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Recovering Data On Solid State Storage

SSDs, SD cards, thumb drives, smartphones, among others, all utilize solid-state storage technology. While it’s true that this technology has multiple advantages over traditional hard drives – power efficiency, slim design, and speed – the ease of recovering data isn’t among them. We’ll go more in depth in this article.

On a conventional hard drive, information is stored on magnetic platters, where bits of data are read and written by physical read/write heads. Data is sent from the controller to a location on the platter. To retrieve the information, one just needs to go back to that location and scan the bits of data.

When it comes to solid-state drives, there’s no moving parts. They are silicon microchips that store information in cells. Furthermore, the location of information is randomized to preserve cell life. This intensifies the data retrieval process.


Another difference between a hard drive and solid-state memory is that when files are deleted on a hard drive, it merely removes the index pointer. The file remains in place on the platter until it’s overwritten with new information. When it comes to solid-state storage, information can’t be written to a cell that already contains information, so it must clear the cell first. One way this happens is with a common feature called TRIM. TRIM clears cells as soon as the file is deleted, making things practically impossible to recover deleted files.

Read/Write Cycles

When a solid state drives fails due to the cells wearing out, it’s either ‘on write’, or ‘on erase’, rather than ‘on read’. In fact, the ‘read’ process doesn’t cause gate transistor degradation, and so can read countless times. When a conventional hard fails, it tends to be ‘on read’. This is because the hard drive knows when it fails to write to a particular sector, and so moves the information to a new location and logs the bad sector in a reallocation table so it doesn’t try to write there again.

Failing Indicators

When a conventional hard drive is about to fail, it usually gives warning signs such as noises, slowing down, error prompts, etc. In contrast, flash storage devices tend to fail without warning. This makes the diagnoses more difficult.

The Good News

So far, it’s been a doom and gloom outlook if you are the one in need of a solid-storage device recovery. But, let us give you some reassurance. Here at Western Data Recovery we have the best equipment on the market and some of the most knowledgeable and experienced engineers in the field. With our track record of thousands of successful cases, we are confident in our abilities to retrieve your precious data. If it’s possible, we will get it!