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LX
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-12-2019

What can I do with 6 failed flash drives?

So, I've had 6 flash drives fail on me in the past 1 year. All are purchased from Best Buy.

 

- 1 failed after 2 months (both PNY)

- 3 failed after 4-5 months (1 PNY, 2 SanDisk)

- 2 failed after 8 months (both SanDisk)

 

I've thrown them all in a bin I call "the useless bin" because I had no warranty or support plan from BestBuy, and the manufacturers would not help me. None of the flash drives held information I did not have stored elsewhere (on other hard drives), so no data was lost.

 

Each case was different. Not all of them were connected to the same compouter, not all of them were storing the same information. The only thing all of these flash drives had in common was that I've uploaded 80GBs of data to each of them minimum, and I've obtained them from the same shelf area in the store in Stroudsburg.

 

I have done the same thing for flash drives purchased at another big box store (no names mentioned), and none of them have failed. Some are still holding strong after the 2nd year, with over 100GBs of data held on them.

 

Am I buying from a defective lot? Is it possible some giant super magnet rubbed off against the shelf I keep buying from? Why do they work shortly, and fail soon after?

 

The real question I have is, what can I do about it?

 

Thanks all. This is my first post here, been shopping at Best Buy for years. The only real problem I have is with the flash drives.

Regular Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎01-26-2018

Re: What can I do with 6 failed flash drives?

Were the files copied over once and then only read, like music or video, or were they something like actively updated database files that were being rewritten all day every day? Flash cells aren't like spinning rust disks, they can only take so many erase/write cycles before wearing out, and while modern wear levelling can delay the inevitable, when the drive does fail, it fails hard.

And yes, avoid PNY unless you need a cheap entropy source. The SanDisk drive failures are more concerning. Have you tried a SMART utility to see if the SanDisk drive controllers have a tale to tell?
LX
New Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎06-12-2019

Re: What can I do with 6 failed flash drives?

I would say there were about 100k-300k files or more written to each flash drive. Each flash drive was written to only once, except for the last 2 SanDisk drives, which were written fairly consistently. Oddly, the ones that received the most writing, lasted the longest. Also I forgot to mention, each flash drive entered read only mode before it died less than a few days later.

I guess I'll stick with external hard drives for now. It's just unusual that this happened on 6 separate instances.
Regular Member
Posts: 38
Registered: ‎01-26-2018

Re: What can I do with 6 failed flash drives?

Bad batch of flash memory chips that made it into the supply chain for both PNY and Sandisk, and perhaps other manufacturers? If the bad chips gradually lose their data, being periodically rewritten like your Sandisks could hide the problem for quite some time.

Most flash drives don't seem to use ECC. Some Patriot drives would at least report an error if a file became corrupt because a flash cell went bad, but many (PNY PNY PNY and oh yeah PNY) just retrieve garbage. Are you an obsessive checksum person like me?
Emerging Expert
Posts: 6,351
Registered: ‎02-25-2013

Re: What can I do with 6 failed flash drives?

Thats some really bad string of luck. I have a number of usb drives and the only had two drives that has ever failed on me.

 

The very first one I bought 17 years ago (at Best Buy) thought  think in my case it is from going in and out of the slot many times and either wore out the contacts or just spread to far apart and could not make contact.  

 

Truthfully though  Best Buy does not manufacture the jump drives and has no control over their quality.  They are not going to open each and every one and test them.  Same as any store.  And the brands your talking about are respected brands. I personally tend to stick with San Disk or PNY

Please leave Kudo’s if you like a post or click Accept as Solution if a post answers your query. I am not an employee of Best Buy and all opinions left on this forum are my own.
Highlighted
Recognized Member
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎04-19-2017

Re: What can I do with 6 failed flash drives?

I use both PNY and Sandisk. I can't remember ever having any failures.

 

Would disconnecting a drive without taking it out of service cause this sort of problem? I have Windows devices and always disconnect drives before physically unseating them.

 

To add another dimension to the mix, would it be doable to purchase drives from another dealer and see if the results are any better?