I was running two Ethereum mining rigs with USB drives as their boot drives for several months and, after around 2-3 months, both of them began experiencing I/O related issues.
I tried plugging each of the failing drives into my Windows PC and investigated further using the Disk Management app and command-line diskpart application – both of which returned ‘write protection’ errors.
A USB device’s performance is degraded by many write operations (read operations: not so much) and I think running these USB drives for this amount of time caused the drives to fail due to this for this reason.
I decided to switch from using USB drives to SSDs as my primary boot & storage devices for the mining rig and I have since not experienced any issues.
Don’t use USB drives 24/7 for data you care about ?♂️.