Just for the sake of this question.

Let's say I have a file that fills my iPod completely, and I set an automated test to save this file into my iPod and overwrite it, non stop. How much time will pass until the flash drive cannot write the file anymore?

I tried to Google this, but "Stress test" only means smashing your device to pieces.

  • 1
    Try googling "Flash memory life" for some general insight.
    – jaberg
    Jan 29, 2012 at 18:09

1 Answer 1


Flash controllers generally degrade gracefully, so once a block has failed, it no longer is usable, so you would expect a slow, gradual shrinking of the usable space over time. Once the majority of the blocks start reaching the limit on write cycles (you need to store different data - not just the same bits to make real change on most flash controllers) then this reduction of space increases more linearly with time / write cycles.

So - it will be quick to not store the entire file, but a much longer time until you can't write to 50% of the drive.

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