USB Memory Stick Recovery
USB Memory sticks: We have been performing advanced data recovery on USB memory sticks since 1999 and have developed some of the most advanced recovery techniques. We were also one of the first companies to do chip-off recovery - this process involves removing the memory chips and recovering the data directly from the chips. Advanced desoldering and chip removal processes means that your lost data has the best chance of recovery.
We can recover from all makes of USB memory stick and USB Flash drives. Where necessary we remove the memory (NAND) chips from the circuit board and read the content directly using the latest chip reading technology. The methods chosen to read the usb stick will depend on the type of chips on the circuit board.
- Standard NAND Chips
We can work with the vast majority of standard NAND technology these have been in use for 20 years and are still used today. In order to remove the chips we use a Weller Hot Air station that desolders the chips so we are able to read them using a chip reader.
- BGA NAND Chips
These devices are used in modern large-volume USB memory sticks and we use Infra Red Desoldering stations to remove the drives.
- Monolithic Devices
Some of the smaller types of USB memory stick are monolithic, this means that there are no visible components on the PCB as they are all embedded in the plastic/silicon casing of the device. These are manually soldered to our chip reading equipment so can take considerably longer to read and recover.
This photo shows a standard NAND chip removed from its PCB. It was removed using a Weller hot air gun. Once the chip is removed, contents can then read using the PC3000 Flash Extractor, Rusolut Flash Reader or the Soft Center Flash Extractor equipment. The equipment chosen to read the chip will depend on the complexity of the device to be restored.
When working with the logical structures inside a NAND chip, the data memory is divided into planes and then again into blocks of various sizes. There may be several planes and thousands of data blocks that need assembling in the correct order. Some devices interleave the data between banks, some rotate data within blocks some do both and more. So it is a very complex job when it comes to chip off recovery and can often take some time to get the best results.
The screenshot below shows a single NAND device that contains 4 planes and the steps required to rebuild the data structures so that the folders and files can be recovered.
We maintain a large database of previous jobs where the steps required to rebuild the device can be chosen. It is often the case where some parameters are different, so the database is continually updated. For example, some of the XOR methods are dynamic and ECC coding and block sequencing systems may change according to the manufacturer of the NAND.