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Memory stick storage

By janbennett
Jul 1, 2011
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  1. My friend has purchased a 32GB Memory stick. We have stored a file on the device and confirmed that it is there but when we remove the stick and re-insert it we get "this folder is empty" but if we look at the memory it shows that an amount of memory equivalent to the size of the file has been used. What are we doing wrong please?
  2. Lokalaskurar

    Lokalaskurar TS Enthusiast Posts: 514

    (I'm assuming that the 'memory stick' is not write-protected, because the available space was decreased after "the event")

    Alright, I think I might've got the answer. But by 'memory stick' I presume that you mean either a USB-based flashdrive/thumbdrive, or a memory card like a Compact Flash card or a SD-card.

    Because: my explanation will alter drastically if you mean that you actually tried storing a non-volatile piece of software on a volatile piece of hardware like a DDR RAM memory stick via 'pin modulation' etc.

    Three explanations then, I'm assuming that you are using Windows. The explanation will be the same for most Macintosh and most Linux OS's (but not all).
    "1." if you meant USB-drive instead of memory stick.
    "2." if you meant memory card instead of memory stick.
    "3." if you meant 'memory stick' as in RAM, Then my hat is off to you, sir.


    1. You inserted a USB-drive, stored a file on it, removed it. Now the file is gone, but the space is occupied. How come?

    Easy explanation:
    Are you familiar with "Safely Remove Hardware"?

    IF NOT: When you remove a USB-drive from the computer, you must (oftenmost) perform a 'Safe Removal'. If you look downright on your system tray when a USB-drive is inserted, you'll see a green arrow thingy called 'Safe Hardware Removal' or something like that. You will have to choose your USB-drive from a dropdown list when right-clicking this icon, in order to insure that your data stays on the disk when you remove it. A message will then pop up saying "It is now safe to remove your drive".

    Take a look at this!

    Are you sure you performed it? If you did, keep me posted!

    More advanced explanation:
    You see, when You wrote a file onto the memory, the cells inside the memory were charged in accordance with the data which you stored on the device. But keep in mind that the "name" of the file (more like the 'identity' of the file) is stored in a completely different way (in a volatile, non-permanent way) in order to enable a "possible" write of multiple files onto the device.

    IF the device is removed without performing this "Safe Removal", then the data will stay intact, but the file's ID will end up as de-charged anti-neutrinos somewhere on the other side of cosmos. In other words: the PC will be un-able to identify the file, even though the data is there, and even though the data is occupying the total storage available.

    You have now created something simply (and inaccurately) referred to as "Mémoire mort". Un-usable storage space, until reanimated using third-party software. Your file is there, but un-identifiable.


    2. You inserted a memory card, stored a file on it, removed it. Now the file is gone, but the space is occupied. How come?

    If you used an older OS like XP, this is something that happens from time to time as XP was not really designed with memory cards in mind (was it a kernel not being open enough? :eek: Never mind...).

    If you simply removed the memory card as expected, but still cannot see the file, then you have not only lost the file's identity, but also the entire file.

    Look at the advanced explanation on "1." -- but now instead of just the ID being stored in a completely different way, the entire file is stored in a volatile state. Without the 'Safe Removal' (which lacked serious support in XP for memory cards), the entire file is not written onto the memory chip/card. It also dissipates into anti-neutrinos unless I'm mistaken. BUT: the storage space which the file was used to 'inhabit', was 'reserved' for the file, and thus it was awaiting the file which didn't came = "Mémoire mort".


    3. You somehow installed a RAM memory stick, stored a file on it, removed it. Now the file is gone, but the space is occupied. How come?

    Ok, if you actually meant 'memory stick' as in RAM, that must have meant that you've got serious skills. Because memory stick can refer to the piece of hardware which is used by the CPU when working in OS-mode (and non-OS mode actually).

    Now, I am assuming that you really didn't mean that you tried storing data on a 'stick' of RAM, but as I've seen alot more crazier things on TechSpot; here comes another explanation!:
    You see; storing a file on a "memory" medium, requires that space is reserved for the file, and that this space is self-dependent. I.e. not requiring constant electrical current in order to stay active (which is btw. called a 'non-volatile' memory).

    Non-volatile memory is commonly seen in USB-drives and floppies.

    A RAM 'memory stick' is (read!) volatile memory. Thus if you actually meant RAM by saying 'memory stick', then you've de-volatilized a volatile memory, and thus lost all your stored data on that memory stick. (The reason why a computer needs re-booting, by the way ;) )

    The medium (RAM, memory stick) lost its power, and all its storage was 'purified'. And if you somehow performed this when the PC was on, then it means that in accordance with Lenz's law; you've shocked, and killed off some of the cells inside the 'memory stick'. Permanently.

    : end of explanations :

    So please, tell me that you simply used a USB-drive, and did not perform a 'Safe Removal' ;) :haha:

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