Monday, August 28, 2023

Self-Wiping SanDisk Extreme SSDs

Sean Hollister:

If you’re thinking of buying a SanDisk Extreme Pro, Extreme Portable, Extreme Pro Portable, or WD MyPassport SSD, maybe just don’t.

My colleague Vjeran just lost 3TB of video we’d shot for The Verge because the drive is no longer readable.

This isn’t a drive he purchased many months or years ago — it’s the supposedly safe replacement that Western Digital recently sent after his original wiped his data all by itself. Remember when we warned you about that?

Sean Hollister (via John Gordon):

Eleven days ago, we sent these questions to Western Digital’s head of PR and published them publicly on The Verge[…]

What’s the fuss? For months, the company has been laughably silent about how its pricey portable SanDisk Extreme SSDs might lose all your data. It happened to my colleague Vjeran Pavic twice. It happened to Ars Technica. It happened to PetaPixel.

Months after our inquiries, Western Digital continues to sell these drives due to deep discounts, fake Amazon reviews, and issues with Google Search that rank favorable results far higher than warnings about potential failures.

Matt Panaro:

I just got some WD-drives (cheaper HDDs) because Seagates were apparently just failing w/in a couple months of purchase. Trust no-one, I guess (is there even any other game in town?)

I have generally had the best luck with WD hard drives. Seagates have been the worst both for noise and reliability.

7 Comments RSS · Twitter · Mastodon

They didn't loose 3 TB because of the failure but of having no backup. You never can trust one single place of storage, never and nowhere. It's really a shame that even professionals don't respect this old rule and claim, that they are victims of bad company's. Well, it's also as shame that those crappy disks are still sold and how the company behaves. But they're not responsible for individual data loss.

Nils, At one point, in the life of date, there is only one copy. I’m not sure how you’d make multiple copies at exactly the same time to different media. An original can be created and the system crashes before making backups then your argument is nonsense.


This is a particularly daunting problem for those of us who actually have terabytes of data that needs transfer. Especially with the fall of unlimited cloud storage, but also since there is no bandwidth that can compete with carrying your data on portable hard drives.

Western Digital promises to release firmware update for failing SanDisk Extreme SSDs
The portable drives have had reliability issues for months.

Over the past few months, Reddit, the SanDisk forums and Twitter have been littered with people complaining of their recently purchased 4TB and 2TB Extreme V2 and Extreme Pro V2 portable drives suddenly erasing the data they had on them and, in some cases, becoming unreadable.

Feel the same way about WD versus Seagate in terms of reliability, but these Sandisk Extremes seem truly awful. I cannot fathom how they’re still on sale. Even if they’re somehow reliable now — which it appears they aren’t! — the whole sandisk name is now poison because these have been out there writing horror stories for so long.

I dunno, I never really trusted WD and Seagate for flash storage. I used to use SanDisk before the buyout. Now I specifically look for Samsung, despite my general dislike of the company. Gotta admit when it comes to commoditized hardware like this they are usually the best available. The closest thing to a premium company that's willing to get involved in products like this.

til about the flash memory industry: Intel's NAND team was sold to SK hynix, and that's where Apple buys the SSDs for its Macs, makes sense, looks like they might be trying a couple consumer facing products these days? Crucial has some external SSDs and they're the brand of Micron, which I respect. LaCie is a Seagate brand now, so not touching that.

I don’t know if it would help in this case, but I always do a burn-in test with f3. (I’ve returned several Corsair drives that returned different data than written to it on day one.)

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