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on January 19, 2013
When I got this drive, I tried to copy a large file to it, but it wouldn't copy. I kept getting an uninformative error message. I eventually learned (from my own research, since nothing about this was stated in the box) that this was because this drive comes formatted in the Fat32 file system, which allows a maximum file size of 4gb. If you want to store larger files on this drive, you must change the format to the NTFS file system.

To do this, you right click on the drive letter in Windows Explorer and choose "Format" from the menu. A dialogue box will open, and you must choose various options. Select the NTFS file system. If you choose "quick format," the formatting takes only a few seconds. I think if you want to check the drive for errors during the process, you should not check quick format, but the formatting takes much longer. From what I have read, it is usually recommended to use quick format unless you have reason to believe the drive is damaged.

Any files that are on your usb drive will be deleted during the formatting process, so copy them to another drive before you format.

A number of reviewers say they have not been able to format the drive to NTFS. Initially, I was unable to do it also. When I tried to format to NTFS, I right clicked on the drive and then clicked "Format," but the dialogue box did not allow me to choose any options and I could not change the file system to NTFS. So, I went to the Sandisk website for support. On their website, they say that in order to format the drive, you must first do the following:

Optimize the flash drive for performance.
1. Plug in the device to the PC.
2. Double-click My Computer.
3. Right-click on the flash drive, then select Properties.
4. Click the Hardware tab.
5. Select the SanDisk Cruzer USB Device disk drive, then click Properties.
6. Click the Policies tab.
7. Select Optimize for performance, then click OK.

The link to the Sandisk page is: [...]

After I did this, I was still initially unable to change the format. However, after I closed all my open Windows Explorer windows, and then reopened one (so I could right click on the drive), it allowed me to format the usb drive to NTFS.

Please note the following information from their website. First, a Mac computer can read files from a usb drive that uses the NTFS file system, but not write to it. (However, I understand that software is available that enables a Mac to write to a drive that is formatted NTFS, so this should not be a problem.) Second, after you do the 7 steps above, you will have to use Windows' "Safely Remove Hardware" feature before you remove the usb drive. If you don't, you may lose some data. It's possible that after you change to NTFS, you can undo the 7 steps, and not have to use the "Safely Remove Hardware" feature before you remove the usb drive. I don't know for sure.

Nothing about this Fat32 vs. NTFS formatting issue, nor the file size restriction of Fat32, nor the 7 steps that apparently must be taken in order to format the drive is stated in the box. I think they should include this information. For failure to do so, I deducted one star from this review. From a hardware standpoint, this seems like a good usb drive.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on June 21, 2013
I highly recommend this Sandisk Extreme 64GB flash drive because :

(1)Its maximum read speed, 200 MB/sec is the fastest of all USB 3.0 or USB 2 flash drives tested including more expensive Lexar Triton, Verbatim V3 etc. Its 185 Mb/s is top 5 in writes behind Triton etc. This saves you a lot of time when copying or reading files. This makes a huge difference if you are waiting at your computer for the copying to finish.

(2)It uses USB 3.0 and can be up to 10 times faster in reads and writes than the fastest USB 2 flash drives if inserted in "USB 3.0 port".
The speed gain is much less if inserted in USB 2 port. The speed can be verified with a free software called atto, downloaded from the internet.

(3)It is like carrying almost the fastest 10000 rpm hard drive in your pocket, is more reliable with no moving parts, is smaller 2.79 inch x 0.84 x 0.45 and uses much less electricity.

Its maximum reads 200 MB/sec are faster than the maximum reads or writes 133 MB/sec of the fastest 7200rpm SATA 6 GB/s hard drive 1 TB HGST Travelstar 7K1000. But slower than the maximum reads and writes, 209 MB/s of Western Digital VelociRaptor WD1000DHTZ hard drive(1 TB, 10,000 rpm, SATA 6 Gbit/s). The results are from tomshardware.

Its speeds are much slower than solid state drives. SanDisk Extreme SSD 240 GB has 550MB/sec reads, 520MB/sec writes.

(3)It comes installed with 128-bit AES encryption and password software, like Verbatim, to protect your data which is stored in a "vault" from unauthorized access. You can also store non-sensitive data on the drive outside the vault.

Warning : My Norton Internet Security software rates the RunSanDiskSecureAccess_Win.exe, the software bundled with the drive
..............unstable. This program crashed in Windows 8 while I was using it to add files to the "vault", causing all my files to be deleted. There are ..............many reports of crashes on the internet. I tried 6 different undelete software like Pandora, SanDisk RescuePRO, etc, the best one is ..............Recuva using deep scan. I recommend using a more reliable and stable encryption software, not from Sandisk.

(4)I store sensitive data on my flash drive like bank statements, passwords, scanned receipts , insurance policies, etc on my flash drive, but not on my computer, to protect from fire, theft, damage, unauthorized access, etc.
The unauthorized access is critical if you lose your flash drive.
I tie two 50-pound-strength translucent fishing lines to the flash drive to hang around my neck.

(5)Up to 2GB of its files can be backed up onto a secure online server on YuuWaa "for free". This provides an extra backup in case you lose your flash drive.

(5)Lifetime warranty, same as Verbatim, is much longer than the warranty for Kingston (5-year), PNY (1-year) and other flash drives.

(6) To copy files 5 GB or larger onto this flash drive, re-format the drive in Ex-FAT. Ex-FAT also allow faster reads and writes than FAT16, FAT32, NTFS.
Make sure the computer you are copying files from has the Windows driver installed to read the Ex-FAT format. Also make a copy of all the software on the flash drive because formatting writes over all the data.

(7) $70 charged by Amazon is much less than the $100 charged by Staples, Fry's Electronics, etc.

It takes time to research these information. Please click "Yes" below this line if this review was helpful to you.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on January 4, 2014
First impressions: The flash drive is really fast! Really, really fast. I'm impressed that it performed up to the advertised speeds.


I quickly noticed that my USB drive had less space than the same one of my friend. While his has 64,000,557,056 bytes 59.6GB, mine clocked in at 62,742,757,376 bytes 58.4GB (both tested on my computer). I am not sure what is going on, but perhaps one of the onboard flash chips of my flash drive failed, and hence only 98% of the memory is available. I have tried formatting, disk checks and Windows still reads off the same amount of free space.

Conclusion: Really fast, but only received 98% of promised memory.

Edit 1/18:
Received a replacement from Amazon, capacity on flash drive only 62.7 billion bytes (62,721,556,480 bytes). I suspect an issue with the flash drives sent out with Amazon frustration-free packaging.

Edit: 1/30:
SanDisk support finally got back to me with a reply: "I would like to inform you that some of the capacity is used for formatting and other functions and is not available for user storage. The newer products have stronger wear leveling algorithms. That is the main reason why you are not getting the 59.6 GB of space."

I think this policy of SanDisk is nonsense and have arranged to return the drives to Amazon.
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on December 3, 2013
Great googly-moogley, this thing is zippy! I didn't bother with the included Windows shovelware; I recommend you delete it and format the stick to your liking. My guess is that most of the negative reviews involve people trying to wrestle with said shovelware. There are better, free options for encrypting your data if you need that (google for truecrypt portable).

Out of curiosity (and because I'm a nerd), I ran hdparm on the stick to see what it was running under the hood. It promptly told me it was a "SanDisk SSD U100 32GB" - this is a controller Sandisk uses in some laptop drives! That's like lifting the hood of a Honda Accord, and finding a Ferrari engine underneath. If you wonder why this thing costs ~$40, it's because you are basically buying a sawed-off SSD.

(Note that according to the internets, this speedy controller is only used for the 32GB and the 64GB models; the 16GB uses a more "budget" controller and the performance reflects that.)

Look and Feel: It has an interesting mix of matte and glossy plastics that give it a sleek-yet-understated feel. It's like a souped-up version of their "cruzer" flash drives. The retraction mechanism has this smooth, positive-feedback clicky thing going on that I am now a big fan of.

This thing is just fast. Crazy fast.
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on December 28, 2012
I am now an owner of 3 of these drives, all 32GB. I have to say these are impressively fast drives, even on a USB2.0 bus. So many users are still using USB2.0 transfer speeds so I thought I would post a CrystalDiskMark benchmark and a real-world transfer comparison against the next fastest USB device I own, a Patriot XT Boost 16GB (USB2.0). A 'typical' upgrade you could say from last generation to current generation.

SanDisk Extreme 32GB - NTFS - Empty (USB2.0)

Sequential Read : 36.582 MB/s
Sequential Write : 30.700 MB/s
Random Read 512KB : 35.945 MB/s
Random Write 512KB : 22.678 MB/s
Random Read 4KB (QD=1) : 7.992 MB/s [ 1951.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=1) : 7.830 MB/s [ 1911.7 IOPS]
Random Read 4KB (QD=32) : 6.866 MB/s [ 1676.4 IOPS]
Random Write 4KB (QD=32) : 4.423 MB/s [ 1079.8 IOPS]

Test : 500 MB [A: 0.3% (0.1/29.8 GB)] (x4)
Date : 2012/12/28 11:28:29
OS : Windows 7 Professional SP1 [6.1 Build 7601] (x64)
Ver : CrystalDiskMark 3.0.2 x64

As you can see this drive caps out the transfer speed of the USB2.0 port on both sequential tests and random read 512Kb, probably random write 512Kb as well but I'm not familiar enough with the USB2.0 design architecture to make that statement.

Real-world test: (USB2.0 bus)

Decompress 'install.wim' from Windows 8 Pro x86 package located on SATA HD to USB drive.
Package contains 61,541 files in 13,011 folders with a total uncompressed size of 8,029 MB.

SanDisk Extreme 32GB - NTFS: Completed in 10mins 11seconds.
Patriot 16GB XT Boost - NTFS: Completed in 60mins 34seconds.

Both drives are connected to a USB2.0 bus. SanDisk is 6x faster! I will note Patriot is at a small inherent disadvantage due to being half as large as the SanDisk.

A note about running Windows 8 off a USB device (either core or Windows To Go)...this is THE drive to own. Even on a USB2.0 bus (which almost all computers but the newest still can only boot off a USB2.0 bus), this drive can still load programs faster than my workstation with a WD Raptor 10k SATA II drive. Other thumb drives may have better sequential read/write speeds but random 512kB and most importantly random 4kB read/write is paramount to fast operation of a Windows install to USB drive. Random 4kB read/write speeds in the 4.5-8 MB/s range is a monster spec (faster than 7200rpm platter disks, fyi).

A final note about this drive and to address some of the low ratings with regard to compatibility. If you want the most compatible drive, do not get the 64GB version, there are issues with USB controllers properly accessing 64GB USB drives. This is not typically a problem with the thumb drive but rather the hardware.

I have not used the SanDisk Secure Access feature so I have nothing to add there.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on September 3, 2014
Bought this for use as bootable media for OS installs which I do often working in IT. Was particularly fond of the high speed and low cost ratio of the device. While the performance specs remain impressive I quickly learned this device was going to be completely useless for its intended function. There exists some special case in the way this device is created the prevents you from using the device as bootable removable media. You cannot edit partitions on this device at all. If I had known this prior to purchase I would not have made the purchase. I cannot load a windows 7 or 8 iso to this device for installs. Nor can I load SCCM from it for imaging. Since those are the only functions I need removable use media for in this era I find this device is completely useless to me.
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on July 10, 2014
As a flash drive, it's a little bulky in terms of size but it's also significantly faster than other drives.

- I wasn't aware until after I bought the drive but the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB models have different write speeds.
- The 16GB only clocks in at around 50MB/s, you need the 64GB to get the ridiculous write speeds of around 200MB/s.
- After sliding out the USB connector head, there's a spring assisted mechanism and a satisfying click.

I would've given it maybe 4-stars for speed but I felt misled by the title implying that all the drives were equal in read/write. Though, if you buy the 16GB drive with the knowledge that it writes at 50MB/s and you're okay with its slightly large size (as compared to the fact that we can have much slimmer designs nowadays), it would appear (at least) that the build quality is decent so maybe 3.5-4 stars wouldn't be a bad compromise. Moreover, this line of flash drives is highly reviewed amongst 3rd party tech blogs :)
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The manufacturer commented on the review below
on May 9, 2014
This item is advertised as a "Flash Drive" however it appears as an external non-removable hard drive when you plug it in.
After doing some research, I have discovered that this is due to SanDisk following a Microsoft Windows 8 Certification which requires flash drives to have their removable bit set as 0 which results in windows seeing them as a "Local Disk".

This causes incompatibility with software which uses flash drives like Microsoft own Windows 7 USB/DVD download tool (which creates a bootable Windows 7 flash drive) because the software cannot detect the flash drive because it appears as a hard drive.

Sandisk support says they have stopped making flash drives this way but offered no solutions to customers like me who bought these mislabeled "flash drives". In addition, Sandisk responds to reviews like mine with a generic response which offers no help to the consumer.

Shame on you Sandisk for not helping customers who bought these flash drives (by not informing them which models are removable and not accepting exchanges) and shame on Microsoft for creating such a stupid certification.
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on September 3, 2017
Acquired this drive to use as a Mac mini external operating system drive. System boots and operates about as fast using this drive as the system does using the enteral hard drive. Why use a USB drive to operate the system? We boot on this drive whenever we do banking or other activities requiring high security. After booting up we check for updates then conduct our business. Shut down and remove the drive and boot up on the internal hard drive for normal computer work.
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on May 31, 2014
Whenever I buy a new computer, I have always made several "Restore" disks because I have often found it necessary to reformat and take the computer back to factory settings. I bought two of the SanDisk's because my new laptop had the option to use the 3.0 USB and a 3.0 flash drive for that purpose. My laptop did not recognize the drive. When I bought a different brand, it worked.

Now for the good part. For all other purposes these two drives have been "scary" fast. I'm not technical enough to talk benchmarks and stuff like that. I just know that they allowed me to copy and transfer a large amount of files and data in a fraction of the time it would have taken with 2.0. Also, I like the click out feature so I never have to worry about losing a cap.
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