ARRI issues warning about Lexar 3600x Professional CFast 2.0 cards

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ARRI has sent out a service notification warning about the use of older Lexar 3600x Professional CFast 2.0 cards.

Statement from ARRI

Due to the information we have received during our regular market observance and our investigations, we have to take back our recommendation to use Lexar Professional 3600x CFast 2.0 cards for recording in ARRI cameras. The cards will continue to work in our cameras, but we cannot unreservedly recommend their use anymore.”

ARRI

These are the problems noticed by ARRI

ARRI issues warning about Lexar 3600x Professional CFast 2.0 cards

A CFast 2.0 card stops working after it was used for recording, making the recorded footage inaccessible. The problem can occur with one or more of the following symptoms:

  • A camera shows the error message “Medium in Slot A/B not (yet) ready” and cannot access the card.
  • The card may only mount/playback in a camera, but it cannot be mounted in a card reader.
  • A computer can mount the card, but only shows a 1GB partition, which does contain the data.
  • The operating system may also request that the card is “initialized,” which does not solve the issue.
  • Potential Cause
  • Root cause analysis has shown that the issue may be caused by weak soldering joints of card components. This would make these cards particularly sensitive to mechanical and thermal stress.

I actually have one of these cards, because when I bought it back in 2016, it was the only 256GB CFast 2.0 card that was certified for use with ARRI cameras.

This particular card was was discontinued.

ARRI’s recommended countermeasures in case of error

ARRI issues warning about Lexar 3600x Professional CFast 2.0 cards

Warning: The following countermeasures bear the risk of complete data loss!

ARRI advises seeking professional help from a data recovery service, especially if a card represents a high production value, e.g. something that cannot be reshot.

It may be possible to salvage recorded data by cooling down the card and reading it at slow transfer speeds. Slow transfer speeds can be achieved by connecting a USB-3 card reader with a USB-2 cable. Please note that cards should only be cooled in a controlled, low humidity environment, as a card can be destroyed if condensation builds up on the inside.

It may be possible to temporarily reconnect defective soldering joints by applying soft pressure between the top and bottom lid.

Please note that too much force will cause fatal mechanical damage to the electrical assembly and render the card useless!

Note: The use of data recovery software is not required, as the problem does not affect the data integrity on the flash chips.

General Recommendations

  • Handle the CFast 2.0 cards with utmost care and avoid unnecessary thermal and mechanical stress.
  • Needless to say, a CFast 2.0 card with offloading problems should not be put back into circulation.
  • Frequently used media, e.g. in rental operations, should be rotated out sooner than others.
  • No additional stickers or labels should be placed on the cards. Stickers impair the thermal conductivity and cause cards to run slightly hotter. Peeling stickers will increase the risk of residue clogging up the connector.
  • Replacement options

Credit for replacement

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ARRI 256GB Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 Memory Card
Angelbird ARRI CFast 1
Angelbird ARRI Edition AV PRO AR 256 GB CFast Card

Customers wishing to replace Lexar 3600x 256 GB CFast 2.0 cards (K2.0006495) can request an exchange from their point of sales to receive a partial credit note towards the purchase of a new 256GB CFast 2.0 card offered by ARRI. This includes both Sandisk and Angelbird options. ARRI will also accept Lexar cards that were not distributed by ARRI (not “Tested by ARRI”), against a reduced credit note towards the purchase of a new CFast 2.0 card offered by ARRI.

To do this you should contact your point of sales for details on the exchange procedure.

Lexar CFast 2.0 cards showing the above symptoms are covered by the Lexar limited lifetime warranty. Customers with defect Lexar CFast 2.0 cards are advised to request an RMA against a refund from Lexar Technical Support https://www.lexar.com/support/.

Please note that Lexar currently does not offer an alternative CFast 2.0 product that can be used in ARRI cameras.

IMPORTANT NOTE

ARRI does not want to give the impression that all Lexar cards are affected by this problem. Many customers have been using the Lexar 3600x CFast 2.0 cards for years without experiencing any problems. In fact, only a few users have experienced the aforementioned issue. Therefore, it would be premature to replace every card currently in use. First and foremost we wanted to ensure that our customers were made aware of this concern so they could identify a problem at its first occurrence and take the affected cards out of circulation immediately.

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