Improved data recovery from SSDs

Data recovery from new types of data storage can be extremely time-consuming because of the need to research the algorithms used to originally store the data. Previously, recovery from SSDs, if possible at all, took significantly longer than from other storage devices.

One of the complexities of data recovery from solid state media is due to wear leveling. Wear leveling is a technique that balances usage evenly across all disk sectors to ensure the maximum functional life of the media, since SSDs generally have a finite number of read/writes before they become unstable. However, in the event of a media failure, wear leveling makes it extremely time consuming to piece the data back together.

“Solid state media presents several challenges for data recovery specialists,” said Todd Johnson, vice president of data recovery operations, Kroll Ontrack. “With traditional spinning media, data usually remains in the same physical location on the disk when it is altered. The situation with solid state media is much more complicated, with the location of the data changing every time it is accessed or re-written, making recovery far more complex.”

Another factor that complicates the recovery of data from SSDs is that the individual memory chips on any given device usually work in a RAID-like configuration, which makes data even less contiguous and harder to piece together in the event of failing device malfunction or data corruption.

Moreover, there are no standardized configurations across different manufacturers, meaning that the new SSD recovery capabilities need to be able to handle different forms of Error Checking & Control (ECC) and Correct Address Translation via Logical Block.

Kroll Ontrack has developed proprietary capabilities improving the quality of recovery from SSDs in less than a quarter of the time typically required.

To create the new capabilities, Ontrack Data Recovery experts conducted extensive research into SSD technology which resulted in an in-depth understanding of this media. This enabled the development of unique processes and procedures and the ability to improve recovery rates while decreasing the average time per recovery.

“The technical challenges involved in producing capabilities to enable a fast and reliable recovery from solid state media were considerable, so we are pleased to be able to offer our customers a best-in-class solution for this increasingly important form of flash media,” said Pederson.

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