SanDisk confirms major issues with Extreme SSDs

Martin Brinkmann
May 23, 2023

Reports about SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Pro drives becoming unreadable out of the blue have started about 4 months ago. SanDisk has now responded to an inquiry by Ars Technica, stating that it is aware of the issue and plans to release a firmware fix for some affected models "soon".

Most user reports focus on the 4 terabyte Extreme and Extreme Pro drives, but some users mentioned that their 2 terabyte drives were affected by the issue as well.

The Solid State Drives lose their filesystem after a sustained write according to one report. The drive unmounts at this stage and can't be mounted again, even though it still shows up as an available drive. Recovery of the filesystem appears to be possible sometimes, but not all the time. The user claimed that the issue persists with any filesystem type also.

One of Ars Technica's employees experienced the issue with two SanDisk Extreme Pro 2 terabyte drives. Both drives would suddenly throw read and write errors, and would show up as unformatted after disconnecting and reconnecting them. The drive was "completely wiped, including the file system", and wiping and reformatting could not get the drives back to life, according to the report.

SanDisk responded to an inquiry by Ars Technica. The company, confirmed that the issue on 4 terabyte SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Pro portable SSDs only.

Here is what SanDisk wrote in response to Ars Technica's inquiry: "Western Digital is aware of reports indicating some customers have experienced an issue with 4TB SanDisk Extreme?and/or?Extreme Pro portable SSDs (SDSSDE61-4T00 and?SDSSDE81-4T00?respectively). We have resolved the issue and will publish a firmware update to our website soon. Customers with questions or who are experiencing issues should contact our Customer Support team for assistance."

SanDisk did not answer any of the other questions that Ars Technica had, including whether the firmware updates would also be released for the 2TB models, the cause of the issue, or about refunds.

The SanDisk drives have a 5-year limited warranty, which customers may access here in full.

Closing Words

SanDisk customers affected by the issue may have lost access to data because of the issue. Refunds or the prospect of a firmware update that addresses the issue from that point forward are not helping customers who lost data on the drives or spend time trying to fix the issue.

A backup strategy may have prevented total data loss scenarios, unless all backup drives were SanDisk Extreme drives and all failed. It may be a good option to use multiple backup drives from different manufacturers to decrease the chance of this happening again in the future.

Now You: do you use portable drives for backups?

Article Name
SanDisk confirms major issues with Extreme SSDs
Reports about SanDisk Extreme and Extreme Pro drives becoming unreadable out of the blue have started about 4 months ago.
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