Solid state drives (SSDs) utilise flash memory chips to store data rather than a moving platter found on hard disk drives. Because of this, hardware damage isn’t as common, but media degradation is. With the continued spread of solid state drives, data loss problems are becoming all the more common.

Solid state drives are very different to hard disk drives and so are the data recovery techniques required. Current SSDs feature compression, wear-leveling, de-duplication and high-level encryption protocols. These features and the controllers are proprietary to each manufacturer, hence our approach to recovering the data will differ for every SSD.

We are affiliated to labs with SSD research and development teams who have built a close relationship with manufacturers such as SanDisk, SandForce, Kingston, PNY, OWC and Transcend and with data recovery technicians who have completed more SSD and NAND flash recoveries than any other service provider.

It is difficult to tell when a SSD is going to fail. Hard disk drives often exhibit strange mechanical noises as they begin to fail, but with no moving parts there are no audible warning signs when an SSD fails. However, the electrical parts do wear out and generally this is what causes SSD data loss, although wear-leveling attempts to handle this media degradation.

With the latest in JTAG and chip-off technologies, we are able to interrogate memory chips directly. Overcoming automatic SSD hardware or software encryption does present a challenge, but with literally thousands of SSD decryption tools and ‘decryption-on-the-fly’ process at our disposal, our data recovery success rate for SSDs is slightly higher than HDDs.