A Guide to Solid State Computer Drives and Data Recovery

It’s probably the most modern and radical update you can perform on your PC. Adding a solid state drive (SSD) to your computer will give you blistering speed of data access.  Does this mean it’s time to throw away your hard drive, the last bastion of internal moving parts inside your PC housing? What are the advantages of an SSD with regard to data recovery? How does an SSD work? This article will answer some of these questions to help you make an informed decision whether SSD is right for you.

Certainly SSDs are growing in popularity and, correspondingly, more New Jersey data recovery service providers are updating the skills of their technicians to work on these devices. On the one hand, the lack of moving parts in SSDs make them potentially more reliable, on the other, repairs and data recovery tasks require more specialized skills.

SSD versus HDD

Unlike traditional hard disks drives, SSDs have no mechanical parts. There is no spinning disk and no moving head to read and write data. This gives the SSD two main advantages over hard disk drives.

1) SSDs are much faster than hard disk drives

2) SSDs have no mechanical or moving parts, so there is no risk of mechanical failure.

The architecture of an SSD and its controller is complex, but in basic terms these drives store your data in blocks. When you wish to read data from or write data to your SSD, it’s all done digitally, very similar to the way that a flash drive works.

You’d be forgiven for assuming this means your data is safer on an SSD, but that isn’t always the case. Another way in which SSDs are similar to flash drives is that they can only take so many cycles of being written to and read from. Eventually your SSD will wear out and when it does, you will lose any data that’s not backed up. By the time that happens, hopefully there will be plenty of professionals offering SSD drive data recovery in New Jersey. Even so, you should still take all the normal backup precautions as with a disk drive.

SSDs are also more susceptible than disk drives to power surges, power loss and magnetic fields. If you have an SSD, it’s very important to run your computer on an uninterruptable power supply with a surge protector.

SSD Drives and Data Recovery

SSD manufacturers often claim that the life expectancy of a solid state drive is up to 10 years. The reality though, is that with particularly heavy use, SSDs can fail in as little as three or four years. If your drive should get damaged it may fail prematurely as a result. If you need to retrieve data from a failed SSD, you’ll need the help of a skilled technician, with the appropriate knowledge of SSD architecture to help you with data recovery.

The controller technology built into an SSD is often complex as it’s designed to enhance the reliability and speed of data storage and access. Each SSD manufacturer uses complex algorithms to map logical addresses to locations on the drive and there is no single standard for this. So New Jersey data recovery services will need to specialize in SSDs from different manufacturers.

Just to complicate things a little more, encryption of backed up data on SSD drives is becoming commonplace, especially among small business users. Home computer owners too, increasingly use data encryption to improve the security of files and documents. This actually presents more of a challenge to data recovery, as not all data recovery experts can retrieve encrypted data from a solid state drive. You naturally want the highest level of security possible for your data, but this can become a problem in itself if it becomes impossible to get your data back in the event of a crisis.

How to Protect Yourself against SSD Failure

There’s not so much you can do to actually prevent an SSD from failing. They don’t make telltale grinding and clicking noises like a traditional hard drives do when they are on the way out. If your SSD drive fails it will do so abruptly and without any warning. It is possible to make use of self-monitoring tools which look for drive faults. In some cases these can give an early warning that a drive may fail, but there is no guarantee.

Your best defense therefore against SSD failure will be to implement and carry out an aggressive backup schedule. You should treat your SSD drive as if it’s likely to fail tomorrow. If you have a good SSD from a well-known brand name, it will probably give you many years of trouble-free service, but a daily schedule of backups to an alternative storage media is something you will be grateful for if your SSD should fail prematurely. To keep yourself really safe from SSD data recovery situations, backup to more than one alternative storage device.

For example, a good backup strategy might involve performing your full computer backup and subsequent incremental backups to a traditional hard drive. This could either be installed in your computer as a second drive or you could just use an external hard drive. Additionally you could back up your most important documents to a flash drive.

Remember too, that you should actually test your backup method periodically by performing a data restore. This will give you peace of mind by assuring you that restoration does indeed pull your backed-up files into their original directories.

So are SSDs a Good Idea?

SSD technology is relatively new and manufacturers aggressively guard their technology. With no single standard in place for SSD architecture, these drives can be hard for data recovery organizations to deal with at the present time. This doesn’t make it a bad idea to purchase an SSD; the time will probably come when SSDs are the only drive option for computer owners. It’s just that you need to have a good data recovery strategy to support your new SSD.

If you have a data recovery question, regarding SSD or any other data storage device, Dave’s Computers offer friendly advice and a reliable New Jersey data recovery service. The team will be happy to talk with you on 908-428-9558.

by David Molnar

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