It gives us no great joy to report these things here, but after numerous reports from the likes of The Verge and Ars Technica releasing first-hand experiences of SSDs failing and wiping people’s data, it’s important news to share with the greater film and video world.

Despite a firmware update released in late May, a certain batch of SanDisk Extreme SSDs are still losing data and potential users (notably on-the-run videographers looking to store their footage while in the field) should at the very least be aware of these issues.

Let’s take a look at which SSDs are reported to have issues and what this new lawsuit alleges against the company, plus what we hope will be the resolution to all of this that will allow video pros the peace of mind to use these products safely in the future.

SanDisk Extreme SSDs Erasing Issues

In reports dating back to May, Ars Technica shared news from various SanDisk customers who had experienced issues with certain Extreme and Extreme Pro SSDs suddenly wiping data and becoming unreadable in some cases with complaints going back several months before.

Reddit threads from this time can confirm that these issues have extended to certain SSDs including the 2TB Pro drive along with the non-Pro 4TB drive, despite SanDisk’s original response which was aimed at updating just the 4TB models.

One of the staff members of Ars Technica even reports suffering not one, but two 2TB Extreme pros dying on them with issues stemming from the drives meeting a slew of read and write errors when only halfway full. In a later report from The Verge, one of their colleagues reported losing 3TB of video that they’d shot for their channel because the drive was no longer readable.

\u200bSanDisk Extreme SSD pluged into a computer

SanDisk Extreme SSD

Credit: Western Digital

A Firmware Update Quick Fix

Initially, according to the above reports from Ars Technica and The Verge, Western Digital confirmed that they were aware of some customers having issues with certain batches of SSDs. However they also responded that the issue was resolved with a firmware update (but only for the aforementioned 4TB version).

Complaints across SanDisk's forums and Reddit have continued to come in though with reports of drives still being broken, with users listing issues with the following SanDisk drives:

  • SanDisk Extreme Portable 4TB (SDSSDE61-4T00)
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable 4TB (SDSSDE81-4T00)
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable 2TB (SDSSDE81-2T00)
  • SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable 1TB (SDSSDE81-1T00)
  • Western Digital My Passport 4TB (WDBAGF0040BGY)
Hopefully a new firmware update is in the cards for the above SSDs, but for many the issues have been ignored for too long and affected customers are ready for action.
\u200bA SanDisk Extreme SSD being used by a videographer in the field

A SanDisk Extreme SSD being used by a videographer in the field

Credit: Western Digital

The Lawsuit Against Western Digital

Now, just this week, a lawsuit has been filed against Western Digital in a federal court in San Jose, California which is seeking class-action certification on behalf of the customers who bought a 500GB, 1TB, 2TB or 4TB SanDisk Extreme Pro, SanDisk Extreme or Western Digital My Passport SSD this year (dating back to January 2023).

Filed by a person named Nathan Krum who bought a 2TB Extreme Pro himself on Amazon earlier this year and experienced issues with losing data, yet was not able to obtain a full refund, the lawsuit aims to recoup the money Krum (and others) had to spend on retrieving the lost data as well as obtain a replacement drive for his needs.

For any interested videographers who might have purchased a SanDisk Extreme SSD in the past year and had any similar issues, this lawsuit is worth keeping tabs on to see what develops in the coming weeks and months.

Hopefully there will be more firmware updates here in the future for the affected SSDs listed above, or possibly some recall notices which could ease concerns for any customers who might have purchased these SSDs and had issues of their own.