Flash Drive vs External HD

By ptim · 14 replies
Jun 28, 2007
  1. Is a flash drive reliable or is a external USB Hard Drive more reliable.
  2. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    External hard drive is more reliable by a long shot.
  3. gregthe1000

    gregthe1000 TS Rookie

    If all you're looking for is reliability and not size difference and such, then an EHD is the right way to go.
  4. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    ... untill you drop it.. :D

    Both are reliable somewhat, and in my opinion have the same chances of failure in their own way.. but if you tend to handle your gear rough then get something with less mechanical parts.. so flash. But for size vs $ = HDDs all the way.
  5. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    Well yeah, as with anything. You drop it, handle it rough, it will break. I've had several flash drives crap out on me before, and there are MANY posts here about them. But I have an external that I have used for years without a hitch.
  6. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Flash is more reliable for long term storage as it is true non-volatile memory. External harddrives are faster and larger and are better for large storage.
  7. thebaronjocelin

    thebaronjocelin TS Enthusiast Posts: 158

    Which one you should get really depends on the information you're trying to put in them. If you're just backing up a few important files (online insurance forms, key memos, email backups), then a flash will do just fine and will probably last longer under pressure.

    If you're looking to backup your entire computer, or several large files, or just for ancillary storage, then you're going to want to go external.
  8. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    In my experience, as baron said, flash is good for a temporary solution for moving files say from home PC to work PC. It is very convenient. Nothing that you plan to store forever or backup data too should go on a flash drive, IMO. There are many people here that buy a flash drive new and have problems.
  9. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    NEVER put anything on a flash drive you cannot afford to lose. ALWAYS back it up to something else. RAM is volatile and subject to change states. Flash drives are convenient but they're also notorious for losing data.
  10. nickc

    nickc TechSpot Paladin Posts: 923   +11

    the External hard drive with a USB 2 input would be the best I do not care what anyone else says, it is the best if you do not drop it and then the case can be replaced. or the hard drive if it is not slammed to the ground. they are the better.
  11. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    Whatschu talking about Willis!?!?

    Flash is a type of ROM, not RAM. In fact, it is PROM meaning that once it's programmed, it cannot change unless you reprogram it.

    Flash is preferred over harddrive which is electo-mechanical and can easily be wiped out or overwritten.
  12. N3051M

    N3051M TS Evangelist Posts: 2,115

    actualy, in long term storage solutions, CD/DVDs would outlast HDDS or flash, providing that you're not gonna add anything else on it or get it scratched/burned/mutilated/etc.

    But thats another topic. :D
  13. ptim

    ptim TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 74

    Actually what I’m trying to do is, I bought a car radio that plays MP3’s and has a USB port, I can use a flash drive on it, but I was thinking about getting a external hard drive, but now that I think about it, I don’t want a cable hanging down, do they make a tiny hard drive, that looks like a flash drive.
  14. halo71

    halo71 TS Rookie Posts: 1,090

    For what you are doing, a flash would be the best bet. You didnt say that originally. I use a jump drive in my deck in my truck for that purpose as well. Even if you do loose the data on the drive, its just music files. No biggy really. I thought you were talking about storing important files or something.
  15. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 10,742   +421

    Well, I doubt the USB port on it can deliver enough juice to run a 2.5" hd, so you'd have to use a power cable with it, running that from your cigarette lighter to the hd would probably involve a DC to AC to DC conversion which would suck and create a big mess of wires.

    They do make little tiny hard drives that have small platters, like 1" or something. I just had a buddy come by yesterday with an 8 gig drive that looked sort of like a bulky flash drive but it contained a hard drive. That may be the best solution if you are looking at having more than 4 gigs or so.
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