Weird problem with Ninja Blade at

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Atomos Ninja / Samurai / Shogun
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Old March 29th, 2015, 04:43 PM   #1
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Los Angeles, California
Posts: 1,803
Weird problem with Ninja Blade

Hi all:

I was shooting a project a few weeks ago, using the Canon C100 with the Ninja Blade. The Blade has the latest firmware/software update. I was recording to a SanDisk SASSDXPS480 SSD, a drive on the approved list for the Ninja Blade. I had used this drive numerous times before with no issues or problems. I was shooting green screen sequences, long takes and in the middle of a take, the Blade went dead, I am not sure but imagine that I wasn't watching the battery indicators on my two Canon batteries. No problem, the Ninja Blade supposedly has a couple of backup functions that will write the header/footer file before losing battery power and if it doesn't, it will supposedly rebuild the information when the unit is powered up again?

I put fresh batteries on the Blade and powered it up. The hard drive would not even read on the Blade. I whipped out another hard drive and hooked it up to the Blade and it began recording with no problem so I continued on with the shoot. When I got home, I hooked up the SanDisk 480 and all it was giving me was a "Disk not recognized, do you want to format disk" message. I ran diagnostics and recovery using Data Rescue 4. DR4 was able to find some files and rescue them but they were from jobs I had done months ago (yes, I reformatted this drive in the Blade in between jobs). DR4 found no issues with the drive. All of the new material which I had shot that day was nowhere to be found. I know it recorded because earlier I had gone back to show the director a few clips so we could compare some things so I know the material was there and was recorded. It all disappeared without a trace.

I contacted Aja tech support and they said it sounded like a defective drive issue. Fair enough, so I contacted SanDisk and they said that it sounded like the device, not the drive. I ended up reformatting the drive and because it would reformat, SanDisk won't take it back. I have since been using the Blade with other traditional spinning 1TB drives with no problems. I am paranoid to try the SanDisk again as it crashed and I still have no idea why. I hate when manufacturers automatically blame each other and I have to say, although I love the Blade, their customer service to date was not helpful and not impressive. SanDisk's service wasn't either. So I have a $1,000.00 recorder and a $360.00 SSD that I am afraid to keep using together.

I will be running some tests, recording the entire SSD with the Ninja, starting and stopping it to see if I can replicate this issue with this drive. Like most of you, this is my livelihood and reputation on the line, I lucked out because I am always recording AVCHD on the C100 also so I had a backup, thank God, so I was okay for this project. But losing half a days green screen footage in the middle of the shoot shook my faith in the Blade and this drive. I am not going to throw away a $360.00 drive and SanDisk said that if it re-formats successfully, which it did, it's not the drive. What would you do in this position?
Dan Brockett is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 5th, 2015, 03:06 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Denver
Posts: 253
Re: Weird problem with Ninja Blade

Return the drive and don't mention the conversation with sandisk.

Sounds like it is defective. The retailer probably won't ask questions. Get your money back and buy something else besides sandisk.
Tim Paynter is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 31st, 2015, 03:36 PM   #3
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 48
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Re: Weird problem with Ninja Blade

I've just encountered the same problem with a Samurai Blade. I was able to retrieve the large ProRes LT files with Piriform and EaseUS but the files were not playable. I tried many more applications to try and repair the files but nothing worked until I found Treasured Movie Repair. The service is only Mac based, but if you have to borrow or rent a Mac, it's worth it. If you are in this situation and need it repaired, Treasured works.

Now, about the issue... This was my first use other than testing of the Blade and the hard drive... bummer! Atomos has been listening and responding to my situation. I have not been able to reproduce the issue, however, I am using a different SSD drive and it's only been a few recordings. Now that I have recovered the files, I will reformat the the other spinning disk drive that failed and see if I can repeat the issue.
Chris Lognion
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Old November 4th, 2015, 12:25 AM   #4
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Sydney Australia
Posts: 771
Re: Weird problem with Ninja Blade

To date every Atomos drive failure I have heard about or read about concerns SSDs. I have not yet heard or read anything about anyone having problems with the spinning discs... maybe no one is using them?

For that reason I went with the recommended Hitachi 7200 RPM Travelstar drives. Touch wood, with weekly use now over the last three years, most of that covering football, and not one issue.. yet! Also nice that they are way cheaper. I reasoned that millions of them have been used in laptops and notebooks for years in units that get used and bumped around in every conceivable environment with very little bad news. Think I will still stick with the spinners for now even if they won't stand a one meter drop on to the concrete floor.

Chris Young
CYV Productions
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