kill it.

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 7:15 am
by MarkDH102
Well, I have had a number of failures - Sandisk Ultra, Kingston, Lexar - over the years I've been using them in Pi's (24/7 running).
Most of the cards are NOT written to by my applications.
I would suggest you backup the card and tuck the back-up away somewhere.
It is a pain rebuilding systems - as I've learned the hard way...

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 11:41 am
by LTolledo
How long do you guys keep your sd cards?
simple answer: as long as those are usable.

I have kept one on my PSP ( in MicroSD to Memory Stick adaptor) for the last 15 years, still going good when I turned it on after 8 years in storage.

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 1:26 pm
by rpdom
I've got about 16 Raspberry Pi of various models since 2012. I've had two SD cards fail so far and they were both cheap ebay ones. One Pi, a 1A has been in my garage monitoring the temperature in there and outside and also checking the state of the garage door (open/closed) for years without a problem.

I do take backups every week of all my Pi. If the card dies I will replace it, but hasn't happened yet.

Re: How long do you guys keep your sd cards?

Posted: Wed Jan 02, 2019 8:28 pm
by Roken
My SDCards are only used for boot. Everything else is on NAS drives, so I expect the SDCards to last longer than me.