Flash drives are brought to our laboratory for Data Recovery Services almost daily. However, in recent years, more and more often they began to bring miniature ones, the analysis of which reveals a special manufacturing construct – Monolith.
In the circle of repairmen, we called this version of the case “monolith”. Due to the fact that the controller chip and the NAND memory chip are made in the same bottle.
This design affected not only USB flash drives, but also SD memory cards, and of course MicroSD.
Data Recovery Services from such flash drives is very, very problematic.
On flash drives, the controller usually either burns out or the memory cells partially wear out. In case of any malfunction, it is required to access the memory directly. Data Recovery Services from a conventional flash drive is carried out by soldering the chip, reading it on a NAND-supporting programmer and further assembling the contents.
It is called an assembly because the data is not explicitly there, it is scattered throughout the chip according to the controller algorithm. Data, the controller scatters in “pieces” for uniform wear of the flash drive. There are a lot of controllers and their firmware, algorithms and sizes of “pieces” are different.
A specialist and / or software analyzes the Facebook data, understanding the algorithm can collect the scattered “beads” in the desired sequence and voila, the data is restored.
But you can’t solder anything to a monolith… Chief, what should I do?
We take a dremel and goy paste, polish a layer of varnish from the “belly” of the flash drive, it is better to do this under a microscope for careful control, so as not to overdo it. Some comrades rub with sandpaper or a scalpel, but there is a danger of damaging the necessary and valuable tracks with contacts.