Many external USB SSD drives from Sandisk and Western Digital cannot be used reliably due to defects. The manufacturer ignores the issues: WD simply doesn’t answer press inquiries, and countless buyers are duped with useless forum support answers, if any. Until this is cleared up, no one should buy external SSDs from WD and its subsidiary Sandisk anymore.
USB SSD drives have a bug that corrupts file systems. Computers, smartphones and other devices will no longer recognize SSD drives – and all data will likely be lost. The Sandisk Extreme Portable V2 series, Sandisk Extreme Pro Portable V2 series, and Western Digital My Passport series, among others, are affected.
Mark Mantle has been an editor at heise online since 2019. He is mainly interested in online reporting about computers.
Reports of power outages have been increasing since the beginning of 2023. In May, WD released firmware updates, but downplayed their importance and did not even solve the problem. According to the manufacturer, SSD drives are simply disconnected from computers. The company ignores the fact that the separation is permanent because the data holders are no longer identified.
It’s been almost a year and users are still complaining about SSD failure. Heise Online continues to receive reader inquiries from those affected; The Sandisk forum is full of related posts. No matter who asked WD — Arstechnica, The Verge, or us — the manufacturer said nothing
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If the manufacturer does not wish to comment on the issues, it would be appropriate to at least remove the affected SSDs from sale. WD does just the opposite: the Sandisk Extreme Pro Portable V2 series has been advertised at discounts in its own store for several months. Sandisk SSDs are also included in typical sales campaigns such as Amazon’s Prime Day.
One might actually think that a storage media manufacturer cannot damage its reputation further with faulty hardware and thus insecure data backup. But Western Digital has impressively demonstrated how to completely destroy a good reputation.
However, WD and SanDisk external SSDs can no longer be recommended. The company will need some time to establish its reputation.
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