Solid State Drives (SSDs) are an emerging storage technology that promises lower rates of failure than other forms of storage media. However, as with any form of data storage, these advanced drives still fail. Because the technology is so new in the marketplace compared to conventional HDD's, most data recovery firms have a lower success rate.
SSD Data Recovery is Best Left to Professionals
Many consumers don’t know that solid state technology has actually been around since the 1950s. Those early drives were used in the first vacuum tube computers, but were soon replaced by more popular standard disc drives.
The technology experienced a brief revival in the 1970s and 1980s, but the price of SSD's prevented widespread use by consumers and businesses.
The 2007 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas saw the introduction of reasonably priced SSD's for consumer use. Today, the technology is quite common, but the recovery process remains complicated. That's due to how solid state operates compared to a conventional hard drive.
SSD's vs. HDD's
A typical hard drive uses a disc to access data, along with a number of mechanical parts including: platters, spindles, actuators and read/write heads. It's similar to a vinyl record player, although on a much smaller scale!
A solid state drive uses NAND flash memory to access data and has no moving parts. SSD's are more shock resistant and are commonly used in smart phones, tablets and increasingly in laptops and desktop computers.
Physical failure is less likely with solid state drives, without moving parts they are much more durable. Less prone to physical shock & water damage, SSD's still fail by common accidents like shock damage or spilled coffee.
SSD's are also more reliable over time. Depending on the manufacturer, hard drives have a lifespan of 5 to 10 years with an average failure rate of 4%. SSD's by constrast fail due to age less than 1% and outlive other storage options.
Lifespan of Drive Types
However, SSD's are just as likely as conventional hard drives to experience logical software failure. Accidential deletion of files and software errors do happen. Let's uncover how by dicussing how memory works on a SSD.
Memory in Solid State Drives
Most solid state memory today utilizes NAND-based flash memory, which retains memory even without power. The architecture within these drives is even more complex than in most RAID systems because NAND flash memory chips are used in parallel to increase speed and performance. Data striping and interleaving further enhance the performance of today’s sophisticated technology.
These storage devices are manufactured with one of two types of NAND flash memory:
MLC memory has more density, and therefore is less expensive, but is more prone to errors and also has fewer write/erase cycles.
The durability of a drive is measured in its write/erase cycles, or the number of times a block can be erased and re-written, before that block fails. A technique called wear leveling dynamically maps logical blocks to physical blocks, to prevent premature failure of any block from too many cycles. This, along with multi-channel flash microcontroller technology, enhances durability, but block failure is also one of the key reasons for data loss.
Logical Data Failure
When a block can no longer retain data, or when data errors cannot be corrected by the drive’s error correction algorithm, the drive’s controllers merely “select” another block. But when all spare blocks are used, the drive will fail, requiring a professional recovery service to retrieve data.
Other common reasons for SSD failure include Abrupt Power Loss, Magnetic Fields, Electric Charges and Firmware failures.
Because of the complexity of these drives and recovery procedures, as well as significant variations in wear-leveling algorithms between manufacturers, it’s important to call 24 Hour Data, a company with extensive experience on Flash memory drives. Do not attempt a recovery procedure on your own – this could result in permanent data loss.
SSD Data Recovery for Businesses & Government
Storing data on a solid state drive is common in the military and aerospace industries, and for other businesses. The reliability of this advanced storage option is a key reason. Yet, SSD's still fail whether you are a government municipality, Fortune 500 company or small business.
24 Hour Data takes the highest precautions to security to keep data safe. Our facility in Dallas, TX features multi-level intrusion detection and protection, and is managed and monitored 24/7.
We operate in a 100% secure environment within an ISO 5 (Class 100) certified clean room on an Isolated Secure Network with Enterprise Redundant Firewalls.
24 Hour Data is also a GSA approved contractor and has recovered data on solid state drives for the military, government agencies and Fortune 100 businesses.