What Goes Into a Nand Read?

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.

If you'd like to learn more or speak directly with our engineers, please call us at 0800 999 3282

nand read

Broken Memory Stick - USB Data Recovery Services

USB memory sticks are a very convenient way of keeping your data close to you as you move from one place to another. Teachers/lecturers and students especially but anyone who moves from computer to computer need a way to keep their data with them. USB drives, memory sticks, pen drives (call them what you will), are a very convenient and easy way to keep your data with you while you move around.

Cloud storage is all good and well but USB sticks are just so easy to use. No installing of cloud storage apps, no waiting until the data syncs on a new PC you haven't used before, no logging into a web site... Plug and play - its just so convenient.

Simple though comes with its own dangers. USB devices are very much prone to failure that users are not advised of when they purchase them.

Snapped USB stick

The various components on the devices are very robust but they have weak points:

  • Physical damge - Where do we start?
  • The dog chewed my memory stick.
  • It snapped while it was plugged into my laptop.
  • I ran over it with my car.
  • We have seen them all.

Non-physical Damage

Sometimes these devices will just stop working, this is normally caused by an electronic component failure.

In most cases the controller chip fails, of course the device will not be useable and may behave in the following way:

  • It may show/register on your computer but not be accessible.
  • Not be detected on your computer at all.
  • Get very hot when you plug the device in.

Physical Damage

Physical damage is just that, it has been damaged by someone or something accidentally. It is also equally impossible to predict when the controller might fail but what isn't impossible is getting the data back, not for our engineers at R3.

If your device doesn't behave as it should contact our team of experts at 0800 999 3282. Our skilled professionals will be able to reliably recover data on your USB stick and provide industry-leading turnaround times which give you the confidence that's necessary to develop a solid, effective recovery plan.

This Killer USB Drive Will Fry Your Laptop

Do you know the USB devices we carry each day can be converted into a bomb? You must be thinking like “yeah whatever.”

No, it’s true, a researcher just showed how a USB can be converted into a killer USB that can kill your whole PC within seconds.

Though, this is not the first time such a USB has been demonstrated. In March, the same researcher showed that a USB can cause harm to vital components of a system if plugged in. But, this time around the USB he demonstrated was significantly more powerful and was named as “Dark Purple”

The USB has been developed with a DC/DC converter, caps and FET. On plugging, the DC/DC converter charges the USB to -220V in the new version (in the old version it was -110V). This voltage is applied to the signal lines of the USB interface.

The process repeats itself until all the components of the PC are destroyed.

What’s more troubling about the version 2.0 is that the reaction rate is much more than the earlier version, which allows it to destroy the whole system within few seconds.

During the demonstration, the researcher lost his new laptop. This is what he said after the demonstration:

“Do not worry about the laptop, the new motherboard is on the way – and the laptop will live again,” He specifically bought new laptop (Lenovo Thinkpad X60) just for this experiment, according to the researcher’s blog post.

This is not the first time a USB has been used as a weapon. USB drives have been used many times for compromising systems in air-gapped networks.

Stuxnet worm is the best example in the recent past when a USB drive was used as a weapon. Stuxnet worm was designed to destroy centrifuges at a nuclear facility.

So, our advice for you would be to be very careful while using anyone’s USB (better still, do not use anyone’s USB in your system), as one wrong step on your side can put all your data on risk.

If you need any type of USB or memory stick recovery, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 999 3282 for a free no obligation quote!

IBM Sent Off USBs Infected with Malware

​A new warning has been issued by IBM and the situation seems to be rather serious. According to the firm, there are a number of infected USB sticks out there with some very dangerous malware. The USB sticks in question were shipped with Storwize flash and they have hybrid storage systems. IBM suggests destroying the USB sticks immediately. Otherwise, your device can be infected with malware making the system vulnerable.

Apparently, the infected USB sticks contain a tool used for Storwize systems and it is the tool that was infected with malicious code, as unveiled by the IBM. The infected models include drives that have part number 01AC585 and that were shipped with Storwize V3500, V3700, and V5000 Generation 1 storage systems.

When it comes to dealing with the infected device, the vendor recommended that users should first update their antivirus and then try to use the USB drive. It is also recommended to not to use the drive again and to destroy it, in order to cease the infection via the USB sticks.
Security company Trend Micro’s antivirus detected the malware as PE.WINDEX.A and claimed that it was served up by one of the North Korean websites. Other vendors have also been able to detect this malware, but they classified it as a Trojan that would attempt downloading other malware if executed.

IBM also stated that the malware/Trojan was not executed during the Storwize initialisation.

When it comes to dealing with the infected device, the vendor recommended that users should first update their antivirus and then try to use the USB drive. It is also recommended to not to use the drive again and to destroy it, in order to cease the infection via the USB sticks.

However, for those who do not wish to do so, IBM strongly recommends deletion of the malicious files and to complete reinstall the Storwize initialization package. After that, the users should scan the code with their updated antivirus and hopefully, that should be enough to deal with the malware that’s infecting the drive.

An alert concerning these infected USB drives was also issued by a Chinese PC giant called Lenovo. IBM has originally manufactured equipment that had Storwize systems for this very company, so it’s not strange that they would decide to include this warning as well.

This is another situation where an updated antivirus could be of huge help to the users, and they’re advised once again to update their software regularly, especially when malware are being sent off in every direction lately.

USB 3.0 Flash Pen Drive by Team Group

With the lighting fast speed of USB 3.0 and the massive storage space of 32GB to 128GB the New X101 USB 3.0 flash disk from Team Group Incorporation who specialise in the manufacture of memory modules, USB disks and digital flash memory, the X101 is the first signs of change to the flash media market and technology - as the speed and size of flash media is increasing.

With the transfer speed of 5GB per second he X101 is 10x faster than current USB 2.0 devices making the whole process of transferring your collection of movies, photos, music and data, more reliable and a whole lot faster.

The design of the X101 has been well though-out, striking colours (matt black with bright orange indented elements and glossy white with burgundy indents) with sleek round corners all designed around usability and fashionable design. The X101 has a “no-cap-loss” design, which means the device has a moulded end which you can click the cap on whilst the device is in use.
The X101 is 100% RoHS-compliant and ultra light, weighing in at just 18 grams making it to keep all your important data with you all the time. The X101 supports multiple operating systems and even comes with a lifetime warranty covered by Team Group.

As will all types of media devices they are prone to drive failure – this is usually down a "controller" issue or electronic fault thus rendering the drive inaccessible to the average personal computer. The team at abc Data Recovery have a dedicated and specialised systems for dealing with this exact problem, so if you are struggling to get your data back from a damaged, accidentally formatted or deleted USB device please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0800 999 3282 or fill out our contact form for a no obligation quote.