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SSD Repair

SSD Repair

SSD repair requires a specialized skill set to address damage or defects, including an advanced understanding of electronics, form factors, and interfaces. Unlike hard disk drives, solid-state drives (SSDs) utilize non-volatile or persistent storage. Persistent storage refers to memory that does not contain moving parts. Additionally, it does not need a continual power supply to retain data.

While SSDs are much faster and more resistant to impact than their electromechanical counterparts, there are some drawbacks to the storage device. For example, SSDs offer limited program/erase cycles during their lifetime and suffer from unique failures. Specific logical and non-logical faults on SSDs entail complicated fixes, even for professionals. Acknowledging the limitations of certain at-home repairs is crucial in preventing permanent data loss.

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Repair SSD

To repair SSDs, technicians or users must pinpoint the problem before proceeding with the appropriate correction. Since it can be difficult to differentiate between failure modes, a comprehensive evaluation is needed. During the examination, a specialist follows a sequence of possible problems, eliminating each to discover the malfunction. The most common culprits are memory cell exhaustion, read errors, firmware corruption, hardware failures, and physical damage.

Like with hard drives, repairing an SSD can be misleading. SSDs can encounter numerous uncorrectable errors. At that point, SSD repair transitions toward salvaging its stored data. And SSD data recovery is more challenging due to its default encryption, nonlinear configurations, and architecture variations. (Note: Disconnect the SSD if its data is valuable.)

Another factor in repairing SSDs is the presence of other devices. Sometimes, SSDs serve a supplemental storage role, and HDD breakdowns are responsible. Though rare, a solid-state hybrid drive (SSHD) might be present in the computer. But, if all signs indicate an SSD issue and its data is valuable, then disconnect the device and weigh the options.

How to Repair SSD

Learning how to repair an SSD is a painstaking process. It requires extensive knowledge of their design due to the range of potential repairs. Once the diagnosis is determined, engineers develop the ideal approach to maximize the chance of success for recoveries or repairs.

Below are frequent failure modes and data retrieval scenarios.

Improper usage of the following tools and utilities could result in irreversible data loss. Exercise caution if servicing the SSD.

Memory Cell Exhaustion and Read Errors

Memory cell exhaustion is the inevitable state of failure for an SSD.

Some SSDs have higher endurance than others due to the properties of their memory cells, but all SSDs have a finite number of writes before wearing out. No exceptions. Most cells experience a gradual degradation. As time passes, SSDs sustain an increasing amount of read errors. These read errors are often caught at the onset and corrected through an SSD’s error-correcting code (ECC). However, as the errors mount, the ECC falters, even after multiple attempts. In the end, the SSD suffers a final read error and a final write error, reaching exhaustion.

Once the SSD experiences its final read and write errors, it is irreparable, though its data can be recovered.

Detection Problems

Detection problems occur when the BIOS does not recognize a functioning SSD.

Undetected SSDs happen for an assortment of reasons. For repairs, start with the simplest solution and reboot the computer. If the SSD is undetected after the reboot, check its connectors for bent or misaligned pins. Also, inspect its data and power cables for creases, folds, or pinches. Replacing a ruined cable can solve detection problems at a fraction of the cost.

While improbable, if the SSD is still undetected, it could be disabled in the BIOS. To confirm that the SSD is enabled, enter setup during initialization. Each manufacturer implements different setup procedures, so consult model documentation for specific instructions.

Provided the above attempts did not resolve detection problems, then users might need an SSD replacement. Users should review reputable data recovery services if the failed device’s data is deemed critical.

Accidental Deletion

A mistake, such as accidental deletion, can cause users to seek SSD repair. But the device’s design impedes recovering erased files with ease. If enabled, TRIM is a low-level command that triggers the SSD to overwrite unneeded or unwanted blocks upon deletion. While unplugging the SSD can corrupt or damage the device, it is the surest method of recovering deleted files. Because once TRIM completes the process of wiping paths, the files are permanently lost.

Do not plug the SSD back into the computer. Booting might resume the TRIM command. At this point, appraise the value of the deleted files. If recovering them is important, then contact a certified service.

File Issues

First, a buildup of bad blocks can disrupt SSDs, similar to bad sectors on hard disk drives. For the most part, bad blocks form when flash cells reach the end of their finite program/erase cycles. The SSD recognizes the status of worn cells and refuses to read or write data there, reducing performance and shrinking the device’s size over time. Therefore, it is imperative to monitor the health of an SSD through systems like SMART. And, when SMART flags something, conduct maintenance. Neglecting to monitor the health of an SSD can lead to more severe complications.

File corruption is a significant concern for SSDs. One of the most frequent causes of file corruption is sudden power outages and surges. Despite being persistent storage, SSDs are still susceptible to unexpected power events because the device does not have sufficient time to initiate shutdown protocols, like clearing its cache or updating its tables. Often, corruption occurs when the SSD is recording data. Select software can recover corrupted, fragmented files on an SSD but demands an understanding of features, including TRIM, to avoid compromising the data further.

In some instances, SSDs will not load the file system itself. Identifying the underlying issue with the file system involves running tools. CHKDSK (Windows) and Disk Utility (Mac) can sometimes correct file system corruption with strict parameters. However, most experts consider the practice dangerous for the SSD’s stored data. Assess the value of the files. Consider having a professional recover its data and obtain a replacement.

Firmware Corruption

An SSD’s firmware provides essential directions for routine operation.

Firmware corruption often affects the SSD’s controller, which manages the NAND flash chips that store data. The SSD cannot complete its most basic processes without a working controller. To successfully recover data from a bricked SSD, engineers bypass the controller by uploading Loader, or specialized code that imitates the controller’s firmware. The code grants direct access to the NAND chips, then locates translator tables in dedicated areas. Each technique and tool requires an intimate knowledge of SSD hardware and software and should be left to specialists.

Though more uncommon, SSDs can become defective through firmware updates or a lack of updates. When this happens, there are two approaches. If the SSD is accessible, installing the latest firmware update should resolve the glitches . In some situations, the update will wipe the drive’s data, so creating a backup is advised before the installation. However, if the SSD is inaccessible, then the firmware must be rewritten using special tools. An approved service is best equipped to handle the SSD in these cases.

Hardware Failure

Current SSDs utilize capacitors, resistors, diodes, coils, and power management integrated circuits (PMICs) for preserving regular function and protecting the SSD from harmful voltage fluctuations. Capacitors and resistors regulate the current and voltage inside a circuit. The PMICs optimize voltage for an SSD’s low-power state and complete operations during abrupt outages.

These components are vital to SSDs. And, in some cases, SSD failure is out of the user’s control if the manufacturer uses inferior components. Exposure to extreme temperatures or foreign substances like liquid could also cause hardware failure. Overheated or water-damaged SSDs can have catastrophic consequences for users.

SSD Repair Near Me

Since 2007, Secure Data Recovery Services has repaired thousands of damaged or defective SSDs and returned millions of irreplaceable files. We have evolved alongside mass-market and enterprise-class SSDs, encountering all failure modes. And our technicians have credentials with all major SSD manufacturers. Nothing surprises us.

Regardless of the device, our mission remains the same. To recover your data, even under the most challenging circumstances. We pride ourselves on our expertise and delivering for our customers. You can expect a free consultation, guaranteed results, SSAE 18 certifications, and exceptional service with us.

Call 800-388-1266 now or stop into one of our local stores for SSD repair.