How to Recover Data from a USB Flash Drive?

Though a USB flash drive maybe small in terms of its size, but its effect can be quite significant on your digital life. External storage devices serves as a means to store all of your videos, photos, work documents as well as other useful data. If your USB device encounters a problem, you don’t have to worry about not being able to retrieve your data because data recovery operators will assist you on your media and help you to recover whatever data you may have lost. Flash drives are quite distinct from your ordinary hard drives not just in terms of its size but also with respect to how they are formulated and manufactured. Remember that there are already a range of different mechanisms which help your device to operate smoothly and store your data. All it takes is just one defective component to cause a serious risk to your USB and may result in a data loss.

Having to recover information from a flash drive is no mere feat which is why a professional engineer needs to be called in.

The Components of a USB

Even though most flash drives have different models in different capacities, they have the same basic components which allow for saving and transferring of files. A USB drive contains the following:

NAND Flash Memory Chip – this helps to store all of the information which is transferred
Cover–outer coating which shields the interior components of the USB
Standard USB Plug – this constitutes the external portion of the drive which in turn, connects it to that of a host computer
Crystal Oscillator – this takes control of data output while also coordinating all actions onto the drive
USB Mass Storage Controller – this is a microcontroller equipped with an on-chip RAM as well as a ROM which allows for file transfers

All USBs will contain these very components. However, a user may view some variation with regards to the USB plug. Various different sizes of ports are geared towards smaller or larger USB devices which includes USB-A, USB-B, or USB-C, Micro USB, and USB 2.0 as well as USB 3.0. Other components on a flash drive also includes protect and write switches which safeguards the data by disabling or enabling writing data to the memory of the device. Non utilized space may also be included onto your device which is left open so that the user can make an addition of a second memory chip for that extra space.

What causes a flash drive to fail?

Much like any other electronic device, flash drives can encounter both logical and physical damage. Physical damage can happen when the plug snaps off or is bent entirely. In addition, components located within the covering may become damaged or could even loosen if the USB falls onto the floor or is stepped upon accidently. Keep in mind that external media is highly sensitive and can even become damaged owing to excessive water, heat or extreme pressure. In the case of logical damage, it typically occurs when the USB has incurred related to malware coming from a host device. There are cases in which the device been corrupted because of software malfunctions or problems associated with NAND memory chip. Logical damage can also occur in the form of a power surge or even inadequate disconnection of the USB from the host device.

What should you do to recover data from a USB drive?

Several users have the tendency to use recovery software for their USB drives, and at times, will try to use their own tools to repair their devices. Such a method isn’t likely to work and using software to retrieve all the files that you need is pointless if your device has incurred some physical damage. So to open your device in an effort to recover data from your USB drive will only cause further problems unless it’s done correctly outside of a cleanroom atmosphere. It is to be noted that there has been some innovations in data recovery techniques. In this case, some forms of media have a processor and a NAND chip that are kept separately within the design. With the encryption on a drive, this can prevent someone from gaining access to the NAND chip as it’s the processor which has the encryption key. The flash drive data recovery provider will then transplant both pieces to the functioning logic board and extract the data from the user through a computer. This recovery technique will respect the privacy of the user and will allow for prospective file retrieval.