The Verge, Petapixel and Ars Technica have each reported on Sandisk-branded SSDs that fail completely, wiping their own contents, and none of them have gotten more than perfunctory PR talk out of Western Digital. For months. The drives are still on store shelves. "WD refused to answer our questions about its self-wiping SanDisk SSDs," is the yikes-tastic headline of Sean Hollister's latest follow-up for The Verge. The strong implication is that the company is effectively being run by its lawyers, and they will never talk.
Western Digital was already forced into a class action settlement over a previous questionable practice: in 2020, the company brazenly tried to sneak SMR drives into its "WD Red" lineup marketed for network-attached storage devices. The company paid $5.7 million to settle those claims.
The company's tricks didn't end there: Western Digital's NAS disks have started triggering warnings even if there's nothing wrong with a drive, seemingly to scare people into buying new ones simply after three years have gone by.
The specific model in question is the orange-and gray one that looks like a flotation device for ants. A number of sites appear to have revised or taken down recommendations for the drives: it's been openly denounced by Petapixel and quietly replaced at some point as Wirecutter's runner-up pick for best external SSD. Looks like the only thing that's extreme about the Sandisk Extreme is that it's an extremely bad idea to buy one.