When a USB memory stick becomes unresponsive and a simple soldering iron repair doesn’t produce positive results then we have another recovery option called a nand read.
This method of recovery is very complex and involves several stages each very dependent on its proceeding stage.
Stage 1 is the removal of the nand chips. The number and style of nand chips varies with manufacturer, the chips must be unsoldered paying attention not to damage the delicate pins and then cleaned in an ultrasonic bath to remove flux residues.
Stage 2 is making dumps of the chip content. The data must be read from each nand chip, to be entered into software. This involves setting correct parameters for dump number, page sizes and any timings unique to the nand chip. This may have to be repeated if too many errors are detected at the end of the reading process and the settings tweaked.
Stage 3 involves reassembly of dumps. Once all the dumps are made they can be entered into software to start the long process of recreating what the microcontroller did when in charge on the USB device. Getting the data to line up within the dumps is a complex task involving a Xor pattern with many parameters to change that unfortunately isn’t automated. Once this process has been completed successfully the integrity of the data is checked and if good copied off... Stage 3 may have to be repeated several times to get good data.
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I have recently used R3D to retrieve data from an external hard drive.
I called Andy at 11pm on a Saturday after my hard drive failed, he immediately ran through the symptoms and calmed my fears that all data was lost, but was honest that data recoveries are not always successful.
I required the data immediately as it was for a deadline the following Friday, the issue was I was based in London and the lab based in Sheffield.
After searching all data companies in and around London none would answer my call on a Saturday. In fact no one else would answer my call or say they could look at my case on the Sunday.
I took the drive myself to R3D and was very impressed with their facilities. Andy also explained the whole process and what they were doing at each stage.
Unfortunately the hard drive had a physical failure and needed to be rebuilt to have any chance of recovering the information.
After starting the rebuild at 4pm on the Sunday, Andy advised it would take him and his team until the morning to know if any information was recoverable - fantastic I thought. Andy and Mark got to work on my drive as soon as I left and by 10pm on Sunday they had retrieved almost the entirety of the information of my hard drive.
I cannot reccomend R3D highly enough, they are clearly experts in their field and have a passion for what they do. Through the whole process Andy kept me informed of progress and explained everything they were doing.
If you have a crisis or any data recovery needs these are the guys you need!
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If your hard drive happens to fail, contact our team of experts. Our skilled professionals will be able to reliably recover data on your hard drive and provide industry-leading turnaround times which give you the confidence that's necessary to develop a solid, effective recovery plan.
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