USB Flash Drive Data Recovery FAQ’s (Frequently Asked Questions) of a less technical nature.
Initially the device is taken out of its plastic enclosure and a visual inspection is done under a microscope unless it’s a monolith which requires a completely different process. We initially try to repair the PCB (printed circuit board) and replace faulty components as necessary.This is our preferred method of recovery since this type of data recovery is less expensive for the customer and results in a high yield of data usually very close to 100%. This process is done under a microscope at approximately 220X magnification with the use of an oscilloscope and / or spectrum analyzer to trouble shoot the failed drive. If components are found to be bad, we replace the faulty components and continue the process until we are able to recover the data. If we are not successful using the above methods, we will remove the actual NAND memory IC and attempt to dump the contents of the NAND memory IC(s) to a technicians workstation. The original controller algorithm has to be emulated to reverse engineer the manipulations of the data performed by the original controller. There are many different manipulations that are carried out by the original controller and a lot of trial and error is performed. We often equate the reverse engineering of the manipulated data to a Rubix Cube. There is a very basic starting point with a few known parameters but many tries of different combinations of data manipulations are performed until a recognizable pattern begins to unfold and the process continues until the data is recognizable as a known file system and its unique file system patterns. Many of the manufacturers program the same controllers differently and the same is true for how the manufacturers make use of a specific NAND memory chip. This can be a very time-consuming process and is more expensive than the Chip ON recovery.
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