How Solid State Drives Really Work


More computers today, as well as some servers and RAID arrays, rely on solid state drives (SSDs) for storage. The benefits of SSDs are well-documented, including increased reliability since there are fewer moving parts to fail, greater energy efficiency, and faster performance.

But how do they really work? Let’s take a peek inside solid state drives, with the objective of understanding why solid state drive data recovery is so complicated, requiring the expertise of a professional data recovery service.

How Solid State Drives Store Data
Solid state drives store data on flash memory, a collection of NAND chips, which are made up of floating gate transistors that hold a charge of zero or one. The transistors are stored in collections of cells, which are organized into a grid, called a block. One row of that grid is considered a “page” of data.

Why Are SSDs Faster Than HDDs?
“Latency” in a computer is the time delay it takes a CPU to find stored data. Solid state drives have lower latency than HDDs, first and foremost, because they have no moving parts. Regardless of where on the flash memory data is stored, access is nearly instantaneous, reducing latency and making your computer feel much faster. 

Additionally, SSDs read and write data faster than conventional HDDs, further improving performance. But the controller and the NAND flash components, themselves, make data recovery more challenging than conventional hard disk data recovery.

Solid State Drive Failure?
There’s one key drawback to solid state memory that’s worth mentioning: SSDs get slower as they age. This is because solid state drives don’t overwrite data the way hard disk drives do. Instead, the drive erases data in an entire block at one time when it needs to write new data on that block.

Each SSD manufacturer has developed proprietary techniques involving compression and reduplication to store data more efficiently in the NAND flash and minimize erasing and rewriting blocks of data more times than necessary. These operations are controlled by the SSD controller, which is similar to a controller in a RAID array.

Our explanation simplifies the process. You can read about how NAND flash and solid state drives work in even more detail in this article published by Ars Technica.

As SSDs are developed with greater storage densities, write cycles become even more complex, increasing error rates and reducing the life of each flash cell. This makes solid state drive failure, and the loss of mission critical data, inevitable.

Solid State Drive Recovery Processes
SSDs use intricate transistors and controllers to store data. Each SSD manufacturer has its own techniques and methods to manage data storage and maintain the speed of an SSD over numerous read/write cycles. When SSDs fail, each data recovery case is different from the ones before it. Data recovery engineers must understand in detail how each brand and model of SSD works in order to successfully recover lost data.

24 Hour Data maintains industry high success rates for solid state drive data recovery. Since flash memory and SSD storage came onto the market, we’ve been staying up to date on SSD technology and developing the most effective, most efficient recovery techniques to stay at the top of the data recovery field.

Companies and individuals across the U.S. trust 24 Hour Data for SSD recovery. Give us a call if you need a solid state drive recovered quickly and completely. 

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