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Old 07-27-2008, 03:55 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Exclamation Tip: Defrag your memory card

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If you have a Micro SD card installed in your BB device, it should show up as a separate drive in windows explorer when you hook your BB up to your computer, right below your computer's hard drive & CD ROMs, etc.

If you have any number of photos or files on your memory card at all, you really ought to defragment your memory card, just like you would your PCs hard drive.

It made a very noticeable difference in how quickly pictures display on my BB.

Just a tip!

Enjoy!!!
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Old 07-27-2008, 04:37 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Actually, defragmenting a memory card will offer no advantages because flash memory has significantly faster seek times (typically 10x faster than traditional hard disks!). As a matter of fact, defragmenting will cause unnecessary wear and tear to the card because a memory card has limited write cycles.
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Old 07-27-2008, 05:28 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well it worked for me. It's noticeably faster which is nice because the time it took for the thumbnails to show up was getting annoying. I should have timed the thumbnail fill in time or something.

Regarding the seek times, that's the card capability, but the BB still has to do the seeking at the same time its trying to display the thumbnails, monitor for calls, etc. Just seems like one long stretch of data is easier to pull together than having to find the chunks and do all the other things.
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Old 07-27-2008, 07:25 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default defrag

my computer suggested defraging the sd card so I did. I thought they had at least 1000 rewrites.
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Old 07-31-2008, 08:29 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I did not know that the cards had a limited number of read/write cycles.

That said, with how cheap they are (I recently saw a 4GB card for $8.00), who cares??
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrjonesUSA View Post
I did not know that the cards had a limited number of read/write cycles.

That said, with how cheap they are (I recently saw a 4GB card for $8.00), who cares??
It's not the cost of replacement that's the issue for me - it's the sudden inability of the card to retain information, the time (without a working card) that it would take to replace the card. On the bright side though, such an event can be just the thing you need to "justify" the upgrade you've been wanting but couldn't otherwise justify.

The problem is similar to that of nonvolatile ram used in modems to retain a "user" configuration - a limited number of writes. I know someone who accidentally added the "write" command to his modem initialization string. After about 1000 initializations, the modem would no longer retain the configuration.
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike2160
my computer suggested defraging the sd card so I did. I thought they had at least 1000 rewrites.
1000 songs = dead card?
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Old 07-31-2008, 09:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a card I have had for over two years and its had way more than a thousand song on it and many many prgrams and it still works today.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:15 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I've never heard of flash memory having a limited lifespan.
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Defrag still helps flash:

Flash memory is optimized to read sequentially faster, and also flash access of small files (and small fragments) are somewhat inefficient. Although seek speed is the same from one non-contiguous block to the next (and seek doesn't increase the further apart blocks are, like for hard disks), it's still faster to read contiguous flash blocks. Defragmentation makes all these files sequential reads, making things faster.

Another performance factor... if the filesystem block size (cluster size) is smaller than the flash block size (the amount of reading that the controller has to do), there could be additional advantage to defragmentation, when the memory card controller is forced to read a larger flash block in order to access a single small cluster. So this leads to unecessary extra reads. Cluster size should be properly optimized for the particular flash card.

Don't defrag a flash card often, though. Repeated writes can wear down flash eventually. Wear-levelling algorithms will spread the wear-and-tear throughout the entire card (so even if one block can be written to only 1,000 times, you can still write far more than 1,000 times as a result of wear-levelling to other blocks). You can still wear out the card, but an occasional once-every-few-months defrag isn't going to hurt flash much -- just make sure you make a backup...

Another technique is just simply copy all files off the memory card, reformat, and copy all files back. BAM -- all files are defragmented in a single write pass (avoiding the potential danger of repeated writes that defrag can do -- and if you use defrag directly on a card, make sure you enable write caching; that helps reduce wear and tear of repeated writes.)
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Old 08-01-2008, 12:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moonshadow View Post
1000 songs = dead card?
No, due to wear-leveling algorithms. Unless you have a really bad card.
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