A solid state drive solely consists of electronic components, in contrast to regular hard drives. That's why they are more robust concerning fall damage, the write/read speed is higher and the access time faster. On this account they are used increasingly for RAID and database solutions.
Normally you don't necessarily need a clean room, but in severe cases the memory chips have to be desoldered seperately and read out with speical hardware. The raw data can be put together after that thanks to so-called wear leveling algorithms.
Wear Leveling is a special algorithm which controls the occupancy of the individual memory chips of the SSD. It tries to utilize every memory chip equally in order to increase the lifespan of the SSP and minimize possible failure due to memory chip overload.
The main problem with SSD data rescue is, that the memory chip manufacturers encrypt the data by default without the user noticing. This complicates the data rescue, because the raw data can be read out, but the data is still encrypted.
TRIM is a command by the operating system which signals the SSD that certain blocks were deleted or are free and not used at the moment. Through the TRIM command the SSD is told to set those blocks free, so that they are free after the next deleting process in order to increase the writing access speed, the so-called "trimming".
This can lead to major problems when data is deleted by accident, because the SSD reacts to the active TRIM command (as long as power is applied) and gradually deletes the blocks that were set free. As a preventive measure the SSD should be turned off and you shouldn't apply power to it anymore.
We are asked many questions concerning SSDs and flash memories (e.g. USB stick, compact falsh, SmartMedia). Here are the answers:
Is it true that SSDs are not as vulnerable as hard drives?
We receive SSDs for data reconstruction on a daily basis. At the moment we still get more hard drives, but the number of SSD cases is increasing. The mechanical resilience is generally higher than with hard drives, but the electronic components can get defective.
Is it possible to reconstruct data from SSDs or flash memories?
Yes, it is! But the procedure is completely different from hard drives, whcih often need mechanical procedures. From defective SSDs the individual memory chips have to be removed. Dependent on the capacity that may be only one (e.g. with small compact flash media) or up 32 or more. After that they are read out with our special in-house hardware.
Is SSD data rescue expensive?
Compared to hard drive data rescue the prices are similar, because the soldering, cleaning and reading of the memory chips takes a lot of time and effort. One of the most complex work steps is the assembling of the individual memory units to a virtual image, from which the file system can be reconstructed. The manufacturers use the above mentioned wear leveling algorithms. Es werden vom Hersteller sogenannte “Wear Levelling” Algorithmen eingesetzt. Those are usually top secret and vary from model to model and from series to series. We reverse engineer them in our research department. A data rescue from small USB sticks or compact flash cards is significanty cheaper due to the smaller number of memory chips.
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