Laptop, Tablets, and SSD (Solid State Drive) Data Recovery

Laptop data recovery no longer means recovering data from just 2.5″ hard drives. Recovering data from today’s Laptops, Notebooks, Netbooks and Tablets now requires additional expertise with SSD or Solid State Drives. In fact many laptops offer no hard drive (HDD) option and an SSD drive is your only choice.

Solid State Drive memory chips

A Solid State Drive is a computer based storage device that uses solid-state memory or flash memory devices to store data permanently. An SSD is very similar in operation to a USB Flash drive except a SSD is typically much faster and much more capacity.

The latest and greatest forms of Solid State Drives are based on NAND type flash memory devices. These Solid State Drives are 100% non-volatile and will retain the data virtually forever with no power. Being a direct replacement for the hard disk drive, both physically and functionally, these SSD are quickly becoming popular storage choice in portable computers and even some Desktop systems.

Even though SSD manufactures claim increased reliability over hard drives, Solid State Drives will still fail, and users will still make mistakes. With over a decade of real world SSD experience we are prepared for all your digital disasters!

Just like hard drives, SSD or Solid State Drives require data recovery for two distinct reasons;

  1. LOGICAL PROBLEMS – The Solid State Drive or SSD is in good working order but data becomes irretrievable due to complications with the operating system’s unique file system. These file system structures are used by the operating system to locate your data on the SSD and once they are damaged, data is lost. Examples of scenarios that result in logical problems.
  2. PHYSICAL PROBLEMS – The SSD or Solid State Drive is NOT functioning properly. SSD drives are similar to USB flash sticks in architecture but with more complexity. A modern SSD drive consists of a controller chip, a memory cache and multiple NAND type memory chips. Your data may not be accessible if any of these components are damaged. Typical issues with SSDs include:
    Bad Cells or Read Errors Electrical Storm Damage Fire, Flood, Water Damage
    Bad or Defective Controller Electronics Defective Physical Damage
    Cracked or Damaged Casing ESD damage Power Spike Memory chip bad
    Dropped or Shocked Excessive heat Static Electricity damage

How we recover your data:

LOGICAL or FILE SYTEM ISSUES – SSD Data Recovery begins with creating an image or mirror of the entire SSD onto a target hard drive. If this is not possible, the SSD must have PHYSICAL problems and this must be addressed first, see below. Assuming we have been able to obtain an image of the SSD, we would than use our standard and time proven utilities to automatically and sometimes manually discover what critical file system structures are damaged. We would then proceed to repair the damaged structures, whether physically on our image, or virtually using specialized software.

PHYSICAL ISSUES – SSD Data Recovery where the SSD or Solid State Drive is defective is one of the most time consuming and complicated recovery scenarios we encounter. In these cases we typically must remove each memory chip physically from the solid state device. Once the individual memory chips are removed we use a memory chip programmer/reader to dump the memory contents to another storage device where we can then analyze and reconstruct the data to a useable form. There can easily be 16 or more memory chips and the schemes used internally by each device’s controller to manage the flash memory are very complicated and unique. The controller attempts to equalize the writing of data across all the memory devices and at the same time avoid using areas previously found defective. Most Solid State Drives use RAID like striping techniques to store and access data much faster than sequential methods. SSDs may also use RAID redundancy techniques to further ensure the integrity of the data. To determine the striping scheme across dozens of memory chips and to put the data back together in a useable format is a challenge equal to or greater than the most complicated RAID array.