SanDisk Denies That Faulty Hardware is to Blame for SSD Failures

SanDisk Portable SSD

SanDisk has denied that hardware issues are to blame for the recent widespread issues in its portable SSD lines.

Yesterday, a report from Austrian-based data recovery company Attingo claimed that after fixing a large number of SanDisk portable SSD products, it had determined the issues that have caused widespread reliability issues were linked to two hardware issues: poor solder (which the company appears to have addressed in newer versions of the SSDs by adding epoxy as well) and improperly sized components.

“We have at least one person every week who brings an external SanDisk hard drive to us because it no longer works,” Attingo said in an interview with Futurezone. “There are a noticeable number of errors. It’s definitely a hardware problem. It is a design and construction weakness. The entire soldering process of the SSD is a problem. The soldering material used, i.e. the solder, creates bubbles and therefore breaks more easily.”

In a statement to PetaPixel today, SanDisk denies the claim that faulty or poorly installed hardware is to blame. Below is that statement in full:

We are reviewing recent statements that have been made about hardware components in our SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme Pro portable SSDs.

We want to assure our valued customers, that we take the quality of our products very seriously and we employ rigorous testing procedures for our portable SSD products:

  • We conduct an intensive DFM (design for manufacturing) process to ensure product quality
  • We follow industry-standard IPC guidelines for PCB assembly and design
  • We use solder paste from an industry-leading supplier
  • We conduct rigorous product-level qualifications prior to shipping including thermal, vibration, humidity, shock and more

The recent statements suggest that hardware components may have been responsible for the firmware issue that impacted certain SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB, 2TB, and 4TB, SanDisk Extreme 4TB, and WD My Passport SSD 4TB portable SSDs earlier this year. While we are working to gather more information, at this time we do not believe hardware issues played a role in the product concerns that we successfully addressed with the firmware update.

Through this statement, SanDisk indicates that while it doesn’t believe hardware issues are to blame, it also acknowledges its intent to investigate the issues further.

Also of note, SanDisk’s message doubles down on the stance that it successfully addressed all SSD problems earlier this year through a firmware update, which doesn’t seem to jive with the experience of this publication, other publications, or customers.

SanDisk’s parent company Western Digital is currently facing multiple lawsuits linked to the failure of its portable SSDs and its response to complaints.

Image credits: SanDisk