Portable data storage devices, especially thumb drives and memory sticks present different challenges for our data recovery experts. Custom variants, propietary formats and cheap components mean that no two data recoveries are ever the same.
 

To recover data from a failed USB thumb drive we have two options - to either repair with donor parts, or interrogate the NAND memory directly using a chip reader. Which option is best for the user depends on the media and the failure. Some recoveries are easy to perform without any expert assistance and there are many helpful software options available online. However this assumes that the root of the drive itself is accessible. 

Physical damage and PCB failure will require a rebuild with donor parts. Breaks and cracks to the circuit boards must be bypassed with microscopic soldering tools. Snapped interfaces must be replaced and prorietary memory chips must be soldered onto an idenitical donor PCB. 

Where a donor cannot be sourced or the damage is extensive, we may elect to interrogate the NAND memory directly using JTAG or chip off technology. The NAND chips are carefully removed under a microscope and inserted into a chip reader, bypassing the controller to access the low level code. Data parameters are then calculated and we can begin the data recovery process. 

Our statistics for last year

hard drive data recovery tick  1,025 flash drives were received for diagnostic evaluation.
  hard drive data recovery tick 809 of these flash drives were successfully recovered.
  hard drive data recovery tick 79% data recovery success rate for flash drives.
  hard drive data recovery tick 1,276 spare parts catalogued and stored in our flash drive library.
 

Physical Damage to USB Interface

Breaking the USB interface is this most common type of physical damage. If the broken leads cannot be reattached with a soldering iron, the NAND memory chips must be fitted to a donor circuit board or an external NAND chip reader is required to interrogate the data directly.

Corrupt File System

Removing whilst transferring files, power surges and viruses all cause file system damage in flash drives. Advanced command line software is used to recover the data, but this can be very time consuming especially if files need to be repaired.  

Hacked USB Drives

Some unbranded falsh drives are hacked to display an increased capacity. Once the drive is filled with data it becomes unreadable, even though the drive is reporting 'free space'. Basic file recovery software should be able to retrieve the data.

Files Are Corrupted

Perhaps you see a colour shift in pictures or unrecognisable characters in a text file. As NAND memory ages, bits become 'stuck' and the high density MLC chips are especially prone to this problem. Advanced tools are required to repair the data, but often files are unrecoverable.

 

Recovering Data From All Leading SSD Manufacturers
 
SanDisk SSD Data Recovery
PNY SSD Data Recovery
Kingston SSD Data Recovery
Transcend SSD Data Recovery
IBM SSD Data Recovery
Sandforce SSD Data Recovery

 

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