Solid State Drives (SSDs) are a newer technology and slowly becoming more commonly used than Hard Disk Drives (HDDs). SSDs offer many benefits over HDDs, including faster data access speeds, lower power consumption, and greater resistance to physical shock. But, one of the biggest challenges users face is when they lose data on it. Consequently, the typical question users ask is, “Is it possible to recover data from an SSD?” The answer is quite baffling: it’s both possible, and it’s not. Before you find the right answer to this question, here are some things you should know.
How is data written in an SSD?
The data added to an SSD is calculated in Terabytes Written (TBW) which is the total amount of data that can be written into an SSD before it is likely to fail. SSDs have a shelf life of 10 years, according to current projections, though the typical lifespan is shorter. But that’s only if users take good care, so it’s a not definitive number.
Different ways an SSD can fail
Like with any other type of storage, there are instances in which SSD can lose data, such as:
- If the power is removed while data is being written to the drive, data may become corrupt
- If the SSD experiences a sudden power failure, data may be gone after booting
- Physical damage to the drive may harm the data on it
Is it possible to recover data from a failed SSD?
SSD data recovery is feasible, but your chance of success may differ drastically depending on whether you have the TRIM command enabled. The SSD TRIM command can inform the SSD that unneeded data may be erased internally when enabled. This improves the SSD’s performance by speeding up future write operations.
This is a command that helps maintain performance on SSDs over time. When data is deleted from an SSD, the drive does not immediately erase the data from the flash cells. Instead, the drive simply marks the cell as being available for writing. This can eventually lead to decreased performance, as the drive has to search through more cells to find available ones. TRIM helps to prevent this by periodically erasing blocks of data that are no longer in use, making them open for writing again.
How to increase the chance of successful SSD recovery?
The most important thing you can do is stop using the SSD immediately and send it to a professional data recovery company. Make a bit-for-bit copy of the drive before sending it off. This will give the recovery company the best chance of successfully recovering your data.
Guide to restoring data from an SSD using data recovery software
According to the experts, SSD recovery can be accomplished without going through different methods in most cases. But given that it entirely depends on the life of an SSD, such as how often data has been written on it or how old it is. To give you an idea, we’ll demonstrate the process on Windows 10/11 with Disk Drill, a data restoration software we have no ties to:
- Install Disk Drill for Windows: You can download the Windows version of Disk Drill for free and use it to recover up to 500 MB of data. Opt for its Pro version in case you require more than 500 MB (you can scan the entire drive free of charge, though).
- Select your SSD and Search for lost data: If you have an SSD, it will be shown in the window’s “Storage Devices” list so choose it. To begin the recovery process, click the Search for lost data button, and Disk Drill will apply all data rescue techniques in the correct order.
- Preview recoverable files: All multimedia file types supported by Windows can be previewed with Disk Drill. When you see a file in the recovery panel, it almost always indicates that it can also be recovered. Therefore, take advantage of this ability while picking files for retrieval.
- Select files you want to recover: To add files to your restoration queue, simply check the box next to each file you wish to recover. To narrow down the number of recoverable files, use the scan results filters on the left.
- Recover files after selecting the recovery folder: Finally, select Recover to restore all selected files. Disk Drill will ask you to choose a folder on a different storage device than the one you’re restoring, so you avoid overwriting.
Best practices to protect an SSD from failing
The recovery of data is a complicated procedure that MSPs (managed service providers) might spend time and money on that would be better utilized elsewhere. Rather than scrambling to recover data or getting flustered when the procedure fails, MSPs should take steps to detect and respond to SSD issues before they become full-blown catastrophes. To safeguard the performance and data retention of your SSD, implement these best approaches.
- Download one of the many free SSD health maintenance solutions that include a program to monitor operating temperature and performance indicators.
- When purchasing a new SSD, take time to investigate its specifications. Many SSDs come with SMART (Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology) technology that warns users of impending failure and encourages them to take prompt action.
- Have a backup strategy in place even if your SSD was newly purchased and appeared to be in excellent working order; back up data routinely. Unwanted corruption, electricity surges, computer viruses, or physical damage to your drive might render it unusable, resulting in permanent data loss. You simply cannot anticipate what may occur, thus important information should always be duplicated somewhere secure.