Anatomy of a Hard Drive

Anatomy of a Hard Drive

Why did my Hard Drive Fail?

Why did my Hard Drive Fail?

A-Z of Data Recovery

A-Z of Data Recovery

Send Us a Drive

Send Us Your Drive

Data Recovery Guides

Data Recovery Guide

Data Recovery Guide Volumn 2

SSD Data Recovery

SSD Data Recovery

We recover from most SSD disks including those from manufacturers such as:

  • Samsung
  • Micron
  • Lite-On
  • SanDisk
  • Crucial
  • Toshiba (OCZ)
  • WD (Western Digital)
  • Adata
  • Apacer
  • Plextor
  • SK Hynix

We recover from all SSD form factors including:

  • SATA
  • mSATA
  • M.2 (B-Key, M-Key and B+M Key)
  • PCIe
  • Lenovo Thinkpad Carbon (X1) Proprietary
  • Apple SSD Proprietary (Samsung and Toshiba)

We perform SSD data recovery on disks showing symptoms such as:

  • Your SSD is not being recognised by your computer
  • Your SSD is appearing as “uninitialized”
  • Your SSD is appearing as “not accessible”
  • Your SSD is inaccessible and you receive the message “the request could not be performed because of an I/O device error”
  • You receive the message “You need to format the disk” before you can use it
  • You receive the message “This disk needs to be repaired” from your Mac’s Disk Utility application but Disk Utility cannnot repair the disk.
  • You receive the message “Windows detected a hard disk problem”
  • When connected to your PC your SSD triggers a “not repsonding” error message

Even if your SSD is encrypted, we can help. We recover from SSDs encrypted with applications such as:

  • BitLocker (Windows)
  • FileVault (Apple)
  • Symantec
  • Sophos Safeguard
  • McAfee
  • Checkpoint
  • Win Magic
  • TrueCrypt and VeraCrypt

Some SSD disks which we successfully recovered data from include:

  • Samsung (Evo 840,850,860, 950, PM 871, PM871b, PM951, SM951, SM961, T5 Portable)
  • SanDisk (A400 NVMe, X110, X300, X400, X600, Z400s, SanDisk Plus)
  • Crucial (MX200, MX500, MX550)
  • Lite-On (CX1-GB512, CV1-8B256)
  • Micron (1100 M.2, M600, C400, M500DC, 5300)
  • SK Hynix (SL301 SC308, SC311, SH920, SI308, HFS064G3, HFS512G39MND)
  • Plextor (PX-256M5M, PX-512M9P)
  • Toshiba (XG4, XG5, THNSN5512GU7)
  • Apple MacBook Air SSD (A1369, A1370, A1465, A1466)
  • Adata (SP550, SU630, SU800)
  • PNY (CS900, CS1111)
  • Silicon Power (S55, S60)

How to Kill Your SSD with a Thousand Cuts

You can drop an SSD as many times as you like and it probably won’t fail. This makes a refreshing change from their HDD brethren where just one short drop from a coffee table can render your disk inaccessible in a matter of seconds. So, does this make SSDs fail-proof? Not exactly. They can fail for a plethora of reasons. Their NAND cells can simply wear-out or they can fail due to over-voltage. But SSDs have an Achilles Heel which is rarely addressed in computer magazines, on IT support forums or on tech-enthusiast websites. This problem is related to the area of the SSD that stores the bootloader, which is essential to initialise the SDSD’s key functions. Despite this, the bootloader microcode is often stored on the SSD’s normal memory cells. It is normally a problem if these memory cells fail in the user area of the SSD because the cells or blocks will be marked as “bad” by the SSD controller and then reallocated. (Many SSDs even provide extra cells for these types of “hard failure” in a redundancy feature known as “over provisioning”).

In most cases, the user won’t even be aware of this sophisticated process playing out deep inside their SSD. For them, everything will be hunky-dory, but when blocks start going bad in the bootloader area, it is another kettle of fish entirely. This is because a failed bootloader will stop an SSD from being able to initialise and so the data stored on the NAND will be rendered inaccessible. This issue is compounded by the fact that most bootloader areas do not employ an error-correction code (ECC). Users can exacerbate this problem because they have a tendency to boot up their system repeatedly when a disk becomes inaccessible. Or, if the inaccessible disk has been already extracted from their computer, they will repeatedly connect it to another system in the hope that it might mount, just by virtue of it being connected to another computer. Even worse, they might try to torture their SSD with some DIY data recovery software. However, these continual attempts to access an already failing SSD can just make matters worse because, in the background, the SSD controller is frantically trying to reallocate failed sectors but keeps on getting re-initialised. Eventually, the SSD controller becomes so strained, it will just lock up, making the data even more difficult to retrieve. Death by a thousand cuts...

There is an important lesson here - SSDs are a different breed compared to HDDs. Trying to repeatedly read from a failing HDD will incur damage, but the damage incurred by trying to continually read a failing SSD can be exponentially more harmful. By leaving SSD data recovery to the professionals with the right expertise and equipment, you can maximise the probability of a successful SSD data recovery outcome.

Real-World Example Data Recovery from SSDs

Drive Rescue offers an advanced data recovery service for SSDs. We recover from S-ATA SSDs, but also increasingly from PCIe SSDs with bootloader and bad block problems. Trying to read these defective disks on a standard PC would be extremely difficult due to the inability to control the number of PCIe lanes used and the power features of the device. Using specialised (and expensive) data recovery equipment, we can control data transfer rates from the SSD to host. For example, by disabling problematic PCIe lanes, we can significantly reduce the data transfer speed of the SSD. While this might be slower, it enables us to extract data from otherwise unstable disks. We can also manipulate the SSD’s power features which can be very useful as faulty SSDs have a propensity to reset themselves a lot. Moreover, controlling resets at PCIe level, functional level and transport protocol level (NVMe or AHCI) can mean a host of other repair functions can be successfully executed to ensure a complete recovery.

Call us today on 01 485 3555 (Dublin) and speak to an SSD data recovery technician directly.