SanDisk Doubles Down on Portable SSD Failure Denials
If you’re using SanDisk SSD to store your photo and video work, you might want to take note, the company’s recent history has been replete with tech problems.
In recent months, SanDisk has been called out for numerous instances of select SSD lines in its product catalog persistently, catastrophically and suddenly failing even if new and apparently undamaged.
This is something that we’ve reported on more than once and something that a number of tech reporters at the Verge, Petapixel and others have personally experienced for their data stored on certain SanDisk SSDs.
The company responded only ambiguously to these complaints after they first emerged.
More than anything, its response was one of quietly selling those same SSD models at deep discount prices to encourage purchases, but without apparently fixing their internal failure problems.
The company also released a firmware update that didn’t seem to fix anything if subsequent user experience is anything to go by.
You can read more about these previous instances here, or here too.
Now, despite months of complaints, SanDisk has not only not moved the needle forward on addressing these problems, it has doubled down on claiming they don’t exist in the first place.
On November 13th, a report was released by Austrian data recovery company Attingo stating that their efforts to repair many defective SanDisk portable SSDs revealed that their problems were caused by two hardware failures.
These issues were first, poor internal soldering and second, incorrectly sized parts.
According to Attingo’s report, “We have at least one person every week who brings an external SanDisk hard drive to us because it no longer works,”
The company added in an interview with the site Futurezone,
“There are a noticeable number of errors. It’s definitely a hardware problem. It is a design and construction weakness. The entire soldering process of the SSD is a problem. The soldering material used, i.e. the solder, creates bubbles and therefore breaks more easily.”
SanDisk however disagrees with this professional third-party conclusion. In a statement to the website Petapixel, it claims:
We are reviewing recent statements that have been made about hardware components in our SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme Pro portable SSDs.
We want to assure our valued customers, that we take the quality of our products very seriously and we employ rigorous testing procedures for our portable SSD products:
We conduct an intensive DFM (design for manufacturing) process to ensure product quality
We follow industry-standard IPC guidelines for PCB assembly and design
We use solder paste from an industry-leading supplier
We conduct rigorous product-level qualifications prior to shipping including thermal, vibration, humidity, shock and more
The recent statements suggest that hardware components may have been responsible for the firmware issue that impacted certain SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, SanDisk Extreme 4TB, and WD My Passport SSD 4TB portable SSDs earlier this year. While we are working to gather more information, at this time we do not believe hardware issues played a role in the product concerns that we successfully addressed with the firmware update.”
Yet SanDisk’s SSDs keep failing and have been doing so catastrophically for months. So what’s the deal?
The final reference in the statement to the previously released firmware update for the SSD problem is a firmware update that SanDisk insists is a concrete fix.
The company does at least say it will investigate these major data storage problems further, but meanwhile, its reputation is being dragged through the mud all over the internet.
To make matters worse for SanDisk, its owner, Western Digital, is now even being sued by multiple parties over the SSD failures that everyone else except WD/SanDisk seems to have noticed.
As we mentioned in our previous reporting, the main problem with these SSD failures seems to have involved SanDisk’s Extreme Pro Portable SSDs in different storage sizes.
However, considering the extreme importance of reliable storage hardware for all the hard-won media we put into it, I wouldn’t recommend using a SanDisk SSD of any kind until the above issues are firmly resolved by SanDisk or its parent company.