Hard Drive, Solid State Drive, SD Card, USB Flash Drive Forensics

The most common devices we see in our data recovery lab are hard drives, SSDs, USB flash drives, and everything in between. Regardless of the device’s condition, our expert investigators and data recovery experts can dive in and find the information you’re looking for.

Hard Drive Forensics

The data stored within each hard drive tells a story. We examine the data carefully and piece together the story as accurately as possible. The files on a hard drive and the metadata defining them can reveal how and when the hard drive was used. When were files created on the drive, and when were they modified? Who was using the hard drive? Which devices (such as mobile phones or USB flash drives) were connected to the computer when it was in use? Our skilled and knowledgeable forensic investigators can uncover the answers to these questions.

Most hard drives we encounter are perfectly healthy. But, we occasionally work on hard drives that were intentionally destroyed, deleted, or reformatted. To avoid unintentional data spoilage, we recommend consulting with our experts. When we encounter data spoilage, telling the story of a hard drive’s use becomes much more difficult, requiring the aid of our experienced data recovery professionals to salvage missing data.

Solid State Drive Forensics

Unlike a hard drive’s rapidly spinning platters with magnetic substrate to store data, SSDs don’t have any moving parts. Instead, they rely on electrons for data storage.

Our engineers have years of experience working with solid state drives and are familiar with the many issues that arise when working on them given their different technology and construction. We take every precaution to ensure that any preventable issues don’t occur when working on a case. In fact, our Director of Research and Development, Greg Andrzejewski, pioneered many of the SSD data recovery techniques that are used in our lab today. His expertise goes hand in hand with President Cindy Murphy’s 17 years working in digital forensics, meaning SSD-based cases are in good hands with Gillware.

USB Flash Drive Forensics

USB flash drives are portable, cheap, and easy to use. Their convenience makes these thumb-sized data storage devices a common sight, which means they can often hold key evidence for investigations, especially those relating to corporate espionage and intellectual property theft. We examine USB flash drive data and the devices they have been connected to and determine how it was used, when it was used, and by whom. Sometimes the data on a flash drive can be difficult to access, due to damage to the device or due to the inherent quirks and strangeness of flash memory.

Even if the thumb drive you need examined has been reformatted, or the data has been deleted, our forensic data retrieval specialists can sift through the device to find whatever traces amounts of data still exist on the device. If the device has been broken or damaged to prevent access to its contents, our highly-skilled electrical engineers can repair it and recover its contents. Our USB flash drive forensics experts can also provide expert testimony, ensuring that our findings will be clearly and accurately represented in court.

SD Card Forensics

When an SD card turns up in your investigation, you’re likely to have a few questions. Who was using the card? What kind of data exists on the card? When was the card used, and for what purpose?

SD cards are most commonly connected to and installed inside other devices, and may be the primary or secondary form of data storage on these devices (for example, inside an Android smartphonesmart watch, or other smart device). Memory cards will typically spend very little time not plugged into a device. SD cards are often reused, and an Android phone owner who goes out and buys the latest model to replace their older phone will often use the same microSD card in their new phone. Properly analyzing the data from the SD card can be crucial to understanding how the device (or devices) containing it was used as well.

Other Unique Devices

More and more devices are finding themselves in millions of households across the world. Each of them store unique digital forensics artifacts that can be used to answer key questions in an investigation. Some examples:

  • Drones
  • Card skimmers
  • Amazon Echo
  • GPS devices
  • Smart cameras
  • And the list goes on…

Still have questions about hard drive, SSD, USB flash, and SD card digital forensics?