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Re: Flash read/write (was Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0)

Bob Kertesz
 

Hard Disk Sentinel.

-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Mostly Retired Engineer, Video Controller, and Live Compositor
Extraordinaire.

High quality images for almost five decades - whether you've wanted them
or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *


On 12/18/2021 3:04:19 PM, Shaul Pollack wrote:
  Hi all,
On this topic, can someone recommend an easy to use Windows program to
check the health of multiple sd cards. We have about 60 256gb and
128gb sandisk cards that I am now realizing should probably be checked
before one of them fail. It would also be nice if the software is easy
to understand so that I can show my boss exactly what the issues are.
Thank you.

Shaul Pollack


Re: Flash read/write (was Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0)

Shaul Pollack
 

  Hi all, 
On this topic, can someone recommend an easy to use Windows program to check the health of multiple sd cards. We have about 60 256gb and 128gb sandisk cards that I am now realizing should probably be checked before one of them fail. It would also be nice if the software is easy to understand so that I can show my boss exactly what the issues are. 
Thank you. 

Shaul Pollack
V2, Eagle Production Co.
Brick, NJ



On Dec 18, 2021, at 9:16 AM, Michael Sanders <lists@...> wrote:

Thanks Jan, that’s super helpful.

I’m definitely not planning on filling it up and wiping it daily :-) 

Michael Sanders: 

London based Cinematographer/Director of Photography.

reel/credits/kit: www.mjsanders.co.uk
direct email: michael@...
m: +44 07976 269818


On 18 Dec 2021, at 14:09, Jan Klier <jan@...> wrote:



(Apologies for replying to my own email)

 

Just for additional context on that old SSD in my MacPro (and I’m sure modern SSDs have improved) – it’s a 256GB SSD and has been powered up for 35,616 hours and power cycled 8,387 times. Over its lifetime it has has seen 266TB written to it and has now reached 50% on the wear level.

 

That is the equivalent of having been filled up and erased 1,064 times. Of course, quite unevenly as it’s the main drive and only ocassionally used as a render drive.

 

But those numbers should give you some perspective.

 

If this were a camera card, and you wrote/erased it once a day, 5 days a week, this would last you 4 years (and it’s still going). Now, as was pointed out by Art, camera cards get exposed to different stresses and heat than an SSD in a computer. But some correlation does exist.

 

Jan Klier

DP/Colorist NYC

 

> On regular system you should get a good number of years out of most SSDs, like Apple. The SSD on my old 2013 MacPro is I think now down to 50% > on the Wear Leveling Count.

 

 


Re: Flash read/write (was Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0)

 

Thanks Jan, that’s super helpful.

I’m definitely not planning on filling it up and wiping it daily :-) 

Michael Sanders: 

London based Cinematographer/Director of Photography.

reel/credits/kit: www.mjsanders.co.uk
direct email: michael@...
m: +44 07976 269818


On 18 Dec 2021, at 14:09, Jan Klier <jan@...> wrote:



(Apologies for replying to my own email)

 

Just for additional context on that old SSD in my MacPro (and I’m sure modern SSDs have improved) – it’s a 256GB SSD and has been powered up for 35,616 hours and power cycled 8,387 times. Over its lifetime it has has seen 266TB written to it and has now reached 50% on the wear level.

 

That is the equivalent of having been filled up and erased 1,064 times. Of course, quite unevenly as it’s the main drive and only ocassionally used as a render drive.

 

But those numbers should give you some perspective.

 

If this were a camera card, and you wrote/erased it once a day, 5 days a week, this would last you 4 years (and it’s still going). Now, as was pointed out by Art, camera cards get exposed to different stresses and heat than an SSD in a computer. But some correlation does exist.

 

Jan Klier

DP/Colorist NYC

 

> On regular system you should get a good number of years out of most SSDs, like Apple. The SSD on my old 2013 MacPro is I think now down to 50% > on the Wear Leveling Count.

 

 


Re: Flash read/write (was Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0)

Jan Klier
 

(Apologies for replying to my own email)

 

Just for additional context on that old SSD in my MacPro (and I’m sure modern SSDs have improved) – it’s a 256GB SSD and has been powered up for 35,616 hours and power cycled 8,387 times. Over its lifetime it has has seen 266TB written to it and has now reached 50% on the wear level.

 

That is the equivalent of having been filled up and erased 1,064 times. Of course, quite unevenly as it’s the main drive and only ocassionally used as a render drive.

 

But those numbers should give you some perspective.

 

If this were a camera card, and you wrote/erased it once a day, 5 days a week, this would last you 4 years (and it’s still going). Now, as was pointed out by Art, camera cards get exposed to different stresses and heat than an SSD in a computer. But some correlation does exist.

 

Jan Klier

DP/Colorist NYC

 

> On regular system you should get a good number of years out of most SSDs, like Apple. The SSD on my old 2013 MacPro is I think now down to 50% > on the Wear Leveling Count.

 

 


Re: Flash read/write (was Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0)

Jan Klier
 

Michael,

 

I think it’s important to understand those parameters, but it’s not as bad as it sounds. Lifetime values are reported via SMART status on all SSD drives. There is a very handy utility for MacOS called DXDrive that will show you all these values and will show the life remaining as a percentage that decreases over time. You can monitor that over time.

 

On regular system you should get a good number of years out of most SSDs, like Apple. The SSD on my old 2013 MacPro is I think now down to 50% on the Wear Leveling Count.

 

The individual blocks have a finite number of write cycles before the become unusable. But each drive is made with a certain number of spare blocks that are substituted by the drive itself once a block needs to be taken out of service. Of course, once you exhauste these spares, that’s when the whole drive becomes read-only. The drive also re-balances blocks that are frequently written (data files) with blocks that don’t get changed much at all (installed application executables). An SSD is much more active behind the scenes than a good old HDD.

 

This is a good overview of some the aspects: https://www.extremetech.com/extreme/210492-extremetech-explains-how-do-ssds-work

 

All that together means you probably don’t have to worry too much unless you plan on filling up and deleting your entire Macbook SSD daily, considering that if it were to wear out, as it is soldered to the mainboard, it would be an expensive repair.

 

That is of course different for camera cards, whos entire purpose is to be over-written from beginning to end on a regular basis. I would assume special design considerations go into camera cards for that reason, but I don’t know all the details. Maybe someone else on the list can add perspective on that front.

 

Jan Klier

DP/Colorist NYC

 

Using an SSD as a render drive where a large number of blocks get rewritten regularly

 

Andy,

 

I’ve just taken delivery of a new MacBook Pro with a 2TB SSD. I went for a larger SSD as I’ve read that the new unified memory architecture means you could edit with footage on the system drive - something that’s previously been frowned upon.

 

But from what you are saying, to minimise read/write cycles it would be best not to use it as a scratch drive except in emergencies.

 

Michael

 

 


Flash read/write (was Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0)

 

Andy,

I’ve just taken delivery of a new MacBook Pro with a 2TB SSD. I went for a larger SSD as I’ve read that the new unified memory architecture means you could edit with footage on the system drive - something that’s previously been frowned upon.

But from what you are saying, to minimise read/write cycles it would be best not to use it as a scratch drive except in emergencies.

Michael

Michael Sanders: 

London based Cinematographer/Director of Photography.

reel/credits/kit: www.mjsanders.co.uk
direct email: michael@...
m: +44 07976 269818


On 15 Dec 2021, at 21:39, Andy Jarosz <andy@...> wrote:

All flash memory has a limited number of write cycles. You can look up the datasheets of the particular chips used and they will tell you exact numbers, but it can be in the in the thousands to tens of thousands of writes.


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Gavin Nugent
 

Ole  do remember is the card completely full

 

 

*****Gavin will remember in future to sign his posts with his full name, job/title, and location - as required by CML rules*****

Signed,
Your Friendly Neighbourhood Listmum


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Emmanuel SUYS
 

Greetings,

 

When I am on a job I pass the cards from the rental house or provider through a test similar to Bob Kertesz’s Sentinal, but with a Sofware “DriveDX” from Binaryfruit.

Now and then a card does not pass the test or shows some possible forthcoming issues. This avoids from the beginning to take cards with a potential risk. DriveDX however only works if the memory has a SMART technology. Some my be familiar with SMART through their home server.  I keep the record from the test as a proof for production as well as it

 

Emmanuel SUYS
1st Asst Cinematography - 1st Asst Kinematografie - 1er Asst Photographie Cinématographique
*16-35-HD-HiSpeed-UW
*HiSpeed Operator
*Digital On Set Supervision
*European based
*Mobil +491734537858 *emmanuel at suys.de

 

kind of keeps my mind a rest. But as mentioned before this is not a 100% guarantee, that a failure will occur afterwards. So far been lucky and no issues.

 

My 2 eurocents,

Manny

 

 

 

 

From: <cml-raw-log-hdr@...> on behalf of John Tipton <john@...>

 

So I can have my DIT or download tech run Hard Disk Sentinel on all my C-Fast media to check for potential issues at prep, for example? 

 

_._,_._,_


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Bob Kertesz
 

Sure. But the comprehensive test may take a while to run on big capacity cards, so it might prove worthwhile to set up a couple of 'testing stations' to get through all the cards in a single prep day.

A couple of additional things:

-I have no vested interest in Hard Disk Sentinel except for an affinity with the developer, a fellow Hungarian. I bought the 5 license family pack inexpensively a while back, and it's good forever (it's not subscription based software).

-The software is Windows based, and I have no idea if Mac versions are available, although there are likely equivalent testing packages for Macs if not.

-If you're using an external reader for the cards, try to use USB 3 (or preferably Thunderbolt if available) to interface it to your computer. Otherwise, you'll be quite a while checking large capacity cards.

-If your DIT/downloader people are unfamiliar with the software, it puts up a screen of the surface map with a bunch of squares, and the squares turn green as sectors are tested. Any sectors that are slower to read/write than expected turn darker shades of green. The other tab on that screen labeled "Temperature and transfer speed" will give you a good idea of how the card is performing overall.

-It's really easy to use software.

-And finally, no software can reliably predict sudden and catastrophic failure. Please keep that in mind. But regular testing may bring some peace of mind and help weed out cards with issues.




-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Mostly Retired Engineer, Video Controller, and Live Compositor Extraordinaire.

High quality images for almost five decades - whether you've wanted them or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *


On 12/15/2021 1:19:33 PM, John Tipton wrote:
Hey Bob K, 

So I can have my DIT or download tech run Hard Disk Sentinel on all my C-Fast media to check for potential issues at prep, for example? 




John Tipton
Cinematographer
213-268-4210
john@...
http://www.johntipton.com
IMDB: http://www.imdb.me/johntipton


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Andy Jarosz
 

All flash memory has a limited number of write cycles. You can look up the datasheets of the particular chips used and they will tell you exact numbers, but it can be in the in the thousands to tens of thousands of writes.

Often onboard controllers will keep track of this, and will be able to report exact usage stats, with the appropriate diagnostic tools.

Of note is that reading does not contribute to these cycles, only writing (technically erasing.)

Andy Jarosz
LOLED Virtual
Andy@...

What is it exactly that fails in a card and why? Is it just age? The number of writes?
What about say a 4+ year old card (or older) that's hardly been used?


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

John Tipton
 

Hey Bob K, 

So I can have my DIT or download tech run Hard Disk Sentinel on all my C-Fast media to check for potential issues at prep, for example? 




John Tipton
Cinematographer
213-268-4210
john@...
http://www.johntipton.com
IMDB: http://www.imdb.me/johntipton




Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Bob Kertesz
 

Difficult to say what fails, except that eventual failure will likely happen. Some problem in manufacturing, some problem with the chips used, some problem with alignment in the card socket/reader, some mechanical failure.

When I could get access to the cards before a job, I would usually run them through two complete erase/format/read cycles using something like hard Disk Sentinel and its Write+Read test. That destructive test will show not only large problems, but also sectors that have slower access times (an indication of problems to come). Use another test if the card has data on it you want to keep - there are tests that are thorough but non-destructive.

Cards that get though both passes without any issues are likely good for a while, but of course it's electronics, so failure can happen at any time.

The only absolute certainty is that the card will fail catastrophically when you finally get that clean in focus shot of Bigfoot hanging out in the mountains, BBQing with his Bigfoot family.


-Bob

Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Mostly Retired Engineer, Video Controller, and Live Compositor Extraordinaire.

High quality images for almost five decades - whether you've wanted them or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *


On 12/14/2021 8:47:22 PM, Leonard Levy wrote:
On Tue, Dec 14, 2021 at 3:59 PM Bob Kertesz <bob@...> wrote:
Getting five years out of any memory card that gets used quite a bit is
very good life indeed. I've seen them fail after two.

What is it exactly that fails in a card and why? Is it just age? The number of writes?
What about say a 4+ year old card (or older)  that's hardly been used?

I've had a couple of original Sony XQD cards where the edge  cracked and a little piece of the plastic came off.
I just repaired them with "sugru" and they keep going. I guess they're as old as the FS7 so that's 7 years now (2014) .
Fair amount of use but far from everyday and hardly at all in 2020. 
Should I throw them away? 

Leonard Levy, DP
San Rafael, CA

_


Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Art Adams
 

There is a trick for when the last clip isn’t playable because the camera lost power or the card was ejected too soon. Put it back in the camera and roll a new clip for about a second. The camera will “close out” the previous file (there’s some stuff that gets written at the end that’s missing if something bad happens while the clip is being written) and then that clip should play back perfectly.

_______________________________________________________
Art 
Adams
Cinema Lens Specialist
ARRI Inc.
3700 Vanowen Street
BurbankCA 91505
www.arri.com 

818-841-7070
x4212
 
aadams@...

Get all the latest information from www.arri.comFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.






This message is confidential. It may also be privileged or otherwise protected by work product immunity or other legal rules. If you have received it by mistake, please let us know by e-mail reply and delete it from your system; you may not copy this message or disclose its contents to anyone. Please send us by fax any message containing deadlines as incoming e-mails are not screened for response deadlines. The integrity and security of this message cannot be guaranteed on the Internet.



Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Ole Andreas Grøntvedt FNF
 

Thanks guys!

I’ve heard this has happened to Lexar cards earlier.

We will send the card back to Angelbird in Switzerland. The card is only 2 months old and I’m the only one who have used them. The camera is also brand new, it had only 7 hours on a bench when I got it for my shoot. 

Thanks for the tip Art. Angelbird is Arri Approved, it’s even printed on the card.

I shoot ProRes 4444, 3,2K 25 fps. I believe only one slate was 2K 100 fps. Not the last clip though.

What a volume Steve. I think it’s very cool you use the Amira for NFL. How often do you think this happens to your cards?

I did try to put the card back in the camera, but the camera didn’t even notice. 
I will try the freezer trick if Angelbird can’t recover the material. Thanks for all the response.

Cheers!
Ole Andreas Grøntvedt FNF 


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Richer, Steve
 

This happens to us a few times every week. Granted, we shoot around 250 cards every week, but I get notifications that after being shot some cards won’t mount in the backup device before being transmitted back to our HQ in New Jersey from NFL stadiums around the country. If our Data Wranglers can’t mount the cards, they’ll send the card back to the operator, have the op put the card back in the camera and play back the last few clips. That works about half the time. By the time the physical cards get couriered back, they usually can mount locally and we are able to retrieve the data.

Usually the culprits are Angelird. Something new with the latest Amira/ Alexa Mini FW is that the Angelbird cards will have a red INIT for a few seconds on the LCD screen before the camera will recognize the card, which is always a bit unsettling.

As far as I know, Angelbird are the only Arri certified CFast cards at this point. They used to certify SanDisk, but not anymore to my knowledge.

 

Steve

 

signature_1608295522

Steve Richer

Manager of Technical Operations,

Camera Department

NFL FILMS

E: steve.richer@...

 

 

_._,_._,_


Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Art Adams
 

Hi Lenny-

 

I’m not an expert on this stuff, but I do know that SSD cells lose their ability to hold a charge over time.

 

Here’s an article from Backblaze on how SSD drives fail over time:

 

https://www.backblaze.com/blog/how-reliable-are-ssds/

 

-Art

_______________________________________________________
Art 
Adams
Cinema Lens Specialist
ARRI Inc.
3700 Vanowen Street
BurbankCA 91505
www.arri.com 

818-841-7070
x4212
 
aadams@...

Get all the latest information from www.arri.comFacebookTwitterInstagram and YouTube.






This message is confidential. It may also be privileged or otherwise protected by work product immunity or other legal rules. If you have received it by mistake, please let us know by e-mail reply and delete it from your system; you may not copy this message or disclose its contents to anyone. Please send us by fax any message containing deadlines as incoming e-mails are not screened for response deadlines. The integrity and security of this message cannot be guaranteed on the Internet.



Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

 

I insist assistants put cards in the plastic card case and then wrap the tape around the case.  To me it has always felt more secure (especially if you go round the case a few times) and it stops bits of tape getting inside readers or worse the cameras card slot. It also stops you physically damaging the card when you take the tape off.

XQD cards seem particularly fragile.


Michael Sanders

London based Cinematographer and host of The Camera Channel podcast, available on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

+ 44 (0) 7976 269818








On 15 Dec 2021, at 04:47, Leonard Levy <leonardlevydp@...> wrote:

I've had a couple of original Sony XQD cards where the edge  cracked and a little piece of the plastic came off.
I just repaired them with "sugru" and they keep going. I guess they're as old as the FS7 so that's 7 years now (2014) .
Fair amount of use but far from everyday and hardly at all in 2020. 
Should I throw them away? 


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Leonard Levy
 

On Tue, Dec 14, 2021 at 3:59 PM Bob Kertesz <bob@...> wrote:
Getting five years out of any memory card that gets used quite a bit is
very good life indeed. I've seen them fail after two.

What is it exactly that fails in a card and why? Is it just age? The number of writes?
What about say a 4+ year old card (or older)  that's hardly been used?

I've had a couple of original Sony XQD cards where the edge  cracked and a little piece of the plastic came off.
I just repaired them with "sugru" and they keep going. I guess they're as old as the FS7 so that's 7 years now (2014) .
Fair amount of use but far from everyday and hardly at all in 2020. 
Should I throw them away? 

Leonard Levy, DP
San Rafael, CA


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Gavin Nugent
 

I Have had a similar issue before on the Amira , we were shooting slow mo and I accidentally topped the card right up


We had been playing back from the card and every thing was fine just before hand

When we got the card back for ingest it would not mount on any thing or even be recognised ..we had to use data recovery software to get the files back, every thing came back apart from the very last pro res which topped the card up

That was corrupt

we reformatted the card and it seemed fine we returned it to the hire company and explain what had happen …never heard back

Thanks

Gavin Nugent


Re: Card problems Alexa Mini / Angelbird C-Fast 2.0

Bob Kertesz
 

Getting five years out of any memory card that gets used quite a bit is
very good life indeed. I've seen them fail after two.

Despite what the people I sometimes work with seem to think, they do not
last forever (or even much more than 3-4 years, usually).

Your mileage will vary, of course.

-Bob


Bob Kertesz
BlueScreen LLC
Hollywood, California

Mostly Retired Engineer, Video Controller, and Live Compositor
Extraordinaire.

High quality images for almost five decades - whether you've wanted them
or not.©

* * * * * * * * * *


On 12/14/2021 2:29:41 PM, Mark Smith via cml.news wrote:
Not on an Alexa mini, but on my BMPC 4k with a Lexar card. We tried
mounting the card with 3 different computers/ combinations of readers.
End result was that the card was dead. Period. I tried numerous
methods which had worked for me in the past and nothing worked. It was
over. This was clearly a card problem, and this card had been used for
a couple years without issue. Suddenly the card went belly up. I split
off from production drove 90 miles back to previous location and
re-shot some B roll on the gimbal  at location A and solved the issue.
I have  CF 2.0 cards that I have been using for 5 years no issue and
then suddenly one dies without warning. The pattern was similar, I had
checked PB while shooting B roll and it was all good until I tried to
mount the card after the shoot.

Mark Smith

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