How to fix Flash Drive write speeds dropping to 4

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I purchased a SanDisk Extreme Go 64GB USB flash drive about 2 months ago.

Out of the box, it performed as advertised, with 4k r/w being really good. Since it was faster than my HDD, I decided to use it as an everyday booting device for Windows 10.

I recently noticed that my system was unusually not responding, so I check the write speeds on the drive and they have fallen dramatically.

When writing, active time would reach 100 percent and task manager would display writing speeds between 4 kb and 100 kb.

I am aware that once flash memory cells have all been written to, the write speeds slow down. So, I tried multiple methods in hopes of performing a “Secure Erase” on the flash drive.

  1. Bitlocker Encryption
  2. ATA Secure Erase Command (wasn’t supported)
  3. A tool SanDisk officially recommends, HP USB Formatting Tool ( took 6 hours )
  4. Cmd.exe “Clean all” command

After performing these, the drive would be reasonably fast for the first bit after I write data to it. However, these results were inconsistent which led to the conclusion that nothing had really done anything.

I assume the cells have been all written to for a while before I noticed this slow down ( had to reinstall windows completely a few times ), making me wonder if something else went wrong.

If anyone has any other ideas about what I could try to perform a Secure Erase or if anything else could be wrong, please share this information with me.

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