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Recently we get a lot of questions about data recovery from flash SSDs. Here we gather some ideas and situations for your reference.

Usually, SSD data recovery is much more time consuming and much more expensive, more complicated than RAID data recovery, any SSD over 8GB are charged on a case by case basis so far. Anyone with an encrypted SSD should be warned to backup, if the controller gets damaged, it’s most likely only the encrypted data can be recovered. If you move into larger SSDs, a 64GB PCIe SSD unit could take a professional technician over a week of nonstop work.

SSDs use special kind of semiconductor devices with erasable, writable cells. When compared to traditional hard drive it is found that these solid drives are less prone to the condition of failure as there are no moving parts, there is less that can go wrong mechanically as for example there is no head so its crashing problem is the matter of past. Additionally damages due to heat or heavy impact on hard drive are no more in action with the use of solid state drives use. Most flash SSDs use complicated controller technology to extend the reliability and speed of storage. The architecture inside a high performance SSD is more complicated than that in most RAID systems. The algorithms which map addresses to physical media locations vary from manufacturer to manufacturer – and in many cases – like the formula for making Coke or Pepsi – the details are closely guarded commercial secrets.

It is a very common fact that each coin has its counterpart. So in spite of having no mechanical parts in SSD, these drives are also not 100% secure from failure. The fact is that these hard drives are more susceptible to certain other effects like abrupt power loss, magnetic fields and electric/static charges compared to normal Hard Disk Drives (which store the data inside a Faraday cage). Apart from this certain other causes like human error like accidental deletion of files or deletion of file after formatting can be other some minor factors too of data loss from solid state drive. So what to do in the condition when your solid state hard drive has faced such a condition and the ultimate loss of data?

SSD Data Recovery can be broadly defined as 4 types:

* Easily recoverable. This includes devices which have internal support to facilitate data recovery – designed into the controller architecture. Although such products are in the design stage – they are not yet widely available. This type of SSD could be as economic to recover as a current notebook hard drive.
* Recoverable at high cost. This is the case for nearly all flash SSDs currently shipping.
* Non recoverable (unlucky). This is one step beyond the category above. Most flash SSDs with internal encryption would not be economic to recover – if the internal translation tables were corrupted. This includes many new notebook SSDs – and will come as an unwelcome surprise to their owners should they be unlucky enough to need data recovery services.
* Non recoverable (intrinsic). These are SSDs which have been specifically designed to thwart any prospects for data recovery. In these SSDs – data destruction circuits are part of the product design – and you pay more for this feature.

One fact we need to see is that the biggest traditional customers of flash SSDs have been the military or industrial users who didn’t want enemies / competitors stealing their secrets.

Erstwhile flash SSD manufacturers like Adtron, BiTMICRO and STEC specialised in having on-board disk sanitization of various forms to make sure that that the data is never recovered by the wrong people.

So far in data recovery market, it’s easy to find professional hard drive data recovery tools, NAND flash chips data extractor but hard to find data recovery tools for flash SSDs.  So if you are using flash SSDs, do please remember a regular data backup of your important data to avoid permanent data loss.

Shall we find out some super heroes and super SSD data recovery tools? You can try and let us know!

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