Western Digital lastly has a firmware replace — in the meantime, it’s been promoting them at a reduction.
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Western Digital has now tacitly admitted that its SanDisk Excessive Professional transportable solid-state drives had been critically damaged in spite of everything — by issuing a firmware replace that’ll hopefully hold the 4TB mannequin from wiping your knowledge all by itself. (Critically.)
However as Ars Technica reports, there’s no point out of any repair for the 2TB mannequin, and I feel it’s time to sound the alarm — as a result of this firm has been downplaying the difficulty for months, all whereas it continues to promote these drives at a steep low cost.
Over two months in the past, my buddy and Verge supervising producer Vjeran Pavic informed me he’d misplaced a whole 4TB SanDisk Excessive Professional value of video clips. Utterly gone with no hint. (Fortunately, he’d already backed up all that footage to the cloud.)
SSD failure does occur, however one thing weirder was happening right here — when he tried including a few of the information again, they began disappearing one after the other.
And when he contacted a SanDisk buyer assist agent, he was informed that they couldn’t exchange his drive as a result of the 4TB mannequin was being recalled. They labored out a deal to swap it for a pair of 2TB models as a substitute — however he hasn’t really obtained them as a result of the corporate’s RMA system was down amidst a data breach.
Sadly, as Ars reviews, the 2TB mannequin could also be prone to the difficulty as properly. Ars Technica editor Lee Hutchinson has had two of the 2TB Excessive Professionals die on him, with their whole filesystem wiped, and there are comparable complaints on-line.
I really feel responsible for not writing about this subject earlier, however there have been causes we held off. First, there was proof the 4TB mannequin was nonetheless on sale and not really being recalled. Second, once we contacted WD concerning the subject in March, the corporate informed us it was “actively investigating” a “small variety of reviews,” downplaying the issue.
However Vjeran rightly tweeted a warning when he observed the corporate had began placing the drives on deep low cost:
And as we speak, with WD’s tacit admission, there’s actually no method that I’d purchase this drive with out impartial third-party testing that the difficulty is gone.
I perceive WD’s presently in a defensive mode, what with the massive data breach that knocked out services and allegedly saw hackers holding 10TB of data hostage — however drives that quietly wipe their very own knowledge are a reputational stain all on their very own.