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A VARs Quick Guide on SSD File Recovery

June 18, 2017

Data loss is a perennial concern with any data storage hardware. As SSDs grow in popularity and are embraced for their speed and relative reliability, users must understand that the technology, like all electronic devices, sometimes fails. One use survey recently gave some statistics that quantified the concern. One-third of the businesses polled said they had experienced an SSD malfunction, 61 percent lost data, and only 20 percent reported being successful in recovering it.

This doesn’t mean that SSDs are unreliable. It just means that crashes happen. However, recovering lost data from a crashed SSD is markedly more difficult than a from crashed HDD. Knowing the reasons behind this, and knowing the ways to pre-empt and manage data loss, is more than just a good way to sell add-on solutions. It’s a smart relationship-building move that will be more than appreciated by a customer in the case of a data loss catastrophe.  

What Can Damage an SSD?

  • Mechanical failure: Though an SSD doesn’t run the risk of the same mechanical failures as an HDD because of the lack of moving parts, the components that make up the drive can still die.

  • Outside impact: Shorts, failures, and damage caused by environmental factors, from coffee spills to natural disasters, are as much a risk with SSDs as with any piece of technology.

  • Human error: As with physical trauma to drives, accidental deletion of files and failing to correctly back up data can happen to even the most conscientious of users.

Why Is Data Recovery More Difficult on SSDs?

  • SSDs operate differently:  Because SSDs do not write information sequentially, recovering wiped information from them is more than difficult than from HDDs. The way information is stored is also not standardized, so different SSDs pose different data recovery problems.

  • Consumer-facing SSDs are new pieces of technology: The industry is facing a learning curve, and specialists are still trying to determine how best to approach data recovery in all the different scenarios that users of SSDs may encounter.

  • TRIM makes SSDs function better, but data loss worse: TRIM technology implemented on many SSDs keeps them running smoothly by eradicating remnants of deleted files. This is good for drive speed, but in the event of the deletion of needed data, the news is anything but good.

Preventing Potential Data Loss Scenarios With Backups

  • Hardware backup solutions: Reliable backups are important in making sure that if data on an SSD becomes inaccessible, it remains available to the user who needs it. RAID technology, which backs information up on multiple drives, is an important part of the data redundancy equation.

  • Cloud-based backups: Services that back files up to the public are another way to make sure data always resides in multiple places. 

SSD Recovery

In a worst-case scenario in which important information on an SSD is lost with no extant backup, or if a backup server itself fails, a customer still has options.

  • Vendor-based recovery services: Some vendors offer SSD recovery services as well as tech support advice.

  • Software recovery tools: There are also a host of software recovery services that can be attempted if an SSD fails. But given the unique data recovery concerns posed by SSD storage, this option should be treated as a last line of defense against data loss.

Above All, Have a Plan

Data recovery technology for SSDs will no doubt improve with time. But having a strategy for making sure data is effectively backed up is just as critical as having all available recovery solutions in place. When it comes to data, making certain that all the bases are covered is critical.

Do you have a strategy for dealing with potential SSD data recovery scenarios?