For a project I'm using a 16GB class 10 Sandisk micro SD card (in an Adafruit micro SD card adaptor). I've got a Model B Raspberry Pi that's not overclocked, nor has it ever been. Since I'm running it headless I have assigned 48M to the GPU (lower than that and the Pi refuses to boot). I use a 2A USB charger to power the Pi.

I've read a lot about SD card corruption and people having issues in general with different types of SD cards or power supplies. Having never run into any of these problems before myself, I wonder if SD card corruption is still an issue or if it is something that will, no matter what, creep up over time because the SD card simply deteriorates.

Anyone who could shed a light on this?

If indeed this is still a problem, an solution could apparently be to boot from and SD card and have the root partition (and any other partitioins) on a USB stick. Why then would the partition on the USB stick not get corrupted?

  • This question is out of order, because it asks for an expression of opinion. If you search this site you can read hundreds of posts on this subject, and can draw your own conclusions. Most "problems" boil down to turning power off, or the use of inadequate power supplies. My only comment is that none of the experienced users seem to have problems.
    – Milliways
    Mar 23, 2014 at 1:35
  • How is this on answer instead of a comment or even (and I would disagree here) a flag? Mar 23, 2014 at 6:57
  • 1
    Sorry to see you think the question is out of order. I've read a lot of the hundeds of posts and there almost always seem to be external causes such as a fake SD card, an overclocked Pi or a low quality power adaptor. Besides that, people gain experience over time so insights may have changed.
    – Matijs
    Mar 23, 2014 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


Yes. SD cards are volatile, and, as all memory does, will deteriorate over time. Nothing you really can do about it besides not use the device. This is because of the need to be small, the technology isn't quite as long lasting as a Hard Drive or SSD/RAM. Basically, all memory will deteriorate eventually, it just depends on the use it is put through.

More Read/Write cycles will break your SD card faster than less Read/Write, which might be rather obvious to some. Thus, if you are using the Pi for data gathering or serving up a web page, or anything that read/writes a lot, you should probably use USB data storage, to protect your Pi's SD card.

That said, your solution of booting from the SD card and then having all the other partitions on USB should extend your SD card life. If you want to find more about corruption and how to prevent it, check here. It has a very good answer on how to avoid corruption, as well as a few lesser ones (still with valid points.)

  • 5
    This is an rechnically correct but misleading answer. Yes, there is deterioration of flash media in general. Yet the dominant reason of the Raspberry Pi corrupting its SD card is not that. The reason is that SD cards can be in states that when being the last thing they do before powerdown, leave the card or filesystem blocks broken. One source is the filesystem writing to the card while the power goes out. For this specific reason, shutdown-before-poweroff is strongly recommended. raspberrypi.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=63&t=82168
    – Paul
    Feb 19, 2015 at 10:15

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