2012-07-07

Review: Sandisk Cruzer Blade 4GB USB drive

Cruzer Blade is one of the cheapest Sandisk USB drive. It has quite small plastic package. I suppose that two package pieces are clued together.

This unit was used for about two years - attached and detached one to two times per day. Plastic package seems to be problematic - it is splitting at the end. It also requires more force to plug and unplug to/from socket than typical steel connector making it easier to damage drive connector and - more importantly - socket itself (happened to me).
Drive speed is average in it's class (low-end).
USB descriptors dump:
Information for device Cruzer Blade (VID=0x0781 PID=0x5567): 
Version of TDD: 1.40 Date: Feb 23 2012 Time: 15:28:27

Connection Information:
------------------------------

Connection status: Device connected
Device actual bus speed: High 
Device is hub: No
Device adress: 0x0001
Current configuration value: 0x01
Number of open pipes: 2

Device Descriptor:
0x12 bLength
0x01 bDescriptorType
0x0200 bcdUSB
0x00 bDeviceClass   
0x00 bDeviceSubClass   
0x00 bDeviceProtocol   
0x40 bMaxPacketSize0   (64 Bytes)
0x0781 idVendor
0x5567 idProduct
0x0200 bcdDevice
0x01 iManufacturer   (SanDisk)
0x02 iProduct   (Cruzer Blade)
0x03 iSerialNumber   (3248131DDC511BAA)
0x01 bNumConfigurations


Device Qualifier Descriptor:
0x0A bLength
0x06 bDescriptorType
0x0200 bcdUSB
0x00 bDeviceClass   
0x00 bDeviceSubClass   
0x00 bDeviceProtocol   
0x40 bMaxPacketSize0   (64 Bytes)
0x01 bNumConfigurations 
0x00 bReserved 
Hex dump: 
0x0A 0x06 0x00 0x02 0x00 0x00 0x00 0x40 0x01 0x00 

Configuration Descriptor:
0x09 bLength
0x02 bDescriptorType
0x0020 wTotalLength
0x01 bNumInterfaces
0x01 bConfigurationValue
0x00 iConfiguration
0x80 bmAttributes   (Bus-powered Device)
0x64 MaxPower   (200 mA)

Interface Descriptor:
0x09 bLength
0x04 bDescriptorType
0x00 bInterfaceNumber
0x00 bAlternateSetting
0x02 bNumEndPoints
0x08 bInterfaceClass   (Mass Storage Device Class)
0x06 bInterfaceSubClass   (Transparent SCSI subclass)
0x50 bInterfaceProtocol   (Bulk only transport)
0x00 iInterface

Endpoint Descriptor:
0x07 bLength
0x05 bDescriptorType
0x81 bEndpointAddress   (In-Endpoint)
0x02 bmAttributes
   Transfer Type:           Bulk-Transfer
   Synchronization Type:    None
   Usage Type:              Data
0x0200 wMaxPacketSize   (512 Bytes) 
0x00 bInterval
Hex dump: 
0x07 0x05 0x81 0x02 0x00 0x02 0x00 

Endpoint Descriptor:
0x07 bLength
0x05 bDescriptorType
0x02 bEndpointAddress   (Out-Endpoint)
0x02 bmAttributes
   Transfer Type:           Bulk-Transfer
   Synchronization Type:    None
   Usage Type:              Data
0x0200 wMaxPacketSize   (512 Bytes) 
0x00 bInterval

Other Speed Configuration Descriptor:
0x09 bLength
0x07 bDescriptorType
0x0020 wTotalLength
0x01 bNumInterfaces
0x01 bConfigurationValue
0x00 iConfiguration
0x80 bmAttributes   (Bus-powered Device)
0x32 MaxPower   (100 mA)

Interface Descriptor:
0x09 bLength
0x04 bDescriptorType
0x00 bInterfaceNumber
0x00 bAlternateSetting
0x02 bNumEndPoints
0x08 bInterfaceClass   (Mass Storage Device Class)
0x06 bInterfaceSubClass   (Transparent SCSI subclass)
0x50 bInterfaceProtocol   (Bulk only transport)
0x00 iInterface

Endpoint Descriptor:
0x07 bLength
0x05 bDescriptorType
0x81 bEndpointAddress   (In-Endpoint)
0x02 bmAttributes
   Transfer Type:           Bulk-Transfer
   Synchronization Type:    None
   Usage Type:              Data
0x0040 wMaxPacketSize   (64 Bytes) 
0x00 bInterval

Endpoint Descriptor:
0x07 bLength
0x05 bDescriptorType
0x02 bEndpointAddress   (Out-Endpoint)
0x02 bmAttributes
   Transfer Type:           Bulk-Transfer
   Synchronization Type:    None
   Usage Type:              Data
0x0040 wMaxPacketSize   (64 Bytes) 
0x00 bInterval


Apart from delicate plastic package it wasn't causing any problems (unlike my previous Kingmax USB stick drive with USBest controller that got bricked multiple times and could not be permanently fixed with any tools I could find).
You can find some interesting information regarding this drive (and many other USB drives and SD cards) on  https://wiki.linaro.org/WorkingGroups/Kernel/Projects/FlashCardSurvey page. According to this page this model is using mix of SLC and MLC NAND cells for write optimization purposes. Quote:

This combines rather slow linear access with much faster random access. In case of the Cruzer blade, all data is first written in a 1 MB (or 1.33 MB) SLC erase block in log-structured mode, making it possible to overwrite directory entries, FAT or journal data at up to 20 MB/s. When a garbage collection is required, that small SLC erase block gets flushed back to an MLC erase block of 3 MB (or 4 MB), which is much slower, so writing linear data to multiple erase blocks can only sustain around 4-5 MB/s.

In overall, unless you are really tight on a budget I wouldn't recommend this USB drive model.

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