SanDisk memory card data recovery is what we do and cards that had previously been unsuccessfully serviced at another data recovery service provider are often received by Data Analyzers for another “look”.
This micro SD 64 GB card would not respond when plugged into a card reader or a camera. Apparently, the previous company could read the data from the card but it had too many bit errors so they could not recover any complete files. Our initial inspection revealed that the top layer of the card had already been sanded down to expose the contacts underneath and solder residue from having wires attached. This is standard procedures for any recovery company to take on a failed card, if one knows how to do it!
The first step in the recovery was to clean the chip and inspect it under the microscope to see if anything was damaged during the previous recovery attempt. This card uses a known physical layout which is common in many of the SanDisk MicroSD cards we receive at Data Analyzers. Using our pinout (or schematics) of the memory card we are able to know what trace controls which signal. We compared a familiar pinout to the client’s MicroSD and found that multiple traces had chunks missing out of them. This typically occurs when the top layer of the MicroSD card is not removed correctly, or if it received too much soldering iron abuse during wiring. The two damaged traces were the D4 and R/B signals, which are critical in data recovery. Fortunately, the end points of the traces were not damaged and provided us enough meat on the bone to reattach our wires. After some precision micro soldering, we were able to solder all traces to our chip reader and get it to properly ID.
The ID of the chip, “45 3E AA A2”, is typically associated with incomplete recoveries due to uncorrectable bit errors when dumped through a chip reader. This would also explain why the other company could not recover any data. All is not lost though! We researched and explored our options with various reading and power configurations and, after many weeks, we were able to finally piece together a working file system that was approximately 70% complete. Our client got back the majority of their photos.