We are happily sharing another successful case about compact flash card recovery from SanDisk Extreme 64GB storage device. The customer who needed to recover data was using this card on Canon 5D Mark V to take nature photos in upstate New York.
Compact Flash Cards
Nowadays, compact flash memory cards are used primarily on professional digital cameras. Compared to secure digital cards (SD), compact flash memory cards are more reliable, fast, and easy to use during photo shooting. Despite most modern cameras from Canon, Nikon, and Sony supporting both card types, photographers prefer CF cards for their work.
Corrupted Memory Card
When the customer wanted to copy all the raw photos to the computer, the Macbook did not recognize the card. He tried different computers and USB card readers, but no luck. He decided to take this card to professionals as the card contains important file systems. He found our company on Google and brought the SanDisk memory card to our lab for a risk-free evaluation.
Physical Inspection of the Case
Once we received the compact flash drive, we inspected it for potential physical damage. There were no visible damages on this card. Next, we connected the CF card to our data recovery stations to check its behavior. The card was completely dead.
We removed the protective cover to access the mainboard, chips, and controller to further inspect the board and other parts. Using the thermal camera and other proprietary methods, we checked for potential short circuits on this board. We did not obverse any shorts or cold solder points.
The problem was in the controller of this NAND flash memory card. The controller that manages all the reading writing operations got damaged. In addition, the failure of the central processor made this SanDisk Extreme CF card completely lose its functionality.
Chip-Off NAND Recovery
The only solution to get the lost files off from this compact flash drive is to use the chip-off data recovery method. This method is all about removing the NAND chips, reading the raw data, and building the correct image by simulation of the flash controller role.
We Use Precision Tools For Chip-Off Recovery
Using our precision hot air tool from the JBC brand, we removed two BGA152 NAND chips from the board, cleaned them, and using a data recovery programmer, read the raw binary data stored on these chips. The reading process was slow, about 4MB per second, and it took a few hours to read the chips.
The reading of the binary dump from the NAND chips is not so complicated, but you have to be very careful not to break or fry them using hot air. If you put more heat on for a more extended period, this will affect the memory cells of NAND chips and damage the data. So we know precisely how to remove these chips without damaging customer data.
99% Success Rate in CF Card Recovery
The real challenge is to combine these bits correctly to get working files and folders. Our flash drive recovery experts possess knowledge and experience in these challenging tasks. Every single engineer is certified for recovering lost data and is backed with years of experience in IT and computer systems. We use professional flash drive recovery hardware and software platforms to combine these dumps and retrieve lost data from the binary image.
This case was not easy as well. The failed controller used XOR to store the NAND chips data, which requires additional analysis to find the correct XOR to achieve positive results. After successfully reading the dumps, we found the proper parameters of the controller and made a single good image using the binary files. All the CR2 raw files were successfully recovered and delivered to the customer.
Sometimes customers ask us to repair CF cards, but repaying the failed controller is impossible. The only option is to purchase a brand new compact flash card for the camera.
Prevent the Risk of CF Card Failure
All the photographers invest a lot of money for their cameras, lenses, and other accessories to ensure maximum quality and flexibility. Some do not even believe that the flash storage cards they use for their daily project can stop working without any cause. We have seen various cases that even the most expensive cards fail, and the only way to prevent these risks is to have a second copy of data stored on a separate memory card.
Realtime Data Backup
Most modern cameras come with two memory card slots, and you can install two memory cards simultaneously. Thus, the cameras can save a single shooting to both memory cards, and you will have two copies of the file on different memory cards. It is called a real-time backup process of your data.
Losing data of your customer will affect your reputation and business. If you ever have any issues with memory cards such as Compact Flash, Secure Digital, and Micro SD cards, you can contact us for a consultation.