Here’s why you should NOT buy a Sabrent Rocket SSD A list of good reasons to stay away from the Sabrent Rocket line of SSD drives, especially the Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280

Ecco perché NON dovresti comprare un SSD Sabrent Rocket

DISCLAIMER: all the opinions expressed in this article represent the personal belief of the author and are in no way oriented by commercial relations of any kind with Sabrent or other SSD brands, with the sole exception of the single purchase referred within the post.

For me, SSD disks were love at first sight: I have been interested in this technology since the appearance of the first solid state memories at a vaguely affordable price, roughly around the beginning of the 90s: the first SSD I have memory of is the 20MB SanDisk, marketed around 1991 with a cost of around $ 1000. Those were the years in which Samsung and Toshiba developed NAND flash technology, which still represents the standard in all types of flash memory: from that moment on SSDs began to spread more and more and cost less and less, up to to the boom of the years 2010-2012, in which they imposed themselves on hard disk drives (hard-disk drives or HDDs) in all the main areas thanks to their superior characteristics of speed and reliability.

Over the past 10 years I have had dozens of SSD models on my hands, mostly for work reasons but also for hobbies and personal interest: I therefore feel able to provide quite valid feedback on what was one of my last purchases before the anti-COVID19 lockdown, a Sabrent Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 SSD 1 TeraByte, which I used mainly for video editing: I had never experienced Sabrent SSDs before, as in the company we usually orient ourselves on Intel and Samsung for obvious reasons of reliability. However, attracted by the countless positive reviews on portals such as Amazon as well as on various sites and specialized magazines, I decided to try this new brand that I had already had the opportunity to appreciate for a series of accessory peripherals such as this neat 2.5″ hard drive case, an interesting 4-port USB 3.0 hub with individual switches and, last but not least, the awesome USB 3.0 Tool-Free External Case for SSD, which is probably the best enclosure I’ve ever seen for SSD drives.

Here's why you should NOT buy a Sabrent Rocket SSD
In terms of aesthetics and functionality, Sabrent line of accessories is top notch: sadly, SSD units are not in that league.

Specifically, my choice fell on the Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280, the model that at the time (January 2020) boasted the best value for money, at least according to the countless reviews that were and still are on the net . The characteristics of this SSD have nothing to envy to the cousins of the competition, in particular the flagship series of the consumer line of Samsung (the 970, to be clear): M.2 PCIe Gen3 x 4 interface, PCIe 3.1 & NVMe 1.3 Compliant Power Management Support for APST / ASPM / L1.2, SMART & TRIM commands, Advanced Wear Leveling, Bad Block Management, and Over-Provision.

Here's why you should NOT buy a Sabrent Rocket SSD
Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280: on paper it’s a solid SSD with great specs for such price. Except that…

During the first months of use, the SSD was absolutely up to expectations, with benchmarks completely similar to those I had seen on Guru3D.com (such website is kind of a SSD bible), which not surprisingly gave it an extremely positive evaluation (5 full stars).

The problems came towards the end of October, or after about 8 months of honorable service: I state that I have not carried out particular video-editing activities, indeed it is quite possible that my previous SSDs (for all that period I had 3 on the same machine : the 1TB Sabrent for video editing, a 500GB Samsung 970 pro bought several months earlier with the operating system, and an even older 2.5 “Samsung 870 for the development environment, VMware virtual machines, Docker and Vagrant images Boxes: If I were to tell you which record worked less, I would have no doubt: the Sabrent will have done less than a third of the writing cycles of the other two.

One of the last days of October, I think it was the 30th, the disk started working in a decidedly strange way: the operating system stopped recognizing it, making it unavailable until restarted – after which it was available again without problems. Obviously I immediately thought the worst, having already seen this type of “disappearance” in the past on models that then began to degrade very quickly: I then installed the Rocket Control Panel, the “made in Sabrent” version of the Samsung Magician. Truth to be told, such a comparison does not at all do honor to the Samsung software, on which the Korean company has continued to invest a lot over the last few years, overcoming a long “interlocutory” period and finally managing to make it become something of really useful. The Rocket Control Panel is alas still in its infancy, with an extremely limited set of features and – above all – an extremely fallacious predictive capacity, at least judging from my limited experience: in short, the tool had nothing to complain about the state health of my SSD, decreeing that there was no problem, at least according to him.

Here's why you should NOT buy a Sabrent Rocket SSD
Sabrent Rocket Control Panel: do not trust this dude

Unfortunately, such “diagnosis” turned out to be nothing short of wrong: exactly 7 days later, with no other symptoms that could suggest such a tragic epilogue, the SSD abruptly died: from 100 to 0, without any warning, signaling or partial malfunction that could somehow warn me that the unit was consuming its last moments of life. And he died when the PC was turned on, thus causing a Windows 10 crash, an event that I have seen quite rarely for years and only when there is a hardware fault of this type.

Specifically, however, such a capitulation by an SSD disk had never happened to me yet: I have seen hiccups, even sensational drops in performance (with slowdown of the read / write cycles at the floppy disk level), difficulty of the drive to be recognized by the BIOS, overheating problems with consequent stop from thermal protection … but nothing that prevented access to partitions and data recovery in this way. I can only thank goodness that, fortunately, I hadn’t stored any relevant data or files, otherwise I would have lost everything with no chance of being able to recover anything.

Not that I have not tried, of course: I am lucky to have a small laboratory, both at home and in the company, which allowed me to spend several hours in resuscitation attempts. In short, I’ve tried them all: boot attempts on various PCs and motherboards, external enclosures with USB 3.0 and 2.0 interfaces, M.2 adapters … nothing to do. Impossible to recognize from any device, as if the drive never existed.

Here's why you should NOT buy a Sabrent Rocket SSD
Sabrent SSD in Sabrent external enclosure: the outside is (way) better than the inside

What to do then? Obviously, since the product was purchased in January 2020 and boasts a 5-year warranty, the most sensible way immediately seemed to me to ask for a refund or replacement of the product. Quite right?

And that was when the shit really hit the fan.

If you think this step is easy or minimally user-friendly, it means that you have never visited the “Support” section of the Sabrent website. Now, since I have been developing web portals since 1993, I think I have developed a certain culture of bad sites … well, I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I tell you that that section is one of the worst things I’ve ever had bad luck in. to run into.

I hereby proceed to list the various (and hilarious) problems that actually prevent you from receiving adequate support:

  • The product registration process is extremely cumbersome: there is no visual guide no autocomplete features, no “smart searches” whatsoever: you have to type everything yourself (from the EXACT model name, to the serial, to the Amazon order if you got it on Amazon, to the invoice data, etc. ): a procedure so complicated that it envies those provided by the PCI-DSS standard for accessing an online mortgage.
  • The site does NOT allow the creation of a support request for registered products: in other words, when creating the fateful “ticket” you have to rewrite all the data (model name, serial number, etc.) as if the product had not been registered.
  • Once the ticket has been created, it cannot be modified / updated in any way, if you made a mistake in writing you can even die: moreover, despite asking you for an e-mail, no type of feedback arrives via e-mail.
  • When the support staff replies to the ticket, you get no notifications: you have to reconnect every TOT hours to the site hoping that in the meantime they have replied to you (they answered me in about 48 hours, ergo after about 6 visits to the site).

So far we might say, well ok it’s not that great, however it’s not that bad, right? Well, actually the best part is still to come: it actually came when the operator finally answered me.

Here’s the full message:

Hello Valerio,

 

Thank you for contacting Sabrent Support! I apologize for the inconvenience. I will be happy to assist you.

 

What is the model of the computer you are using?

Have you tried a different computer and get the same results?

Have you updated the Bios or firmware to the computer?

Is the OS installed on the drive?

 

Download this and see if the drive needs a firmware update

Not bad! We’ve just experienced a SSD crash, we definitely need some “are you sure the PC was on?” questions to bring us hope & joy! However, the stupid questions literally disappear when you compare them with these hilarious facts:

  • That elusive “download this”, which suggests who knows what amazing software fix, points absolutely nothing: there is nothing clickable, neither the text nor other elements. Which, mind you, does not change much, since certainly a sensational hardware crash such as the one sustained by the SSD cannot be solved by any software, since there is absolutely no way to show the drive to the operating system: even a child would understand, and probably even the idiot that Sabrent’s support staff think they are talking to.
  • And now comes the absolute masterpiece of the whole support experience: there is no way to reply to that reply. There is no REPLY button, no twisted arrow icon that might vaguely resemble a “reply” feature, no link to click in the hope that something will happen … nothing at all. Since I didn’t want to believe it, I inspected the HTML on the page, hoping that maybe it was “just” a cross-browser incompatibility. So, still incredulous, I tried to log in with various browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Edge): nothing to do. It is not possible to reply to the support ticket, the only way to communicate a “response” of any kind is to open a new ticket, which I promptly did … And guess what to do when opening a new ticket? That’s right: re-enter all data all over again!
Here's why you should NOT buy a Sabrent Rocket SSD
The incredible Sabrent support ticket page: as you can see, there is *absolutely no reply function*: too bad we’re unable to answer those awesome support question, they’ll surely be of great help to troubleshoot a SSD hardware fault!

Well, I got that far: that’s all, at least for the time being. In case there will be further developments regarding this glorious customer experience, I will definitely update this post: until then, let me just say that Sabrent is my personal top candidate for the “most overrated SSD manufacturer of 2020-2021” world award.

P.S.: while I’m waiting for their “reply”, I’m definitely going to get a replacement Samsung 970 Pro: I don’t hink that such support will ever be able to send me anything good anyway.

UPDATE: After a week or so, I was finally contacted by the Sabrent customer assistance team: I have to say that even in this aspect their support did not shine, they basically asked me to ship the product at my expense (with international shipping, because they do not have a drop zone in Italy). Obviously I refused, given that the costs of an international shipment have a considerable impact on the total value of any replacement SSD that I would have received… Which I would say is rather low, since it’s a Sabrent, for all the reasons explained above. And this is the “worthy” ending of our sad story.

 

About Ryan

IT Project Manager, Web Interface Architect and Lead Developer for many high-traffic web sites & services hosted in Italy and Europe. Since 2010 it's also a lead designer for many App and games for Android, iOS and Windows Phone mobile devices for a number of italian companies. Microsoft MVP for Development Technologies since 2018.

View all posts by Ryan

24 Comments on “Here’s why you should NOT buy a Sabrent Rocket SSD A list of good reasons to stay away from the Sabrent Rocket line of SSD drives, especially the Rocket NVMe PCIe M.2 2280

  1. Your disk had a sudden power failure, it had nothing to do with the software reporting 100% HEALTH, even if it were 10 seconds before dying. It happens all the time to mechanical disks as well. Most of these issues are power related, which many times are traceable to an inefficient current supply. In addition, lots of NVMe/USB drives go bad thanks to non-powered USB hubs and low power USB 2.0 ports.

    The 100% health SMART report refers to the quality of the flash chips. If the Rocket disk’s controller tries to write some data and the flash memory chip fails, then the health of the disk starts to go down, statistically.

    You say you have a laboratory, but it’s not clear what kind. If you have a microscope and some soldering skills, you can try testing, replacing, or removing and bridging, the polyfuse at the start of the power line circuit (closest to the disk’s connector) on your NVMe disk.

    1. Hi, thanks for asking. I have to say that even in this aspect their support did not shine, they basically asked me to ship the product at my expense (with international shipping, because they do not have a drop zone in Italy). Obviously I refused, given that the costs of an international shipment have a considerable impact on the total value of any replacement SSD that I would have received -> Which I would say is rather low, since it’s a Sabrent. :) Anyway, I’ve updated the post accordingly with this follow-up: the worthy ending of this sad story.

  2. Well..I sadly bought a fancy pants supetfast sabrent Rocket M.2 1Tb it recently started to not show up on boot..so complete power shutdown and disconnection from mains for a few mins usually sorted it…but now..only 6 months in..its completely dead ..ALL my games were on it..hope Sabrent respond favorably or thats £200 down the drain..DO NOT BUY SABRENT people ?

    1. after sending Sabrent ALL the info they needed INC screenshots.. the send me a bog standard email .. their customer servis is not looking great so far.. they clearly didn’t read my email properly :O(
      Hello Rob

      Thank you for contacting Sabrent Support! I am sorry for the inconvenience the SSD is presenting. I will be happy to assist you.

      in order to assist you better would you please provide me with the following information?

      What is the Rocket model?
      How are you connecting the drive to the motherboard?
      If it is connected to the Motherboard, did you try to reseated?
      Is it visible by the BIOS?
      Did you try resetting your BIOS to default?
      Did you try it on a different slot in the Motherboard?
      Are you able to try it on a different Computer?
      Did you try to initialized it?
      -What is the computer exact model?
      -What is the Motherboard installed?
      -What is the CPU model and socket?
      -What is the OS?
      – Have you change OS recently or update de BIOS?

      I´ll keep the case open for three business days, please feel free to reply to this message if you have any further questions. I´ll be glad to follow up

      Best regards

  3. I had the same issue! My Sabrent Rocket 256GB SSD (SB-ROCKET-256) just died two weeks back after exhibiting a number of random kernel panics on my Late 2013 MacBook Pro 15”. It was purchased via Amazon in May 2019 and I hope I can do an RMA with Sabrent…

  4. First off – If you buy one of these drives then before you put any data on it, download the Sabrent Sector Size Tool and change the sector size from the default 512B to 4KB, then format it using 4KB clusters in the OS. The sector size and cluster size are not the same thing, and doing this will give the best performance. I did a LOT of testing on my new drive and have seen the same result with other people who bought Sabrent. For some reason the default 512B sector size heavily impacts read performance but doesn’t affect write. A larger cluster size gives no performance gain even with large files. Smaller clusters wastes slightly more space but it’s like 200MB on a 2TB drive. Here’s my best test result:

    https://imgur.com/8PUdRWQ

    Anyway….

    I bought a Samsung Evo NVMe 1TB in Jul 2019 and it’s been great. Installed the Magician software, updated the FW once after being installed, and since then it checks for firmware updates and also updates for the Magician software itself, maybe a little too often though.
    I did a LOT of research in Sep 2020 when I needed a 2TB NVMe to go alongside the Samsung and settled on the Sabrent Rocket 2TB, because the benchmark speeds seemed the same if not better than the Samsung. It installed fine, and the performance is a bit better than the Samsung (after using the Sabrent Sector Size Tool to change from 512B to 4KB sectors).
    So first I looked for the support utility. Nope, nothing. Six months ago this software didn’t exist. Their site had about 15 downloads but no support tools.
    Okay, they’re a newer company, I figured something would come up eventually, then forgot all about it.
    I then tried to check for firmware updates but it’s a primative manual search. They were all crypticly named firmware updates with only model numbers to go by. Even the ones clearly marked ‘Sabrent Rocket’ said I had no supported device in my system.
    I concluded that their website is the worst site I’ve used in about two decades, and then gave up.
    It seems a support utility was released after I bought my drive and before you tried to test yours. I tried downloading it today and all it does is extract four DLL files to the desktop and then close.

    Now I’m concerned, I’ve only had the Sabrent since Sep 2020 and 8-10 months seems to be the threshold according to your comments and other reviews I read. Oh well at least I have backups and six months to return to amazon if it fails.

  5. I bought a sabrent rocket 1tb rocket 3.0 nvme , it died within 2 months sabrent sent me a second replacement that one died within 2 months , I t came with a 5 year warranty 2 drives died within 5 months span then when I asked for a 3rd replacement sabrent said ,

    dear customer this is very odd behaviour it is impossible for our drives to fail twice unless it is the owners system

    I build pc’s for a LIVING , AND KNOW CUSTOMERS THAT BUY SABRENT TO SAVE MONEY AND NEARLY ALL OF THEM FAIL MOST WITHIN 3 MONTHS SOME AFTER A YEAR . The rma process is so hard average customers do not claim a rma or warranty . again I had 2 die on me and one die on a customer out of the 3 sabrent rocket 3 1tb nvme’s I purchased thats 100% failure rate .

    my friend bought six sabrent nvme’s 4 of them died within 3 months , and the other 2 are still unopened 4 out of 4 installed drives died 100% failure rate , your drive will probably fail within 1 -3 months if your lucky it will last over a year

    https://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc/com…​ DEFECTIVE SABRENT DRIVE

    https://forums.tomshardware.com/threa…​ DEFECTIVE SABRENT DRIVE

    https://forums.tomshardware.com/threa…​
    ANOTHER DEFECTIVE SABRENT DRIVE

    https://www.amazon.com/Sabrent-Rocket…​ READ CAREFULLY sabrent does bait and switch , th

  6. I can see why your drive died omg.!! people they never learn, never put your Nvme or SSD into a Drive Housing the chip that are in those inclosesures (WILL KILL YOUR HARD DRIVES PROBLEM SOLVED LMAO) ive have had many bad experiences w my drives dying from those inclosures keep it connected to your Motherboard only i dnt even like Nvme Card Adapters i do not trust them. Ive had my Sabrent Nvme Rockect for about 2 years and a half now and had absolutely no problems. Do not use Sabrenents software if anything jus use Samsung Magicians you will be better off with that i personally dnt use either when a Nvme drive dies it dies. I dnt need some software to tell me what condition my drive is in! Youll notice when the time comes things will become much slower and sluggish and eventually it wont boot so always keep your data put up on decent SSD or Nvme or get you a Good Cloud Service that you can trust and count on.

    1. I don’t think you’ve understood the issue: the drive died before having been put into the enclosure: that part happened afterwards.

  7. not cool reading this :(

    have 2TB Sabrent Rocket as boot drive and it started “disapearing” and will re-apear only after hard power reset on PSU

  8. yup my rocket 4 1tb died also 2.5 months in that’s just insane lol and no i didn’t have it in an enclosure it was on the motherboard with their heatsink I’ll never buy sabrent again !!

  9. I purchased 2 Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 PCIe M.2 modules in November 2020 and installed them on the motherboard of my new pc in raid 0 configuration. The pc is running Fedora 33 with the BTRFS journaling file system. Yesterday while download a piece of software I started seeing “drive in readonly mode” errors. SMART tests don’t show any errors, butbtrfs check shows:

    [@localhost ~]$ sudo btrfs check --force /dev/nvme0n1p3
    Opening filesystem to check...
    WARNING: filesystem mounted, continuing because of --force
    Checking filesystem on /dev/nvme0n1p3
    UUID: bcfea121-b341-40af-9df8-5c614d1658fc
    [1/7] checking root items
    [2/7] checking extents
    parent transid verify failed on 79504408576 wanted 3544121 found 3544118
    parent transid verify failed on 79504408576 wanted 3544121 found 3544118
    parent transid verify failed on 79504408576 wanted 3544121 found 3544118
    Ignoring transid failure
    leaf parent key incorrect 79504408576
    bad block 79504408576
    ERROR: errors found in extent allocation tree or chunk allocation
    [3/7] checking free space cache
    [4/7] checking fs roots
    warning line 3832
    [5/7] checking only csums items (without verifying data)
    parent transid verify failed on 79504408576 wanted 3544121 found 3544118
    Ignoring transid failure
    parent transid verify failed on 79504424960 wanted 3544121 found 3544118
    parent transid verify failed on 79504424960 wanted 3544121 found 3544118
    parent transid verify failed on 79504424960 wanted 3544121 found 3544118
    Ignoring transid failure
    ERROR: child eb corrupted: parent bytenr=80068231168 item=71 parent level=1 child bytenr=79504424960 child level=1
    Error going to next leaf -5
    [6/7] checking root refs
    [7/7] checking quota groups skipped (not enabled on this FS)
    ERROR: transid errors in file system
    found 149065555968 bytes used, error(s) found
    total csum bytes: 82451964
    total tree bytes: 160448512
    total fs tree bytes: 16384
    total extent tree bytes: 63307776
    btree space waste bytes: 25471989
    file data blocks allocated: 42467328
     referenced 42467328
    

    Looks like a block has gone bad already. Arghh!

  10. Sabrent Rocket 4.0 1TB

    -Happily bought the SSD at a fraction of the price, higher TBW, equal speed as compared to other brands and thought I picked up a great deal. The first 4 months were sweet, benchmark everything checked out, then one day my PC just BSOD randomly but I did not think of it as SSD issue initially. After a few days the PC just went to bios screen and would not go into windows. I checked my motherboard bios nvme configuration page and the Sabrent SSD shows 0GB capacity. I then moved Sabrent into my secondary M2 slot and put my Corsair into the primary M2 and found there was no issue with the motherboard slots.
    -I then wrote to Sabrent and attached the troubleshooting evidences I had. The customer service guy clearly had no idea what he was talking about and I felt he was just trying to delay and stuff.
    -In the end he proposed to me to purchase another identical drive and when I have purchased it and he received the defective drive he will then refund the money to me. The reason is that my country is not covered under Sabrent shipping policy. I said no as I won’t pay twice for an unreliable ssd, and I don’t plan to use Sabrent as my primary drive anymore, the guy disapppeared after I asked for full refund.
    -I went ahead to approach Amazon for refund. Minimal questions asked by Amazon after they reviewed my claim that the ssd was unreliable, the ssd was picked up two days after and refund completed within a week.
    -After my personal experience with Sabrent RMA process, I won’t recommend anyone around me to pick up Sabrent as boot drive. Pay a little bit more to go for more reliable Corsair, WD or Samsung.

  11. Yup. My 4+ month old Sabrent Rocket 4.0 drive died too and took out 5 months worth of updates/configuration changes/files with it. Random BSODs with WHEA errors a few times and then the drive finally gave up the ghost and refused to boot or be detected anywhere outside the BIOS.

    CSO was helpful enough to suggest trying to detect it with their Rocket Control Panel software but of course it wouldn’t work on a drive with a busted controller (as diagnosed by professional data recovery service).

    Never again Sabrent.

  12. Thank you for taking the time to post this, way too many product “reviewers” now a days are way too restrained when it comes to the drawback of a product due to fear of sounding negative and unappealing to various parties. I came across your post while trying to determine the reason why my sabrent rocket 4.0 was dead on arrival. It won’t detect as a disk. At first I thought I mis-configured something, but after testing on 3 different motherboards and a known good nvme enclosure on 2 different machines. I came to the same conclusion as the failure mode outlined in your post. Fortunately for me the product was within the refund window, so I had it returned.

  13. My 2TB Sabrent Rocket Q died just a week after installing it :(

    It only shows up when booting from a Windows installer, which thinks it’s 0MB. GPartEd doesn’t let me format it, and gives loads of errors.

    Wish I had seen this writeup a week ago…

  14. I have two laptops and two desktops sporting Sabrent NVME SSDs and I have had them for a few years and haven’t had a single issue.

    One of my laptops has a Sabrent Rocket 256GB NVME SSD, I have had that since 2018, still reads and writes very very fast, especially Windows 10 updates that I blink and they are already done.

    My Asus TUF FX 505DV gaming laptop has a Sabrent Rocket 1TB NVME SSD and I got that over a year ago and never had a single issue with it.

    My mom’s desktop that I built for her has a Sabrent Rocket Q 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 2280 Internal SSD High Performance Solid State Drive R/W 3200/2000MB/s (SB-RKTQ-1TB) in her PC and there have been a few hiccups but they were due to power outages. I setup/connected her computer to a UPS and there haven’t been any issues since(also determined the power supply to be faulty so I replaced that too). The hiccups just required me to repair windows using Windows 10 built in recovery. That happened three times in total over 3 years.

    My mom’s house was very prone to power outages and failures as she lives out in the middle of nowhere and the power can be out for days before it gets fixed by the power company.

    My desktop that I built up over the course of over 6 years I have a Sabrent 1TB Rocket NVMe 4.0 Gen4 PCIe M.2 Internal SSD Extreme Performance Solid State Drive (SB-ROCKET-NVMe4-1TB) that I have had for about 2 1/2 years and haven’t had a single issue with my NVME SSD that I use as my boot drive. Even though I have it in a PCI-E Gen3 slot on my motherboard.

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