The Tech Fail Thread

Here’s a nice one to start. The Verge is reporting that a 3TB Sandisk (owned by Western Digital) external SSD became unreadable out of the blue, with fully up to date firmwire. Scary stuff!


I’ve had a couple of higher-end SanDisk SSDs fail spontaneously on me, too. I’m convinced that it’s due to overheating of internal components during writes of large data files. At this point. I no longer buy pre-assembled external SSDs. Instead, I buy the SSD card and a separate metal enclosure so that I can ensure that the SSD is adequately heatsinked. So far, so good using that strategy…

Incidentally, actively-cooled enclosure can sometimes be found, and I think that they add an extra safety factor…


Better safe than sorry! I have two pre-assembled Samsung external SSDs, so far so good. My worst fear is data loss that isn’t picked up on by the OS, and that you discover when it’s time to actually use that backup. :scream:

Two words:

Microsoft Continuum
Synaptics Pens
Wacom Drivers
Google Glass(holes)
Facebook’s Metaverse

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Those are definitely also tech fails. I guess I was thinking more of things actually breaking down, but fair enough! :slight_smile:

Meanwhile Ars Technica piles on:


Heat related or at least adjacent failures are the most common thing we see with SSDs in our customer base at present.

Not clear at this point, but there is at least anecdotal evidence that at least newer (faster) SSDs might be more prone to it as a byproduct of the improved write speeds. In other words, manufacturers might be trading raw performance for long term reliability.

OTOH as with devices like Sandisk they may also not be adequately providing for heat dissipation in the quest to make the drives smaller.


IMHO, that’s exactly what’s going on. (Lowered cost plays a role in this, too.)

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Good to know. I have a 2TB version of that drive.

So this one is a head scratcher IMHO.

We have had internally and in our customer base, a handful of Surface Pro 8’s where one of the TB/USB ports partially fails.

The failure has been that the port still works for video output or to charge the device, but true USB devices like external drives didn’t work.

It seems to be randomly distributed among the upper and lower port.

All of these failures have occurred outside of warranty and we and our customers were told several times that the only repair option was a pricey replacement of the main board.

This is despite the fact that the only diagnosis tools just showed that there was only one USB root hub and Intel USB 3.10 Extensible controller, when a normally functioning Pro 8 shows two.

Since it was/is a pricey repair, most of our customers and we as well decided to not repair the systems affected unless the user absolutely had to have both fully functioning USB/TB ports.

Until recently…

Unclear when it might have changed, but this morning I was working on one of our affected systems and plugged a drive in to the supposedly “broken” port, and the viola, the drive mounted without issue.

But wait…

The reason I was using the system was because the users of the system were reporting that Windows Hello had stopped working and the system would seemingly get stuck at login. Not a huge failure as you can actually get past that if you either hit a key on the keyboard or just wait the system out, and the system then offers you to enter the PIN.

So… This tells me what we have suspected all along which is that there was some type of software conflict. And that theory is additionally supported now given that the built in web cam is USB based too.

I contacted one of my customers that both has affected systems and is an early in the office guy like me, and he went and checked a couple of systems, with now the same results, eg. the “broken” USB port is now working, but Windows Hello is failing… :roll_eyes:

So the customer mentioned actually had paid MS for mobo replacements for a couple of his systems and is now seeking a refund since it pretty plainly is a software issue…

PS: Device manager does not show any issues with the seemingly non functional Web Cam…

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