02-11-2012 08:55 AM - edited 02-11-2012 09:50 AM
Today I received a SanDisk 32GB USB-Stick from a business partner. The stick baiscally should contain about 24 GB of Database backup data. Unfortunately (for me!) the data was not saved in a readable form for my DB-Restore but in a SanDisk vault, encrypted.
So what's to do? Right. Start RunSanDiskSecureAccess_Win.exe, a program located on the stick, and enter the password to access the data. That's however, how I imagine (I'm software engineer for 30 years) it should work.
But that's where the trouble starts:
1. Starting RunSanDiskSecureAccess_Win.exe shows an initial startup screen which looks like this ( http://img41.imageshack.us/img41/1366/snagprogram0
(Question on the side to the SanDisk People: Why does it take 14 Minutes? An why is no information provided telling the user that it might take "some" time to start up the application? From my professional point of view I know that some kind of counter/screen/progress bar is necessary to inform users whenever an operation needs more than 20 seconds to complete. Otherwise the user might think the program has crashed!)
2. Once I have entered the password, I finally received a picture like this http://img841.imageshack.us/img841/4548/snagprogra
3. Now I marked all files on the drive and draged-and-dropped them to my harddrive. No idea whether it will be working or not. But after the experience so far, I guess I should give the application some hours to complete a 24 GB file transfer :-(
Conclusion: I recommend to put data on a clean stick just as simple files and definitely avoid using the vault-secure access software as this is too time consuming and confusing. I think that most users (at least me!) want to access data on a memory stick within reasonable time (and that's seconds to minutes and not minutes to hours).
My recommendation to SanDisk Company therefore is: Please inform your users within the secureAccess Software, what's currently going on, what your software is doing what progress in processing is made every minute and how long the process might last to complete.
In short: The process you nicely describe in your video at http://www.sandisk.ca/products/usb-flash-drives is a process which needs at least 30-60 Minutes in real-live! Inform your customers about it!!!
03-06-2012 09:01 PM
Thanks so much for this warning. I only wanted to be able to lock access to my files, not encrypt them. So I quickly uninstalle the software and will just go along as usual. It would have been awful to have had to deal with this, not having your expertise. So again, thanks for saving me from this trap.
05-06-2012 07:30 PM
I wonder what does ScanDisk Secure Access do with 29MB (29MB !) of code !
I have other USB memory sticks with comparable data protection software that is only 1.4MB
The obvious result is that "Secure Access" takes ages to load and, it very clumsy to use and seems to be designed mainly to advertize other services offered by Sandisk.
Until Sandisk comes up with a simpler alternative, better reformat the USB drive and forget about "Secure Access"
06-07-2012 09:10 PM - edited 06-07-2012 09:13 PM
Glad to see I'm not the only one that thinks this software is a joke.
I recently had the opportunity to use Verbatim's software. Now that software was worth the price of admission alone! It worked smooth and flawlessly. None of this messing around with insecure, overly complex passwords, HORRIBLY designed software, and, to add insult to injury, an inability to change the password.
PS I find it amusing that the SanDisk site is willing to accept alpha-only passwords but their terrible piece of software forces you to use insecure--yes, insecure--alpha-numeric passwords. Yes, I say mixed alpha-numeric passwords are less secure because the complexity of the alpha-numeric passwords force users to either write them down (defeating the whole point of a password) or to make these mixed passwords easier to remember which means that you end up using simpler, more predictable passwords (I've NEVER had anyone crack my alpha-only passwords but I did once have an alpha numeric one cracked).
Reminder to self: NEVER buy a SanDisk memory stick again.
06-08-2012 01:26 PM
This is simply not the case. Alpha numeric password are much more secure than letter only passwords. This is a simple fact due to the number of combinations that can be used. If your preference is to use less secure passwords then that is on you. Letter only passwords are easily hacked by using brute force attacks. Just because you do not like the extra security requirements does not in any way make it less secure.
08-10-2012 06:37 PM
I just picked up a SanDisk 16G drive and wanted to do some research on the SecureAccess program that came with it, to see if it was really worth using. Thus, I found your article/post.
One thing to remember, as a general rule of thumb with any kind of hardware you buy, is that the free software that comes with it will 99% of the time, be very low-quality. Unless the hardware can *only* be used in conjunction with the provided software, there will always be a better program out there somewhere that does the same thing, that works better. In essense, the software was only created to help sell the hardware.
I noticed you didn't raise any concerns about the actual encryption quality (how easily can it be crack/hacked? which is what I came here for), so I'll skip that. The lack of a progress bar: you're right, it wouldn't have taken much extra time for the programmers to include that, and would have been extremely helpful! On my first run of the program, that screen popped up instantly, because the drive was empty - this was something you didn't have the chance to experience because you received it with XX gigs of files on it. Again, I attribute the lack of a progress bar to the issue I described above.
The reason it took 14 minutes to load (an unusual amount of time) is because the program was processing (in some way or another), all XX gigs of data before the program would load. Probably not just "reading" the data, because it would not have taken 14 minutes even if the drive was full, unless you had an old computer with a USB 1.0 port. If this 14-minute pause happened after typing the password, the program was probably decrypting the "headers" of each file...a task that still should not have taken very long.
Of course, this program is not one-of-a-kind, and if you need a program that does what this does, you can always search Google for "USB flash drive encryption" or similar. I'm sure there are many companies/private developers whose main interest was in creating a decent flash drive encryption program, and not in selling flash drives, and therefore, have put a lot more time/work/effort/energy into developing a decent encryption utility.
08-10-2012 06:46 PM
@hideme - did you buy the flash drive solely for the software? I'm an adamant believer that you shouldn't judge the hardware for the free software that comes with it, especially when the software is optional. In most cases, flash drives do not come with any software anyway, so it's like saying the flash drive would have been a better piece of hardware had it not come with any software at all. Remember, the software can be deleted anyway, and replaced with third-party software.
I do agree that the program that comes with it is sub-par to anything else available on the web. It was only created and added to help them to sell the drive. Makes for better package advertising. Though the program itself is not something I would ever use, based mostly on the original poster's review, I would still continue to buy SanDisk products based on the quality of the hardware.
This is not the first piece of quality hardware I've bought with low-quality bundled software, and I'm sure it won't be the last.
11-20-2012 10:47 AM
I just purchased 2 x 8GB SanDisk USB drives mainly because of the "encryption" software that is included with it, I must say that I am truly disappointed with it and will definitely be removing it from the drive.
I will continue to purchase SanDisk products, but the company may want to review who they partner with as issues like this will tarnish their reputation.
02-21-2013 05:00 PM
Bought two SanDisk 8G Cruzer Blade thumb drives because of the encryption. Setup both with the same password. Opened and closed the two a number of times putting data on; reading it off; putting it back on and now neither will allow me to login. Seems to have forgotten.
Also, if one wants to have something secured, why do you have to move it from a secure place to your PC/laptop; edit it; move it back; then delete it from the PC/laptop (realizing that it isn't REALLY deleted?)
03-20-2013 04:49 PM
I bought a few of the USB Cruzers in the past and now much to my frustration, I find that they totally revamped their flash drives! You no longer can just plug it in and open the files, no way, that would be too conveinient. Now you have to download some stupid software and if you're not careful, you'll download crap like MacAfee AntiVirus plus and other crap that has nothing to do with using the flash drive which is now "Powered by YuuWaa" ....whatever.
Flash drives are known for their ease of use and this piece of crap is anything but easy. There's like 4 folders in the drive so here I am clicking and opening up these folders to find which one you can put your files in. You have to create a friggin password and if you forget it, you're screwed. Finally I figure out it's 'My Vault" and when I go to look at photos that I've put in there, I no longer can just toggle through the photos using arrow keys like before...Now each time I click on a photo in My vaults, a stupid message comes up telling me it will be a 'read only file' ....this never happened on their old flash drives. Their so called chat support through chat was a joke because after I told them all this, they just figured I was a jerk and was ignored in chat.
I will NEVER purchase anything by SanDisk ever again. Back it goes to Best Buy tomorrow!!!!!