Spontaneous 'write protect' made my flash drive useless

A few months ago I purchased two 32GB SanDisk Cruzer: small, nice, perfectly fit for my needs.

Last week one of them went suddenly “write protected” during a write operation and there was no way to get it out of it. A few tests proved that it was an intrinsic condition of the device rather than some vagary of a specific computer. Long googling got me nowhere.

Today I learn from SanDisk itself (in the FAQs) that this is an irrecoverable condition due to an internal error, and that all I can do is return the defective device to have it replaced. Moreover, upon the huge number of complaints I found on the same subject, apparently I’m neither the first nor the only one who went through such an interesting experience.

Now I have no guilty secrets of mine stored in that pen drive, but it still contains plenty of work-related material I’m not supposed to divulge, not to mention a few passwords, some bank account info and other private things I’m not willing to share with the manufacturer - and it would take more than a persuasive peddler to convince me that the manufacturer was unaware of that while generously offering to replace defective devices without asking questions.

Given the situation I think I’ll back-up the contents of both pen drives (how could I trust the other one now?), take a hammer, smash them flat and turn them in for replacement.

If they get accepted and replaced, OK: no hard feelings, I’ll forgive SanDisk the inconvenience I suffered.

If they don’t… well, I doubt I’ll ever buy even a single nail from SanDisk anymore.

Yes, it is a permanent error. And yes, you are not the only one to experience it.  :neutral_face:

And yes, if you contact SanDisk customer support and explain your problem with the files on the device, they have been known to support smashing it with a hammer and returning it for a replacement.  The key is to contact they before smashing it.



Thanks Ed, I’ll give it a try :slight_smile:


Sorry to inform you that there’s a huge chance for this to be a hardware issue. I’d check on the warranty here as well.