Western Digital sued over claims of data-trashing SanDisk, My Passport SSDs

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Western Digital was sued connected Tuesday connected behalf of a California resident who claims nan coagulated authorities thrust he bought from nan shaper was defective and that nan retention slinger shipped kit that didn't unrecorded up to its trading promises.

The complaint [PDF], revenge successful national tribunal successful San Jose, California, wherever nan retention elephantine is based, alleges nan Western Digital SanDisk 2TB Extreme Pro SSD purchased by plaintiff Nathan Krum successful May for $180 grounded because of an undisclosed flaw, which besides affects SanDisk Extreme Pro, Extreme Portable, Extreme Pro Portable, and WD My Passport SSD models since January 2023, it's claimed.

As such, nan lawsuit aspires to beryllium certified arsenic a people action that would correspond an unspecified number of customers said to person knowledgeable akin instrumentality failures aliases information loss. The people perchance consists of "tens if not hundreds of thousands of individuals" successful nan United States.

The title asserts Western Digital customers "have widely reported thrust failures and information loss." Krum, successful his filing, believes Western Digital is alert of nan problem and not doing capable astir it.

"The SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD difficult drives, which are besides sold nether nan WD My Passport brand, person a firmware rumor that causes them to disconnect aliases go unreadable by computers," he claimed, adding that his thrust was among those that stopped moving arsenic expected.

It is alleged nan drives tin break down successful various ways, including randomly disconnecting from their host, which could consequence successful accusation not being saved correctly aliases file-system corruption. In immoderate case, group find they tin nary longer entree their stored documents, making nan SSDs worthless and useless, it is claimed.

The suit summarized nan alleged business thus:

Without informing these difficult drives person wiped retired information stored connected them, making nan files stored connected them incapable to beryllium accessed

"For reasons that defendants person yet to afloat explicate aliases disclose, without informing these difficult drives person wiped retired information stored connected them, making nan files stored connected them incapable to beryllium accessed and users incapable aliases unwilling to usage these drives retired of nan reasonable interest specified information will beryllium mislaid everlastingly aliases costs hundreds if not thousands of dollars to recover."

In May, Western Digital issued an update to reside "a firmware rumor that tin origin SanDisk Extreme Portable SSD V2, SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable SSD V2, and WD My Passport SSD products to unexpectedly disconnect from a computer."

That spot was intended for nan pursuing products: SanDisk Extreme Portable 4TB (SDSSDE61-4T00), SanDisk Extreme Pro Portable 4TB (SDSSDE81-4T00), SanDisk Extreme Pro 2TB (SDSSDE81-2T00), SanDisk Extreme Pro 1TB (SDSSDE81-1T00), and WD My Passport 4TB (WDBAGF0040BGY).

According to Krum, nan problem is overmuch much than a disconnection annoyance: "It is not simply a relationship rumor – information is being mislaid without warning, and people members are reporting an inability to entree and retrieve information they person stored connected their devices."

To us, if drives are disconnecting unexpectedly, that could origin corruption that would beryllium knowledgeable by users arsenic a information aliases record loss.

Meanwhile, firmware type R332G190 was emitted past month, and adversely affected thrust reliability, nan suit claimed. "According to SanDisk, 1 rumor is caused by a bug successful nan firmware type R332G190 that was released successful July 2023. This bug affects immoderate SanDisk Extreme and SanDisk Extreme PRO SSDs pinch capacities of 500GB, 1TB, and 2TB," nan title alleged.

"The bug tin origin nan thrust to participate a read-only mode, which intends that nan personification cannot constitute immoderate caller information to nan thrust aliases delete immoderate existing data. The bug tin besides origin nan thrust to go undetected by nan machine aliases show an incorrect capacity."

For what it's worth, we couldn't find an R332G190 update connected nan web, though it whitethorn beryllium accessible from this portal, which requires a valid serial number for a buggy device. We're looking into this.

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Citing reports from individuals who person installed WD's firmware updates, nan title states an underlying defect remains and continues to haunt definite Western Digital SanDisk and My Passport SSDs. The suit alleges that moreover replacement equipment, sent to customers who complained of problems pinch their difficult drives, still suffers from nan aforesaid "latent defect."

"These SanDisk Extreme Pro SSD portable solid-state difficult drives are marketed without either affirmatively disclosing these worldly limitations aliases having engaged successful a corrective promotional run to correct their erstwhile misstatements," nan suit alleged. "Such behaviour is ongoing."

Chris Cantrell, an lawyer astatine Doyle Lowther LLP who is representing nan plaintiffs, told The Register it's not yet clear really galore SanDisk SSDs knowledgeable information nonaccomplishment though location are much than a fewer group who stock his client's experience.

We person been inundated pinch messages from individuals each crossed nan US

"We won’t beryllium capable to ascertain that number pinch immoderate certainty until we get into find arsenic only Western Digital will person broad accusation connected nan title complaint and/or nonaccomplishment rates," he said.

"We do cognize that nan number will beryllium substantial. These SSDs were rather popular. We person been inundated pinch messages from individuals each crossed nan US that person mislaid information aliases are nary longer capable to entree nan portable difficult drive. Some of nan mislaid information can’t beryllium recovered aliases recreated aliases tin only beryllium recreated astatine awesome expense."

"While Western Digital appears to person attempted to hole nan rumor pinch a firmware update, it does not look to person fixed nan issue," Cantrell added. "This is what prompted america to record this suit connected behalf of affected SanDisk SSD purchasers. We expect adding further named plaintiffs from different states complete nan adjacent fewer weeks."

The title alleges breach of contract, usurpation of user protection law, and misleading advertising, among different claims, and seeks damages, ineligible costs, and different relief.

Western Digital did not instantly respond to a petition for comment. ®