SSD Data Recovery Services
Solid state drives present many challenges for professional data recovery labs, and no lab works harder to overcome these issues and provide quality SSD recovery services than Gillware.
Flash memory manufacturers are constantly improving on solid state technology. The per-gigabyte cost of solid state technology falls year by year, and more and more computer users are trading in their hard disk drives for solid state drives. As the world slowly adopts a solid state standard, solid state drives are becoming more frequent visitors to our data recovery lab. Gillware works hard to stay on top of advancements in flash memory. If your SSD has failed, our SSD data recovery technicians can help you.
What Is an SSD?
Solid state drives are a bit like oversized USB thumb drives. If you crack open the case of your thumb drive, you’ll see a green printed circuit board with two or more black chips on it. The larger black chip is the NAND flash memory chip, where all the data on your thumb drive lives. Some high-capacity flash drives may have more than one NAND chip.
NAND flash memory is “non-volatile”, meaning the information it stores stays there after the device is powered off. (An example of volatile memory is your computer’s RAM, which stores some data to improve efficiency and speed while you use your computer, and then returns the data to your hard drive when you turn off your computer.)
The basic design principle behind solid state drives is the same. However, SSDs are much more complex and have many more features than your typical USB drive. A solid state drive has many more NAND chips, and has a SATA or PCIe connection instead of a USB plug. The multiple NAND chips inside your SSD actually work similar to the multiple drives in a RAID array. Data is constantly being written to and pulled from multiple chips, instead of just one at a time. This is one of the reasons why SSDs are so speedy and efficient compared to other flash memory devices. Your thumb drive, for example, is not very fast at all compared to a SSD, even though it uses the same type of NAND chip.
In addition, some (but not all) SSDs have SDRAM chips. These chips work just like the RAM in your computer. SDRAM chips are faster than NAND chips, but they are also volatile memory chips. They only store data when the drive is powered on, and flush it all out when the drive is turned off. SSDs can load programs or files into the SDRAM chip for faster performance and then dump them back into the NAND chips when the drive is properly shut down. The next time you power on the SSD, the SDRAM chip is completely blank and ready to be used again.
If you’d like more information about what’s inside your SSD, one of our video blogs goes into greater detail here.
Solid state drives can come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Traditional hard disk drives are constrained by the sizes of their platters and other components. SSDs have much less bulky components, and those components can be arranged in many different ways. In many modern Apple notebooks, the internal solid state drive is a long, thin, rectangular shape. An SSD can also be short and stout. Many SSDs are made to conform to the 2.5” form factor of laptop hard drives as well. This makes them much easier to integrate into laptops that came with traditional spinning-platter hard drives inside them.
Challenges to SSD Data Recovery
Many modern SSDs are self-encrypting. For these models of SSD, while the user may choose not to enable password-protection on their SSD, all of the data is still stored in an encrypted format by default. The encryption keys are stored in the same controllers that manage the flow of data to and from the NAND chips. If the controller on the SSD’s circuit board dies, the encryption key is lost. This can make data recovery from SSDs that have failed impossible.
This is an extremely high barrier to our SSD data recovery efforts. However, Gillware Data Recovery has partnered with data recovery experts, SSD manufacturers, and security organizations to make data recovery from self-encrypting SSDs more possible. We recovered data from our first self-encrypting SSD in 2012. Since then, the number of models of self-encrypted drives our solid state drive data recovery technicians have been able to salvage data from has been growing.
Contact our data recovery client advisors to find out more about our SSD recovery capabilities and whether our engineers can help you.
Why Choose Gillware for My SSD Data Recovery Service Needs?
At Gillware, we work hard to stay on the cutting edge of solid state data storage technology. As a leader and pioneer in the field of SSD data recovery, we also provide financially risk-free data recovery services. We charge no upfront fees for data recovery, and if we cannot recover your critical data, you don’t owe us a dime.