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[Tips & Tutorials] What the Tech?!! #5: Overflashing (Is it a thing, or just a Myth?)

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13:22, Jan-08-2015
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Go to reply no.
This post was edited by Iyengar at 13:54, Jan-08-2015

Unfamiliar with What the Tech?!! Series? Well, check out the previous issues below:


What the TECH template.jpg

Hi Everyone!
Happy New Year! and I'm back with another Issue of What the Tech?!

I've always been a Flashaholic ever since I had my first android phone (LG P500) way back in 2011. I remember then that I was frequent checker of XDA forums for new ROMS, in every device that I've own through the years. I even flash twice or thrice a day, checking and testing every ROM out there for my device.

But it always made me wonder,
would I eventually damage my Phone if I frequently flash, wipe, and write ROMs and flashable zips? What the TECH?!

To attempt answering the question, we must first understand how flashing works.

----------------------------------------------------------------------

What is Flashing?

Flashing is the the process of over-writing existing data in your internal storage device with new data.

over ROM.jpg

In Android terms, Flashing mainly refers to the way we install ROMS and flashable ZIP tweaks, to our device through 2 ways:

a.) the Recovery, or b.) Fastboot
Learn more about them here:

As we know, our devices uses different types of storage, but it usually uses an internal storage device, called a flash memory storage, where the Android System is contained.

My MI 3 for example uses a 16GB Sandisk Multi-Layered Cell (MLC) NAND flash memory.

NAND-Flash-Memory-Products.jpg

As Wikipedia defines it:
Flash memory is an electronic non-volatile computer storage medium that can be electrically erased and reprogrammed.
The NAND type flash is primarily used in main memory, memory cards, USB flash drives, solid-state drives, and similar products, for general storage and transfer of data.
But, one significant disadvantage of flash memory is the finite amount of read/write cycles in a specific block.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
So now, the question is,
can the flash memory handle frequent, and excessive wipe and flash of ROM's and Fastboot?

Just like any other electronic device, a Flash memory has a lifespan, or "Memory Wear"

....(a) flash memory has a finite number of program-erase cycles (typically written as P/E cycles) per block. Most commercially available flash products are guaranteed to withstand around 10,000 P/E cycles (for MLC) per block before the wear begins to deteriorate the integrity of the storage...

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Should I be worried about Flashing Frequently?

Honestly, No. Flashing wont be a problem.
Whether you're Flashing ROMs daily or just copying files to your devices, or simply downloading stuff to your flash memory, you are still using up the life-cycle of your flash memory.

While true, your device's flash memory will eventually fail in the future, but you've probably replaced your phone with a new one at that time. Besides, different Wear Leveling techniques are being used to prolong the life-span of your flash device,

With Wear-leveling, for example: My MI3 uses a 16GB Sandisk Multi-Layered Cell (MLC) NAND flash memory. MLC NANDs is generally rated with read/write endurance of 10,000 cycles. So, let's say I flash a ROM (usually 500MB) every 5 minutes, continually. That would amount to 57.6 GB per day. And the total number of days the drive will last before becoming unreliable is:

(Capacity of the Flash Memory x P/E Cycle Rating)/Total of Data transfer per day) = Theoretical Lifespan (in days)

So,

(16 GB x 10,000 P/E Cycle)/57.6 GB per day = 2778 days, which is about 7.6 years of continued flashing every 5 minutes, before my flash memory dies on me.
Flashing a ROM daily, it would take you 876 years before your flash memory dies.

con03_02.jpg wl.jpg


therefore, 10,000 P/E cycles is pretty much just a theoretical number.

I've probably flashed ROMS hundeds of times in my LG P500 I had in 2011, and it's still working just as it was.

In Conclusion:
Over-flashing will not damage your device (hardware-wise), but Memory Wear will, ..... over time.

But what do you guys think? Is there really a thing as Over-flashing? Participate in our debate below!

------------------------------------------

Sources:

Always remember: Don't be Ignorant! Be Smart, Be Informed!

Iakwbos, Signing off.



Expiration: 14:47, Jan-31-2015

Pro side Over-flashing is TRUE. It can really cause some damage to my phone.
Nickie6817:
Somehow, just stay on the safe side :| Don't overflash if not necessary.
pranavmarathe:
Now it's clear that there won't be much wear to the memory but my worr...
Mani56005:
gives better experience and taste of latest version of android
Bubash:
You can customize as much as you can
Bubash:
We use the device as per our wish
dipanjanforever:
nice explanation
mfl3:
Very informative. Thanks!
kausumi20:
overflashing for a long period can actually slowdown the device
paras739jain:
thanks for the detailed description about the matter
HoangTuBot:
IMHO: Internal storage (NAND flash memmory) are divided into differen...
HoangTuBot:
Internal storage are divided into different partition. And /system par...
Rizvi:
superb article !!!!
Trinadh554:
Nice research dude!! More or less it will effect the efficiency.. an...
Ainx666:
Ages of cycle of flash memory will be faster...
Rockybalbolina:
great explain
jenz1:
There's just some things that has to be accepted to be true by experie...
GR33dyBlackie:
{:4_101:}
GR33dyBlackie:
{:4_100:}
vikneshrajen:
good Explanation...
Friends786:
I do believe overflashing slows down your device
Neeraj19:
Thats Great, Thanks for the info
MasihCupu:
Very informative articles. Overflashing might damage your device but ...
blackomen:
"Over" done is not good. Once a while might be normal.
Raahul21:
Flashing depends upon the knowledge that how good you are at flashing ...
Mansehej:
Maybe it's my imagination, but I actually feel the performance of my p...
M1gen:
Nice article indeed, but counts on only theoretical best case.
rane1810:
Good explanation bro....!!
Aj989999403:
I flashed my s3 more than 200 times and its work like new phone…
grapox:
nice article
shub11:
i myself is frequent rom flasher but i always been afred that one day ...
Con side Overflashing is just a MYTH. It won\'t damage my phone.
PintuChief:
iakwbos replied at 2015-1-8 16:31 its probable that i'll be even dead befo...
incikweasel:
Great article
fai.fahmi:
i agreed with you... flashing wont damage phone
RejiT:
advance tech
arashpath:
It want affect your phone but damages your brain.. you become greedy.. try...
t4hmid:
Have been flashing phones since 2009. never had any bricks whatsoever
Acuk:
i think flashing ROMs its save {:4_125:} but worries is still there {:4_104...
j.epp:
I'll flash a new ROM today after reading this!
Owen_Choo:
I think overflashing will not really damage my phone...
singh_dd93:
Nah! Not in phone's Lifetime {:m003:}
azaan:
never had any issues with flashing.
MikeUI:
Just as the thread says it will really take a long time till the flash memo...
VikasTanwar:
Best to use phone @ it's best
mamat20131:
I always flash new rom every week {:6_222:}
PKUI:
I love Myths!!! {:m003:}
DaZ1994:
Obviously its a myth I've flashed my redmi 1S quite a lot and no visible da...
matrixbharath:
I just honestly flash crazy amounts
miphonemanager:
nice article
iakwbos:
HoangTuBot replied at 2015-1-10 23:57 IMHO: Internal storage (NAND flash ...
iakwbos:
HoangTuBot replied at 2015-1-10 23:57 IMHO: Internal storage (NAND flash ...
helloansuman:
Till now i dont think it has any negative effect. But yes i also sometimes ...
Dharani_V:
Its a Myth :P i flash once a day :p
LittleMadita:
It's a myth
g0ran:
Technology advances so fast that it doesn't matter.
brantass:
Just a MYTH.
nickarbine:
Nice explanation.
mtarun:
I don't think the mobile will last that long. Either we'll discard it after...
Aritra1911:
WOW, Awesome article, love your explanation.{:3_46:} So this is a myth (...
Doraha_Raman:
I always flash my phone It does not cause any problem unless you have a sig...
rohitbn31:
Great article bro ....
 
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 Author| 16:31, Jan-08-2015
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its probable that i'll be even dead before i can even wear my flash memory.

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16:40, Jan-08-2015
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practically it is not going to bother more ,atleast for me

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16:48, Jan-08-2015 Via mobile
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prefer stock miui

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16:56, Jan-08-2015
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This post was edited by volcano619 at 18:12, Jan-11-2015

Awesome...
Mod edit:-Language other than english..

Comment

vk41286 Please speak in English. This is a English speaking forum. Non-English is not allowed.  20:55, Jan-08-2015

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17:02, Jan-08-2015
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nice article
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17:23, Jan-08-2015
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nyc one to share..

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18:01, Jan-08-2015
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As far as your calculation, i dont think anyone is gonna live that much years and see his flash memory deteriorate

Thanks for the wonderful article~

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18:02, Jan-08-2015
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Good explanation bro....!!
Life Challenge's you, Challenge it Back ....!!

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18:16, Jan-08-2015
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Nicely Written................!!

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