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We simply misplaced 3TB of knowledge on a SanDisk Excessive SSD

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For those who’re considering of shopping for a SanDisk Excessive Professional, Excessive Moveable, Excessive Professional Moveable, or WD MyPassport SSD, perhaps simply don’t.

My colleague Vjeran simply misplaced 3TB of video we’d shot for The Verge as a result of the drive is not readable.

“The disk you connected was not readable by this laptop.”
Screenshot by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

This isn’t a drive he bought many months or years in the past — it’s the supposedly protected alternative that Western Digital just lately despatched after his authentic wiped his information all by itself. Remember when we warned you about that?

SanDisk issued a firmware fix for quite a lot of drives in late Might, shortly after our story. They despatched out Vjeran’s alternative in early June. He’d simply begun to belief it with work recordsdata once more. Foolish him? A Reddit search suggests we may not be the one ones who’ve already misplaced information once more.

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“Misplaced” just isn’t at all times “gone” in terms of information. However information restoration companies might be costly, and Western Digital by no means provided Vjeran any the primary time it left him out to dry. (Have they provided any to you?)

Truthfully, it appears like WD has been attempting to comb this below the rug whereas it tries to dump its remaining stock at a deep low cost — they’re nonetheless 66 % off at Amazon, for instance. So far as I’m conscious, WD has but to even acknowledge the opportunity of large information loss. Here, it merely says that the drives have a “firmware difficulty” the place they may “unexpectedly disconnect from a pc.” Doesn’t sound all that pressing?

Even this vid doesn’t seem until you’re midway by way of the primary web page of Google outcomes.

Sadly, the damaged state of the web means Western Digital doesn’t should work very laborious to maintain promoting these drives. Google assumes you’re on the lookout for product pages once you seek for issues like “4TB SanDisk SSD,” so information tales like ours and Ars Technica’s seem far down search outcomes. The one YouTube video that I noticed pop in Google is titled “Stunning Outcomes from my 4TB SanDisk Excessive Professional Drives!” as a result of YouTube rewards shock, not warnings.

Astroturfing at Amazon. Have been these written by ChatGPT? I can’t say.
Screenshot by Sean Hollister / The Verge

In the meantime, the drive has 4.7 out of 5 stars at Amazon, at the very least partially resulting from astroturfing: regardless of being listed as a “verified buy,” the top two Amazon reviews are clearly working off the identical playbook.

I’d additionally prefer to say shame on CNET, Cult of Mac and G/O Media’s The Inventory for writing deal posts about this drive that don’t warn their readers in any respect. I can’t cease rolling my eyes at this graf particularly:

“I haven’t examined the SanDisk 4TB Excessive Moveable SSD, however I’ve used many SanDisk merchandise over the a long time. The corporate constructed a status for high quality merchandise that, in my expertise, it deserves.”

However maybe they searched Google for the drive and solely discovered product pages. I’ll give them the good thing about the doubt.

We expect Western Digital and SanDisk owe the remainder of their prospects a proof. Right here’s an inventory of questions we simply despatched to Western Digital’s head of PR:

We are going to print the solutions — or lack of substantive solutions — in a future story.

WD didn’t instantly reply to our request for remark.

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