SanDisk Extreme Pro damaged: the problem cannot be solved via firmware

In recent months the number of reports relating to malfunctions of the SSD SanDisk Extreme Pro 4 TB has grown dramatically. In May 2023 it emerged that some SanDisk Extreme Pro drives were suddenly breaking data loss. The incidents reported by users over time have pushed those involved to organize a class action against Western Digitalowner of the SanDisk brand.

The company promised a firmware update to correct anomalies and avoid further problems. However, it must be said that even the 2 and 3 TB capacity models have highlighted very similar problems: for these drives, to date, Western Digital has not promised the release of updated firmware.

The problem of damaged SanDisk Extreme Pro cannot be solved via firmware

I drawa company specializing in data recovery, published its report claiming that the problem of malfunctioning SanDisk Extreme Pro drives cannot be solved with a firmware update because the anomalous behavior would arise from design and manufacturing defects.

According to the technicians of the Austrian company, the problem therefore lies at the level hardware and it would not be remediable with any software intervention. This would explain the lack of official updates and Western Digital’s silence on the nature of the issues.

Second Markus HäfeleCEO of Attingo, the problems on the SanDisk Extremo Pro in question could be traced back to various errors: the components used in these SSD they are too much large for the printed circuit by highlighting weak interconnections (for example high impedance and high temperatures), with a greater propensity to breakage. Also the welding material it tends to form bubbles and get damaged easily.

The experts at Attingo, a company that has been operating in the data recovery sector for over 25 years, receive failed SanDisk Extreme Pro SSDs at least once a week. And he explains that the revisions Newer of the same solid state drives use a solder in epoxy resin to protect oversized components. It’s a hint that Western Digital may be aware of the hardware issues. However, according to Attingo, even the most recent models continue to present malfunctions.

What the SSD manufacturer should do according to Attingo

The company that makes advanced services available to private and professional users data recovery, notes that in his view Western Digital should have retired SSDs. It is not possible to solve such a serious and extensive problem via software which has its roots in PCB design.

When large electronic components begin to “loose” on the PCB (printed circuit board), continues Attingo, there could still be partial contact. In these cases, SSD drive malfunctions may be intermittent. This should immediately sound like a alarm bell and get users to back up all data (safety copies should still be saved on multiple storage devices).

As for the reason that leads to bubble formation at the welds, Attingo explains that the causes can be different. In addition to a poorly made weld, factors such as humidity and environmental temperature can contribute.

Häfele notes that in most cases, the costs of data recovery are quantifiable in three-zero figures. Everyone must decide whether the costs justify the benefits. “If it were just photos from my last vacation, I would go on vacation again for the same money“, concludes the CEO of Attingo.


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