Like any device, USB drives can be exposed to processes that may cause the device to malfunction and possible loss of data stored there. Unfortunately, this situation happens and forces users to look for ways to recover USB drives and recover data from damaged or non-working flash drives.
Damage to the drive controller – due to improper connection, power problems, or electrical breakdown, the flash drive controller fails, and access to the contents of the storage medium becomes impossible. In this case, the data from the flash drive can most likely be completely recovered.
Mechanical damage to flash media – data from such a flashcard can be read and recovered. To avoid complete loss of information, do not connect a damaged flash drive to a computer, as this can not only completely ruin the media itself but also disable the computer.
Flash Recovery in Case of Hardware Failure
Hardware failures are usually caused by a malfunction in the electronics that exchange information between the memory chip and the USB bus. In this case, the drive is detected incorrectly or not. The malfunction may be a physical malfunction of the controller chip or logical damage to the control firmware code.
To recover data from a flash, the memory chip is soldered (this is only possible for a USB flash drive) and connected to the recovery tool, on which its contents are read. Next, the read data is processed automatically to obtain an image of the file system and, if necessary, further reconstruction.
Recently, we had a SanDisk flash drive recovery case. The client called our customer service team, and after consulting with them, he shipped the failed drive to our recovery lab.
The flash drive’s LED did not light when it was connected to the computer, and the device was not recognized on our customer’s PC. Another indicator of data loss from a flash drive is that the media storage will be unidentified.
Our engineers started the recovery process by performing diagnostics. The problem was the USB memory chips were damaged.
USB Flash Drive Data Recovery Service
Data recovery was carried out using a unique method. The entire flash drive is scanned. As a result of the scan, based on the detected service information, a map of the data location is compiled. It contains information about which sector belongs to which file or directory, sizes, names, and other attributes of elements of the scanned file system.
Then the data recovery itself is performed, which consists of the fact that the selected information in accordance with the card is transferred to another storage.
In this case, an assembly was required because the flash drive controller does not store data in memory in the form we see them from the computer. For example, the wear leveling algorithm constantly moves the contents of memory sectors that are frequently written to different physical addresses, “mixing” the memory contents.
The correspondence between logical and physical addresses provides a translation mechanism that does not work if we unsolder the memory chip and read data from it directly. Therefore, the data is read in a “raw” form and needs further processing.
Often, each flash drive model requires the development of its assembly algorithms, so this part of the work is considered the most difficult.
SanDisk Flash Drive Data Recovery
We begin the data retrieval by unsoldering chips from the board. It comes to the turn for its processing, as in the case of dismantling – two techniques depending on the type of chip. In this case, there was one chip in the case of the TSOP-48. For a suitable connector in the reader, we had to need to prepare it.
Preparation is to clean the feet from excess solder. All actions were carefully performed under a microscope. After the completion of the preparatory work, the chip is installed on our special data extracting tool. We retrieved all the data and transferred them to a new drive. The client approved our service and received the data.