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How can I check the health condition of an SD card?

When I want to check a hard drive, I can use SMART, how should I check an SD card? Is there a universal approach?

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1 Answer 1

SD cards are pretty much the worst kind of flash storage. They're fine for cameras that do large linear reads and writes to FAT format cards, and don't overwrite the same spot very often, but they wear out very quickly of you try to put a rootfs on them. I have a very unhappy card in a dev board to prove it.

I don't know of a way to monitor the card, but in my experience it'll be the files you use most that die first. On my card it was the apt files under /var (the ones that get updated every day) that developed faults.

If you need to use flash storage, USB drives are a faster and more reliable option.

EDIT: If you want to check a cards current state, plain old fsck is certainly a good start. Do not be tempted to do any sort of bad-blocks scan though as you'll only wear the card out sooner.

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OK, but he already has an SD card and wants to check its condition. You don't address his question. –  Kevin Apr 4 '12 at 21:27
    
Like I said, I don't know a way to monitor the condition. I will add a comment about scanning them though. –  ams Apr 4 '12 at 21:33

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