Most laptops and PCs today have an SSD (solid-state drive) component. They are faster than traditional HDDs, offer efficient power consumption, and are high in performance. But as they continue to become popular, more users experience data loss from their SSDs for various reasons. If you’ve lost data from a failed or crashed SSD, rest assured that there are ways to recover it.
However, since SSDs are constructed differently from regular hard drives, data recovery from an SSD can seem a little complicated. This article gives you an insight into the different methods used to recover data from a failed, broken, dead SSD.
Common Reasons Why SSDs Fail
Unlike traditional hard drives, SSDs don’t use moving parts to read data. So, they don’t usually face mechanical problems. However, no technology is perfect. Even SSDs can fail or malfunction after consistent usage.
Here are some of the most common reasons for SSD failure, being aware of which can prevent permanent data loss:
- ♨️ Overheating – One of the major reasons for SSD failure is overheating. SSDs can often run extremely hot and overheat due to heavy workload or intense operations. Usually, SSDs are about 10°C warmer than the average hard drive. While SSDs begin to lower their performance output if they get overheated, lack of a cooling system or consistent extreme temperatures can cause them to fail eventually. You can provide your SSD with adequate cooling by running it at a slower speed to prevent such a situation.
- 🔨 Physical Damage – Another reason for an SSD to fail is physical damage. While SSDs don’t sustain mechanical damage, this doesn’t mean that their components can’t have physical faults. Manufacturing faults can often cause an SSD to become vulnerable to electronic failures. Moreover, external factors such as heavy blows, water submersion, or dropping it can severely damage an SSD and lead to data loss.
- ❌ Improper Device Usage – Perhaps the most common reason for a crashed or failed SSD is its misuse. You can wear out your SSDs if they keep writing random information to it, keep using it through electric fluctuations, or shut down your computer incorrectly. You can monitor your SSDs health using available tools to prevent prematurely wearing out your SSD.
- 🆘 Firmware Failure – SSD firmware is fairly complex, and users often update their SSDs to improve their performance. But sometimes, while trying to upgrade your firmware, the SSD can fail due to interruptions during the process or other reasons. In such a scenario, most SSDs automatically fall into a fail-safe mode. But firmware upgrades must always be performed carefully, or all your data on the SSD can be lost.
- 🦠 Data Corruption – While SSDs are robust storage devices, sometimes, the data in your SSD can become inaccessible, crashed, or corrupted because of malware infections or bad sectors in the drive. SSDs can also fail due to short circuits and corrupt data. Data corruption within the SSD can damage essential segments of the drive and thus result in data loss.
Is it Possible to Recover Data from a Failed SSD?
Yes, it is possible to recover data from a failed, dead, or broken SSD. While you have the option to perform SSD failure recovery, you must note that it can be a complicated process.
But before you dive in to perform SSD recovery, ensure that the TRIM command is disabled. The success rate of data recovery will immensely depend on this move.
As a result, the TRIM command – if enabled, significantly reduces the probability of data recovery.
Here’s how to check if the TRIM command is enabled:
- Press Windows key + X to open up the power user menu.
- Select Command Prompt (admin)
- Key in the following command and hit Enter
fsutil behavior query DisableDeleteNotify
Moreover, you can increase the chances of successfully recovering data from failed SSD by following these best practices:
- 🔌 Disconnect SSD: As soon as you notice that you’ve suffered data loss on your SSD, disconnect it from the computer. Connect it to a different PC to begin the data recovery process.
- 📀 Write data to a different drive: If you wish to retrieve data via a data recovery tool, ensure that you avoid it to another drive on your computer and not the same SSD to prevent data from being overwritten.
- ✅ Use a suitable SSD recovery method: SSD recovery can be complicated and a time-sensitive process. Thus, always try the most suitable data recovery method first to increase the chances of successful data recovery. If nothing seems to be working, contact a data recovery service.
How to Recover Data from Dead, Failed, or Crashed SSD
It can seem tricky to recover data from an SSD not detected or crashed. However, even if the process is more complex than data recovery from a usual hard drive, it isn’t impossible.
Using Data Recovery Software
Disk Drill is an efficient, industry-leading data recovery software that can help you perform SSD failure recovery. It supports both macOS and Windows operating systems and offers a sophisticated interface that is also beginner-friendly.
Moreover, Disk Drill allows data recovery from partitions, RAW or unformatted disks, and even formatted external and internal devices. It has premium features like S.M.A.R.T. Disk Monitoring and byte-to-byte level backups to protect your data further. Overall, it’s a trustworthy recovery tool that can assist you in various data-loss scenarios.
Follow these steps for a detailed guide on how to recover data from broken or failed SSDs via Disk Drill:
- Download and Install Disk Drill from the official website. You can use the free version to recover up to 500 MB of data!
- Once you launch the program, select your SSD from the list of devices. Now, select the All Recovery Methods option, then click Search for lost data to begin the recovery process.
- Disk Drill will begin scanning your SSD for recoverable data. Note that the progress bar will indicate the progress of your scan, and you can pause, save or resume the process whenever you want. Once the scan is complete, click Review Found Files.
- You can preview the files you wish to retrieve. You can filter through the results to select specific files and preview them by clicking the eye button to the right of the file name. Select each file you want to recover from your SSD by clicking the checkbox next to each file.
- Finally, click the Recover button to recover files from the SSD. Disk Drill will ask you to choose a recovery location, and you must always remember to pick a folder on a different storage device than the SSD you’re recovering data from.
Consulting Data Recovery Centers
If you cannot retrieve lost files using data recovery software, perhaps the only other way to go is to contact a data recovery center. Your SSDs often act as the primary storage medium on your computer and contain crucial information. Thus, consulting a professional recovery service is your safest bet in cases of physical damage, firmware failure, or malware attacks.
Keep these pointers in mind to have the best possible experience when consulting a data recovery service:
- Choose a trustworthy Data Recovery Service Center.
- Be aware of the recovery service’s average price, and ensure you agree to the price quote in advance.
- Ensure the company you approach has a “no data/no charge” policy.
How to Repair a Dead, Failed, or Crashed SSD
After you’ve successfully recovered data from a dead, failed, or crashed SSD, you can attempt to repair it. There are several methods to help you with the process, depending on what has caused your SSD to stop responding. Let’s take a look at these methods.
Method #1: Update SSD Firmware
It’s possible that the SSD’s firmware has become corrupted. This could lead to problems in accessing the drive and affect its read/write abilities. If you’re facing issues with your SSD, try updating your firmware. Follow these steps to update your SSD firmware:
- Press Win + X, and open Device Manager.
- Click Disk drives and expand the section > right-click your SSD drive > select Properties.
- Now, choose the Details tab, and then go to Hardware Ids.
- Click Ok to save the settings.
- Finally, run the SSD firmware update tool to complete the update process.
Method #2: Update SSD Drivers
Like firmware, faulty or outdated SSD drivers could also cause the SSD to fail or become corrupt. Follow these steps to update your SSD drivers:
- Press Win + X, then select Device Manager.
- Now, expand the Disk drives section.
- Right-click your SSD device and choose the Update driver option.
- Finally, reboot your PC to complete the process.
Method #3: Use the Power Cycle Way
If your SSD becomes corrupt or fails due to power failure, the power cycling could help revive it:
- First, unplug the SSD’s data cable, but not the power cable.
- Leave the power on for a minimum of half an hour. After this time is up, turn the power down for about 30 seconds.
- Now, turn the power back on for another half hour.
- Then, turn it off for another 30 seconds. Once you turn on the power again, reconnect the data cable.
Method #4: Run CHKDSK
Sometimes, your SSD can become corrupt or fail due to an unknown file system error. Running the chkdsk utility can help fix this error. Just follow these steps:
- Press Win + S, then type
cmdin the search bar.
- Right-click Command Prompt from the results and select Run as administrator.
- Now, type the following command into the CMD window and hit Enter.
chkdsk /f c:
Ensure that you replace “c” with a drive letter of your SSD.
- After the scan is complete, you should be able to access your SSD.
Method #5: Format SSD
If none of the other methods work, you can attempt to repair your SSD by formatting it. However, you must ensure that all your data is backed up before formatting your SSD since this process will wipe out all your existing data. Follow these steps to format a SSD:
- Press Win + S and search for
Disk Management, then press Enter.
- Choose the SSD partition you wish to format.
- Now, right-click the SSD partition and select Format.
- Check Perform a quick format. Now, click OK to format the drive.
How to protect your SSD?
Although no technology can last a lifetime, you can follow a few techniques to get the most out of an SSD. Here are some ways that can help you in protecting your SSD from failure and even work to extend its life:
- ♨️ Avoid Extreme Temperatures – While SSDs are sturdier than HDDs and can handle hot and cold temperatures better, exposure to extreme temperatures for extended periods can cause problems with your SSD. So, try to avoid using your computer for hours together or running programs that heat the system to maintain low temperatures.
- 🔌 Look Out for Power Outages – Sudden power outages can significantly damage your SSD or even cause you to lose your data if the power goes out while you are writing data to the SSD. To avoid such a situation, ensure that your computer is connected to an uninterruptible power supply to assist you in adequately shutting down your computer in case of an unexpected electrical interruption.
- ✂️ Enable the TRIM Command – The TRIM command increases your SSD’s performance, generates more free space, and even helps extend the device’s lifespan. The TRIM command works by indicating to the operating system that already deleted data can be erased internally from the SSD.
- 🚀 Don’t Completely Fill Your SSD With Data – ‘Wear leveling’ is a technology that allows your computer to write equally to all available spaces on your drive. If you keep cleaning out your SSD by deleting unused files or moving them to an external hard drive, it’ll open up space on your SSD and optimize its performance.
SSDs are faster, efficient storage devices built with superior technology than regular hard drives. However, recovering data from dead, crashed, or failed SSDs can be complicated.
This article provides detailed insight into the methods used to recover data from these SSDs using professional data recovery software like Disk Drill. It’s an economical and reliable way to retrieve lost data from an SSD. But if nothing works, you can always seek the services of a data recovery center and recover your data without any hassles.