USB Data Recovery

Common USB Drive Issues

USB Drive Not Recognized

One of the most common USB Data Recovery cases we receive are cases where the USB Drive is not recognized by the computer. IF your USB drives actual capacity is detected by your computer, the chances are high that the data will be recoverable.

IF the drives capacity is not detected by the computer (Disk Managements or Disk Utility), the data may still be recoverable by attempting a higher level recovery – Chip Off or Monolith Recovery.

USB Deleted Files

If you are trying to recover Deleted Files from a USB drive, please make sure to safely eject the USB drive as soon as possible. Flash devices have a featured called TRIM that kicks in after “X” amount of time (vary’s depending on model).

TRIM will permanently wipe out the sectors on the drive, making it impossible to recover the deleted files. If we receive the case soon enough, most time we will be able to recover deleted files from a USB Drive.

USB Physically Damaged

Recovering data from a Physically Damaged USB drive is possible ONLY if the USB drive has a removable NAND chip. Our Engineers will be able to let you know if your drive has a removable NAND chip if you provide the model number of your device.

Most older model USB’s are supported for Chip-Off Recovery. It’s only the newer “Ultra Small” USB’s that no longer have removal chips. In the case of physical damage, these devices would be unrecoverable.

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Types of USB Recoveries

Logical USB Recovery

Logical Recovery applies to USB drives that don’t have any physical damage and also don’t require repairs to the drive, in order to recover the data. Common issues that would be covered by a Logical Recovery:

  • USB Drive Detected by the computer, but does not mount.
  • Computer asks to “Initialize Drive”
  • Deleted Files (Formatted Drive)
  • Drive Responding Slow

Logical Recoveries are more affordable, quicker and chances of recovery are much higher. The process is also very straightforward with specialized tools. Depending on the size of the drive, average turnaround time for Logical USB Recoveries is 1-3 days.

Step 1: Image the Entire Drive by reading the data on a sector level.

Step 2: Rebuild a File System (Structure to the Data)

Step 3: Save the Recovered Files.

Step 4: Ready for Pickup

USB Data Recovery Imaging Process
USB Data Recovery Imaging Process

Chip Off USB Recovery

Chip Off USB Recovery or Monolith Recovery (some cases) apply to cases where the drive has either physical damage or the drive is not detected whatsoever. Common issues that would recovery this type of recovery:

  • USB Drive is physically damaged or broken
  • Computer doesn’t detect USB whatsoever (bios)
  • USB Drive Shows 0MB Capacity
  • Liquid Damage

Chip Off or Monolith Recoveries are more expensive, take a little longer to complete and chances are a little slimmer mainly due to either Data Corruption by the controller OR the device not being supported for raid data recovery at the moment. Steps of Chip Off Recovery:

Step 1: Unsolder the NAND Chip (or chips is some cases)

Step 2: Read the “dump” from the chip

Step 3: Rebuild the data (finding the correct algorithm)

Step 4: Save the Recovered Data

USB Chip Off Recovery
USB Chip Off Recovery

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Common USB Drive Models

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SanDisk Logo
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Western Digital Logo
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