Data Recovery from Monolithic Flash Drives

Monolithic Flash Drive Recovery

Flash drives are an extremely useful tool when it comes to storing data while transporting it to another location such as work or school. They also allow users to safely store their precious memories while categorizing them as well. Unfortunately, flash drives are not very reliable for this as they often encounter data loss issues. Flash drives also encounter issues that are caused by physical damage since they themselves are quite fragile devices. People often feel that if the flash drive has encountered physical damage or if they accidentally format the flash drive, their precious data is gone forever. However, this isn’t the case.

Depending on the kind of flash drive you own, the recovery process can be different, however both cases require that you don’t experiment with DIY recovery software that you get off the internet. This is simply because the data when deleted or corrupted isn’t actually gone forever. It is just marked as writable. This means that the system can now write over the data and reuse the storage space. However, free DIY software does not come with write protections in it which can overwrite your data while looking for it and in turn delete it forever without any chance of recovery after that. When you get your flash drive to a professional data recovery center like Recovery Squad, you might want to check if your flash drive is monolithic or not.

What are Monolithic Flash Drives?

Monolithic flash drives are the new version that have come to replace USB drives with NAND chips. Monolithic drives have a single electric unit with no connections except for connecting to a USB slot. These are much more expensive to manufacture which causes their higher prices, however they are also much lighter, smaller, and unaffected by environmental hazards.

Because of this, monolithic flash drives are a little difficult to deal with when extracting data for recovery. This can make things nearly impossible to perform DIY, hence it is a better idea to take your drive to a professional.

How to Tell if Your Flash Drive is Monolithic

Monolithic flash drives have some defining traits that separate them from the NAND chip flash drives. One of the easiest signs is a metal lip or clip which is meant to hold the monolithic chip within the drive structure without letting it fall out. Since these drives consist of a single chip, the chip is the only part inside the larger metal or plastic container for the flash drive.

Another sign can be the size and weight of your flash drive. If your flash drive is extremely lightweight and small, it is likely a monolithic drive. These drives are also much more recent than other drives, so if your drive is a USB 3.0 or above model, then it is most likely a monolithic drive unless it doesn’t satisfy the above properties.

At Recovery Squad, our engineers have developed advanced methods to deal with the recovery from Monolithic Flash Drives. Our methods come with several options to ensure your data gets back to you in almost all circumstances.

Must Read: A Complete Guide for Lost Data Recover from USB Flash Drives and SD Cards

X-Ray Analysis

While the process of recovering data from a NAND flash drive is quite simple, this is rarely the case with monolithic drives. The first step in the recovery process is to take an X-ray of the drives and detect the structure. This allows the engineer to find out the correct Memory Pin-Out. While these devices may vary in size, they usually have their controller and storage portions arranged in the same fashion inside the monolithic chip.

Determining the Right Pin

The obvious next step is to determine the correct Memory Out Pin. This requires engineers to check the function of each pin or node on the chip and determine the correct pin. This method may require soldering, but is only for figuring out the NAND chip within the monolith. After this, it can be connected to a flash reader and the data can be extracted from it quickly.

Using a Spider Board

A spider board is a board with 25 needles that are attached to copper traces on a denuded card. It is used for sucking the data out of the flash drive without any extreme problems or any kind of soldering. At Recovery Squad, we utilize these boards since they can easily work without requiring specific adapters for each new monolith. The board connects to the internal contacts of the monolithic chip with a regular NAND chip and transfers the data to it. We use it in connection with our specially manufactured Flash Reader which makes the Spider Board system to function in the first place.

While the process of recovery from a monolithic flash drive is quite an intense one, it is not impossible for the trained professionals at Recovery Squad. We ensure the safety of our user’s data while recovering it and also make sure that your privacy is maintained. If you find yourself encountering data loss in a monolithic flash drive, feel free to contact us immediately and get a certified data Recovery in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Daniel Etezadi

Our mission is to maximize the chances of a successful data recovery while offering the ultimate customer service experience. We understand the value of digital data and the impact of its loss—whether critical business files or precious family photos.

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