Data Recovery For NAND and NOR Flash Memory

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NAND or NOR Flash Memory: Flash memory is a non-volatile data storing memory wafer that involves electrically erasing and reprogramming technology. Being non-volatile these chips are capable of storing data even in the absence of power and are renowned for fast reading and better kinetic shock resisting qualities. NAND devices are accessed serially, using the same eight pins to transmit control, addressing and data. NAND flash was introduced by Toshiba in 1989.

Although NAND and NOR memory chips function differently they are still widely being used in various electronic devices where data storing, erasing and reprogramming are essential. Both invented by DR. Fujio Masuoka in his work place Toshiba, the main goal was set to outdate the old storage devices that functions under magnetic energy like: hard disks and cassette tapes by reducing the cost per bit and increasing maximum chip capacity.

Hence, NAND flash is widely used in MP3 players, USB drives and digital cameras where higher storage capacity is crucial. But, some devices like pocket PC’s can be found using both types of flash memory at the same time. These PC’s typically use NAND for memory storage and NOR to boot the operating system.

Flawed Memory Drives and Data Recovery:

Data recovery is a highly specialized science which is equally valid for rescuing data from both NAND and NOR flash. Although, NOR is rarely used and is quite expensive, NAND is preferred extensively for mass storage and a huge godsend for thin and smaller devices.

The probability of data loss is elevated when bad memory storage is used: unbranded USB drives, unbranded NAND wafer devices, etc. These unbranded memory devices & chips are often noticed in spontaneous reboots leading to program failure. A malfunctioning RAM is often noticed to write correct data in an incorrect location of the drive which eventually creates a data malfunction and data loss. Furthermore, using flawed memory can also cause degradation of your hard drives logical capability and can finally destroy your device, the most extreme: an unbootable system or device.

Data recovery or NAND data recovery can minimize your loss and protect your machine from any incurable situation; we highly suggest avoiding the purchase of unbranded USB drives, SD cards, USB sticks, CompactFlash cards, and any other no-name devices for storing your crucial data. NAND recovery is possible but very complicated.

First Aid Before Data Recovery:

Data loss is a common problem that we often face due to virus attacks in our USB drives or when our computers get physically or logically over used. To fix these data degradation problems data recovery is only one solution that can rescue you and your data from the nightmare of any permanent loss. But, experts believe that data loss often becomes a complicated task when a user ignores the safety measures that help to avoid further data losses. Thus, in case of data loss some safety measures should be applied.

  • When data loss is acknowledged, further procedures to retain the data should not be made. This may lead to much more serious data loss.
  • It’s better to contact experts for help and other remedy measures. 
  • Using software like: scandisk should be completely avoided.
  • Avoid no-name or unbranded devices.
  • eBay sellers are not always honest eProvided (TM) has learned many times where customers data is stored on fake NAND wafers, your purchase of a 16GB SD card may yield a soon to be damaged 1GB NAND wafer inside.

Data Recovery for Hard Drives & NAND Storage:

Data recovery processes embrace various techniques with latest technologies. At first, experts determine the fault on the device and classify them into Tier 1 and Tier 2. If your device falls into Tier 1 this means your device is suffering from a logically damaged component and data recovery costs are normally cheaper as compared to Tier 2. But, if your device has Tier 2 fault than your device is physically injured and may have many internal damaged circuits which need circuit and recovery experts; the process will normally be more costly.

After determining tier 1 or tier 2 an image of device is saved and these images are relocated to a separate server to avoid any accidental loss. Then the original copy of the image is transported to a lab where first degree data recovery is performed using various utilities which may include repairing faults in the device, dumping directly from NAND wafers, repairing circuits, crystals etc. Other various attempts are also made which includes testing and recovering from the logical damage on the device.

If the first degree recovery fails then the task is considered to be severe and second degree recovery is practiced which includes high level techniques and experts with professional knowledge over critical uses of software and hexadecimal formulas. These software utilities are used to re-build the drive and manipulate other drive errors.

In case of physical faults like: motor replacements, repairing heads or cleaning scratches different cleaning liquids and other spare parts are available according to the size and code. After every physical and logical recovery attempt the rescued data is copied to an additional storage device like: CD/DVD’s, flash drives, and hard drives.

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