29 Mar 2018

A few months ago we received a Samsung MZRPC256HMCDSSD 256GB SSD from one of our recovery partners that had been physically damaged by their client. Their client tried removing the drive from their laptop themselves while in the process damaging the LIF (Low Insertion Force) connector. The entire connector was ripped off leaving only the pins remaining. This SSD uses a non-standard connector rather than the standard SATA/mSATA connector most SSD’s have so it cannot be hooked up to a normal computer even if the connector was not broken.

After visually inspecting the entire SSD we discovered another unusual characteristic. The Samsung SSD contains actually 2 SSD’s on the one PCB (printed circuit board). Each side of the board contains its own MCU (Microcontroller unit or brains) and NAND memory chips. It turns out this SSD was configured to run in a RAID 0 configuration. A RAID 0 configuration stripes the data across both SSD’s increasing read/write performance but at the same time reducing reliability. If one of the two sides of the SSD malfunctioned the other would not be able to function without it.

The first thing we had to determine what traces coming out of the MCU’s were related to sata data, power, and ground. Using a multimeter we were able to locate all necessary power and data lines. Since this SSD used a non-standard connector we wired the power and data lines to a standard sata power/data adapter to make accessing SSD more accessible. One side off the SSD was dumped at a time leaving us with 2 X 128GB size file dumps.

Now that we have the data safe and secure off of the damaged SSD the only left to do is reassemble the 2 dumps in a virtual RAID 0 configuration. Using proprietary RAID rebuilding tools we were able to determine and duplicate the settings used by the SSD’s MCU and manually rebuild the raid 0 configuration. We were able to get the same exact file system and extract 100% of the data. We at Data Analyzers specialize in developing custom solutions for recovering data from unique cases like this every day so do not hesitate to contact us if you need specialized SSD data recovery.

Contact us with any questions you have and keep our phone number handy in case of emergency – 1-866-456-DATA.