bhodge writes "Aside from the obvious 'it stops working' answer, how does flash media — such as USB, SD, and CF — fail? Unlike with traditional hard drive, where anyone who's worked with computers for a while knows what a drive failure looks like, I don't know anyone who has experienced such a failure with flash. I've haven't been able to find more than scant evidence of what such failures look like at the OS level. The one account I have found detailed using a small USB drive for /var/log storage; it failed very quickly, and then utterly (0 byte unformatted device), after five years of service in the role. This runs contrary to other anecdotal claims that you should still be able to read the media after you can no longer write to it. So my question is: what have you seen of the nature of flash media failure, if anything?"